"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them."
let’s spend our week nights eating cereal on the floor
when there is a perfectly fine table behind us.
we can go to the movies and sit in the back row
just to make out like kids falling in love for the first time.
we’ll paint the rooms of our house
and get more paint on us than the walls.
we can hold hands and go to parties we end up
ditching to drink wine out of the bottle in the bathtub.
and slow dance with me in our bedroom
with an unmade bed and candles on the nightstand.
let me love you forever.
"I do all the things you used to hate. I dye my hair colors that make the church ladies stare. I go to bed without dinner and subside entirely on air. I make tea and pour cream in after. I give up reading. I give up The Beatles. I never eat another plate of scrambled eggs. I shape myself into someone you would dislike. My speech sharpens. My teeth turn to fangs. I let go of the softness that drew you to me. My fingernails itch to become claws and I don’t fight it. This is what it takes to survive. I let people into my bed that I would have walked right past with you. He is sad-eyed and needs my flimsy paper wrists to support him. I pour every late night with you into him, until he says, ‘I love you, I love you’ and I say, ‘Shh, you’ll ruin the fun.’ I do what it takes to forget you, and at the end, have more bruises than the ones I started with, but I can finally look at a sunset and not feel anything at all."
How to stalk @withathousandwords
Javvy is a great dude.
You can literally find him by memorizing his favorite bands, then reviewing when they will be playing in Chicago. Then find him and love him.
Thoughts on the Nayyirah Waheed “controversy”
1) Readers should be able to interpret a piece of writing, be it poetry or a novel, in whatever way they want. No two people will ever perceive a single stimulus in the exact same way. We are talking about language here, a complex and ambiguous (but nonetheless miraculous) entity in and of itself….
I’m curious as to how you think i will feel every time i read this poem from here on out. interpretation without context, without conscious engaging of who the author is/what they are writing about, is not harmless, especially for poc. Intent matters when it is our work that is fed upon and repurposed as others. In a world where shakespeare is heralded as the ‘the father of literature,’ who does not know he was English/ British, and that his ‘European excellence’ is in fact part of the reason he is so revered. Context can not matter only when it is needed to celebrate a white authors greatness, but not matter at all when a woc work is butchered, because ‘interpretation is left up to the reader.’ Folks out here freaking out because they don’t want poc to play superhero’s in movies, and we are supposed to believe that context and intent in art does not matter. I respect myself, I respect my work, my value, and my contributions as an WOC artist to the world, and yes the context of my work is integral to its fabric.
The problem with art nowadays is that the audience feels as if they have the right to interpret work in a manner they see fit- unfortunately for them this is not the case. You cannot beat meaning into literature. Reading something the wrong way does not mean you are correct. Do your thing Nayyirah.