It's Juneteenth. It's a celebratory day in Black culture; I got to post some professional tweet content about it. And it's a strange day for white Americans like me to try and make a statement of solidarity and recognition. But I am trying to show up and say something, if imperfect, rather than rest on the assumption that people know what I believe and how strongly I hold it to be true. And so I am saying, again and again, Black lives matter. And: Black joy matters. I worry sometimes, as we hold space and try to understand what we cannot experience, that my fellow white folks see Black people as vessels of pain and not fully realized fellow humans, with all the wonder and absurdity that entails. And so I made a ✨ Black Joy Poetry Playlist.✨ It starts with a poem I can't stop thinking about and ends with an arrival from space. In between there are omelets, warm arms, a lifesaving folk-punk band, feelings and queerness, liminal spaces and play. And a shoutout to a very classic Frankie Knuckles bop that you'll have to find for yourself. Read, watch, listen:
Angel Nafis, "When I Realize I'm Wearing My Girlfriend's Ex-Girlfriend's Panties"
Eve Ewing, "Arrival Day" (it's down at the bottom of the page but all three of these poems are very worth your time)
OK. I hope you found some new poets or maybe rediscovered some old favorites there. Reply and let me know what you liked. Reply with anything. Keep being loud about defunding the police (fellow Chicagoans, join me to strive for CPAC, here's a script you can use to call your alderman about it) and letting everyone breathe in true freedom.
Yours in hope,
PS: As predicted I completely forgot to announce to y'all in last month's message that I made a very cute zine about Moomins and tarot. You can buy it, along with my other zines and chapbooks, right over here. All proceeds from the Moomin zine are going to Chicago-area mutual aid efforts for BIPOC. End of commercial.
PPS: I will give a free zine of your choosing to the first person who correctly identifies the Frankie Knuckles track mentioned in one of the poems in this playlist. My spouse (who owns all my zines anyway) is not eligible for this exclusive offer.