I feel small

Early this week, someone who I care about disagreed with a decision I made creatively & asked me to rescind. After the discussion, I couldn’t think of any other way to describe how I felt other than small. I’m loud, I’m talkative, I say what’s on my mind, and I do what I want. Are there moments when those parts of my character have negative consequences, ABSOLUTELY. And I spend time overthinking how I can be better next time. When I make creative decisions, I allow myself to be free. I don’t think about other people, I think of myself and my artistic message. Do I think of the impact my creative decisions have, ABSOLUTELY. Do I think about how they will inspire others, ABSOLUTELY. But, ultimately, I make all of my creative decisions for me, because they allow me to breathe in this world.

Joshua Everett, an amazing friend and creative, sent me an amazing collection of essays by Kiese Laymon titled “How to slowly kill yourself and others in America,” and the page I’ve opened today discusses feeling small and I feel so understood.

It reads, “I’m just waking up on the anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination, the birthday of Nina Simone, and I feel small. I’m not comparing my life’s accomplishments to either of them. I’ve learned enough to stop making that mistake. But I still compare myself to who I think I should be by now and the vision is incomplete.”

Asking creatives to rescind what we produce, takes a bit away from “who [we] think [we] we should be,” it’s an unfair ask and in a lot of ways a selfish one. And like Kiese outlines, many of us already compare ourselves to people and visions that exist and some that we make up ourselves. We don’t need you to shrink us any smaller.

Whether you know me as a friend, colleague, partner, daughter, employee, niece, remember that your role in this world is not to form expectations of me and ask that I live up to them. Your role is to be present with me, in the same way, my role is to be present with you. Should you question me, ABSOLUTELY. Should you encourage me to make my way to a better self, ABSOLUTELY. But, it is never your job or your place to ask that I fit into a mold that benefits you. Do I know all of that bullshit about women who blah blah blah and don’t compromise will end up alone, sure… insert Eartha Kitt laugh.

KM-2160.jpg
Photos: Kalya M Mendez || Jewelry: Haati Chai Jewelry 
Media contact: letitflose@gmail.com

Author of Close Your Eyes, Now Breathe loudmouth. 

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17 Killed in Florida Mass School Shooting

The world spins
on shoulders
that are too
weary to carry
much more than
the weight of
skin.

When bodies fly
the light flickers
once more — we
lose love, peace
and smiles the
universe carved
with her veins.

Targets don’t shoot
themselves, guns
don’t kill targets,
people do —
stop! stop! stop!
Words, even when
they are prayers,
cannot save souls.

How many more?
How many more
have to shake
in closets as
feet make way
to ravage the innocent?
HOW. MANY. MORE!

How many more!

18 this year.
The year is
just February so
far!

How many more!

Open the caskets.
Will you care if
the heartbroken
loved ones show you!

How many more!

Have them go in.
Enough for our
first responders,
send in the
politicians.

How many more!

When the world spins
on shoulders that
are too weary to
carry much more
than the weight of skin…

Who still stand
and say no more simply
because human lives matter.

Written by: Flose Boursiquot
February 15, 2018

Talkative

Talkative (loudmouth is now on Amazon)

I talk so much that I’m afraid
all of my poems will flow out of me
I’ll run quickly, chasing them
until i become nothingness

onlookers will find me
gazing corner to corner
gasping for air — damn, they’ll think,
girl must-a lost all her poems.

The #BookCellar #February 17th 6pm #LakeWorth

KM-2097
Kayla M Mendez for photo needs: http://kaylamendez.co

Gags Don’t Belong On The Job

This is not a slight to any past or current employers, but a great piece of information I learned tonight while discussing small business with a friend who is a superwoman and starting her own company with a group of amazingly talented people. Can’t wait to share more with y’all once she’s off the ground!

Long story short, we were discussing what millennials see in employers that we appreciate and the practices we no longer wish to see. From there, we began discussing conversations that are taboo at work. For example, discussing salary and benefits with your co-workers. This is a practice employers discourage because it often leads to the forming of a union but you have every right to discuss these issues. Actually, it might help bring work issues to surface and aid your employer in practicing business more justly. If juste practices are important and your employer doesn’t practice them, that job or career is likely not a good fit for you, but idk… don’t blame me if you ruin your life.

Back to the topic at hand. A great practice is to ask yourself why certain situations are taboo in the workplace and what you can do to change them. Secrecy or gags within workplaces does not excuse the many offenses folks have committed, but I think keeping quiet has aided a lot of terrible practices including sexual harassment because employees are believed to have no power and should not be speaking out.

Furthermore, if you are in a situation where you need to be treated justly, speak to your boss, then go from there. I’m tired of hearing so many friends who were told college was the way to go, so we did, and now many of them will be in debt for life… can you imagine. Life! You work a middle class job and for the rest of your life you have to pay off loans because our society told you that you HAD to go to college to make it in America.

Now you’re at this job and they’re paying you shit money and expect you to appreciate basic ass shit employers should be doing anyway. Don’t be angry about it in secret & exhale with friends although that’s totally cool — exploding and exhaling with friends is great –, do something!

Also, this idea that employees should not talk to each other about benefits and pay is fucking silly and perpetuates a capitalist system that says there ISN’t ENOUGH TO GO AROUND SO SCRAMBLE FOR WHAT YOU CAN GET. Ugh. No!

Anyway, I’m on a tangent. Maybe because I’ve been reading up on economics too much in preparation for my 3rd quarter at SOM, but I hope this was helpful.

The Atlantic
The Atlantic

Read more:
https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/employee-rights
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/when-the-boss-says-dont-tell-your-coworkers-how-much-you-get-paid/374467/

Voice

I have a voice!

you cannot silence me
my feet burn through the pavement and leave enough dust
for my grandchildren to make clay pots
the thoughts that travel through my mind leave textbook pages ashamed

you cannot silence me
my boot straps awaken the Black Panthers and take notes from Malcolm X
I know what it means to starve
a physical pain that engulfs your intellect and spirit

you cannot silence me
I am a young Nikki Giovanni with words so freeing notebook pages fling their legs open when i peek at them with a side eye
master’s grandchildren stand miles away when air escapes my lungs and thoughts juxtapose that of W.E.B. DuBois

you cannot silence me
i am not a mindless crab in a bucket
i refuse
yes, i refuse to step over the hands and feet of my people
we are intertwined like the molecules in our bodies

you cannot silence me
my children will not wake up caved in by debt, miseducation and fear
they will know that beauty doesn’t solely lie in blue eyes
and that wealth isn’t manufactured green on trees

you cannot silence me
my ancestors taught me how to read a map
they left blueprints imprinted in my DNA
if I ever lose my way, i look in the mirror
touch my wide nose
feel my naps
embrace my brown skin
and i find my way

you cannot silence me
death does not scare me
i welcome heavy words sung by my kings and queens on the block
they are reminders of journeys taken so i can stand here today

you cannot silence me
my back may weaken
but my boots will carry
my brothers and sisters will lift me

you cannot silence me
because with every step i will roar
we will roar
arm-in-arm, a destiny will be set
and we will achieve

Flose Boursiquot: https://www.amazon.com/Close-Your-Eyes-Now-Breathe/dp/1540783790

The Inquisitr
The Inquisitr