BIPOC Explored Week III

Rebecca Belomore
First Nation’s history in Canada does not paint of picture of equity; it is one that infused pure blood into all the rivers of Turtle Island and every single treaty broken.  Treaties like the Two Row Wampum Gä•sweñta’ which established that the First Nations and the early European settlers came to an understanding that each go their own way and none of the two shall interfere with each other’s lives, business, or community affairs to govern as two separate entities.  Two Row Wampum Gä•sweñta’ is one of the many treaties that did not do what it promised – EVERY SINGLE TREATY WAS BROKEN and not in favour of the First Nations.  If this breaks my heart and fills me with PURE RAGE -- I can only imagine how the First Nations of Turtle Island sense all of this unwarranted devastation.  

For this week, the individual that I have selected Anishinaabe Artist Rebecca Belmore; I’ve written about Rebecca Belmore numerous times over the years.  The work that is created recognises humanity with a fine-tuned level of intrinsic awareness worthy of exploration.  My favourite aspect from the work I’ve watched – is the incorporation of not only environmental elements also included are powerful cultural elements steeped in statement.   Rebecca takes all the pain, injustice, and ignorance to be the architect to something truly advocacy based. 


How A Parchment Can Be Rendered Null & Void 

  When promises are written upon a parchment
  it is an oath between all parties involved 
     to render into the abyss of desolation

       each tree afforded by Mother Earth 
             should be used to chronicle 
             various artisanal expressions 
                        of verity and honour 
 
     for words to be written on a biproduct 
  f a forest, a part of nature should reflect 
          an small amount of respect 

     lies have no business 
             being written on an authentic 
                  document which dishonours 
            the treaties from the days of old          

       it ought to have an ounce of respect 
        those who have suffered on the basis
              of proper acknowledgement 
                         of humanity  

         More specifically the First Nations 
            of Turtle Island who bring 
       with them such a rich appreciation 
        for culture and maintenance 
                      of sacred customs

BIPOC Explored Week II

The REDress Project at the National Museum of the American Indian
The REDress Project was established as a direct result of the missing or murdered Indigenous women of Canada.  This installation is one that has travelled throughout North America to showcase and add visibility to the Indigenous women who’ve had their lives terminated before their time.  The reason that these dresses are placed in very open public places is to raise the awareness of the mass numbers of Indigenous women who have been massacred as a result of violence against women.  To provide an infinite voice to those whispers who’ve been bound tight with wire thread (Black, 2020). 

Roots-Highway-Cry 

why is there a dress on my branch?
   my roots have started to tingle 
       i can feel the agony 
             of their representation 

     although these branches 
         are above ground the ache
              below is a startling reality 

   embers burn through the splash 
        of crimson that elegantly 
               hangs on my branch

      a string of plasma induced 
         hues for a necklace of humiliation
               the fabric brushes against 
                    my trunk and my roots 

    stretch through the land
          in communication with other trees
               to comprehend the definition 
      
        of why it is genuinely necessary 
             to acknowledge all the murdered
                   Indigenous women 

            whose disappearances
                 have been ignored 
                      this loud battle cry 

            can be heard right 
                 through to the tip 
               of the last centimetre         
  
            as they stretch below 
               our glorious terra firma 
                  the levels of compassion
 
                 rise with mother nature’s 
                     claim on this earth 
              made for women 
                  annihilated and diminished
                               by society 

                 i’ll never forget 
                    i will always rise 
                        regardless of those 
                     why attempt to bury 
                            my shell
                        a spirit to haunt 
                                    forever 

References

Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.ca/sites/amnesty/files/iwfa_submission_amnesty_international_february_2014_-_final.pdf        
       
“Newsworthy” Victims? Exploring differences in Canadian local press coverage of missing/murdered Aboriginal and White women By: Kristen Gilchrist
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680777.2010.514110

About the REDress project By: Jamie Black https://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/

BIPOC Explored Week I

As a placement student at the Durham Rape Crisis Centre; I am afforded certain opportunities that I genuinely want to take advantage of. Our world houses a myriad of subjects with relation to women that I would relish a poetic study of; BIPOC women more specifically, and enough content for a layer cake extended latter to the moon. As with everything in my life, it always comes back to poetry for me. I find the language to allow for more lush imagery that regular articles do not tend to support. This initial 52-week study began on March 11, 2021 and was to last only a year however, as I feel exploring BIPOC issues are not only essential to diversity and also require the acknowledgement.

“Intersectionality is the concept that all oppression is linked. More explicitly, the Oxford Dictionary defines intersectionality as “the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage”. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression, and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc. First coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw back in 1989, intersectionality was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2015 with its importance increasingly being recognised in the world of women’s rights (Taylor, 2019).”

For the first week, I have selected the Theory of Intersectionality Founder; Kimberlé Crenshaw who also happens to be an: American Lawyer, Civil Rights Advocate, prominent Philosopher of critical race theory, and a full-time professor at UCLA Law School. Kindly note my preceding list of all the various facets of Kimberlé’s life, how they all tie in so nicely with the theory she tenderly cultivated. Theory of Intersectionality allows us to view humans from more than one lens, no cookie cutter components all organic fabrications of our makeup. Perspective makes this theory important; this knowledge allows us as human beings to understand that we are truly multilayered beings; which is equally true in a clinical environment with clients. As a Social Service Worker and future Behavioural Scientists; I appreciate this theory on a myriad of levels. Not only does it focus on the individual traits that create a human; also their mannerisms and habits. Think about this way, start with a macro point, there are many humans on this earth, each being has characteristics that overlap on top of themselves individually, and tie that into the micro dissection of a human’s essence.

As a woman, I am a: wife, mother, Lebanese born Palestinian, student, poet/writer, first language as French with a bit of Arabic; all of these individually are plain Jane. However, if we bring them together not only do you have a complete human; moreover, there are various perspectives of thought according to those roles. Each one requires study; as a multidimensional being. There are of course other things that require consideration: age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion/faith or spirituality/philosophy, physical appearance, height, weight, disorders, addictions, and caste. Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality puts a name to something so simple; that houses the potential to make a huge difference in someone’s post-trauma recovery life. To be considered a full human being by workers in all Medical and Mental Health fields allows for a genuine study; in order to gain a better understanding with regard to potential courses of treatments and post-trauma-safety-plans. How well would we be able to empower our clients; a one-dimensional linear view does not condone a course of action that is authentically conducive to a better life.

It’s brilliant really; a big picture down to the small micro detail that could make the big difference between truly helping another human being and possibly re-victimising them. The Theory of Intersectionality should be studied by all students in all caregiver roles as this knowledge is incredibly important. For more information on BIPOC explored check out the project here!

Pinwheel Sunburst

Is saying I am worthless?
    various factors identify
          the tattered edges that bind
              our intimate tapestries
   
  a cross on a page
          two simple lines
               intersect
    now for the whimsy
        another cross placed
             on the previous
                  and shifted 45 degrees
            multiply by a Googleplex

  it’s there look
          can you see it?
     a pinwheel, magnificent
         windmill that cycles
               with each of Luna’s phases
            now, imagine all the arms
                  out stretched

     each extended appendage
        into the abyss of
           sky
             ocean
               or earth

    roots have the capacity
       to house wings – individually
              all feather points
     around the circumference
         not only a different hue
             also characteristic
 
    millions
           and millions
       of traits
            await
                any terrain   
References
Taylor, B. (2020, October 15). Intersectionality 101: what is it and why is it important? Womankind Worldwide. https://www.womankind.org.uk/intersectionality-101-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-important/

take it or leave it…

here it is
take it
don’t take it
i don’t care
i don’t give
a rats a**
anymore
a gift
given from
the gods who
broke my brain
in the same
instance
feel the demise
that enriches
your soiled blood with nutrients
so evocative it rises 
with it — a passionate grandeur
inside of a human
being — who doesn’t seek
acceptance from others
but valued exception
of self gratitude  

Time to get your writing muscle going; pre Carnaval de Poésie

Candy Graveyard

I thought it might be fun to have one pre Carnaval de Poésie friendly competition before the serious event begins on Monday August 2, 2021. And, I have a special prizes for the winner not only will you win a Spoken Verse prize by our 4th week judge Tony Moore from his concept album Awake, you also win a signed copy of Daniela from our sponsor Co-Founder of Melaris In Print Georgia Melaris.

Now, the image you are to use is Candy Graveyard above, with this prompt “What candy craving do you have in between awake and asleep? with the poetic style of a Descort Poem.

Please go to Carnaval de Poésie on Instagram to participate.

the darker side…

i’ve never been
tequila pop
photo credit, candywarehouse
athletically inclined
to the point
that i’d nearly
flunked physical
education in secondary
school — i can certainly
appreciate the endurance
and versatility
it takes to be able
to compete
at an olympic level
but what happens
to an olympian’s
essence when they falter?
when athletes
are no longer the hero
a soul resigned
for failure — who
make their argument
at the bottom
of a shot
glass?!

pff, sometimes we should leave the what if’s alone

there are times
when i wonder
what i my life
would have looked
like — if i decided
to keep on the social
service worker path
— would i be dying
for a payday
that was built
upon listening
to the misery
of others?

or
 
would i feel
so gratified
by helping others
— that i would be
in constant
giggles
all the way
to the bank?
 
somehow
i don’t think
the latter
would’ve been
my answer!
 
i mean there’s
a reason why
i quit in the first
place — sometimes
comfort in dreams
make us appreciate
our reality
even more!  

stolen or paid for?

perhaps one could
survive on delectable
stuffed liquorice creams
liquorice creams?
there are certain existences
like that of jean valjean
where the need certainly
outweighs the want
tragedy imposes upon
those who are impoverished
— who yearn for a hunger
so poignant — it seems one
could live on air alone
sans nutrition
use it…
use that inner voice
who calls to your idyllic
scapes and decrepit
‘mares — cast upon questions
that house integrity
or deception?

acid face

walking down the street
no enemies in sight
it’s a beautiful day
and sol lucet omnibus
sigh! the air smells
so fresh during this mid morning
inspired by the acid used in sour patch kids
autumn faded sun lit journey
mid way to my final destination
slosh fiery water has splashed
all over my face — i may not
have the most gorgeous visage
in the world but — why would
someone want to do this to me?
frightened by this action
my hands automatically
raise themselves to my mask
as my epidermis begins
to sink inside of itself
i can hear the sound of fizz
candy — it takes me a moment
to realise that is the sound
of my profile — an agonizing
ache fills me with such sadness
and only one question
w.h.y.
w.h.Y.
w.H.Y
W.H.Y.
W.H.Y. 

Interview With Exotic Beauty Chrys Columbine

© 2010 of Julian M Kilsby

Over the last month I’ve asked Chrys Columbine a series of questions via Instagram about her life and career; now I’ve harvested all her responses and am ready to post our full interview.  Chrys is a creature that exbibits beauty from all angles, who genuinely cares about the state of the earth and harnessing as much positive energy as possible.   Don’t be fooled though, Chrys looks elegant on stage as she performs; however, can honestly handle her own as a personal trainer and lover of Martial Arts. 

RMMW: I’ve never done a daily Instagram interview before — thought it would be fun to ask @chryscolumbine some questions about her life, music, and things involving physical training. Thank you Chrys for playing along with me! ❤ Do you have any rituals before going on the stage to perform? If yes what are they?

CC: I’m afraid if anyone’s expecting anything spiritual they’ll be mortally disappointed 🙈😆 Being an OCD bitch, I will however have gone over my piano routine with a mimed striptease ( and real playing) a few times at the venue, babywiped the dressing room table and chair a few more times, then arranged my costumes, shoe attire, jewellery and feathers in “show flow” order with double sided tape already on pasties ready to go… If we are talking about pre show pre show… then a couple weeks before I’d have probably embellished costumes with more Swarovskis than they previously had on in front of an action film of some sort. Oh, and my showgirl suitcase is generally on average, packed 1 week in advance 🙈💁‍♀️

RMMW:  A week in advance is really organised. Makes sense though, if you forget something it’s not like you can run to a variety store and pick up what you require. More Swarovski always works for me! We all have to contend with an inner critic – how do you deal with yours?

CC: Mine sometimes makes the average inner-critic of others seem like Glinda The Good Witch Of The North… how do I deal with this demon? Do as my good friends have done with me in past, more-self-destructive times… tell it to “shut the fuck up”

RMMW:  I think that’s the most perfect advice EVER!!! Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes how did you over come it?

CC: Creatively blocked??? Ooohhh yeeees 😂😂😂 it happens too often for my liking actually. The only way I seem to be able to really and truly cope with it is to ride it out… usually by focusing on other stuff I enjoy. I tend to get really into my training or some kind of action activity if I am feeling artistically inhibited. Going for an outdoor run or skip, doing my karate training, swimming or getting some weapons out going through screen combat stuff (whether badly or not)… this at least rejuvenates energy levels and when you’re feeling physically OK then guess what?! Its only a matter of time before the creative spark starts to kick in again 😉

RMMW: it’s quite annoying isn’t it. I’ve only been creatively blocked once in my life I was so depressed. You are so right about rejuvenated energy levels — coming back from something such as a creative block requires a lot of determination! 🔥 What is your favourite aspect of performing?

CC: I don’t have a favourite aspect. I love every single thing about it, the prep, the show itself, the communication with the audience (no crowd is the same thus constantly keeping you alive) and the backstage banter with all the other amazing artists ❤️

RMMW:  I love the positivity — all those components sound like organized chaos! Backstage banter sounds like so much fun!!! ❤️ Tell us a little bit about your new school and fancy new grounds.

CC: I will let the venue speak for itself… ladies and gents… visit (virtually if no other way) @stephenshouseandgardens 🦚💚💐🌳🌿

RMMW:  Those grounds are exquisite!!! 🔥 When I was young I had no idea how someone could have so many interests … having understood that now I always want to know why? What prompts a journey; You have a ton of jobs: personal trainer, your music school, burlesque, piano player, and future ninja warrior. Of all these hats which is your favourite to wear and why?

CC: I love them all. Why? Because who says you should only have one vocation in life? Life is too short to NOT have a go at making a living out of all the things you love 😍 But yes, there IS enough time ( if time is managed well) to narrow-focus on one thing at a time, making sure you master the subject matter. Do it all. Before you get to 90 and regret that you didn’t.

RMMW:  You are right! Opportunities should never be lost to try or do something you love! As someone who is well travelled once COVID restrictions are dropped where is the first place you want to visit and why? I will go first! The first place I want to visit when lock down is over is the UK; because most of my good friends live there… now it’s everyone’s turn to go…

CC: The first place I wanna go is Lebanon… a spiritual home of mine… I made friends on the first day I ever went who I am still in touch with today. The forces that were working and how, are still unknown to me… but the venue I was staring at on New Year’s Day 2013 that I dreamed would host my own, burlesque extravaganza at, ended up doing just that in 2015. The people that aided me in making this happen became more than colleagues, but people that I regard as family. The Lebanese people are special, and with all they have suffered over the years and how resilient they continue to be, I find them some of the most inspiring a nation has to offer. I just wanna give Lebanon a massive hug 🇱🇧💚❤

RMMW: Awww the country of my birth… I don’t remember Lebanon I was very young when my family immigrated. I did however hear that we would go to the beach and the mountains in the same day. I find that kind of fun. ❤ A body like yours comes with a tremendous amount of hard work and determination what would you like your future clients to know about your workout regime? If anyone has any questions for Chrys about working out please post it below…

CC: Most importantly, that my exercises routines incorporate workouts that can be done anywhere, outdoors and indoors, and outside of a gym! It’s important to know what you love in sports and training, vary your workouts and most of all, have fun with them.

RMMW: From performing on the piano or working out which is of the two is your favourite to do and why?

CC: They are both as vitally as important as each other. Having an artistic endeavour feeds nourishes your soul, your passion and will no doubt (either the right attitude to it), keep you sane in the winter of your life. As for training, what can be better for your physical and mental health when you feel the strongest and finest version of yourself? And if you’re a tad of an adrenalin junkie, particularly when there is a teeny bit of danger involved (like contact sport/sparring), you never feel more alive.

© 2010 of Julian M Kilsby

RMMW:  You’re right working out is better for one’s life. For me the tricky thing is finding motivation. What would you recommend to a beginner who is just starting to either work out or learn how to play the piano?

CC: Find a good teacher / coach who will first share with you the importance of the basics – technique, form, drills, and of course when training – SAFETY. Practise makes not perfect, but permanence, so make sure you spend time and patience focusing on the basics. Once you get into the habit of persevering, the stuff that’s fun, impressive, inventive will undoubtedly follow.

RMMW:  Did I ever tell you about the time my piano teacher slapped my hands with a ruler for not holding my hands & fingers properly over the piano? She was horrible!

© 2010 of Julian M Kilsby

CC: I’m just relieved that finally, today, such behaviour is recognised as abuse.

RMMW: Me too — it wasDid scribe a grisly revenge poem! From performing on the piano to videos with swords which of the two is your favourite to record? And why?

CC: I cannot choose a favourite… purely because one artform is like 2nd nature having done it since age 10, and the other is a new and wonderful skill I am learning, which I am eventually hoping to master.

RMMW: Which favourite Martial Arts is your favourite? 

CC: My favourite marital artform is karate since I have been doing it since I was 10 years old – my favourite style is Goju-ru since it is more suited to close-quarter encounter, therefore likely to be effective if happen to be attacked in real life. I love a lot of the fluid circular movements within the style – rather handy at confusing an opponent, and they are also quite beautiful to do/watch.

RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?

CC: As for my superpower, I’d choose to be able to instantly teleport… I’d be able to visit my loved ones all over the world and instantly be there to help someone in a crisis, anywhere.