Greetings family! The circle of griots at BlaQueerFlow are excited to announce a call for submissions. We are interested in poetry, prose, fiction, short stories and art. We are also increasingly interested in book /film/music reviews that touch upon the themes and topics of concern to the AfroLatinX & Queer/Woman of Color communities. Please note…
“…You are success. There are no failures residing here. Speak to your tears. Speak to them. Speak firmly. Tell them who you are. Tell of them your destiny. They do not come to foreshadow bad things; but instead mourn where you have been believed to be taken. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Calm your heart. Calm it. Love on it. It needn’t work so hard, for, what can be taken from you but this life you’ve died to fashion?..”
“Too often, we celebrate the emergence without thinking through the breaking. To emerge from concrete presupposes a collision, a violent collision. Tender stems run raw against grating rock for the chance to move from the thick of earth, from the gait of darkness to the warmth of life, for the chance to get beyond the birthing portal of survival and into the practice of living. Too often, we do not consider what is lost to the concrete. What energy spent? What creative power emitted? What raw-rubbed branding, or tattoo, drawn onto flesh for forever times? What fears of darkness, blackness, memory are made (il)logical? How much of us is left in the rock; how much of the rock is left in us? Where do we begin to live and die, to forget and remember? To bleed, heal and/or cauterize? Perhaps, maybe, we are like spectacular comets and asteroids falling (shooting?) from one realm to another and in our wake–in the magic of our contact–is fire, destruction and birth. What parts of us, then, become extinct? Which parts of us, or the worlds we (re)create and/or enter, are completely new entities, unperverted by the blood and fire stained gaits?”
“..I wondered, for a second, what it must be like to exist in the constant moon of violence. To be colored, stained and decorated by its promise or threat or both, while also retaining a blue-black hue of power for oneself, for ones family, for ones essence. The light changed and we parted ways. I thought of her on my elliptical. Sweat dripping, brow drowning with anxiety and perspiration for the mere thought of how different life might be if I were her and she was me. A futile mental exercise because those who have tasted male privilege cannot fathom…it is much like humans opining about how the earth feels; those exercises are cute, for show, for play-play. The more correct course would be to stop polluting live sustainably and gift thanks but even those are empty gestures. I hate such comparisons as the do the ongoing work of super-humanizing or dehumanizing black women, femmes, queers and men. We do this thing, perhaps because our humanity is a common jest, where we are either Gods or Dead. Perhaps we are both. Or perhaps, we too are humans…or Gods wrapped in flesh like the rest of the wayward blood bags ravaging the earth, ravaging each other, consuming blue-black black girls in glowing the lights of libraries and upscale gyms…”
“Some of them were men. Some of them more boyish. Others, simply *Them. They all feed the same, regardless of gender identity or biological designation. They feed slowly, with consent, until it becomes clear that your slow-waltz toward assisted suicide will kill them, too. that is when they wake. that is when they leave. that is when they lash out at your inability to be sweeter to the taste. to last longer. to be softer, yet stronger. to be plentiful (to them) yet scarce (to your self). that is when they drag you, from hell to home, until there is no difference in the burning. this is when they must die, before you do. but to kill them, but you must re-member pieces of yourself and put down your own mis-identifications. you must remember that you are too strong to die from their presence or absence. you must remember that your purpose belongs to you and the cosmos, not their ego or inclinations. you must remember that you deserve to wake and sleep smiling. you must remember. you must. you must. you must. remember you, before the high and breaking of your heart. you must remember that their death is not your own.”
“a setting adorned with the souls of children and babes disguised as men with unheld hands, course over brass buttons,
stinking of cigarettes and reefer -“
Writing is about (un)becoming who/what we know to be true about ourselves, about our politics, about our desires, about our needs, about our fears, about our “us.” Writing invites us to be and come into the presence of our highest and lowest and truest selves. Through the written word, we are positioned in the face of our thoughts, in the bosom of our (de)constructed realities, in the confines of the spaces we create and (de)stabilize. Writing is about being and coming to truth, and also creating new truths, despite alternative and purported facts.
“I loved him in a secret place. It wasn’t hiding. It was somewhere, some where, some place I couldn’t put my tongue to but I knew it existed. I didn’t know where it was but I knew it was. I knew because it was a soul-truth. Not one of those truths where your tongue just does a few tricks and flips and clicks and some sort of phrase comes out that sounds good enough. Not that. Not that type of love. That type of meaningly notion of love that has no power. Has no blood or sweat behind it. That type of love that wasn’t paid for with nothing but time. Time is cheap. Time is going to be spent anyway. Spent with them* or spent with just you doing something else meaningless in this world of meaningless activity masquerading around as productivity when it is really just capitalism doing what capitalism, running you down and making you feel about your own euthanasia, that’s what it do! I’ll tell you true, now, just listen here. THAT. IS. NOT. THE. WAY. I LOVE(D)?. THEM*.”
23. Weaponizing your new-found social justice lingo; to cover up your fuckshit
24. Shading folks for doing in public; what you do in the dark
25. Acting like all discomfort and disagreements are violence
26. Acting like you in love when you know it’s just lust
Growth. It is most often painful. New parts of you sprouting from once smooth, thick, impenetrable surfaces. Growth is violent. It breaks what once was. It is a rupture of structures, of surfaces, of composition and plans. Growth is violence, but not all violence is bad. Unless of course, you’d rather be the seed than…
I wield no knife at my throat, nor pills at my bedside. But I reserve to right to die, when living best serves those who seek to devour me.
o calmly wild;
there’s pure ecstasy in the way You see (through) me
the way You rip me apart in the name of edification
how do You find purity in my despair?
and I heard the lamentations of a million hearts
regretting life and crying for the grave,
and I saw the Negro lying in the swamp with his face
and the northern cities with his manhood maligned and felt