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Be-Side

The Home of Hakm's B-Side e-alter ego...his auxiliary brain or external hard drive...

Hear me reading this poem (and see the proper line breaks) HERE.

Chora

On this side of heaven
houses are humble,
gods…
 …are born,
and the walls of empire
are gateways to heaven.

Chora,
They will confuse you
with the daughter of Zeus,

as though every sanctuary,
a womb.

Vestibule a vagina.
Your narthex,
an immaculate birth canal
where cross marks the spot
between your legs.

Just like your matron saint,
you were born in the boondocks too.
But when your newborn is marked for death,
that bullseye on that baby’s back
is no Calvary.

Chora,
We crawl up inside you
like the only way back to heaven
is through your abdomen.
Like your pelvis
was the cradle of humanity.

We bend at the waist,
sometimes five times a day,
to open your hips
and see the light.

But you were once
just a wall.
A portion of a fortress, confused
as to whether you are keeping the divine
out,
or whether you are keeping the divine
in.

Whether you are
Constanti-pated
or regular.

Like me,
and every gentile, jew,
and god fearing muslim.

Chora,
you weren’t trying
to make a name for yourself
like Constantine the Great
‘cause somedays
you didn’t wake up feeling too good.

Somedays,
you were no Suleiman the Magnificent.
Those days
you locked yourself in the room,
looked yourself in the mirror
and said, “I’m not going anywhere
with this foundation looking like an earthquake!”

Those days,
you felt a lot like a foot
at the bottom of the Ottoman,
and on those days
It didn’t matter whether you were
a church
or a mosque.

Because what was going on
inside of you
could peel the plaster
off the walls
of the Virgin Mary’s stomach.

But Chora,
gods are people too.
And sometimes,
other people get them confused
just like you.

Sometimes they die
too young.
Sometimes people call them names,
say their mother
is a whore…
a holy, holy whore.

But not you.
You never put them down.
You put them on your ceilings,
remembered them as they were.

So that whenever
we couldn’t remember,
all we had to do
was look up.


(c) Hakim Bellamy, 18 June 2014 Istanbul, Turkey

Hear me reading this poem (and see the proper line breaks) HERE.

Chora

On this side of heaven

houses are humble,

gods…

…are born,

and the walls of empire

are gateways to heaven.

Chora,

They will confuse you

with the daughter of Zeus,

as though every sanctuary,

a womb.

Vestibule a vagina.

Your narthex,

an immaculate birth canal

where cross marks the spot

between your legs.

Just like your matron saint,

you were born in the boondocks too.

But when your newborn is marked for death,

that bullseye on that baby’s back

is no Calvary.

Chora,

We crawl up inside you

like the only way back to heaven

is through your abdomen.

Like your pelvis

was the cradle of humanity.

We bend at the waist,

sometimes five times a day,

to open your hips

and see the light.

But you were once

just a wall.

A portion of a fortress, confused

as to whether you are keeping the divine

out,

or whether you are keeping the divine

in.

Whether you are

Constanti-pated

or regular.

Like me,

and every gentile, jew,

and god fearing muslim.

Chora,

you weren’t trying

to make a name for yourself

like Constantine the Great

‘cause somedays

you didn’t wake up feeling too good.

Somedays,

you were no Suleiman the Magnificent.

Those days

you locked yourself in the room,

looked yourself in the mirror

and said, “I’m not going anywhere

with this foundation looking like an earthquake!”

Those days,

you felt a lot like a foot

at the bottom of the Ottoman,

and on those days

It didn’t matter whether you were

a church

or a mosque.

Because what was going on

inside of you

could peel the plaster

off the walls

of the Virgin Mary’s stomach.

But Chora,

gods are people too.

And sometimes,

other people get them confused

just like you.

Sometimes they die

too young.

Sometimes people call them names,

say their mother

is a whore…

a holy, holy whore.

But not you.

You never put them down.

You put them on your ceilings,

remembered them as they were.

So that whenever

we couldn’t remember,

all we had to do

was look up.

(c) Hakim Bellamy, 18 June 2014 Istanbul, Turkey

If you happen to be in the Racine, WI area in mid-July…. 

If you happen to be in the Racine, WI area in mid-July…. 

"I still love her heart
though she must follow it a-
way from me for now"
- A recent Hak-ku… Most times, my life writes these for me.
1 month ago 4 notes

Tagged with:  #haiku  #senryu  #love  #loss  #life

Inaugural class of WKKF Community Leadership Network convenes in Battle Creek - W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Fresh off of an incredibly successful run of the Harper Lee Classic, To Kill a Mockingbird with the Albuquerque Little Theater, and the announcement of the 2014 Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association, I return to a home that I know well, The University of New Mexico.  Tomorrow (May 6, 2014) I will join the students of the UNM Honors College in their Legacy of American Drama classes at 11 and 12:30. We will discuss, we will share, we will learn. Thank you, Maria Szasz for placing me in front of the youth, yet again. 

Fresh off of an incredibly successful run of the Harper Lee Classic, To Kill a Mockingbird with the Albuquerque Little Theater, and the announcement of the 2014 Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association, I return to a home that I know well, The University of New Mexico.  Tomorrow (May 6, 2014) I will join the students of the UNM Honors College in their Legacy of American Drama classes at 11 and 12:30. We will discuss, we will share, we will learn. Thank you, Maria Szasz for placing me in front of the youth, yet again. 

As official as it gets.  

As official as it gets.  

I’m super proud to announce that my first book, SWEAR has led to the 2014 Tillie Olsen Award in Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association.  Thank you to West End Press for taking a risk on a brother BEFORE he was named Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, to UNM Press for being a fine distributor, and to 35 years of people and experiences that have helped me to write this book.  It’s a great honor to accept this award because of who Tillie Olsen was, an American writer associated with the political turmoil of the 1930’s and the first generation of American feminists. 
And finally, Thank you to Albuquerque for purchasing so many copies of this book that we are in out second run, only a year after it was first published.

I’m super proud to announce that my first book, SWEAR has led to the 2014 Tillie Olsen Award in Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association.  Thank you to West End Press for taking a risk on a brother BEFORE he was named Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, to UNM Press for being a fine distributor, and to 35 years of people and experiences that have helped me to write this book.  It’s a great honor to accept this award because of who Tillie Olsen was, an American writer associated with the political turmoil of the 1930’s and the first generation of American feminists. 

And finally, Thank you to Albuquerque for purchasing so many copies of this book that we are in out second run, only a year after it was first published.

My thoughts for today…
And my thoughts from yesterday (re-posted from Facebook):
So, I’m not at the rally right now, I’m at rehearsal. Maybe because cops and civilians have gotten away with extreme and unnecessary force on Black people for years. Call me a little desensitized even… But I do have these thoughts. When one Black person is engaged in a criminal act, ALL Black people become criminal by default in the eye of the non-Black public. It’s how institutional racism perverts a person’s sense of perception. But when one (or five) police officers gun down a sick, homeless person because they are essentially “afraid” of him and his pocket knife…while they are armed to the teeth (or their dog’s teeth). But then, folks whose interests are in bed with police officers (pun intended) hide behind radio call in shows and social media pages come to the defense of cops, because not ALL cops are bad cops. All I have to say to that is THIS is how institutional corruption perverts a person’s (this persons) sense of perception…by default. Do I believe in good cops, sure. I’ve met one or two in my lifetime, if there are SO many more of them, then I think there’d be a lil’ bit more whistleblowing than sirens blaring from the boys in blue. #OneBadAppleSpoilsTheAPD #AndThereIsWAYMoreThanOne
#meThinks

My thoughts for today…

And my thoughts from yesterday (re-posted from Facebook):

So, I’m not at the rally right now, I’m at rehearsal. Maybe because cops and civilians have gotten away with extreme and unnecessary force on Black people for years. Call me a little desensitized even…

But I do have these thoughts. When one Black person is engaged in a criminal act, ALL Black people become criminal by default in the eye of the non-Black public. It’s how institutional racism perverts a person’s sense of perception. But when one (or five) police officers gun down a sick, homeless person because they are essentially “afraid” of him and his pocket knife…while they are armed to the teeth (or their dog’s teeth). But then, folks whose interests are in bed with police officers (pun intended) hide behind radio call in shows and social media pages come to the defense of cops, because not ALL cops are bad cops. All I have to say to that is THIS is how institutional corruption perverts a person’s (this persons) sense of perception…by default. Do I believe in good cops, sure. I’ve met one or two in my lifetime, if there are SO many more of them, then I think there’d be a lil’ bit more whistleblowing than sirens blaring from the boys in blue. #OneBadAppleSpoilsTheAPD #AndThereIsWAYMoreThanOne

#meThinks

Real friends are not afraid to have difficult discussions…sometimes, they just choose not to. Sometimes, they decide that just being a friend is enough. A haiku from something a learned today…a lesson the universe has been trying to teach me for some time. The people you really care about make you see yourself…make you love yourself…and sometimes, when you don’t, they love YOU for YOU. - hb

Real friends are not afraid to have difficult discussions…sometimes, they just choose not to. Sometimes, they decide that just being a friend is enough. A haiku from something a learned today…a lesson the universe has been trying to teach me for some time. The people you really care about make you see yourself…make you love yourself…and sometimes, when you don’t, they love YOU for YOU. - hb