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Be-Side

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/vetvisions/info
A forum for New Mexico Veterans and their loved ones to express and connect.

Description
This Facebook page is being launched in conjunction with a Veteran music benefit being organized by mim.fm. The event will take place near Memorial Day. The intent of the page is to give voice to the Vet community and to facilitate connection and healing through the sharing of personal expression as well as information about local resources.  Any expression in any media (visual art, photography, videos, music, prose, poetry, spoken word, etc), may be posted as long as the work is not offensive to individuals or groups, and not too disturbing. We understand we are talking about art, and as such this can be a gray area. We will accept a broad spectrum of expression, but reserve the right to remove material that crosses a line, in our judgment.  If there are resources you wish to share for the benefit of the vet community such as healing programs, employment and training opportunities and basic needs resources, please feel free. 
Thank you Ian Mentken (organizer) for giving me the opportunity to participate from a far (since I am on poetry sabbatical and engaging in self care/rejuvenation on the event date). Here is the poem he asked me to dedicate to my brothers and sisters who have served. I thank you for your service and this is for you and my Uncle Charles Gause who served in Vietnam (and my father who was a Marine but never did a tour of combat).



As legend would have it… by hakim bellamy

 

No one really remembers how long he stood there.

How long Black soldiers stood on the shore

of the Chesapeake Bay. How long the heart burst

like bombs. How many stars shy of a pennant.

How many stars short of glory. Approximately 35.

 

Young. I was 15. The exact age (in stars) of Old Glory

at the time Francis Scott Key penned the song

that made every single person in that ballpark

rise at the same time. For at least one minute

and eighteen seconds, everyone is standing.

 

Even the millionaires on the green,

Even the billionaires in the boxes, who own

the very seats we stand in front of, out of respect.

But my uncle is a Vet. And though the ramparts in his memory

shock and awe, they will never Berlin.

 

So his minute, became ten…twenty…thirty…thirty-five…

The first time he flinched, was a foul tip that cracked

Louisville in half like the Ohio River. It sounded like gunshots.

Or fireworks. Or both. And that was the first time

his knees buckled in three innings. People started to worry.

 

As they often do, when they see young soldiers, off base,

with guns but without fatigues. As they often do,

when they see ex-soldiers on corners, with cardboard

but without fatigues. As they often don’t…

at any other time. Unless it’s sweeps week

and some exec thinks war is good for ratings.

 

When he finally at-eased, his left peck resembled

a starfish of crumpled shirt. You could see his fingerprints.

Deep, like he was palming his way through a seizure.

Grapefruit in hand. I asked him what our team needed to do,

in order to get out of the 4 to 5 quagmire we created?

Just to see how much of the game he could stand.

 

And he just said something about Fort M’Henry.

About the 1918 World Series and why he is afraid of that song.

How it sounds like a shelling, every time we sing it.

And why he stood for thirty-five minutes staring at a fuckin’ flag

Just as those that came before him did on the shores of Baltimore

the morning after.

 

Relieved. Glad it was over. Happy that it was finally quiet enough

for lawyers who moonlight as poets to write poems,

for a band of brothers, a social club of merry men to sing songs.

For us barely caring enough remember the first verse, and forget

the other three. Just like “Lift Every Voice And Sing,”

and call ourselves free.

 

© Hakim Bellamy March 25, 2014

HEAR ME READING THIS POEM AT MY BANDCAMP:
http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/as-legend-would-have-it

https://www.facebook.com/vetvisions/info

A forum for New Mexico Veterans and their loved ones to express and connect.
Description

This Facebook page is being launched in conjunction with a Veteran music benefit being organized by mim.fm. The event will take place near Memorial Day. The intent of the page is to give voice to the Vet community and to facilitate connection and healing through the sharing of personal expression as well as information about local resources.

Any expression in any media (visual art, photography, videos, music, prose, poetry, spoken word, etc), may be posted as long as the work is not offensive to individuals or groups, and not too disturbing. We understand we are talking about art, and as such this can be a gray area. We will accept a broad spectrum of expression, but reserve the right to remove material that crosses a line, in our judgment.

If there are resources you wish to share for the benefit of the vet community such as healing programs, employment and training opportunities and basic needs resources, please feel free.

Thank you Ian Mentken (organizer) for giving me the opportunity to participate from a far (since I am on poetry sabbatical and engaging in self care/rejuvenation on the event date). Here is the poem he asked me to dedicate to my brothers and sisters who have served. I thank you for your service and this is for you and my Uncle Charles Gause who served in Vietnam (and my father who was a Marine but never did a tour of combat).

As legend would have it… by hakim bellamy

 

No one really remembers how long he stood there.

How long Black soldiers stood on the shore

of the Chesapeake Bay. How long the heart burst

like bombs. How many stars shy of a pennant.

How many stars short of glory. Approximately 35.

 

Young. I was 15. The exact age (in stars) of Old Glory

at the time Francis Scott Key penned the song

that made every single person in that ballpark

rise at the same time. For at least one minute

and eighteen seconds, everyone is standing.

 

Even the millionaires on the green,

Even the billionaires in the boxes, who own

the very seats we stand in front of, out of respect.

But my uncle is a Vet. And though the ramparts in his memory

shock and awe, they will never Berlin.

 

So his minute, became ten…twenty…thirty…thirty-five…

The first time he flinched, was a foul tip that cracked

Louisville in half like the Ohio River. It sounded like gunshots.

Or fireworks. Or both. And that was the first time

his knees buckled in three innings. People started to worry.

 

As they often do, when they see young soldiers, off base,

with guns but without fatigues. As they often do,

when they see ex-soldiers on corners, with cardboard

but without fatigues. As they often don’t…

at any other time. Unless it’s sweeps week

and some exec thinks war is good for ratings.

 

When he finally at-eased, his left peck resembled

a starfish of crumpled shirt. You could see his fingerprints.

Deep, like he was palming his way through a seizure.

Grapefruit in hand. I asked him what our team needed to do,

in order to get out of the 4 to 5 quagmire we created?

Just to see how much of the game he could stand.

 

And he just said something about Fort M’Henry.

About the 1918 World Series and why he is afraid of that song.

How it sounds like a shelling, every time we sing it.

And why he stood for thirty-five minutes staring at a fuckin’ flag

Just as those that came before him did on the shores of Baltimore

the morning after.

 

Relieved. Glad it was over. Happy that it was finally quiet enough

for lawyers who moonlight as poets to write poems,

for a band of brothers, a social club of merry men to sing songs.

For us barely caring enough remember the first verse, and forget

the other three. Just like “Lift Every Voice And Sing,”

and call ourselves free.

 

© Hakim Bellamy March 25, 2014

HEAR ME READING THIS POEM AT MY BANDCAMP:

http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/as-legend-would-have-it

This. Is what I am. ‘78 Baby. #GoldenAge

This. Is what I am. ‘78 Baby. #GoldenAge

*Audio of me reading the poem here.


Gorgeous George (for Muhammad Ali)


Dear Champ,

you were our Gorgeous George,

Black Vegas,

a warrior

who would wear our Black

and die for our skins



you were not humble

you were everything we were not allowed

to be

like pretty, so pretty

 

you were rich, loud

and on TV

 

a hero in the flesh

even when you turned your front lawn

into a drive-in

for the neighborhood children,

from TV-less homes

your personality towered

over the big screen

 

you could illuminate an arena

light it up

before you knocked their lights out

 

our gold medal flower

a bronzed Adonis

live and direct from Olympic Rome

full blooming as soon as you got home

to a country that would not recognize

your rose

 

when Burdines Department Store

didn’t allow your kind

to try on their clothes

you should have given them the shirt off your back

and showed them your belt

 

Champ,

you were never one for being whipped

that is why I am left speechless

watching you tremble

for the beatings you took in our ‘stead

the racism you couldn’t out run

the slavery you couldn’t duck

the hate you couldn’t punch

 

…

 

but then,

I remember how you could never shut up

a poet in a sea of fists

you are the same reason so many colored boys

choose life in the ring

because it was the one place

you could control your environment

and our imagination

 

more than fast hands

you were unbelievable feats

the only A-lister in Miami

without a drip of drug or drink

more pugilist than pimp, married to the game

never an adulterer of the sport

so abstinent they thought you were gay

so obstinate they thought you were crazy

 

like my teenage students do,

when I tell them you were clean

 

because it’s hard to believe that you were that disciplined

before Allah made you

Muhammad Ali

before Holmes, Frazier and Spinks

before Foreman and Foster

Sonny Liston and Sonny Banks

Your mouth made you transparent

cause Lord knows

Having a glass jaw was never quite your thing

 

you told the world you were a minister

and you went to the mat for what you believed

loved your country enough, to raise your hands for money

but not enough to raise a gun

for anybody

 

you painted canvasses

with your own blood, sweat and fears

for our pleasure

and because you knew the real enemy

they didn’t let you fight for three years

 

you said you lost nothing

gained everything

like “peace of mind”

and that’s when you became our hero

 

the greatest that ever lived

and it had nothing to do with who you hit

but who you didn’t…

 

you shook up the world

and it’s still shaking

all those hits you took for us

now you’re still shaking

 

and I pray

the best prayer I know how to pray

that you are teaching us your dance

 

teaching us how to love

with our hands

 

how to not fight

when we have to

 

you taught us the butterflies

and the bees

you told the American government

 

No,

I’m not.

 

not who you think I am

not who you want me to be

 

you told them

you have a new name

and when they wouldn’t say it

you made them read it

 

we like to pretend fighters ain’t smart

but you’re a genius

so all that

to say this…

 

Dear Champ,

your black fist

taught me the difference

between fight and forfeit  

 

that Black is MORE than beautiful

Black is gorgeous.


© 2014 Hakim Bellamy

Written for and delivered at the The Trials of Muhammad Ali Albuquerque Premier Screening at Guild Cinema on January 21st, 2014

Photo Credit: Ali Underwater, Miami, 1961. © Flip Schulke Archives

*Audio of me reading the poem here.

Gorgeous George (for Muhammad Ali)

Dear Champ,

you were our Gorgeous George,

Black Vegas,

a warrior

who would wear our Black

and die for our skins

you were not humble

you were everything we were not allowed

to be

like pretty, so pretty

 

you were rich, loud

and on TV

 

a hero in the flesh

even when you turned your front lawn

into a drive-in

for the neighborhood children,

from TV-less homes

your personality towered

over the big screen

 

you could illuminate an arena

light it up

before you knocked their lights out

 

our gold medal flower

a bronzed Adonis

live and direct from Olympic Rome

full blooming as soon as you got home

to a country that would not recognize

your rose

 

when Burdines Department Store

didn’t allow your kind

to try on their clothes

you should have given them the shirt off your back

and showed them your belt

 

Champ,

you were never one for being whipped

that is why I am left speechless

watching you tremble

for the beatings you took in our ‘stead

the racism you couldn’t out run

the slavery you couldn’t duck

the hate you couldn’t punch

 

 

but then,

I remember how you could never shut up

a poet in a sea of fists

you are the same reason so many colored boys

choose life in the ring

because it was the one place

you could control your environment

and our imagination

 

more than fast hands

you were unbelievable feats

the only A-lister in Miami

without a drip of drug or drink

more pugilist than pimp, married to the game

never an adulterer of the sport

so abstinent they thought you were gay

so obstinate they thought you were crazy

 

like my teenage students do,

when I tell them you were clean

 

because it’s hard to believe that you were that disciplined

before Allah made you

Muhammad Ali

before Holmes, Frazier and Spinks

before Foreman and Foster

Sonny Liston and Sonny Banks

Your mouth made you transparent

cause Lord knows

Having a glass jaw was never quite your thing

 

you told the world you were a minister

and you went to the mat for what you believed

loved your country enough, to raise your hands for money

but not enough to raise a gun

for anybody

 

you painted canvasses

with your own blood, sweat and fears

for our pleasure

and because you knew the real enemy

they didn’t let you fight for three years

 

you said you lost nothing

gained everything

like “peace of mind”

and that’s when you became our hero

 

the greatest that ever lived

and it had nothing to do with who you hit

but who you didn’t…

 

you shook up the world

and it’s still shaking

all those hits you took for us

now you’re still shaking

 

and I pray

the best prayer I know how to pray

that you are teaching us your dance

 

teaching us how to love

with our hands

 

how to not fight

when we have to

 

you taught us the butterflies

and the bees

you told the American government

 

No,

I’m not.

 

not who you think I am

not who you want me to be

 

you told them

you have a new name

and when they wouldn’t say it

you made them read it

 

we like to pretend fighters ain’t smart

but you’re a genius

so all that

to say this…

 

Dear Champ,

your black fist

taught me the difference

between fight and forfeit 

 

that Black is MORE than beautiful

Black is gorgeous.

© 2014 Hakim Bellamy

Written for and delivered at the The Trials of Muhammad Ali Albuquerque Premier Screening at Guild Cinema on January 21st, 2014

Photo Credit: Ali Underwater, Miami, 1961. © Flip Schulke Archives

im-film:

Camera: Canonet QL 17

Film: Fujifilm X-Tra 400

Location: Near Central and Morris, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Thank you Justin! - hb

So…I get asked to write a poem for the student body at Piñon Elementary School in Santa Fe for their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Friday, January 17th. I say yes…namely because I like little people and I like Dr. King. So, I begin investigating angles with which to approach Dr. King’s life that would make for a “good” poem for elementary school age students.

Mind you, I still had to come up with another Dr. King poem for my 6th straight year as part of the Amy Biehl High School Day of Service (in line with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service initiative). That poem would need to be on its feet, so to speak, by Monday, January 20th. More in that later…
So after weeks of not liking anything I came up with, I had an epiphany on the treadmill at the gym. What if I write a poem about Dr. King as a youth? THEN, I thought what if I even addressed it to an 8 year-old Dr. King? THEN, I thought what if I addressed it to Dr. King at different ages, because we are all every age of every year we’ve lived at the same time like that poem Sandra Cisneros, Eleven?

I finally had an approach, so I began writing. And the poem started pouring out in chunks…but the more it grew…the more I knew it would not be appropriate (read: allowed) in an elementary school setting (read: I wouldn’t be ALLOWED to come back!). The poem was EXTREMELY political…like Dr. King and I…and some of the things I was talking about (like suicide attempts, terrorism, four-letter words and infidelity) weren’t pretty. So, of course, I finished the poem. Who am I to try and stop the muse when the faucet is on?

What I then decided to do was lift pieces out of this new poem that were suitable for younger audiences, and used those pieces as the foundation of a “separate but gentler” piece. The result was Ageless (written for Amy Biehl High School in Albuquerque) and Junior (written for Piñon Elementary School).
Please take a moment to read and/or listen to them below.
They are siblings of sorts.

Ageless http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/ageless 

Junior http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/junior

So…I get asked to write a poem for the student body at Piñon Elementary School in Santa Fe for their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Friday, January 17th. I say yes…namely because I like little people and I like Dr. King. So, I begin investigating angles with which to approach Dr. King’s life that would make for a “good” poem for elementary school age students.

Mind you, I still had to come up with another Dr. King poem for my 6th straight year as part of the Amy Biehl High School Day of Service (in line with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service initiative). That poem would need to be on its feet, so to speak, by Monday, January 20th. More in that later…

So after weeks of not liking anything I came up with, I had an epiphany on the treadmill at the gym. What if I write a poem about Dr. King as a youth? THEN, I thought what if I even addressed it to an 8 year-old Dr. King? THEN, I thought what if I addressed it to Dr. King at different ages, because we are all every age of every year we’ve lived at the same time like that poem Sandra Cisneros, Eleven?

I finally had an approach, so I began writing. And the poem started pouring out in chunks…but the more it grew…the more I knew it would not be appropriate (read: allowed) in an elementary school setting (read: I wouldn’t be ALLOWED to come back!). The poem was EXTREMELY political…like Dr. King and I…and some of the things I was talking about (like suicide attempts, terrorism, four-letter words and infidelity) weren’t pretty. So, of course, I finished the poem. Who am I to try and stop the muse when the faucet is on?

What I then decided to do was lift pieces out of this new poem that were suitable for younger audiences, and used those pieces as the foundation of a “separate but gentler” piece. The result was Ageless (written for Amy Biehl High School in Albuquerque) and Junior (written for Piñon Elementary School).

Please take a moment to read and/or listen to them below.

They are siblings of sorts.

Ageless http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/ageless

Junior http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/junior

My band Waylaid and I wrote this song.

It’s for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

And Gabi Rojas danced to it.

And Kamio Media shot it.

Hope you dig it! :) - hb

LYRICS FOR THE SING-ALONG* **:

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the beast

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the police x2

A million questions, no answers

They into crime manufacturing

My people target practice

A history of being captured

Cause this zoo that I’m in

Nadda but police and lyin’

Journal I, with a passion

Make an example of a Panther

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the beast

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the police x2

Taxi Cab for a prophet

Watchless on tha watch list

Firearm in his pocket

And a bullet in his body

Put Mumia in a Locker

Trouble anybody watching

Try to bury our conscious

But canna box no riot

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the beast

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the police x2

If it’s always sunny in philly it wasn’t that night

A history of Red and Blue Bullies in Broad daylight

A Bully-vard of pursuing people who’s hair ain’t right

A City Hall minus all the people Rendell ain’t like

With prison cells full of infidels cause they skin ain’t white

Our hearts are breaking and entering met by pigs that bite

Every time a man is framed it’s a killer-less crime

So we manufacture evidence to fit him with pine

Only guilty of being a shooting star in his prime

They try to blanket the sun, cannot pretend it’s not rising

Prayers and condolences to the widows of those that de-cease

And dittos to the families of scapegoats that appease

No more appeals to the brotherhood of fraternal police

We got some love for the officers with no dirt on their sleeves

But our history’s immovable as John Africa is

And the Philly I love and live, ain’t nothing like Frank Rizz

It’s a place where people exist, like Wesley Cook with his fist

And the only thing in his index is his beliefs and a pen

Instead of livin in da pen, thumb inkin’ his skin

And in the night he was arrested that was his only sin

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the beast

That’s the sound’a dem

That’s the sound of the police x2

*All Rights Reserved by Waylaid

**All Lyrics (other then the chorus by KRS-One) copywrighted by Hakim Bellamy

New *Hak-ku… New *Hak-ku…

Is it JUST me or… (part one)

is moving like the

most shittiest version of

déjà vu … ever?

Is it JUST me or… (part two)

are break ups like the

most shittiest version of

déjà vu … ever?

*Senryu-like, haiku-ish musings by Hakim in 17 syllables or so… ;) From my forthcoming collection of short poems tentatively titled Mean 17.

Albuquerque’s first poet laureate, Hakim Bellamy, visited Santa Fe University of Art & Design Creative Writing Dept. to host a workshop and performance on Nov. 19, 2013.

Longer than the Hak-Ku…
…new for 2014.
"The death of Social ME-dia"
Here’s to becoming my own “meme”…a “ME” me, to those I love and live with… in person.
#TheDeathOfSocialMeDay

Longer than the Hak-Ku…

…new for 2014.

"The death of Social ME-dia"

Here’s to becoming my own “meme”…a “ME” me, to those I love and live with… in person.

#TheDeathOfSocialMeDay