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Be-Side

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

A poem I wrote on a plane two weeks before jumping out of a different plane.

Original poem by me. For my son.

Original music by Laura Mvula. Remix by SOHN.

http://www.themusicninja.com/electro-soul-laura-mvula-green-garden-sohn-remix/

http://sohnmusic.com

Yeah. I’m more excited than a tweenage girl meeting Miley Cyrus! So what. I was interviewed by a titan of journalism and Black culture last week. I am humbled and honored to share it with you all!

Here is the program at Tavis Smiley Radio:

http://www.tavissmileyradio.com/hakim-bellamy-albuquerque-poet-laureate/

And here is the Facebook link (pictured above), let Tavis know how you felt about our interview! (You can also Tweet him at @TavisSmiley Re: @HakimBe)!

https://www.facebook.com/TavisTalks/posts/10152558925931278?comment_id=10152563591231278&notif_t=comment_mention#

All it took was a mention (by name) from Dr. Nikki Giovanni on Tavis’s TV Show back in November and a chance meeting of Tavis and my West End Press publicist Amanda Sutton in New York…and God did the rest.

Thank you and I love you all. - hb

Hakim Bellamy – Albuquerque Poet Laureate | The Tavis Smiley Show

It’s been a week and then some. I plan on being sleep before the sun goes down. I’m going to leave you with the Tavis Smiley Radio Show that aired today. Thank you Amanda & West End Press for making that happen for me. I feel mo’ blessed, especially because my son was able to listen to daddy on the radio in South Jersey with my parents. I hope he is proud of me. Link:http://bit.ly/1rG9sqo 

Local iQ - Poetry from abroad

BIG THANK YOU to the Local iQ for running an article on my trip to Turkey, complete with one of the poems I wrote while I was there (That was my poem a day exercise…I like to up the ante NaPoWriMo ;). You can check out the article here http://bit.ly/1r6tqMl and listen to the poem here http://bit.ly/1m4mqrs

Watch now: Colores | ¡COLORES! July 11, 2014 | KNME-TV/Channel 5 Video

Me and mi hermana Jessica Helen Lopez on New Mexico PBS’s ¡COLORES! Aired Friday, you can check it out anytime here

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

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

I’m headed back to Central New Mexico Community College to present the Graduation Commencement Address. I am honored to be asked to part of such a memorable day for these graduates. Join me in congratulating them on this milestone. Check out the fill article here.

I’m headed back to Central New Mexico Community College to present the Graduation Commencement Address. I am honored to be asked to part of such a memorable day for these graduates. Join me in congratulating them on this milestone. Check out the fill article here.

"Seven syllables short of a haiku…"
-

My most favorite Six-Word Memoir to date! I came up with this one yesterday while I was sitting in traffic (and running late) for my three class, guest instructor visit at New Mexico School for the Arts. A haiku/senryu is 17 syllables…this Six-Word Memoir is 10 syllables…7 short of a picnic…like me…if you know what I mean.

#OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest (A “found poem” and “found Six-Word Memoir by they way! I can’t claim authorship of this one though.) ;(

Check out my Six-Word Memoir published here. Then, submit your own!

For “Nikki”… by hakim bellamy

 

i.

 

I feel like you’ve always been mine

though you’ve been proclaiming emancipation since before

since before we was slave or citizen

since we was love and laughter and light

we don’t own each other no mo’

some stopped saving one another too

 

but you

have turned borders into water

language into papers

 

death into understanding

and day-to-day into magic

 

does being a sHE-RO ever get old?

or just old-fashioned?

 

ii.

 

Some people want to be like you when they grow up

I want to be like you NOW

 

Edward, son of Edward Frederick, they call me Hakim

 

Yolande Cornelia Jr.

they call you Nikki

 

third sign of the Zodiac

they call us talkers

 

we come from East Coast and Appalachia

Philadelphia to Tennessee and Black

 

back and forth

blonde and ‘fro

 

we come from Black People

Black Churches and Black-Eyed Peas, sista

 

poets and not quite poets

if you ask Ivory Tower

instead of Ivory Coast,

but who asked them anyway?

 

for the record,

I too, prefer my wine…red

 

iii.

 

When I heard the news

I thought of you

 

I had a few friends that went to Virginia Tech

none at that time

at that time

you were the only person I knew, but did not know

that went there

 

I think about the sanctuary of the sentence

where we sometimes hide

sometimes say come and get me

I think about how schoolhouses

ain’t never been safe in the South

I think about how everywhere is the South

 

and though hip hop is the new underground

your words have always been a railroad

 

WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH

 

iv.

Do you ever get tired of fighting fire with paper?

this many books in,

do you still feel like people misread you?

will you figure out a way

to bottle “relevance” and sell it to the next generation of Giovanni’s?

will you blueprint your survival of America,

cancer and Black womanhood…

 

or is it already embedded in the hieroglyphs

of your “codexes”

 

do your codices, code exist?

how do you commit our existence to script

with such vivid depiction?

 

and I know you been chasing her

like an old game of tag

maybe even laid an index finger on her once

or twice

but next time you get close enough to Utopia

close enough to smell her hair

you tell her I am looking for her…please

 

v.

They will call you distinguished, Professor

activist, human or civil

 

they will call you an American writer

or an African American writer

 

a great poet

or a great Black poet

 

never both

when you are both

and more

 

but a wise person once said,

“Once you know who you are,

you don’t have to worry anymore.”

 

© Hakim Bellamy November 2, 2013


The above poem was written for and delivered to Dr. Nikki Giovanni at her Chasing Utopia book tour stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read my Local iQ review of her new book here.

For “Nikki”… by hakim bellamy

 

i.

 

I feel like you’ve always been mine

though you’ve been proclaiming emancipation since before

since before we was slave or citizen

since we was love and laughter and light

we don’t own each other no mo’

some stopped saving one another too

 

but you

have turned borders into water

language into papers

 

death into understanding

and day-to-day into magic

 

does being a sHE-RO ever get old?

or just old-fashioned?

 

ii.

 

Some people want to be like you when they grow up

I want to be like you NOW

 

Edward, son of Edward Frederick, they call me Hakim

 

Yolande Cornelia Jr.

they call you Nikki

 

third sign of the Zodiac

they call us talkers

 

we come from East Coast and Appalachia

Philadelphia to Tennessee and Black

 

back and forth

blonde and ‘fro

 

we come from Black People

Black Churches and Black-Eyed Peas, sista

 

poets and not quite poets

if you ask Ivory Tower

instead of Ivory Coast,

but who asked them anyway?

 

for the record,

I too, prefer my wine…red

 

iii.

 

When I heard the news

I thought of you

 

I had a few friends that went to Virginia Tech

none at that time

at that time

you were the only person I knew, but did not know

that went there

 

I think about the sanctuary of the sentence

where we sometimes hide

sometimes say come and get me

I think about how schoolhouses

ain’t never been safe in the South

I think about how everywhere is the South

 

and though hip hop is the new underground

your words have always been a railroad

 

WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH

 

iv.

Do you ever get tired of fighting fire with paper?

this many books in,

do you still feel like people misread you?

will you figure out a way

to bottle “relevance” and sell it to the next generation of Giovanni’s?

will you blueprint your survival of America,

cancer and Black womanhood…

 

or is it already embedded in the hieroglyphs

of your “codexes”

 

do your codices, code exist?

how do you commit our existence to script

with such vivid depiction?

 

and I know you been chasing her

like an old game of tag

maybe even laid an index finger on her once

or twice

but next time you get close enough to Utopia

close enough to smell her hair

you tell her I am looking for her…please

 

v.

They will call you distinguished, Professor

activist, human or civil

 

they will call you an American writer

or an African American writer

 

a great poet

or a great Black poet

 

never both

when you are both

and more

 

but a wise person once said,

“Once you know who you are,

you don’t have to worry anymore.”

 

© Hakim Bellamy November 2, 2013

The above poem was written for and delivered to Dr. Nikki Giovanni at her Chasing Utopia book tour stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read my Local iQ review of her new book here.