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Be-Side

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

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.

Two Hak-ku and one Nah-ku from yesterday’s drive to Silver City.

Two Hak-ku (Hakim + Haiku…really Senryu…= Hak-ku) and one Nah-ku (short haiku-like poem that is a few syllables too long) from my drive to the Poet Laureate Panel & Performance at the Southwest Festival of the Written Word in Silver City.


Big thanks to Silver City Poet Laureate Bonnie Buckley Maldonado for inviting me and sharing a brilliant reading!


Look at You

If your conscience is

so clear, then why do you

continue, to drown it

Reminder (for Career Artist Parents everywhere)

I solemnly swear

to not turn my son’s childhood

into a business

Life is Like a Bad Poem

Life is like a bad poem, where the obvious is painfully obvious…and the subtle is too.

The Fire Next Time (written for Notzozobra 2013)

The first time

I got kicked out of high school

was before I was in high school

 

the guidance office was connected to the nurse’s office

and my friend’s mom was a guidance counselor

 

thanks to her secondhand nepotism

we got to train with the high school track team before

we were in high school

 

track practice started after school

after high school which dismissed at 3:15

while middle was out at 2:30

 

so we chilled in the guidance office

underneath the bridged gap in adult supervision

which was connected to the nurse’s office

nothing but time idling on our hands

 

in the nurse’s workshop

there was an apple

that we were not supposed to Eden

in every single drawer

 

upon breaking the first seal

we scored a pack of matches

the origami sailboat we floated in flames on a lake of bathroom sink

looked more like a fucked up hat…

but burned glorious for 7.2 seconds

and approximately 7.2 minutes later we heard sirens

needless to say I didn’t see the outside of my bedroom for about 7.2 years

 

but every time I see a flame

it reminds me that I have been in love with fire since I could spell “spontaneous combustion”

 

I’m almost certain, cavemen considered it the first reality show

a marathon of stories, sparks and fireworks

long before Netflix was a figment of our mail order imaginations

 

before the Pueblo Revolt was unsuccessful, then successful, then unsuccessful again

before the Spanish returned

before fiestas

before tourists, and tickets, and gunshots that can be heard from here to the plaza

before lifelong residents were displaced by property taxes…

 

and tourists

 

before Fridays became Thursdays

but we still say Friday is Friday

fuck that

 

before we felt like a puppet

was the most accurate way

to represent our country

to represent our lives

 

there was fire

 

since back when my Shoshone ancestors immolated themselves into rising smoke signals

in order to fly an S.O.S. and an apology to God

since back when flaming sacrifices to the sun were common

 

before mistakes became regrets

and before bad ideas became sins

 

there was the burn

and it is still burning down to the ground

right here, for the past 15 years

in the middle of the street

 

the last peace

of unpaved earth in Burque

 

an effigy

the size of our ego

stands un-alone

at the center of a circle of humanitarians

 

at the center of this circle of handheld hearts 

(that extends at least 5,941 mi in circumference)

is a fire

 

a fire

humans did not invent

but discovered

 

like the anxiety we no longer hide

instead ignite

we are bringing fire ecology back to save our planet

slash and burn gloom

one burn at a time

 

burn corporate greed

for buying all our seeds

 

burn the welfare for the rich

And all the bailouts they get

 

burn the excuses we feed our children

And the jobless future we sell them

 

burn BP and their climate hoax

while our entire watershed is engulfed

 

burn baby burn

for the survivalist

of the Mayan Apocalypse

 

(You’re Welcome)

 

we are the same fire

keeping the light on inside of us

 

consuming ourselves

to light the sky for others

 

and though this is a ceremony of forgetting something

forgetting anything

foregtting everything

 

may you always remember

how to burn…

 

 

© Hakim Bellamy September 6, 2013

My crew at Spoken Word Camp at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences this summer. Poetry by Merit, Sina, Alicia, Nicholas & Annie (College Teaching Assistant) below. I MISS YOU GUYS!

Merit http://youtu.be/jIG8fzz25Yo

Sina http://youtu.be/XgpTaR1tsfU

Alicia http://youtu.be/fY7ea8GBQmg

Annie http://youtu.be/0h0doOHRQm4

Nicholas http://youtu.be/klrh-qMvq9w

And check out the team’s Ekphrastic Poetry Video too! They picked the pics and they poemed the poems.

http://youtu.be/hXngq5G0tRU

My crew at Spoken Word Camp at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences this summer. Poetry by Merit, Sina, Alicia, Nicholas & Annie (College Teaching Assistant) below. I MISS YOU GUYS!

Merit http://youtu.be/jIG8fzz25Yo

Sina http://youtu.be/XgpTaR1tsfU

Alicia http://youtu.be/fY7ea8GBQmg

Annie http://youtu.be/0h0doOHRQm4

Nicholas http://youtu.be/klrh-qMvq9w

And check out the team’s Ekphrastic Poetry Video too! They picked the pics and they poemed the poems.

http://youtu.be/hXngq5G0tRU

#LeavingOurMark … I am humbled by this opportunity from the City of Albuquerque and the chance to collaborate with such wonderful artist and people. I even learned how to tile and put in some work on the wall. We got a chapbook with this poem, many more of mine and some from the mosaic muralist as well. We’ll be giving them away free at the event on the  evening of June 22nd at 5:30pm, get there early…after 200 are gone, they are GONE! Join and share the event, here! http://on.fb.me/10GQ4id

#LeavingOurMark … I am humbled by this opportunity from the City of Albuquerque and the chance to collaborate with such wonderful artist and people. I even learned how to tile and put in some work on the wall. We got a chapbook with this poem, many more of mine and some from the mosaic muralist as well. We’ll be giving them away free at the event on the  evening of June 22nd at 5:30pm, get there early…after 200 are gone, they are GONE! Join and share the event, here! http://on.fb.me/10GQ4id

New event added to my schedule. You won’t find this under the “What’s Next?” tab. I get to introduce my sister Jessica Helen Lopez, who gets to interview Jimmy Santiago Baca, AND YOU GET TO WATCH IT!

Get your tickets here at www.KiMoTickets.com or call 505.886.1251 to order by phone.

Reserve Seats: Adults-$10 Seniors-$8 Students-$5

Dear Weekly Alibi (and Albuquerque),
There is no such thing as “Best Poet.” But THANK YOU for reminding me that I am not a “fad.” I love you 4X too!

Truly yours,
Hakim Bellamy
P.S. HUGE thanks to all of you who thought it was worth your time to log in, full your ballot with at least 20 things that make our city awesome, and actually include me.
P.S.S. Mad love to Levi the Poet, Zachary Kluckman and every other poet in this city as well! WE make this a cool place to be a poet.
Read the results of the Best of Burque 2013 Readers’ Poll.

Dear Weekly Alibi (and Albuquerque),


There is no such thing as “Best Poet.” But THANK YOU for reminding me that I am not a “fad.” I love you 4X too!

Truly yours,

Hakim Bellamy


P.S. HUGE thanks to all of you who thought it was worth your time to log in, full your ballot with at least 20 things that make our city awesome, and actually include me.

P.S.S. Mad love to Levi the Poet, Zachary Kluckman and every other poet in this city as well! WE make this a cool place to be a poet.

Read the results of the Best of Burque 2013 Readers’ Poll.