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

Stand: For Every Teacher I Ever Had or Hadn’t was written for and premiered at TEDxABQED on January 11th, 2013. I want to thank the great folks at TEDxABQ (& the badass team of volunteers), the African American Performing Arts Center, and every teacher that has set out to change world one child at a time. Find out how you can be part of TEDxABQED at http://tedxabq.com/education.html.

Listen to the audio of the poem here.

Work - by hakim bellamy

(Edited via performance at TEDxABQWomen in Albuquerque, NM on December 1st. The full text is below. This poem will be published in my forthcoming book “Swear" by West End Press in March 2013)



There are few things more difficult

than getting lipstick

out of a blue collar

for a few things

we work

work like

lipstick on a blue collar

like three jobs

and the sex

we still can’t afford

to have

like a sex worker

fancy feet fantasies

of strawberry toes

dipped in fondue faces

while we rest

in the heel of society

I will never

let him have my feet

of running


and standing

instead of lying down


That pill

drug skid marks

down my esophagus

after kicking

and screaming

‘cross my tongue


took my longest finger

out of me

at 6 o’clock

erected it

to twelve

and shoved it past

his sleeping nose

there is nothing sexy

about eye sockets.

when the perpetrator

sleeps over

it’s date rape

whether the patron


or not


my arms

are longer than his sentence

rivet strong and smooth


for fastening

the maturation of

baby boys

to Maybe Men

other times

for the quickening

of the removal

of his sternum

from my bosom

maybe baby

maybe not

these arms

do not belong to him

they are open

to me


My ankles

were pregnant

with desperate housework

when I collared him

lipstick I did not recognize

perfume I did

but did not blame her for being a victim

did not blame my hands

for refusing to wash

anymore of his fucking shirts

did not blame god

for leaving my daughter’s father

and his patriarchal paycheck

for putting my baby girl

on my back

putting food and shelter

on my shoulders

making my living

off my ass

my brain

cannot be judged by its cover,

my complexion, nor my circumstance

not where I clock in

or clock out

I have a degree

in sociology

and survival

and only one

is coming in handy


My daughter

is my body of labor

a woman now

born from my rib

pushed from my pelvis

apple of my Eve

I named her “Eden”

she has nested with serpents

seen me

serve leg, thigh and breast

to a tapeworm society

that cannibalizes its women

she’s seen

my serviceable body parts


used to fill their holes

she’s seen my heart overlooked

cast plate-side

like a gizzard

she’s seen them

eat me

from the inside



she barely remembers

my housewife days

of not lifting a finger

to her father

and him

putting himself

where ever he wanted

his fists

as hard as he wanted

and I chose

bait instead of bitch

I chose pussy

instead of prison

because I rather teach her

teach her

that there is dirt

underneath every French manicure

that working girls

get their ass kicked for a living

that’s a choice for some

less of a choice for others

but so is getting your ass kicked

for love

for life

teach her

the difference between sale and sacrifice

is the cost and the price

like the difference between

pay equity and fair wage

teach her the difference between

high risk career

and poor life choices

that either way we have rights

even when they put their palms

over our voices

I taught her that

I’d rather give the street

what her father repeatedly took

even pride

what she learned from me

is the value of her body

for better or for worse

she learned not to stay for bullshit

like “relationships take work”

work takes work

and work consists

of whatever a body

is obliged to do.

Written for TEDxABQED and premiered on Friday, January 11th, 2013. Look forward to the video of the entire day of talks at www.tedxabq.com, coming soon…

Stand – hakim bellamy

You stand

Somewhere between

Who they are

And what they could be

Not an obstacle

Quite the contrary

But they can’t tell

Their only hint

Is the way you stand

You appear ready to fight

And dammit if sometimes…

They do not know it is for them

You are hands down

While they are hands up

In front of you

You take their best shot

And every morrow

Come back for more


You are the space between

The end of every question

And good manners

Between a demand

And a smile

Between please and thank you

Between boredom

And the bathroom

Between bathroom and sh…

‘tuff we let pass for education in this country

You stand between pass

And fail

Between pass

And learn

Between pass

And future

You stood between Dr. Maya Angelou

And her degree

Her traumatic muteness at 8

And her ability to speak at 13

Between Anne Sullivan

And Helen Keller’s ability to speak what she sees

You stand between every single student

And their “Story of Me”

Stood with Mary Duncan in Nashville, Tennessee

Between a 4th grade Oprah Winfrey

And THE Oprah

And in 1989 you stood on her show

As she said thank you

I thank you

For standing between the spike

And the punch bowl

Between the wallflower

And the wall

Between the two kids

Getting a little too Lambada on the dance floor

Between the black board

And the clean slate

Between a paycheck

And a living

Between social promotion

And social skills

Between high stakes testing

And a high stakes life

You stand

With a backpack

More camouflage

Than campus

Always at attention

Even in a room full of pupils that lack it

You are a frontline

Of lessonplans waving sayonara from flagpoles

At half mast

You are marching orders

That have accepted

to stand

Between our lil’ angels

And the gunmen who have come

To give them wings

Between neck

And bedroom closet

Between bully

And believer

You stand between a sensible work week

And beyond the call of duty

Between the drugs

And our children’s self-esteem

Between banned books

And burnt out

And sometimes…

Between the bar

And the weekend you desperately needed

Like two days ago, already!

You are a Monday through Friday

Stand in parent for ME

And for every moment you surrogate life

I am away on my knees

Begging for you

And my child

To succeed

For as long

As you’ve been on your feet for me

I will stand for you.

© Hakim Bellamy December 31st, 2012

Hakim Bellamy is a two-time Poetry Slam National Champion, and has been named “Best Poet” by both the Local iQ (Smart List 2010 & 2011) and the Alibi (Best of Burque 2010 & 2011). As an educator and performer, he is interested not only in the poetry lessons he teaches his students, but the lessons which Poetry has taught him.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Story Sutra

That has a very nice ring to it ;) Thank you again TEDxABQ! So many people have seen me afterwards and said nice things about my TED Talk. I am humbled by your praise and encouragement. Beautiful people deserve beautiful words, I’m doing my best to meet you half way. (See some of the awesome photos from TEDxABQ here.)-hb

It’s odd. Every year on 9/11 I tend to be in the studio. Maybe it’s because we create to get over destruction. Coincidentally, this was a piece of the TEDxABQ Talk I did on Saturday. Production by Diles. On my album BE. Yesterday it was me and Camilo Quinones cooking a soon to be release track on relationships…get your radios ready.

A cadre of TEDxABQ speakers and lead “TED-head”, Tim Nisly. I got to go back to my old stomping grounds at KOB (Floor Crew Tech 2006-07) on the “other” side of the camera with the always genuine, Nicole Brady. I got to share this episode of Eye on New Mexico with other TED speakers Shana Rappaport (Bioneers) and Dr. Diana Northup (UNM SLIME). Thanks to the KOB-TV Floor Crew Peeps, Nicole Brady and the TEDxABQ Crew (& Tim). We are sold-out but you can watch via simulcast, check out www.tedxabq.com for details. (Note: I’m in the second half of the program.)

It’s coming. Only a few tickets left. Sneak peak of another speaker, Nancy Judd of Recycle Runway, with my son in the Atlanta International Airport. Her exhibit is housed there. She is another TEDxABQ speaker. It’s all connected. It’s deep. You don’t want to miss it. See the promo above and share…and come. -hb

Hakim Be to speak at TEDxABQ on September 10th @ The National Hispanic Cultural Center

"Poetry giveth and giveth again: Teaching and learning from poetry"

Tickets go on sale July 15th at www.tedxabq.com

Find out more about the TED movement at www.ted.com

"Ideas Worth Spreading"