The brilliant author and poet Fred Moten came to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in October of last year to give a talk entitled, “Insovereignty and Cinema.” During that talk he made a distinction between “sovereignty” (as invulnerable and … Continue reading
△▼△ (repost from Instagram) I had always disliked selfies. Until I heard for the first time last summer my dear comrade-friend Tasha Spillett describe them as acts of resistance against the continued, 500+years-long erasure of indigenous, black, and brown bodies. Selfies as … Continue reading
Today’s celebration of life brought up for me more layered perspectives on the concept of embodiment in the context of death, and how meaningful and necessary it is to have a sense and a feeling of embodiment of loved ones … Continue reading
Sui cide feels like:
i want to
my human ity
Take its life
for another purpose.
a higher reasoning
Bring it somewhere safer.
taking me to a
level of being
and consciousness that
Where i can die and find myself alive still yet
in that same moment.
Where I can
be killed already and now I live.
A moment where i realize and
exist in real time, that i am
not human how i think I must be.
and my tears are hateful to me
my orbit is in retrograde
the need to
escape my body
the confines of my body and
its forcing of
my blood is storming
stressing to be set free from its boundaries.
the Horned Serpants are cycling Me down
and un met longing
– that escapes the english language and
hungers to be described
– for a time and a state and a freedom
so far in distant memory
i cant be sure to trust
or delusion it is
the point of living it
feels like: just because
when the cosmos turns in-to itself
i am so deathly afraid
because i am so dealthy un afraid
of my in-human ity
of Truth and love dripping through
fingers like gasping for living waters
Suicide feels like that:
feels like I’m still alive.
The following is a poem I composed as part of a Nā Hua Ea poetry workshop called “Making Rope,” to which we came to collectively create expressions of ea.* In this context, we were asked to practice collaborative, inter-textual, intersectional writing – to carry and weave the voices and stories of others with our own poetry to make our stories stronger and more resilient.
Among the texts woven into our writing were those of Haunani-Kay Trask, whom we honor this year with Judy Napoleon at the 173rd anniversary of La Hoʻihoʻi Ea. Mahalo nui to all the mana-ful aloha ʻāina who shared the stories and texts that inspire them and who allowed me to share mine. We’re weaving strong rope together. ✊
*Ea (noun): sovereignty, independent, life, air, breath
I grew up largely preferring my own company or the company of boys – girls were “fake,” “boring,” “drama queens.” For all the good times, my preference for male companionship also brought with it a lot of pain, abuse, and confusion. In … Continue reading
With the death of my great grandmother, I feel more poignantly the uncertainty and fear around the fact that the older I get and the more family pass away, the closer I get to having to take on that elder or … Continue reading
I celebrated Kwanzaa only once in my life when I was about 8 years old. I remember my mother taking my brother and me to some eclectic store in town, looking for all the symbols to use on the alter. I remember all the effort she put in to make it a meaningful addition to the winter holidays and the emphasis she placed on her mixed-race children having a strong sense of cultural identity, but I also remember paying as much attention as would be expected of an 8 year old.
Nearly 20 years later, a lot of life has happened. Partly in an attempt to understand my own life situation and experiences, in my teens I grew into a social justice activist type, with my mind on revolution. Ironically, I also spent the better part of my teenage/young adult life disowning and trying to get far away from my “blackness.” Continue reading
I began a version of this poem in August of this year, in the midst of astronomical shifts around science, culture, identity, justice, and heartache. I was sitting alone in a reggae bar, drinking a beer, writing on the back … Continue reading