unfiltered love as political technology made into public policy
"Aja Monet: Since the moment I heard her poetry has captivated the struggle of not just a people, but of humanity itself as an entity. The soulful female passion injected with controlled logic and emotion balance each other to bring a message. One that much like any form of our co-opted culture is difficult to commercialize but impossible to ignore. Caught at the crux of a world where words are slaves and the capacity to speak them in a such a manner sets people free…her destiny is in her hands alone" -Felipe Coronel aka Immortal Technique
If ever I forget who I am, it is Abiodun Oyewole who persistently reminds me of my strength and greatness. I am a better woman and poet because of him. I am honored to be a daughter of his, one of many, to be lifted by his light as his legacy thrives in my story, in all of our stories. His poems and his life lays the foundation. I grew up in the spirit of his loving. Please go purchase and support his latest collection of poems: “Branches of the Tree of Life”
tz: well. how do you explain loving some men who write & some men who play music & some men who are simply loveable, when yr work for almost three years has been entirely woman-centered?
i can do a lot of things. we all can. women haveta. i waz not able to establish the kind of environment i thot my work needed when i read with men all the time. you haveta remember there’s an enormous ignorance abt women’s realities in society. we ourselves suffer from a frightening lack of clarity abt who we are. my work attempts to ferret out what i know & touch in a woman’s body. if i really am committed to pulling the so-called personal outta the realm of non-art. that’s why i have dreams & recipes, great descriptions of kitchens & handiwork in sassafrass, cypress, & indigo. that’s why in for colored girls…i discuss the simple reality of going home at nite, of washing one’s body, looking out the window with a woman’s eyes. we must learn our common symbols, preen them and share them with the world. the readings usedta…the collective recognition of certain realities that are female can still be hampered, diverted, diluted by masculine presence. yes. i segregated my work & took it to women. much like i wd take fresh water to people stranded in mojave desert. i wdnt take a camera crew to observe me. i wdnt ask the people who had never known thirst to come watch thirsty people drink…
tz: i thot you said all art forms contributed to yr development?
i didn’t say it yet. i thot abt saying that what dianne mcintyre’s sounds-in-motion dance company does with cecil taylor’s music gives me the right to put the axis of the poem off balance & hold. i wanted to say i learn abt lyricism from david murray’s saxophone & romare beardens collages. i wanted to insist i’ve learned abt beauty from carmen delavallade’s dancing & albert ayler’s music.
tz: yes, but what do you believe a poem shd do?
quite simple a poem shd fill you up with something/ cd make you swoon, stop in yr tracks, change yr mind, or make it up. a poem shd happen to you like cold water or a kiss.
tz: one more thing. what is it like to be you?
good. good. sometimes more trouble than i like to handle cuz i didnt take care of myself the way i cd have had i known i waz worth loving. but then i have a bunch of raucous memories i have survived to giggle abt/ that has to be awright. i am becoming less afraid of who this “zaki” is.
sarahogutu said: Can I get a quote from one of your poems tattooed on me?? I wanted to get the line "You are obligated to continue creating, says God." A lot of lines from that poem are my pulse right now.
The commodification of art turns artists into corporations with little to no awareness of the power of love, the gift of being a vessel, of producing culture. When what you love protects you and what you protect loves you. To be more than slogan or spectacle or tool, how to honor the gifts we all have and not diminish the light it gives by exploiting the glow it inspires. I want to see a shifting. I want to see the old ways not working anymore that we may treat each other better and demand more beauty, more love. To nurture creativity and not enslave it. If we can imagine it, it is possible. Decolonize your imagination.
conversing with the cosmos
"We are the grand daughters of the witches you could not torch."
how I cut through life like a diamond in a sack of glass, with no regrets. -Ai
madre e figlia @yearofempress
I dare you to come to East New York, Brooklyn for some poetry. It is a sincere dare. I will be sharing poems for FREE on September 15th, 2014. All are welcome. For more info visit: www.beatbrooklyn.com/aja #BeatFestival
there’s an inner world i am falling so absolutely in love with. #saturnreturn