a poem by Shaunteri Skinner
she fell into the burns of her past as they lay thick & thin
on her brain,
the emptiness was so full,
it was so well-rounded & welcoming.
kissed by growth’s pain in too many ways to describe how she
could bear to breathe,
ignoring the calms of eves or news of life’s chances in whatever direction.
she felt as if her waking was
misbehavior until she woke out of that dream of killers that she kept repeating At night,
those who laughed right next to her with blood all over their hands
causing blood to be her brain ever so often.
until all of the flesh fell back onto her
the rest of her left the world, never want-
ing to have gone,
but never wanting to come back either.
being trapped in her
life & the life that history
made for her caused all of
the pain that she would
ever need to grow,
to be Black, woman &
beautiful was the best that she
ever had to be,
But proving it to those
who mattered most
Seemed like new & old crushed dreams.
published in Genre: Urban Arts First Edition
I promise you that I’m down,
and I’ll bring more brothas around,
Not later on, but right now,
and they’ll be ready for a Right Now
My True Colors Festival in association with Harlem 2020 present Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. This electrifying journey through the public and private worlds of mega-icon Grace Jones contrasts musical sequences with intimate personal footage. Sophie Fiennes’s documentary goes beyond the traditional music biography, offering a portrait as stylish and unconventional as the larger-than-life, androgynous glam-pop culture diva.
Join us for a pre-screening Cocktail Hour plus a post-screening Book Signing and Panel Discussion: “The Power of Black Style On Fashion and Culture Worldwide” with industry experts, including Essence Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor, Fashion Bomb Daily Founder and leading style blogger Claire Sulmers, legendary black supermodel Pat Cleveland, and Christian Ruart, a renown fashion guru and celebrity stylist who discovered and worked with models like Tyra Banks, Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer. Join us for an insightful conversation led by My True Colors Co-Founder and Executive Producer Tai Chunn on the ins and outs of black style, its important contribution to fashion and its influence on culture worldwide. The panel also will discuss the industry influence of Grace Jones. While Beyoncé and Rihanna are among today’s major style icons, Grace Jones remains one of the most referenced fashion icons of all time.
Mikki Taylor will be on hand to sign her book, Editor in Chic: How to Style and Be Your Most Empowered Self, shares uplifting advice for women who want to cultivate their beauty both inside and out. As will Claire Sulmers, whose book The Bomb Life: My Brand. My Terms, is part memoir, part self-help with tips for aspiring bloggers;
and Pat Cleveland, whose memoir Walking With The Muses covers fifty years of fashion from the intersection of the Civil Rights Movement, the disco era’s decadence, and the grandeur of Hollywood’s late 70s renaissance
Film Running Time: 116 Minutes
Cocktail Hour begins at 6:00pm in the Media Gallery;
Film Screening starts 7:00pm in the Screening Room
Yo reaction to my hair
is my reaction to my strife.
How big it got is like the bigots
constant in my life.
Poetry Lonnie Monka
snow-soiled feet trailed between alcohol & drugs incubating that suburban winter-break assembly
of conversations forgotten upon being spoken
with golden strands fanning those shoulders
her untouchable frame stirred as the last one
awake & cleaning the house–alone–with me
somehow we snuck into the master-bedroom
stretching across some other family’s bedspread
where too long awake now dream-lost lips touched
hands & fingers caressing curves through clothing tongues trading a mosaic of unspoken secrets
till I awoke alone–smiling & never to see her again
& lightning struck in the storm of friends calling because she had died a sudden death
which precipitated void-driven conversation
& conversation after conversation after conversation all I could think was that I had kissed her
& never told a single soul what I then wanted to scream
We are working on a portraiture project that will be on exhibition soon. Come have your photo taken to have the opportunity to become a part of the art!
We will also have Genre: Urban Arts No. 4 Mags on sale as well as other Genre Merch.
Read more about MKE Fringe Fest below:
On August 27th – 28th, 2016 the MKE Fringe made its debut in downtown Milwaukee. Following the rich tradition of Fringe Festivals, the Milwaukee Fringe Festival is a showcase of a diverse collection of artists that call Milwaukee home. From theatrical actors to painters, musicians to tap dancers, performance artists to playwrights, MKE Fringe is a joyous celebration of what makes Milwaukee’s culture vibrant and extraordinary (MKEFringe.com).
There will be over 30 acts as well as a plethora of vendors. Come to support Milwaukee Creatives! Visit MKEFringe.com for more info.
a poem by Shirley Jones
In the history of words suffragettes fighting for rights
badges of honor queer an insult to some but a fortune
to others who wish to tell it slant & mingle fact with fiction
as they try to copyright our words we must reclaim our names
This appropriation is unnecessary for the power of language
has been distorted & used against us
If you like what you’re hearing, add @blame.ju.
If you’re looking to quail your creative fix, here is video from our partners over at Bowery Poetry. If you are in the NYC area, stop over and visit this classy venue. The drinks are great! The talent never fails to impress, and the staff is DOPE. Big ups Heath and Julius.
In the area? View their calendar below.Bowery Poetry Calendar
It took a lot to get me here
I suffered the reign of you
For many years
You broke me down
Opened me up
Dissected my soul
And still couldn’t find
A way to love me…
Have you ever had such a mischievous thought that can fuck someone’s life up? Yeah, me neither…….SIKE! Maaaaaaaan, it can be so hard sometimes to have that type of power over someone and choose not to use it against them ESPECIALLY when you can’t stand a motherfucker! However, I must say, I’m very proud of this new thing I’m doing, just letting shit go, let it roll off my back and keep it moving. Before my level of pettiness had to be fed whatever negative emotion I was feeling at the moment. My main objective was to make the other person feel my pain. After all my plotting I still felt unsatisfied with my “victory”. Something had to give and that something is me, I had to change.
I noticed the change was needed for many reasons, one being I just had to grow the fuck up, being childish is not a good look for me especially when I’m raising a child myself. I don’t want my son to hold on to resentment and pain the way I used to. Another HUGE reason was that when I held on to that disappointment, pain, pride, and ego it started to cloud my perspective and overall my whole vibe changed, I started not to like myself. People who loved me started to dislike me, people who didn’t know me felt a weird energy and it was hard to connect with others, I was the source of the fuckery. Also, let me tell you when you act ugly you tend to look ugly too! Most importantly, I want to feel like me again. One day I woke up and decided to just stop the bullshit and start healing my soul from whatever it was that caused me to behave so damn petty.
Painting was a major part of my process. I started painting more and one thing lead to another. I can honestly say if I wasn’t so petty in the past and didn’t realize I needed to refocus I probably would not be painting and creating art like I am now. Rebuilding burned bridges was also part of my healing. I reached out to old friends, even exes to simply apologize for projecting my pain on to them.
Moral of the story, being petty sometimes happens and it may be well deserved, but what are you really gaining? Instant satisfaction of what? All you are really doing is stealing an opportunity to grow through experiences. Feel the pain, anger, disappointment, and let go of your ego, your soul needs it. Deal with it personally and move on when you are ready, no need to be petty.
I wrote your name on an empty page and
suddenly it seemed full.
Our memories fill in the blank spaces when my words aren’t enough.
They never are.
Yet you hold onto them the way you held my heart
when it was too heavy for me to carry.
You are home. You are
tear stained ink on pages of poetry for quiet nights.
You are the words I seek but never find.
You made us beautiful to read about.
– Samihah Pargas
– IG: Shadesofherink
Meditation has been found to be extremely effective for many of our modern problems. Studies have shown that it can help increase your creativity. If you have ever tried meditation, you understand the benefits of how it relaxes and centers you. Seen as more of a spiritual practice in the past, it is clear that it can be extremely helpful in our day to day lives.
Creative business coach Mark McGuinness meditates for 20 minutes a day before he starts work. He focuses on his breathing while doing so. He has found that he gains focus, patience, calmness, clarity, and insight. He isn’t the only one in the business world using meditation. The likes of Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, and many other highly successful people that depend on their creativity use meditation before they start their workday. Here are 5 ways that meditation increases creativity.
Meditation and How it Works on the Brain
There are three parts to the brain that work together in order to get your creative juices flowing. The reptilian part of your brain is your oldest part. It covers breathing and automatic things. The limbic system is where your empathy and emotions can be found. Then there is the Neocortex which is the newest part. It is the most advanced part of the brain. We are capable of being aware of ourselves like no other species. This is why we can learn language, paint, play music, and write screenplays.
The limbic and Neocortex system will both activate to search for solutions. The limbic looks to past experiences to find the best solution. The Neocortex analyzes everything and is looking for a rational answer. Interesting, the limbic system comes up with answers faster even though the Neocortex would perhaps come up with a more rational answer.
1. Effects on the Neocortex
Meditation is a work in progress. It trains you to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. It trains you to be in the moment. The Neocortex is the part of the brain that controls your awareness. When you meditate, you train this part of the brain to become stronger. Meditation on a daily basis will allow you to make better choices. You can see bad habits and analyze the things you’re doing right in your life and things that don’t serve you. It is the newest part of the evolution of our brain. It is in charge of things like:
- Solving problems
By strengthening this area of the brain, you will be better able to reach that creative aspect of yourself.
2. Managing Emotions Continue reading 5 Ways Meditation Can Increase Your Creativity
How am I supposed to rid myself
Of this gnawing in my belly?
The lies that sit there
Will surely eat me from the inside out
The gut is a funny place
It does not like to be empty
Refusing to wait on the truths
That grow slowly in our gardens
Overly full of the easily accessible
All up ‘n down
a poem by Evany Martinez
How do you tell her she’s too
loud when you silenced her for
Too strong when she has to work light
years ahead of you just to catch up.
Too violent with your scars
etched Into her back.
Too dark when your spirit is
composed of ashes from her
That must be why you
can only rise if she falls.
Love me the way the moon is loved
whether full or half full, or a whisper in the night sky
the kind you can’t see, yet its presence is deeply felt.
covet you with light or
struggle through my own darkness
show you how beautiful skin can look in dimly lit places or
dim the atmosphere and feel cold to the touch
Love me still
when my tears pull the sky down and
leave hollows in loving hearts where homes should’ve been
when stars fall from my lips while I ask for those homes to be rebuilt
again Love me
as if I am faraway, when really I’m near.
Pull me close with your prayers when I am distant
hold me with your eyes
love me the way the moon is loved.
I hope you are in love with the moon.
– Samihah Pargas
– IG : @shadesofherink
Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.
The Oscar Sanders style of spoken word poetry is using multi-cultural dialects and impersonations of famous people and actors such as: Sidney Greenstreet, Al Pacino, Peter Lorre, Adolph Caesar, southern military generals, a Chinese doctor, former President Ronald Reagan, Vin Scully, Jimmy Cagney, Puerto Rican activist, and an African President to embellish the well crafted tongue-twisting intellectual articulate spoken word poetry written and performed by Mr. Sanders.Oscar Sanders is a multiple award winning author, Indie Author Legacy Award Poet of the Year 2017, Best Jazz History Documentary New York Jazz Festival 2017, (NAACP NYCHA JUST READ AWARD 2016 Fiction/Final Hearing, LA, LA NEO NOIR, FILM, & Script Festival 2016 Fiction Final Hearing), Jazz documentaries Billy Bang: Long Over Due (Carmarthen Bay FF 2013 Best Documentary, Capital City Black FF 2013 Best Documentary, Los Angles New Wave IFF 2013, Texas Underground FF 2012, Peoples Film Festival Best Documentary 2012), and seething feature political poetry spoken word performer, and event host of festivals and book fairs. Anders Griffen, of the New York Jazz Record said about Mr. Sanders’ latest film jazz doc Michael Carvin: No Excuses (Official Selection The People’s FF 2017 (released 5/1/17), “The tour of Manhattan performance venues is fabulous…the story is strong and by the end, one feels the collaboration between the musician and filmmaker.” New Voices in Theater feature play performance (November 9, 2017), Thirty day creative residency (December 2017) at Jamaica Center for the Arts & Learning culminating with a theatrical “First Friday series performance January 5, 2017, Bronx Book Fair 2017/2018 host/facilitator of poetry segment Weaving our Voices, and Speed Coaching, New York Screenplay Awards 2016, and 2017 Jury Member.
A few months ago I was filmed for a documentary called the Love Box. It’s about a group of individuals and their experience with love and dating. Full warning family!! I suggest you stay away from this film unless you want to know way more than you should about me.? Overall it was a great experience, I can’t wait for the final product. You may or may not see me as an animated character!