Yeah, Write #430

Yeah, Write #430 

-you’ll Laugh

You Know.

by Shannon Barber

You know.

-you’ll laugh.

You want to call them faceless, nameless, formless even- it would be easier wouldn’t it? Everything would be better if you didn’t feel their name songs in your bones when you lay down to sleep, if you didn’t see their faces smile at you from darkened corners, if your skin didn’t remember the heat of their touch. Easy, you crave any ease and moments of illusory peace.

You know.

-you’ll laugh.

You watch everyone else. Their petty struggles and their ignorance of the name songs and weight of the dead that hangs on them make you smile when everything else is- as is. You hold your truth close, truth is your secret. Watch the rest of the fools dance and squirm. You tell yourself while your bones vibrate with name songs and your skin buzzes with ghosts, at least you know. Tonight you’ll laugh.

You know.

-you’ll laugh.

You know. You will take your complexities and one foot on the other side life because-

You know-

-you’ll laugh.

###

#BeyondSpecialIssue A few Thoughts

First go read everything here. 

This is gonna be messy.

First thing, I have been a guest editor for a special issue. In 2016 one of my most beloved humans Milcah Halili and I were chosen to guest edit for the Citron Review. Milcah and I blind read and chose a piece by Ariel Gore who is a powerhouse of a writer. At the time, I was elated. I hadn’t ever (or since) done that sort of thing and found that I loved the process of selecting a piece to feature from my gut.

It was hard.

I admit, I had some discomfort. I realized that in reading back issues that okay yes Queers but where were they before?

This is where I find myself now.

Further thing.

I submitted to the Trans/GNC issue of Poetry Magazine. I got  nice rejection.

The thing I feel most conflicted about is this mess of feelings.

Given that in most of my literary career I have been she, because I rarely press pronouns issues for myself, I am relieved I was rejected.

At the same time, I feel like a lot of my recent work reflects my own fluidity in the context of gender. I purposefully tend to mix my pronouns and associate phrases in that way because it is how I feel.

Some of the other feelings I have is a general kind of aversion to special issues. Too often, I feel like the special issue contributes to the idea of there being a scarcity of good work by X population. I don’t see a lot of literary journals asking the better questions. I feel like this is basic shit I’ve been talking about for years.

Ask WHY don’t the people I want to feature submit regularly? Is my back catalog full of whiteness? Cisness? Hetness? A lot of venerated poetry outlets, fuck up a lot. They publish transphobic, and other shitty shit and tend to double down and then maybe say, we support free speech blablabla and then have the audacity to wonder, why aren’t these X population folks submitting?

That’s why.

Y’all.

Maybe it is because I’m old and bitter but I feel like I just am not fuckin with these people anymore.

It has been a thousand fucking years and we are STILL having to say, look do some basic work and maybe you won’t have to do a special issue.

That said, I also do enjoy special issues. I enjoy it when magazines are deliberate in featuring voices and folks who are overlooked. BUT, BUT, too many places rely on their special issues and don’t do the follow up work.

It is work.

This morning I didn’t feel like I should comment because y’all know I like to stay in my fuckin lane.

And then I remembered I’m a poet who ids as genderfluid Femme and like…this has an impact on me.

Lately when folks talk to me about po biz fuckery, I STILL have the hardest time realizing hey, that is also my biz. And honestly?

Fuck po biz.

But also come on be better.

And also, am I out of my lane?

I’m the most obscure poet and I will likely not be anybody’s po biz darling so does it matter how I feel about it?

I mean, yes I have a book out but I also generally speaking don’t get published.

That’s a whole other thing.

This is my community. And I feel like an Fine Ass Old Auntie and like a baby potato holding a poem at a mic in a shitty cafe whispering my Saphhic unrequited love poetry.

I want to get to know more of my community and I feel like things like #BeyondSpecialIssue and the conversation help. So please go check out the hashtag on tweeter. Read the link above.

I’ll probably talk more about this once I decide to stop telling myself to not.

 

 

Updates, Stuff n thangs.

OH hey y’all.

I have SO MUCH NEWS Y’ALL.

If you’ve been rolling with me for a while you know sometimes I save up good news and then I throw it all at you like confetti. Get ready.

First up, Y’ALL Y’ALL Y’ALL!!! My baby is born!

Gasoline Heart my lil poetry book baby is available for pre-order. Looky here. She is so pretty and ugh fuck. Y’all.

ALl I could do when my publisher said it’s gone to print is respond as follows:

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*gasp*AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ahem. Holy shit. Holy shit HOLY SHIT.

If the FCC hasn’t burned the internet to the ground I am working up a virtual tour/readings and will let y’all know.

Ahem.

Next thing is, y’all I got one more publication for the year. It is a bucketlist item. I GOT PUBLISHED IN THE MOTHA FUCKIN WANDERER Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!! See my poems here.

Y’all, most of my favorite poets are/have been in there. The poems published there were each rejected from a LOT of places, essentially thanks but no thanks rejections. Most of my poetry (in case you’ve ever wondered) has traditionally gotten that type of response from the pobiz. Thanks but no thanks, thanks but we don’t do confessional/personal/blabla. So this is huge for me. Especially with the baby on the way. I have an essay in the works about it but yeah huge deal.

What else?

My much rejected essay about some of my literary influences is up at Medium behind the paywall. Here’s a taste:

I did what I’d taught myself to do. I read every word JT wrote that I could get my hands on. I studied it, I read about it, I remember writing in a journal why I liked it, how I liked it. And then I wrote my very first personal essay. It was, of course a hot mess, scrawled in a red glitter Wizard of Oz diary. It was a gory blow by blow about a terrible relationship-ish situation I’d found myself in.

I wrote it with gusto and terror. I wrote about how, as terrible as being abused was, I was happy to be wanted sometimes. My language was simplistic, I relied heavily on using vulgarity and explicit sex to hide my real emotions. It took me several weeks to write and I was so proud of myself when it was done. I typed it up on a computer at the library and printed it out, I read it in secret late at night alone and hid it deep inside my mountain of things.

Find it here. Feel free to throw claps or pass it along to friends who are down with Medium paywall.

That’s pretty much it for pub news.

In side hustle news. GOOD NEWS!! Patreon decided not to go ahead with the terrible fee schedule change. SO that means, Imma be expanding that shit.

More about that in my end of year wrap post later.

You can read some standalone Daiyuverse here at wattpad.

Um yeah. I think that’s all in the news you can use.

I have been grinding in the background, trying to get ready for large life changes. Writing like a motherfucker.

Hopefully before the end of the goddamn year I will finish my new pro website AND shit.

As usual I’m flailing into the future fully hype and terrified.

That’s it for now. Coming soonish, my end of year wrap up, some news and whatnots. And I’m gonna do one last giant link list so y’all, drop them links to your stuff in the comments.

 

News!!

I’ve been sitting on some news for a while now and I am so excited to announce that my first poetry book has been born and will be available for purchase at the solstice.

I’m so pleased to be published by Lark Books. Come see the page here, 

poetry
[image description: black text on a white background: Sometimes I wonder if my genders are calluses against the rub of excellence expected from me every goddamn day]
Y’all.

I don’t know what kind of fairy poet magic I expected but writing this book was so hard.

Also these poems are different from the work I’ve been producing for the last couple of years. They are actually intensely personal and not the purposefully intimate seeming but about other Femmes and women work I’ve been doing. I’m going to be writing about the work and the process a bit.

I talk about gender, love, my body, my fears. Everything.

There are so many things I don’t know how to do surrounding books I’m probably going to whine a lot.

I’m scared shitless but yanno…imma roll with it.

What else?

OH I have officially relaunched my Self Care Like a Boss Blog. You can read here on wordpress or at tumblr.

I’m teaching myself how to write about literature. I’ve got that Jt Leroy related thing going and I’ve got a response piece going about something I saw on Lithub.

I’m not publishing a whole lot but I am working on creating some shit that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Brand new stuff is up at Patreon and I’ll have a post about what is going to happen in the Daiyuverse.

So that’s what’s up.

More soon.

Yeah Write Entry #298- Desiderium For RG

 

Desiderium*

by

Shannon Barber

 

I want.

I need.

Black wings, a flutter against my skull. I see you and can’t stop the thoughts. Is this mania? When I see the skin beneath your ear, all I can think about is how soft it is, how vulnerable. Teeth or blade? Kiss or bite? Predation. Lust.

Thoughts, bubbling like black water. Thoughts red and bloody.

I want.

I need.

Id rattling the bars. I am a shell.

A caress that precedes a slap, your hand around my throat. A threatening squeeze that echoes in my cunt.

I want.

I need.

My nails in your back, dragging skin until thin blood mixes with hot sweat.

Later, when we are spent, bruised and battered we will weep.

Drop salt tears on my breast, your cock hard again in my hand.

I am want.

I am need.

*I am longing for what is lost. 

###

PS

I will craft nerd about this tomorrow and explain a thing. Also it is dedicated to and inspired by one of my Muses Remittance Girl.

What had happened was.

So officially I’m working on a legit poetry book from Lark Books. No for real like they said my name and I feel like I can tell people, that’s one of the things I’ve been working on really hard.

Lily from Lark peer pressured me into it and it’s pretty fucking great. I find it really scary due to the fact that I still wrestle with considering myself like a real actual legit poet. I don’t know why I resist that so much, it scares me. My poems are not as, uh low key as I make them out to be.

I don’t know. It is the same kind of tension I feel with myself when I think about/talk about being an artist.

It’s scary because it’s vulnerability on a different level than other things. In my head poetry is art and art is being entirely not naked, but armorless.

So this his huge and scary. It is what I’ve spent 80% of my time writing.

The other 20% I’ve been writing some new essays. I’m working on one about all the shit White people say about diversity, inclusivity and whatnot in the literature and goddamn I’m sarcastic.

I’m also uh, working on the Daiyuverse and some fiction here and there.

So blogging has slowed all down, but shit is happening. I’ll post some stuff for funsies soon.

I love y’all.

Also, seriously, this coming month will be a great time to go throw down a buck a month for some Daiyuverse action. Shit is starting to heat up. I will likely release some of the new chapters/rewrites in my Etsy store down the line if folks aren’t keen on Patreon.

Okay, that’s kinda it for right now. I’m in the midst of a major energy crash that is a combo of perimenopause and a migraine that can’t decide if fuck my brain or fuck my brain twice.

Goodnight loves and stars. I miss y’all.

Some Win and Some Angst.

Y’all.

I’m having a strange, wonderful and terrible week. I returned from vacation to a huge, costly emergency thing that has sent me into a panic spiral I’ve been trying to claw my way out of. I’ve been trying to work on stuff while stuck in a panic circle and shit is hard.

I’m getting through it and we have financial shit handled. It’s tight and stressful but we’re doing it.

AND THEN.

So this happened:

mypome

I posted that poem on Ink Node on my birthday. Read it here.

So that was pretty awesome.

Then I wrote about that Kenneth Goldsmith thing. Read it at Medium.

I imagine those of you who’ve been around these parts for a while can hear me sigh from here. I am not surprised. I am also not surprised by the dazzling lack of word from other famous White people.

But seriously, do better.

At this point, this type of blind privilege being swung like a hammer is just banal. I’m tired and I’m not even really angry I’m just tired.

Honestly when I read about this shit, a lot of what I’m thinking is how much people get paid for it. And then I think about my own finances and that of other writers who are writing really great literature that doesn’t shit on people and we don’t make dick.

I think about the fact that this bullshit will probably not cause this dude’s pockets to be any emptier.

I think about the fact that real talk, I am struggling to keep my writing sustainable. It’s just so infuriating. It’s so fucking hard.

It’s so hard to keep producing the kind of writing folks are getting to know me for when I’m juggling the 12 hour dayjob work days (I include my 4 hour round trip commute), trying to write Self Care Like A boss for release, write new fiction, write poems, work with precarious tech. Try to get published blablablablabbity blabla fuck I’m poor and so tired.

While trying to have a life with my partner and sometimes buy new shoes.

Sometimes I feel like, okay who’s gonna give me money to be a professional asshole?

I guess I’m having one of those weeks where the stress and just bullshit is getting to me. Yeah, fuck yeah I’m fucking bitter about this.

I’m exhausted.

I just want to make my fucking art and maybe make enough money to buy stuff like software and maybe a really great drink once in a while without feeling like I have to sacrifice and walk the line between okay and oh shit. I want to be free to be more excited about the good writing things going on in my life without this bullshit getting in the way.

I don’t know man.

This shit ain’t romantic.

I think that’s all for right now. This is not what I wanted to talk about today. Come back tomorrow and I’ll be talking about a new podcast I like and K Tempest Bradford’s evil anti White dude (insert eye roll here..oh internets) reading challenge. Also it’s not really anti White dude at all just to be clear.

So go read my things there. I’m actually really proud of them.

Every Day I’m Hustlin

For reference this is the song that inspired the title.

The salient bit if you don’t like hip hop is the first line of the verse:

Who the fuck you think you fuckin’ with, I’m the fuckin’ boss

I am trying to embody this. Hustlin.

So some shit has gone down y’all.

I wrote most of a rant on my phone after a woman tried to give me some bullshit fashion advice. I posted it on Medium because I say a few bad words and I wasn’t sure where to pitch it.

Check it out here.

I posted it on facebook and a few other places as is my habit, forgot about it and went on to work on some other shit.

Then THIS MOTHER FUCKING HAPPENED OVER THE WEEKEND:

In the top 20 most recommended on Medium. Holy...shit.
In the top 20 most recommended on Medium. Holy…shit.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT TOP 20. A lot of people have read it. A lot of people have expressed thanks and gratitude and appreciation and shit.

And I had a panic attack.

I should confess that on the rare occasion I write something that garners a whole lot of positive feedback from people I don’t know, I freak out. I did not have a complete meltdown. I am feeling overwhelmed and super anxious. Growing pains but I did declare to my best friend that I didn’t throw up nor did I get the shits so semi win?

I have been listening to the Feelin Myself track from the Nicki Minaj Pink Print album a lot. Gotta cheer myself on you know.

So the next thing to happen was that I pitched for the first time. Like an adult. And it got accepted. Over at Witty Bitches (a new and rad site) I wrote a piece about race and feminism. Not for free and It feels pretty damn good. Lookit here:

This is a battle cry.

For my fellow nerds, this is me calling the horde.

These people, who wouldn’t know intersectional feminism if it farted in their faces, are ruining it for all of us.

As I saw on a t-shirt, they look like just enough XP for us to level up.

Read it here. 

That piece also began on my phone as a rant started on Oscar night.

So things are going very nicely right now.

I’m also getting back into the swing of submitting fiction and navigating it without Duotrope. It is interesting. So far I have two pieces out and will probably send around a couple more.

I put up a new Queen poem at Ink Node.

I’m trying not to freak out further. Anxiety is a mother fucker. I’m not here for it frankly.

All that said I have more new stuff in my pocket.

That’s all for now. I’m going to go try and adult writer without freaking out or otherwise having a meltdown.

 

 

Stuff I love about Writing.

I could also title this, “The Sad Barbaric Yawp of the Sweaty angry Writer”.

Shouts for help from the author.

  1. Apparently when I’m working on something that feels right, I just start sweating. Awesome. It would be fine if I was working at home I could just take my clothes off (I am pretty sure Jerry Stahl said something about writing at 4 am fucked up and naked) but I am at my dayjob and I can’t just take my pants off.
  2. I almost got in a fight with an older White dude on my way to work today because he didn’t approve of my conversation with a young Black Poet about #blackpoetsspeak and how vital it is that he a.) write that shit and b.) hustle that shit.
  3. I am 99% sure nobody told him ever that his voice, his hood voice matters. Even though he couldn’t get my phone number i gave him ideas and resources. I told him explicitly that he has to work, write and grind. That it is possible to do this without being educated or fancy. I told him HE FUCKING MATTERS and some piece of shit crusty ass old White dude tried to start a fight with me about it. He had that look in his eye and I’m pretty sure if I didn’t look fucking insane (I was going to hit him in the face with my phone gripped in my fist) he would have swung on me.
  4. I almost yelled “the fucking bell is tolling for you asshole” but I restrained myself to just saying “fuck you, fuck your feelings and keep your racist views to yourself”.

What else?

Aside from sweating while writing I’m sweating while reading some tasty things.

I’m just a bit past the middle of The New Black: A Neo-Noir Anthology.

First impressions. It is a strong collection. I’m familiar with a lot of the authors already. The writing is across the board so far tight and great. The intro bits were very endearing.

I’m enjoying it a lot and yet I’m yearning for some hood in the noir.

I keep wondering as I read more neo noir, am I really the only person thinking about/writing noir in the hood?

We know I feel the same way about horror and most everything.

Now I’m not talking Hood Lit. That is a whole other thing.

I’m hungry for stories that are yes well written and yes dark as fuck and yes are firmly rooted in the Hood.

This is the same hunger I always have.

I’m pretty sure I need to accept that I will always have this hunger unless I stop reading so widely and that just isn’t gonna happen.

I do write the stories as much as I can but that does not satisfy.

Part of the problem is also that because I have this need that is not satisfied ever, I find I have a disconnect with the lit world at large that I am unwilling to quite let go of.

Above the education of White people I need to keep myself, okay enough to make my own art.

That has been something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past year.  My self care related work has been really a huge part of me figuring out how to balance the gut wrenching bloody things with the not so bloody things.

I’m not all the way there. Sometimes I write things that fuck me up for days and I can’t write anything else.

What else?

I’m still struggling with myself to put up my crocheted shawls (in spite of a LOT of interest) and having the confidence to do art related things without shame or bad feelings.

Shit y’all that bit is hard. As hard as I find it to call myself a poet with seriousness.

Okay I have shit to do and I’m starving.

Another new thing is that writing does shit to my body lately. I’ll talk about that in a whole other post.

Tomorrow I am doing something super special and going out for a fancy super fancy dinner with Milcah and my partner. We are going to be a trio of romantic hot ass looking mother fuckers up in there.

I’m writing about it after.

That’s all for now.

Thought and Memory.

I was just looking at used books and had a little chuckle. I remembered randomly a time when I went to some community something or other, I had wanted to talk to some folks in the Black community about the outreach/sex education work I was doing at the time.

I got someone one on one and started giving my spiel.

I was interrupted and told that they weren’t interested. And as a snide aside, the person walked away and stopped to inform me I’d pronounced diaspora wrong.

This is often what I think of when I try to talk about gate keeping in literature. So often especially right now I see people essentially doing this you’re not as educated as me so wahwah.

Once upon a time I had a real and very serious complex about not being traditionally educated. I studied so I could keep up with academic jargon, I worked very hard on not code switching in front of educated folks.

And then I stopped doing that.

Now the whole reason I’m thinking about this is because of my current relationship with my poetry. I’ve mentioned before that I often use writing poetry the way I use flash fiction. I like to use it to stretch my muscles so to speak, explore certain feelings or themes.

I set myself the task of posting something at Ink Node daily this week. You can see it all here. As I’ve been looking through old work and the rejections of most of it (I don’t get poetry published often) I am feeling vaguely soothed by the poems I like the most.

For the past few years all my poetry is about women. Poisonous women, dangerous women, thoughts, sluts, archetypical Kali type mothers who destroy as they love etc. I know some editors have read them as autobiographical, which bothers me on one hand, but on the other I sort of get it.

There is sex and violence with the women not posited as victims but as the victors.

I’ve had bits and notes for a novella thing around for ages and a lot of the poetry I’ve been writing seems to be notes as poems for that.

I feel like I am working out something about women that I need for further fiction work. What is the thing? I haven’t got a shiny clue.

This feels apt:

This is what is so rarely said about unlikable women in fiction — that they aren’t pretending, that they won’t or can’t pretend to be someone they are not. They have neither the energy for it, nor the desire. They don’t have the willingness of a May Welland to play the part demanded of her. In Gone Girl, Amy talks about the temptation of being the woman a man wants but ultimately she doesn’t give in to that temptation to be “the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain.” Unlikable women refuse to give in to that temptation. They are, instead, themselves. They accept the consequences of their choices and those consequences become stories worth reading.– Roxane Gay 

Read the whole linked piece it’s great.

I’m reaching for this woman I am writing and writing for.

I love her.

I want to fuck her, but know it’d ruin my life.

I’d do it anyway.

I hate her.

She’s a bitch.

She’s in there, I’m just looking for her I guess. Listening for her voice.

It’s coming. I can hear her whispering.

What else?

Milcah, and I are getting ready to start blogging for Self care Like a boss. I’ll give y’all details when it is time.

I think that’s all for right now. I want to get another dirty story in the shop before Friday.

Later y’all.