white privilege poster poy

there's a young fellow in "the scene" i've met a couple of times through mutual friends (good people, people who do good work for, people i respect) and every time i see him he's busy shouting some garbage and he inspires the most irritating nausea in me; i don't know whether to punch him or puke on him. but i held it down (literally,) came home and scribbled this -

Your smug entitlement and ignorant oblivion
Do not so much as offend so much as make me feel dirty.
You squawk and flail to prove how far you’ve traveled
Just print your passport stamps on a t-shirt and spare me.

in spite of the miles, you've learned nothing at all.
if this world had made any impression, you wouldn't have the gall.


talent abounds - open your eyes

rolled by my neighbour warren's last night and he sat down with his guitar to sing me an original that summed up how i feel about fleeing to places far away-

"is it selfish?
is it simply honest?
i never wanted to go,
i only wanted to know."

he's got a brilliant political tune about a man who is pleased when a billboard goes up in front of his living room window blocking the view of the lake because,

"the sign changes everyday but the lake,
the lake always stays the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!!!"

you can see warren and his sexy all female band almost weekly at open mic at Not My Dog (Parkdale, TO) open mic night every wednesday. Ask him about 'the unconscious conscious collective.'

no regular visit to the bank

so i left my desk merely to get a draft check for the rent (bah) and ended up having a most pleasant chat with a friendly teller (a cuter, cooler shaggy from scooby doo type) who professed to be "a musician". i asked about open mics for a friend of mine because i assumed that this fellow was a guitar playing indie kinda guy until he looked down and around and added that actually he's a rapper (shh, quite the top secret information inside the bank walls). i was a wee surprised.

so we exchange info and back at my desk i was almost alarmed (sorry colin) to find that the kid is a most talented emcee, like a for real rapper, with flow and style and newness - check out The 84.85 (two dudes, one on beats, one on ryhmes.) i was so impressed i left my desk and walked across the street to tell him so.

so dude works at the bank and i'm across the street in another financial tower; "musician" and "writer."

how tragic.


news that isn't news but it is news dammit

Killing in South Africa

The Elders speak on Aung San Suu Kyi

The case of the floating severed feet, Vancouver

about to go postal

i am beginning to sympathize
with madmen who turn loose
on former places of employment

in these last days it grows darker
i bite my tongue too often
feels chewed clean off now

how dare you presume
to ask me about paper cups in the kitchen
makes me wish i had an automatic weapon.

Jamaican electronica... wha? yah, fe reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaal

umm, i ain't neva heard of heavy techno comin from the west indies
(and i'm trini)
and i ain't neva been super hip to "techno" per se
(cept my raver phase in highschool which left a lingering love for drumnbass, jungle and triphop)

sickest beats, baddest flow - check it out.

the pics are courtesy of Peter Dean Rickards, editor of First Magazine (yes, the same mag i been hailin up for days now cause it's deep - i feel First - i want to show love to my peoples in the west indies who are packaging raw culture in glossy, artistic, edgy ways for mainstream to swallow but not without some difficulty and discomfort. kudos first. kudos. trinidad needs a first fe real... hmmm)


Castro responds to Obama

FIRST magazine, a brilliant Jamaican magazine with wicked daily posts, posted Castro's response to Obama's recent speech from
Granma International, a newspaperbased out of Havana, Cuba.

Astute observations Fidel.

You may question the response's authenticity but remember that's what they want.

And I'm no conspiracy theorist.

But maybe I am a red-coat commie castro-lover.

You decide.

i think i'm dyin'

i think i'm dyin',
these artificial lights are toxic
this air conditioning is pneumonic
i can't breathe -
deadlines and deliverables form a death grip
i can't see -
stress standing over me stabbing at my neck
bobbin and weavin, shoulders at my ears,
i wonder, am i still here?'
wait, i think my soul rescued my spirit and fled
but i can't hear - they left my insides raw and howling
oh god, i'm bleeding out all over my monitor
i think i'm dyin'.

you gotta watch this

i can't embed the track, but click and listen

makes me wanna say aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

taste of the lyrics -

mad mothers and black daddies

in the same weekend i heard a new track from this girl that opens

"Aint' no daddies where i'm from, it's just mad mothers," (that line dropped on me like a ton of bricks. it's interesting to me because my absent father story is an anomoly compared to the current context...)

i met a fellow named brandon hay who has organized The Black Daddies Club here in Toronto. i must say i was pleased and pleasantly surprised.

they are a new and growing group, so please tell the young and old black fathers you know (i'm told the former ask the questions and the latter answer and reflect on the new yet familier realities) as well as black mothers of sons - i argued vehemently that they need to be included (and met no opposition - thank you brandon.)

yes, some daddies are absent, but some daddies are trying - big up brandon and all the black daddies club daddies.


pluggin artists - check them out

crazysicklivefreshamazinblowingmymind artists
- click and listen:



listen to every track, watch every image
from nigeria to jamaica black women be droppin wisdom all over you
i suggest soaking it all in.


waiting for someone to review my application and make their selection
waiting for someone to say, yes, you can come too
come to the village and ditch all those western, those tedious, those odious ways
come and find your peace in the bustle of the outdoor market,
in the quiet of a bath with a bucket,
in the haunting key of dawn's call to prayer,
in the pain and laughter of faces like your face,
in tongues that tickle with tones and musical cadence
in the distance and loneliness that far-off places afford

and if they say, sorry, you don't make the cut then...
i'll have to make my own.
that's not so bad i say,
(that part of me knows they can't tell me either way)
but lawd, i just wanna be through with the wait.

'taint much but it's for you friend

i want to tell you everything
i want it all to spill from my mouth,
gushing violent foam-capped waves
i want it all to seep from my pores
in blinding colors that stain red, green and gold
i want it all to grow from my roots
and push out this hair, embed secrets into the air
i want it all to beat down like sunlight,
to bear down like heat,
to reveal itself to me,
appear and become clear to me. for you.

(then i'll crank the volume,
blow the speakers
and deafen us all with my sound.)

thursday night at the fights

i've been debating posting this it's so crazy - great photography from this JA magazine

wee bit of context -
denham town is up the road from tivoli gardens, kingston JA (just down from the bus loop and the indoor and outdoor markets.) the denham town police station sits squarely between the two neighborhoods on old spanish town road looking too rundown to loom over passerbys. police rarely venture into either hood - there is no need, both denham town and tivoli are managed, patrolled and surveilled under the watchful eyes of the don, his gunmen and an army of unsuspecting lookouts.
during my last visit to tivoli, a measly 1000JA ($20CDN) was thief'd from me - a fact unbeknownst to me until i was alerted by a local friend who inquired obsequiously how recently i had counted my money as if to say 'idiat girl, if yuh nah know wey yuh money dehdeh, ah me know it nah dehdeh!!' the don was notified and said or did what was necessary to have my money returned to me by sunset - no lie - i have never experienced something similar in my travels.
if police and/or jamaican defense forces enter either area, there is always bloodshed on both sides - i don't know why the state continues these futile attempts to parade power over the poor and powerless because between the don, his gunmen and the lookouts - as long as you got people in tivoli or denham lookin out for you - it is relatively safe (unless you have perpetrated something against someone and only then are you then slated to die, get yours or get lost in which case you likely deserve it.)

he called it "god's work"

eyes wide with knowing, he removed each heavy ring between breaths then carefully lifted the link chain over his locks and placed all the silver bedside as if to honor of the space her skin filled and in reverence of the shadows she cast.

she did not speak but curves whispered against sheets and when he did did not answer she placed her hand on his back so that the warmth and pressure of her palm and fingertips could say more clearly, just come, come lay down love.


fashion statement

i have always loved this turn of phrase and its conjugated usage: make a fashion statement, as if to emphasize that this is an active choice, a decision we make every morning to don ourselves in cloth - not clothes, not shirts, skirts or pants, but cloth - objectively all clothes are merely draped, tailored pieces of cloth used to cover our parts; parts that we feel are private, or that sometimes we are ashamed of, or that we feel are not permissible to expose in a given situation or context. the cloth can be cheap or expensive (mind you, it can be cheap in quality and still expensive in cost,) red or blue, short or long, functional or fashionable, but everyday we all get our of beds in the morning and throw something on - now the thought and purpose that goes into this action is debatable but i think that we all say something in performing that action, that we are all consciously or sub-consciously telling the world, "hello, my name is _____ and this is how i want you to see me (because/and) this is how i feel; this is my fashion statement today."

i love it when people take this idea and run with it; i mean dudes in skirts, "loaded" clothing (think keffiyah scarf or icons on t-shirts, like lord ganesha or a swastika or something with "shock value"), or really-ripped jeans. i love these type of items because they say, 'hey, i'm not supposed to wears this but it still works,' or 'hey, i believe in something,' or 'hey, i don't believe in "new"ness. '

i hate it when people use their precious time and money to reproduce unoriginal trends and end up happily wearing whatever everyone else is wearing (vancouver fashion - beige/black/white/grey gap/jacob variations, gortex anything and lululemon everything with a vuitton purse or man bag.)

but with times a changin so fast the way they do these days, there's a fluidity between clothes that mean something and nothing at all - note that i have recently swapped my keffiyah for a sanskrit print scarf cause people be in the streets rockin keffiyahs to death - and i literally mean death because they no longer mean anything at all, unless you're preparing for a sandstorm or something.

recently i've realized a few things about myself (among others, but i'm percolating on a synergy here) -

i can write.
i can dress.
i can express.

not necessarily in that order and not as a coherent one unit but i've been told that all three qualities are engaging - how to combine the three in something i contribute to my surroundings? i'm currently giving this some serious thought.

i mean, i feel strongly about clothes. this manifest as styling a shoot here, working with an artist there and general conversation matter mostly. and i dress with purpose. my mother says she likes to see me leave the house in the morning because it's always some different, dazzling (yes, truly, dazzling) ensemble, accented with accessories, punctuated by color, never quite the same combination of bottom, top and footwear. a second hand store addiction (i experience a high upon entering, intuitively i know there is something in the smelly store that is calling me, "Jamilah, i'm so glad you're here! i've been waiting for you" - what a rush to finally stumble upon the vintage earrings or scuffed leather boots whispering my name!!) combined with odd tastes means i have set aside a part of my closet for outfits exclusively suitable for Jamilah "on a boat" as in "ooooooooooh, that buttercup culotte jumper with a knit top is sooooooo me on a boat!!!"

monday to friday i tone it down for "the office" but they always exclaim cause i manage to cut corners here and there to drop something new or unusual on them every once in a while.

now, on weekends, that is when i go all out - it's exciting for me to put on the brightest, most eye catching piece of cloth, add an unusual touch and match it with the appropriate (or inappropriate) accessories including but not limited to earrings, shoes, scarves, sunglasses, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings and of course subtle touches like eyeshadows in purples, greens, golds, blues and firey red lipstick...

i'd like to argue that an unhealthy obsession with fashion is in no way dissonant to being conscious, political and bright albeit fashion is still consumption at best and is often a superficial luxury BUT I know that one of the ways I express my artistic and creative self is by my dress; I know that it sets me apart; I know that it identifies me saying,

"hello, my name is jamilah and today I want you to see me as professional, capable and bright because it's Monday and I feel blah and not quite ready for the week, so let's keep it clean-cut and simple; this is my fashion statement today."


i met with a friend on friday and he informed me that my blog is no longer as "impactful" as when i first began - well now, can you believe it?

it's true, lately i've been saving some of my writings for a chatbook, so i'm not posting my personal stuff as often, but he's right in that i use to post alot more poetic ramblings , so hats off to my friend, i'll be back with more later.

i've been feeling inspired by zora neale hurston; reminded that writers can take up all the everyday words in the english language and spit them back out however they please to move you, to tell you the same old thing like you never heard it before.

i remember i said something in the first post about this page making me accountable - well there it is - you want impact? i'll give you impact bwoy...