Tag Archives: anger

Post the Ninety-Third or A Breath of Chocolate

Anger comes easy. Anger is something that I’ve always known. It is a hard, bristling carapace that keep out things that hurt me. A scab that has been ripped off and reformed so many times, I no longer feel it. But even still, I don’t mind it. It has its uses. It keeps me safe. I thought that I was impenetrable. Until I met him.

The day was hot. The kind of hot that gets into your lungs and brain. Sluggish heat that makes it hard to breathe and even harder to find motivation to do anything but lay on the floor like a salamander. Stretching one’s limbs so that one can find some whisper of coolness. And yet, the cafe still managed to be filled with regulars. Yuppies and hippes rubbing shoulders in a house turned coffee shop. The wooden floors worn from years of domestic and buisness related traffic. Art of varying degrees of skill adorned the forest green walls. I had just finished cleaning the counter for a second time and I stared at the clock, willing it go faster. It was with relief, than, that he was here. Finally something to do.

“What can I get you, sir?”

He stood with his arms crossed as he studied the menu. “What’s good here?”

I rake my eyes across his body, up and down once, smirking “Well, I really like a tall cup of hot black coffee. Drink you- I mean, it, all day”

He gives me a look that says, you-are-either-trying-really-hard-or-are-you-this-corny-all-the-time.

“I also make a mean Americano. Two shots poured over ice, with a cool breath of chocolate.”

He smiles, “Sounds refreshing. But does it taste as good as it sounds?”

I lean over the counter, trying to emphasize my clevage, “You’ll just have to taste it to find out.”

He licks his lips, looking slightly uncomfortable. “I’ll take one, then.”

I smile wickedly and set about making his drink. I steal covert glances at him over the espresso machine as I grind the coffee and pour the shot, hot and fresh. I noticed the way he carried himself, how he interacted with his surroundings. Gentle, yet I could tell that he did not suffer fools. He seemed cuddly but I knew he could cut me just as easily. It hit me, he was trans*.

The ice melts slightly as I pour the hot shots over it and drizzle the chocolate. I can say without ego that it was probably the best drink I had ever made.

“Here you go, sir.” I say, as I pass him the coffee. Our hands brush past each other, his rough with shared history, mine soft with hidden experiences. He grabs my wrist tightly, turning my hand so that he could examine my palm. He looks up and our eyes meet. A shiver runs down my spine.

“Any-Anything else I can grab you?” It’s my turn to be slightly uncomfortable. And yet, I was strangely aroused. Who was this man?

“No, thank you. How much is it?”

“It’s uh… On the house.”

He smiles, “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it. Hey, what’s your name?”

“Säyn.”

“Säyn…” I repeated, feeling the way his name sounded on my tongue. “I’ll be seeing you.”

We saw each other a few more times, that summer in 2010. I was working at this queer coffeeshop and he would come in every once and a while, always when I was working. He would get the same thing and I would always give it to him for free. We would flirt a little, chat about small things. We even exchanged numbers at one point. But for some reason, we never got around to getting together outside of the shop. Sometimes he would come in with his partner, sometimes he wouldn’t. But every time he came in, he smiled and my chest got a little tight.

And then I left, went back to Boston. I reenrolled in school and got several part time jobs. It was a cold winter and I knew with even more certainty that Boston was not the city for me. I was going through the motions but I was never fully present there. I kept looking for a way out, for something different. I knew I need to return to Austin. And I didn’t see him for almost a year.

Its September 2011 and I’m back in Austin working at a queer youth community center. But my time there as an organizer is a story for another time.

At the time, I was leading an effort to restructure the organization and so we need a space to hold our meeting. One of my co-workers offered her home, which she had recently moved into. We, of course, agreed. It was a cool, clear night and the place was packed with young people, adults and queer organizers. I was in the middle of facilitating a discussion about strategies and tactics when the front door opens and who walks in but Säyn.

I stand there dumbfounded, mouth agape. Here was someone who I never thought I would see again, walking into a meeting that I never expected to have.

Once the meeting ended, I moved quickly.

“Hey, Säyn!”

He smiled, eyes brightening with recognition. “Hi, Morgan. Its good to see you again.”

“Its good to see you too. What have you been up too?”

“This and that,” He replied vaguely “You?”

“Oh you know, saving the world, one queer youth at a time.” I returned slyly. I knew that I would have to chase a little harder if I wanted to get anywhere with him.

He laughed, “Step up from slinging coffee, then.”

“Several. We should kick it sometime soon.”

“No doubt. No doubt. I’m having a music video release party this Saturday. You should come.”

I smiled, “Wouldn’t miss it.”

The next 4 weeks were a blur of late night coffee, chain smoking and iPod make out sessions. We would always find some sort of pretense to see each other. The second night we saw each other, he stole my lighter. He said it wasn’t intentional, but I knew better. He would pick me up after work and we would be up until 4 or 5 o clock in the morning, talking about everything from radical politics to the way we liked our Brussels sprouts cooked.

I remember being in his car on those first few nights. He said to me, “I’m in an open relationship. But we can’t have anything serious. This is just casual.”

Famous last words.

For those first weeks, we didn’t kiss. We barely had any physical contact at all. The first night I slept over at his house, I made sure to sleep stark naked. But we didn’t fuck. We didn’t even cuddle! At first I was worried that he was only interested in a platonic relationship but then I would look into his eyes and feel how his body reacted to mine. I knew he wanted me, could feel the intensity of his ardor for me. But it was one of the few times that anyone wanted my whole self, not just my body and what it could do for them.

It was a strange and not unpleasant sensation, feeling that want for me that was deeper than the skin.

I, of course, was throughly in love. Or at the very least, in very, very, very deep like. But one thing was certain; there was nothing casual between us.

He quickly and insidiously worked his way beneath the prickly steel that I encased myself in. He eased his way gently into the soft chinks of my armor, pried them loose and tranquilized the raw, chafed skin underneath. By the time I noticed that he had gotten past my defenses, it was already to late. He had me.

And I had him.

We had each other and our passion for one another opened my eyes to knew ways of being. Suddenly, I was thinking about babies and houses and what particular dish I wanted to cook for dinner and would you mind if we used the purple tablecloth tonight? I, the jaded radical who laughed at the thought of anything so soft as love, was in love. But the open scorn I had for love was merely a facade that masked my desire to be soft with someone. I would wake up some nights cold with the longing to have someone near me. Anyone to press their tender flesh against mine and share those intimate parts of myself. Something different than the raw, animal fetishization that I was used to.

I longed to be seen. Wholly and holistically seen.

And so I was. Seen with a clarity that still scares me, excites me, makes me smile. Sweet, secret smiles that arise unbidden, tugging the side of my lips up in spite of myself.

Anger still comes easily. But the contours of my anger are angled differently, today. Sharpened in some places, tempered in others. Encased in suppleness.

Being loved in spite of my fear has allowed me to breathe.

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Post the Seventy-Ninth or No Longer

My anger

Is

Spiritual

A glittering, iridescent mass of burning pain

That coats softer

Parts of my body

Yes it feels good

No you may not touch it

Yes it will maim you

Your ancestors claimed

A “divine” right to my

Ancestor’s land

I claim

A divine right

To be pissed about it

Monsters

Often have blue glass eyes

Watching

But failing to see

True colors

Their mouths filled

With dust

Projecting hated images

Onto bodies that are not theirs

As easily as an artist

Paints canvas

He said “Don’t look behind the curtain”

But I already knew I was being played

In kindergarden

I learned

Play nice

&

You will get yours

I’ll be damned

If I’m gonna wait

Any longer


Post the Seventy-Forth or I Refuse to be Silent

The other day, one of my white facebook friends posted on my wall saying that being “hateful” against white people is “racist” and that its just as bad as what white people do to people of color. This lead to an over 150 comment thread with multiple people weighing in. She insisted that we were being racist. Apparently for her, holding white supremacy accountable for its crimes means that we hated white people and that we were racist. Needless to say, we are no longer friends.

What I want to talk about here was a specific comment that was made from another person that we will call Georgia. Georgia (who is a white lady), at first, used one of MLK Jr. quotes saying something to the effect that love is good and we should all love each other. My friend’s bullshit detector went off and quickly supplied her with many, many, many other quotes from MLK that backed us up. She then replied that “negativity will only spread negativity” and that “we all bleed red”. This was after over 100 comments where we clearly disproved this. So, I flippantly replied, “Where is your reading comprehension? Want me to help you find it?”

At this point, the original post had been taken down and all of the subsequent comments with it.

But.

This white lady messages me something to the effect of, “Don’t make fun of me. You are a meany and the biggest racist I’ve ever met. White people suffer too. I’m not responsible for genocide or your oppression. I know myself but you seem pretty lost. It’s a shame that your powerful voice is wasted because you are so angry.”

This made me so angry. Like, the kind of anger that gets you thrown in jail for trying to choke someone out. The kind of anger that makes most people want to run in the opposite direction. The kind of anger that gets me into trouble. Thankfully, I was at home with no fragile and expensive objects within reach. Well, except for my laptop but I need that.

The reason why this made me so apoplectic is because this white lady, who insisted that she had suffered SO much, was deciding for me that it is pointless to speak on my experience because I was so angry. Her message was so condescending, paternalistic and steeped in privilege. She thought herself the Supreme Arbiter of Effectiveness, apparently, which somehow gave her the authority to say that what I was doing was a waste of time. Being angry about white supremacy, calling out people on their racism, saying it unapologetically and refusing to placate white people’s ego is, according to her, a waste of time. This because they won’t “hear” me because my anger and resentment has clouded my voice.

This is symptomatic of the attitude that “well-intentioned” white liberals have. They support you as long as you make them comfortable and don’t challenge their authority. They think that they have the “objective” and “logical” stand point and often refuse to see the privileges that white supremacy gives them. It is astounding how seemingly smart individuals suddenly throw all critical thinking skills out of the window when it comes to matters of race. Like a slippery eel, their minds just cannot seem to grasp the concept that white people have power over people of color. I’m starting to think that they are just willfully ignorant.

Further, since my voice does not “conform” to her vision of “love” she can suddenly decide that nothing I have to say is worth listening too. The underlying assumption here is that she has a right to dictate to me the form in which my voice manifests. She has a right to tell me what to do with my voice. Since whiteness is the pinnacle of “logic”, “reason” and “validity”, anything that strays from that is wasteful. Since I am not white and my anger is in total opposition to whiteness, that means that I have nothing good to say. She assumes that she has ownership over my voice and my body.

And if I would just be nice to her, and by extension all white people, they would just listen to me and relinquish their power and privilege. If I ask politely, massa will give me my rights.

But this totally misses the point, doesn’t it? Because this analysis of racism assumes that racism, and other forms of oppression, are just psychological processes that need to be eradicated through reform and education. Its an interpersonal, individual problem that needs to be fixed with polite discussion where the oppressed educate the oppressor. But this completely erases that institutional and systemic causes of racism. It erases the very real, very desperate, very lethal forms of racism that exist. It puts the onus on the oppressed to fix it and washes the oppressor of any responsibility to do anything. There is no need to protest or be angry or revolt because once we educate white people they will learn the error of their ways and everything will be fine! And you can’t say anything mean or angry because thats just reverse racism and it means everything you have to say is wrong.

But fuck all of that bullshit. I am the only one with the right to my body. I am the only who can decide what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate for the use of MY OWN VOICE. I have a right to my anger and goddamn it I’m going to feel it. I am going to express it. I am going to shout it from every single rooftop and post it all over my Facebook and write every single blog entry about it that I want. I am going to keep talking about until I don’t want to anymore and anyone that has a problem with that can go kick rocks. White folks have colonized my land, committed genocide against my people and continues to consume my culture and I’ll be damned if they have anything else of mine. They will not have my anger. They will not have any other parts of me.

I refuse to be silenced.


Post the Seventieth or I Want to Live

I used to be gagged by

Fear

My mouth stuffed with

The white cloth of silence

Stifling my screams

Sometimes it felt like I was biting more than I could chew

A constant, overwhelming, emptiness that filled my mouth

Othertimes it felt like my very soul was being pulled out

Inch by agonizing inch

To be consumed and erased by those who say

I’m colorblind. Can’t was just love everyone?

And then

I looked up at the night sky

And saw myself written in the stars

I looked down at my feet

And felt the fierce gentleness of my Mother

I looked behind me

And saw the many miles that my ancestors walked

I looked into my lover’s eyes

And saw myself reflected in his love

He reached into my heart

Eased the knot that constricted my spirit

And my voice

Burst out fierce, blisteringly hot, and blazing with a power

That moves to tears

And makes white supremacy uncomfortable

A clarion call for revolution

A challenge that says

I won’t be silent any longer because

Silences equals Death

And I want to live

She told me that she supported me

But that I was too angry

And wouldn’t it be better for everyone if you just toned yourself down?

I told her

My anger is a result of my experience

And wouldn’t it be better for everyone

If you just gave back the land that you stole?


Post the Sixty-Third or Feel Me

He said that I write

With a pen dipped in blood

But I wonder

Is it my blood

Or theirs?

I’m angry

That bring down whole buildings

kinda anger

That cut people up

kinda anger

Anger that starts in your belly

Works it way up into your heart

And out your eyes like lasers

kinda anger

Mountains move at this type anger

And whole societies are built

With this kinda anger

This is that anger that yo mama

Warned you about.

My hands are soaked in gore

From beating against this pavement

Trying to dig holes in concrete

With nothing but nails and fingertips

So that I can plant this precious seed

Of rebellion

Given to me as a gift from those

Mothers that came before.

Can you cultivate plants from stones?

The lines on my palms are cracked and hard

Callouses rising to meet the scabrous sandpaper of daily living

A physical reminder

Of memories and histories

That have not passed.

His death is as keenly felt today

As it was 50 years ago

Or yesterday.

The latest felled tree

In a long line of deforested land.

I will chain myself to my lover

And bomb the logger’s machines

And shoot down the lumberjack himself

Before they harm even a limb

I still worry that won’t be enough.

The conversation is the same every time

A corrupted MP3

On repeat for 400 years

Only now

We debate over it’s very existence

Does a colored queer actually rage

If there is anyone around to feel her?


Post the Forty-Eighth or Enough

I am fucking pissed

Pissed that I am the legacy of a 400 years of

Colonialism

Slavery

And Genocide

Pissed that after 400 hundred years

It hasn’t gone away

It’s just disguised itself in a million different forms

Like youth of color being pushed out of their schools

Or communities of color being microcolonized by gentrification

Or how I can’t walk down the street without some asshole thinking that because I’m pretty

And brown

That I should be his whenever he wants

Or that I have to yell

And scream

And stamp my feet

And get upset

Before white queers will listen to what I have to say

Or how people can make racist jokes

And pass it off as not racist

Or how when I say enough is enough

And I claim a space for my own

And I stop letting white people’s privilege slide unchecked

They call me racist

I’m fucking pissed

And I am done apologizing for it!

I have a right to my anger

And sorrow

I have wounds that will probably never heal

And fuck you if you can’t deal with that

Fuck you if that makes you upset

Fuck you if you can’t handle my anger

Because while you can just walk away

And ignore it

I

Never

Can


Post the Thirty-First or Heaviness

I always feel it most at night

When I’m with my lover

Our skin pressing against each other

I feel it there

The heaviness

The weight

In the safety of their arms

I feel the heaviness of

My colonization

The scars of oppression

surface

As I take off my armor

The rage and the pain

That I carry with me all day

I can finally put down

I can finally express

I can finally claim as my own.