Clutter

the house looks like that kind of anxiety you can’t really talk to people about
because it smells like rancid dish water and stale, endless
masturbation
dust and dog fur mingle on hirsute heirlooms
my eyelids feel like the jowls of a bloodhound
I grind my teeth and breathe in peace-scented candles until I cough and cough
and cough up mucus more productive than me
texts to tyran that I feel guilty about
crafting collages until I’m cross-eyed
episodes of judge judy to convince myself that I am fierce
and to-do lists I write over and over so I can forgive myself for never completing them
but now my sheets are crunchy with resentment and if I clog my bin with lists
one day I will need to step outside
and empty it

Xeitgeist

 

trust in authority has melted

into a bead of sweat that settles in the crevice of a brow

bruised blue and Black with brutality

and vanishes in the flash of a policeman’s baton

dripping in technicolor cartoon print and imagined heroism

armed with weapons, ego and

righteousness.

 

reptilian shape shifters slither less convincingly

along back rooms and podiums

but are more popular than ever

disguised as your perfect Mr. White

who just wants what he already knows is best for you

and slinks into bed with women

he believes should remain forever

right-less.

 

mutually assured destruction is an STD

of nations who hatefuck their enemies

and then make sweet, god fearing love

to their own citizens

leaving them screwed and silenced

spreading generations through nuclear seed

and squirting missiles as a money shot

on those who dared to feel

wronged.

I SING THE BODY BLK

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE BODY

THE BODY IN BLK

IN THE UNITED STATES

THE BODY IN HIDING

IN AMERICA

THE BODY FULL EXPOSURE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERIKKKA

THE BODY BREATHING FOR WHICH             YES             IT STILL STANDS

ONE NATION          NOBODY’S DAUGHTER         EVERYONE’S MAMMY

TITS HEAVY & SOPPING WET       NO REAL BODY YET ALL IN BLK

I SERVE BODY NOT MY OWN              HERE            IT’S ALL YOURS

PUBLIC EXECUTION REALNESS

BLK PUSSY ON A PLATTER

I KNEEL TO NO MAN                                                                  UNLESS FORCED

WHICH IS ALWAYS HOW THOSE THINGS GO, RIGHT

I AM NOT ONE MADE TO SPIT                   I SWALLOW                      UNDER GOD

& SLAP MY OWN CHEEKS                     THY KINGDOM, AMERICA              I CUM

FORGIVE ME FOR CONFUSING THE MULTIPLICITIES OF SUBJUGATION

JUST FEELS SO GOOD ALL SHACKLED UP TO ONE NATION LIKE THIS

I DRAG THE APOCALYPSE BY THE THROAT

FOR LIBERTY & JUSTICE TO GHOSTS

& THEN SOME

An Interview with Poet Jamie Oliveira

Jamie Oliveria is a nomadic poet, visual artist and all-around creative person. The 24 year-old self-published poet hails from San Francisco, yet prefers to be known as an inhabitant of the world. She received her B.A. in documentary film production from San Francisco State University. It was actually Oliveria’s film background that helped craft her knack for storytelling. This traveling artist has many stories to tell one medium at a time.

Jamie Oliveira

Give me a little summary/background about yourself and your work.
I’m a nomadic poet / visual artist that’s been working throughout the West Coast, India, Nepal and China since completing my documentary film degree in San Francisco a few years ago.
When did you start writing?

I’ve kept a diary since I was in elementary school. When my childhood best friend and I were young, we used to read our journal entries to each other in my bunk bed. Then we began writing poems and songs together. The act of writing has always felt second-nature to me.

What got you interested in poetry? And why that platform?
Well, learning to communicate my emotions has been a series of mountains and obstacles. I’ve always been drawn to poetry’s power to communicate feeling. I loved the way other poets could describe the nuance of what I was feeling in a way I could understand (through imagery, subtlety, and metaphor) and I liked that I could share my experiences, process and reflections in a language simultaneously abstract, indirect, and tangible.
How would you describe your poetic style? What are some of the recurring themes in your art?
While my prose tends to go into great detail, I enjoy using poetry as a medium to express myself with minimal language to accurately represent a particular feeling or idea. Mostly, I explore themes of transformative healing, mysticism, relationships, and intersectional feminism, and then I just follow the rhythm of the heart and purge the excess. Instead of talking about the tip of the iceberg, I want my poetry to communicate the line where the water and air meet around the iceberg, while being aware of what is both below and above it.
Lora Mathis. April 2015.
Lora Mathis.
April 2015.
How important is it to create work with a feminist lens?
Very! We absolutely need to take sociopolitical structures and the sensitivities of others into consideration while making and sharing art. I think that incorporating an informed, feminist lens (to the best of our knowledge) is one of the only ways we can create conscious socially-minded work.
What roles do gender identity and race play in your work? Is it important to blend activism into art?  Or is art always political?
I hardly identify myself as any gender, especially since I have a tendency of disassociating from being a person that exists in general. However, I do move through the world as a mixed femme and this foundation influences most of the work I make that protests how others may see or treat me. While race and gender inform the work I make, which is often a response to the world, but not necessarily to how I view myself, the work that comes from my direct meditations is often transcendent of identities. Regarding the importance of incorporating activism into art, I think protest is as natural and as necessary a response to oppression as creation is. Art will always be political, because our backgrounds influence the ideas that we have and the ways we have the privileges of communicating them. Even if the act of creating and the ideas themselves were not inherently political, the moment we share our work, it enters the realm of the political. Politics inform which platforms we have access to, who will resonate with our work, and how our work will be valued.
Why is storytelling so important to you?
We share our stories to connect and heal, for ourselves and for others. I have never felt more alone than the times that I was too afraid to share. The weights we carry lift as soon as we begin to reach out. We need not always tell our stories in the form of art, but we do need to share our stories somehow. Speaking our truth, to at least one person, is crucial for our survival. We need to be witnessed — first and foremost by ourselves. Our experiences are worthy of seeing the light of day.
What inspires your craft? And who?
My environment, and my reactions to that environment. Lately I’ve been inspired by the resourceful people I encounter on my travels. People are constantly throwing useful things away, so I’ve been using found objects as my canvas as a way of combating waste and attempting to participate in capitalism as little as possible. There is only so much I can carry on my back or in my car, so what I find is completely dependent upon my environment. I have no way of planning for or anticipating what I will discover when I arrive to a new place. If I have the intentions of creating, I just have to trust that I will be able to find exactly what I need to make whatever it is that is desiring to come into fruition. The tools are nearly always there, right in front of us.
Do you think your background in documentary film changes the way you view your poetic work?
Not very directly, since documentary film making tends to come from a more cerebral dimension of myself, and poetry more of the heart-nature, but I do find that my film making background supports the way I organize and edit collections of poetry. I ditch what doesn’t fit and follow a cohesive story-arch.
How was the process of working on a photo heavy book, like ‘(more than) dust’ compared to a print heavy book, like ‘The Calming’?
Practically speaking, working on a print-heavy book felt a lot more mentally approachable. I really only needed a notebook, a pen and a laptop with me, so working on the go was pretty effortless. When I was working on the photo book, I felt a bit trapped in the spaces I was living because I thought I needed to have enough space to keep all of my materials. I would always tell myself, “I can’t leave until the book is done.” When my environments became too toxic to stay, and a friend helped me realize it’s okay to leave when projects are incomplete, I eventually found a way to make the next space work, too.
What inspired you to publish ‘The Calming’?
The Calming by Jamie Oliveira
The Calming by Jamie Oliveira
I needed a way to process what leaving toxic environments and listening to my intuition looked like for me. When I first moved into a friend’s cabin in the California Redwoods, I was writing every day, sinking more and more into my present space at the time. Once I started compiling the poems into a manuscript, I saw that Button Poetry and Where Are You Press were both having chapbook contests. I had put just enough poems together to apply, but almost didn’t apply because of (seriously minimal) entry fees, worries that I wouldn’t be able to promote myself enough to be published and confusion about whether or not either would be able to become full-length books if accepted. Luckily, on the last day, I applied anyway. After being chosen as a finalist in the Where Are You Poet contest, and being selected as the winner, I cancelled my application with Button Poetry. Clementine von Radics’ (author of Mouthful of Forevers and founder of Where Are You Press) suggested the book become a full-length, illustrated collection of poems, and The Calming began to take a clearer shape. While the book’s beginnings were in the Redwood forest, I ended up finishing all of the writing and illustrations while volunteering at a farm and living as an artist in residence in the south of India.
Whose work, regardless of the creative platform, are you feeling right now?
I just visited Guan Wei’s COSMOTHEORIA exhibition in the 798 Art District of Beijing and was absolutely moved. They brilliantly capture the yearning, strife, and resilience of the human spirit in relation to the cosmos in an accessible way.
Describe the self-publishing process. Why go the self-publishing route, rather than go through a publishing house?
There are definitely benefits to both. If the opportunity to be published by someone else comes up and their vision aligns with yours, you have the gift of an established support system in place for your book. A publisher will help provide a timeline, help you edit, and help you promote, but if you have the resources to do all of those things yourself, then going the self-publishing route is just as useful. If you are naturally entrepreneurial, you will have more autonomy, you can work at your own pace, and you will receive a larger percentage of the royalties. Even if you have no desire to market your book whatsoever, you can still self-publish for the sake of it. Just upload your PDF to CreateSpace, order a few copies to sell or give away in person if you’d like, agree to let the book be available for folks to purchase through Amazon, and they’ll print and ship for you each time someone orders your book. Really hassle-free.
Do you have any advice for any young creatives who want to self-publish their work?
Create as much as you desire, share as much as you desire, and be deliberate and selective about what you decide to publish. When you are the primary curator of your work, you are the master of your voice, so it’s important that you give yourself the room to reflect all that you are in focused, cohesive ways. But then again, sometimes the self in process is completely chaotic, so a mess of a body of work can be fine too. Just make with love! Or anger! Whatever! The world needs your voice regardless.
Where can people follow you and find your work?
You can follow me on Instagram and Tumblr @jamieoliveira, and check out my website at www.jamie-oliveira.com

Tantra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I write with you still on the tip of my fingers …

Table scraps of memories and all the places you bring me by the slight twitch and dip of

your muscles

I know nothing like your brand of love and thrust

Not lust,

But divinity

And the sacred energy produced by the rain,

of crashing elements.

Foggy and sticky,

You are in a lane

of your own

Super Saiyan patterns of flattery

The bedroom name “Goddess” falls from

Your lips with ease

And proof of how you’ve missed the alchemy of my chocolate

Strapped down by stardust

Chiseled as if cut from Greek god-cloth

Pre-cloth

Divinity inferred

And fortified at the seams,

Sealed in Onyx

Black diamond of perfection

You wield weaponry

That threatens me, to escape the barriers

Keeping me on the peaceful side of the barricade

Striding down streets with the fire of protest and implosion

Washing away anything I’d known about how the night might end.

Days begin,

Suspended on your lead

Cheering on the twerk of my hips

And calling out Godd when you see her!

…. Amani O+

Read Full Poem at amanipoet.com

The Last Taino Indian Has Not Yet Been Born

Photographer: Kiki Vassilakis
Photographer: Kiki Vassilakis

the other day a sister asked me
what does the diaspora feel like?
a question i’ve never thought of before
yet it invoked fleeting memories of
a home that was out of my reach
like the sand slipping through my fingers on the island of Borinken
i grasp at something that will never be mine

it’s a complicated blend of
lineage and forced genocide
of comfort and violation

it feels like love letters never sent
to a home that always offered dinner
but not belonging

just like the time my partner’s family
wrote me off as too angry
too rude
too expressive
because people like me should let the white folks discuss politics

it feels like never being black enough
or brown enough
or white enough
stuck between here and there
but never whole enough for both

it feels like the time you
forced yourself inside of me
because you thought you had a right
to re-colonize this body
it almost broke me

BUT ALMOST DOESN’T COUNT

resiliency runs in my blood
blood that my ancestors shed at the hands
of murderers and rapists
but i am the living testament
to surviving
to revolting
to existing when no one else wants you to

there’s a myth you probably learned as fact in grade school:
all of the Tainos were wiped out
conquered by columbus himself
an old civilization lost to disease and war

IT’S A FUCKING LIE

the diaspora continues with me

The Brooklyn Conflict 

They made my hometown common knowledge said Calel 

on the back of the Dragon Deluxe Bus 

15 bucks 

And some guts 


And you in New York City for the price of a movie ticket 

Or 15 bags of them bags that used to be 25 cents

They got the nerve to make the bags bigger but just add more air 

But yeah 

They made my hometown common knowledge

Trendy bike path paving, organic food stores placing 

reusable bags toting, common knowledge  

Peeping at me behind glass like I don’t belong on the streets that scraped and shaped my knees  

In between sips of agave sweetened tea or some coconut water in a BPA free can,

my favorites. 

-Amani O+

amanipoet.com

Misgendering Freedom 

Beauty in a box.

Comes with a secret

Deep in the lining of her packaging

She conceals the origins of her birth

Fearing a discovery that destroys the facade and sends some running for the hills of normalcy

See a person

img_0853-1
Mahodd Harvin IG: @savant_of_art

I look at you and see a collection of body parts that translate into pronouns.

Gawdamnit

I know nothing.

Learn More

Love Fierce

Don’t just “see a Person”

See Light

See Unity

Union

Hope

Purpose

Wisdom

and Experience

Call them Freedom

-Amani O+

amanipoet.com

On Haters in Heaven 

Everytime you rub my name in dirt i celebrate!Dancing.

Feet bear 

Grinned and gritty 
Closer to my Mother and all the parts i am made of. 

Eyes washed of ego and able to self reflect. 

To listen,

and hear your timid. 

Recognize your cast off as a self rejection 

and hold myself closer, 

Divine and Whole and in Love in every direction. 

Bigger than hate 

Stronger than hate 

A hatred-swallowing Devotion. 

Unmoveable and Secure 

in being good and bad all at once.  

Being whole 

Being earth seed 

Being nothing 

Being strange and wonderful 

And bagless. 

Drama left at the door,


dripping down my surface at the entryway to heaven 

“Come in” it is said.

“We are waiting for you.”

-Amani O+ 

amanipoet.com

Welcome To Existence

sepia
Protest/Vigil Summer16 Jamel Mosely
You can make a me out of the most mundane things,

like dream

and drink and gravitational pull

and rotational calls

from beyond and forward reality

Flowing not Forcing. 
Not clasping hands around the direction of your own reflection

if it be going it’s own way

Some need halt it.

Some need crush and curse and thirst

to fault it.

To control it

no.

No!

No matter. 

“I”s can’t keep “we”s from where we are supposed to be. 

Loosened

Freed,

What might we Be,

Beneath the harshness

Dare Breathe

to,

Dream Free

to,

Just Leave.

Yet.

Something always brings me back.

For you.

And the ways that “I”s makes “We”saireals

and grow communities

Like gardens,

Here fallen,

Feeling you,

Holden

to a reinterpretation of time and sound

Song

Auld Lang on repeat like the seasons

Like

Snowflake, raindrops and a crystallized present tense

Us and we and you to share

like candy

Pristine, wrapped and proper

and sloppier than planning

A mess

A fragile beautiful mess,

each of us.

Ever strong in our malleability. 

Sculpted from the crust of imagination

Drenched in bottomless possibility.

Flourished in flow and synchronicity.

Welcome Home. 

-Amani O+ 

amanipoet.com