A while back I offered up my blog to increase the chance of other writers of color sitting in the spotlight. It’s nice to know someone listened and is taking me up on it. To others reading, I am always willing to help.
Today, my friend Celeste Castro is taking over to talk about some of her experiences. Hell, she even wrote a poem. Give her some love folks.
I’ve written a couple of lesbian works of fiction with Bella Books. A straight up romance (Homecoming) that was released last year and a speculative fiction-slash-mystery-slash romance (Lex Files) coming soon. Enough about that. Let’s talk about why I’m really here and before I begin, thanks to KD Williamson for sharing her platform.
A few months ago, or was it yesterday? (It’s happening as we speak!) Someone said, or did something racist, and a bunch of people shared their thoughts, opinions and perspectives.
In Williamson’s Fiction Newsletter, a blog post titled: The Price of Silence, she crafted a captivating work about the nature of racist bullshit. The cycle of it. The shine, and all the picket signs.
Great for all these people that can talk about it in the moment and shine through their brilliant picket signs, and tweets, and posts, and beats.
Play, rewind, repeat.
I can’t in the moment, so I’m constantly observing what others write about their disgust with racism, and beatings, and killing, and in your face discrimination.
It’s constant these comments. These back and forth comments, these get-out-of-my-way-isms and ists and jists about race.
I too want to comment, to be part of the convo, but I can’t find it in me, even though it has hurt me.
I laugh it off and I brush it off too,
and I wish
I could talk in that moment. It’s simply not in me, not within my vocabulary, to react on the spot and get-up on that block. Because when it happens, it brings a knot to my throat. I sift through my memories, and hurts, and worries. I take it to heart because that’s me.
So I listen,
to other people give their two cents on why they think it’s wrong, and gosh don’t they always seem to be white?
When it comes down to it, I have a response, a story within me, but can’t, for the life of me, bring myself, to put myself, out there.
I’m already fucking out there. The color of my skin ensures it—and now I got to comment too? Is it expected?
The price of silence is too high, so I search within me and find the words, sometimes two years in the making, a conjuring, an unwinding of all that’s inside me. A ball of string.
That’s what I got. Rhymes about crimes and times and, case and point:
Here’s a poem about something fucked that happened to me, two years ago or so. Me and my wife were telling another lesbian couple how we met. One of them (the dumb one) asked my wife if she had always been into brown girls.
When did you know you were into brown girls? She asked my wife point blank,
Was that an honest to goodness inquiry?
What you talking about? I said. What’s that’s mean?
Is that the only thing you see when you lookin’ at me?
I do declare, it’s like she was talking about hair,
or lipsticks or dykes,
but brown and white?
Sit tight. I want to get this right.
I get big boobs, butts and sensible shoes, but to sneak in something about skin, that’s akin to asking about eye shape, and a lot to take in, and way different than style-like by a mile.
When did you know you were a bigot? I wanted to say.
I regret it and sweat it…
I couldn’t find it in me at the time to vocalize fully and evangelize that bully.
So I keep asking…
Are brown girls a thing?
If your insanely uneducated and fated to fail. Outdated, captivated only by tones of unknown that make you drone on about colors in your combat zone of safe and same.
You half-baked on a game and you’re the only one playin’, you a commonwealth of you-need- help. You sound foolish, uncoolish. A big shot in your small mind that’s topped off with trade-offs for why it’s okay to describe me that way.
Are brown girls a thing?
I guess so.
If you a repressed ho.
My poetry spans an array of topics and best when spoken with some beats behind me. Subjects including: growing up in rural Idaho, my parents, my learning disability, riding the short bus, and being a little sister.
Miriam Celeste Castro 2018