Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

You Can’t Fuck A Flag

The high street is six feet under,

with some petrol garage flowers trodden into the dirt above her face.

I am waiting for the Daily Mail’s daily reminder that I am to blame,

for being a millennial,

who never shops,

is sick of renting,

and has the blood of dirty immigrants running through her veins.

Once upon a time,

one of my neighbours told me,

very loudly,

and without provocation,

that I was an abomination,

and I have heard more times than is necessary or healthy,

that there ain’t no black in the Union Jack

(We get it, you guys are mad about immigration),

but I’m not sure what they’d like me to do about it.

It’s just a piece of fabric,

for fuck’s sake,

and I’m a living,

breathing,

screaming human being,

with black in them,

and a British passport,

so what exactly am I meant to do?

If I had a choice,

do you really think I’d have spawned on hell island,

with its dead high streets,

constant rain and constant conservative governments?

I suppose random racism takes the edge off of the cliff edge that many of us find ourselves dangling from,

it won’t put food on your table,

but it gives you someone to shout at,

someone to scare,

some way to feel that you are still the powerful prince of the British Empire.

You can’t eat a flag.

You can’t fuck a flag either,

but I bet they’ll try.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Stop Saying “Never Again” If You Don’t Intend To Protect Jewish People From “Again”

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.

It is a grey Wednesday,

wild winds tousle my hair,

as I avoid the rain,

doom scrolling the daily news,

and all the daily views of my peers.

Many are lighting candles,

meekly making promises like

“Never again”

“We will stand with them”

but a part of me wonders,

with slight hope,

but a heavy dose of reality,

how many of them would stand up for a Jewish person, right now.

A few weeks ago,

I felt a familiar sinking in my chest,

that moment when you want to vanish,

when you desperately want someone to intervene,

except it wasn’t me.

I was reading the news,

a woman,

called a “Fucking Jew”,

while those around her stared at the floor,

asked her not to make a fuss,

sent that sinking feeling directly to her chest.

I have been left wanting by well to do allies,

shrinking until I was small,

because nobody would stop staring at their fucking shoes and do something,

so I had no choice but to hide,

hoping it would subside (it never does),

and now,

she was left,

by the kinds of people who will light candles today,

meekly mumbling

“Never again”

when they are already facing the floor when antisemitism arrives at Waitrose,

to do it’s weekly shop.

You don’t get to say “Never Again” if you only do it for Twitter likes,

if you decry a resurgence of racism,

but do nothing to stop the spread.

It isn’t the kind of sickness you can wash your hands of,

and socially distancing doesn’t will it away,

it takes so much more than simpering looks of sympathy and social media posts.

If you close your eyes to the reality of racism,

slinking through our streets,

then your candle is just a candle,

and your tweet is just a tweet,

and you are complicit in “Again” creeping back in.

You are rolling out the red carpet and letting it relax around your shoulders.

You might tell yourself that you shut it down,

but it is speaking, so loud,

through your silence.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Question For The Culture – A Remix

It’s all so difficult.

Diamonds weigh on your ears,

ears incapable of comprehending criticism,

too busy listening to the yelping of yes men,

and the jingle jangle of the diamonds you wear on your wrist,

that are often caught in your long, blonde hair,

when you are monologuing with your hands,

about all the roads you walked,

when they were just dirt on the ground,

how you fashioned them into fast paced, speeding highways with your Gucci shoes,

for the ungrateful girls to skip down.

It’s all just so difficult.

Pouring over an iPad,

with a glass of wine,

on silk sheets,

four AM,

because you don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow,

so you pour over an iPad,

looking for dissenting voices,

little cracks in the cloud of adoration you sleep on,

crying about context,

aching over your own inability to be articulate,

when confronted with the subjects you say you’ve sung about a hundred times.

It’s all just so sad and difficult.

You scroll past the hearts of those who will have you,

roll your eyes at the heart eyed enthusiasm from those that adore you,

and you latch on,

like a newborn and her mother’s breast,

to the milk of your ego,

though it will never help you grow.

You latch onto your rappers, and what they mean for who YOU are,

your flowery verses, about how people had to suffer so that you could FINALLY see their pain.

You’re always hungry,

because you never drink anything good,

and you never get to grow,

and it’s all so sad, difficult, predictable.

You’ve never said THAT word,

hard R or nah,

but some see it in your spirit,

and you can’t see why,

because the idea of being asked to address your shit,

or accept your privilege,

is more offensive to you,

than the pain of brown girls and black girls having to see themselves dismissed,

again,

because a white woman is upset,

and that’s their problem now,

because they’re angry,

and they’re mean,

and it’s not YOUR fault,

because you’re so fragile and gentle,

confronted by these MONSTERS…

This is an old story.

It is a story that never ends well.

It is the kind of story with a lesson that nobody pays attention to.

You look into the mirror,

never seeing what they see,

because you have a diverse circle of friends all around you, like a flower crown,

you have hopes for the future painted on each fingernail,

you have rappers in your bed,

and eyes that don’t see colour,

eyes that never meant to watch pain unfold,

eyes that never meant to be the cause,

and a mouth that can’t slow down,

rushing out defences,

deflections,

because an apology is not waiting at the bottom of that wine glass.

It’s all so difficult.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

Jessica Krug

Hi Jess,

can I call you Jess?

Say yes.

Go on,

we’re family, probably,

somewhere along the lines,

right?

Because we’re the same,

ebbing between ethnic lines,

except mine isn’t a lie.

You’ve got me all mixed up,

sis,

and I was already a confusing concoction.

Not quite white enough to wade away from racism,

but not quite black enough for white people,

like you,

to stop talking over me.

(There’s also the whole thing of me and my dad disproving the delusion that black people don’t exist in Europe, but that’s another anecdote for another time.)

Sis,

you’ve got me fucked up,

obsessing over us,

as if being called a nigger before you even know what it means is something you can fake tan in,

sis,

that shit stays in my skin,

my half breed,

harmed skin,

that has been hated for as long as I remember,

and then,

there you are,

peeling it off,

putting it on,

so you can have a peek at my experience.

Do you like what you see,

sis?

Painting your name on pavements that are covered in black blood.

Ring Rachel,

bring her round,

and let’s hash this out.

Let’s find out why white women are so into enabling racists with invalidating mixed kids,

and talking over the black women who are barely audible,

over the baying of “allies” like you,

who paint themselves into pictures they don’t belong in,

by painting their skin,

into what they think we look like.

Me?

I am Mariah.

Meghan Markle,

mixing the lines,

but unable to heal the divides,

but you?

I don’t know who you are,

and I don’t think you ever will either.

Posted in Blog

Blackfishing

Deep fried Caucasians,

on the timeline,

eyelash extensions,

padded like a drag queen,

but still with a skinny nose,

whip straight hair,

rapping THAT word,

with Nicki,

like they have the right.

Dolezel’s daughters,

children of the sun,

or so they say,

faking freckles,

golden brown,

when the sun hasn’t given them the time of day,

all winter.

Why are you so obsessed with us?