I’ve got talented friends
I recently got a question from an anon asking how to wear newsboy caps/flat caps… and my mind went into a spiral of fashion and wonderfulness. I think the better questions is: what COULDN’T you wear newsboy caps with? Ok, maybe they wouldn’t go with a frilly dress or a leather biker outfit. But beyond that, they’re pretty much embedded into every aspect of the fashion industry. Poeple are femmeing them up with lipstick and purls. Hipsters are thrifting them and wearing them with plaid and boots. Golfers and country clubbers are pairing them with argyle and preppy styles. And really cute queers are being really cute. But what’s new.
Don’t forget to look up in case Andrew McCarthy is standing there. (source: thegallant.com)
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
(“mami” is an hybrid between the english mommy and the arabic ummi. a lot of times in arab culture mothers will call their own children “mama.” my mami always said it was to make the love between them more whole, reflective of each other, through only one name)
*Trigger warnings for abuse, racism, body image
loving you is like a battle/and we’ve open up the scars/tell me who i have to be/to gain some reciprocity/no one loves you more than me/and no one ever will/no one hurts me more than you/and no one ever will
-lauryn hill, ex factor
I was the middle child mediator
Caught with one hand in the kitchen drawer
and the other in the car door
Bruised thumbs and bitten wrists
Admitted only to friends in the bathroom walls
Beards flowing like rhymes on the stalls
Picking at the scabs of old scars on scraped knees,
Where to begin?
Lodged in the generational wounds I was loaded with
like bullets embedded in a baby’s skin
From you mama,
moved continents from cardamom to k mart
First home in America lost from the start
Apartment burned down from electrical wiring
Five year old brother’s lifeless body left in the closet
Homeless in the land of opportunity.
School was your home and home was a war zone,
daily epithets hurled at you like drones.
Made the stone in the back of your throat rise
boomeranged like palestinan boys throwing pebbles at war tanks
The fuck you sand niggers and the fuck you ayatollahs
followed you like station wagon corrollas
Kicked to the ground, dignity ripped open like your headscarf
Teachers gazed indifferently, marched on,
KKK headquarters getting their groove on
Lying to parents “I was just having fun”
Everyday after school extracurriculars:
Abuse and orange juice go together like hoola hoops
bukhari says when the child becomes ten years old, then beat him for prayer
Jiddo takes it literally kiddos
So rope burns for you translate to bitten wrists on me
How come we both wrote the same suicide notes when we were fifteen?
The age you graduated, started popping degrees, genius queen
at seventeen married loveless teen dream
while raising five more brothers from Iraq to Saudi to shitsville NJ
nowhere to go
So you hid in the books and by 26 had two daughters with your PhD
Jilbabs and unibrows shed in teenage rebellion
Postponed to early thirties
These moments are etched in my brain like
the pock marks immigrants wear
from immunization shots and shocks of naturalization
How is one to become natural in a place that never nurtures?
And why the hell would you choose Arkansas for us to be nurtured?
I don’t know where to begin
I’m left confused and stressed out by the cracks in your skin
These memories shadowing me like jinn
The way you hid behind books and lockers,
I’m hiding behind my heart, locked up
So you can’t see how much pain I carry for you
Because you sacrificed everything to make us beautiful.
How can I tell you I’ve inherited your depression like the bags under your eyes?
The way you look into the mirror and say you’ll never be thin enough
and babies at an early age made your skin like an elephant, rough
makes me check the scales each hour to make sure I’m good nuff too
How were you to comfort me at five years old when you were the one sobbing?
With my little hands clasped around your curls,
I knew how to whisper “You are not a failure,”
Before I knew how to ask where the bathroom was
How do I know that eight packs a day is not a prolonged suicide note
but a way for your breath to smell like cardimum cloves again, a cough to warm your lungs and a way to make your voice as harsh as your skull?
I inherited the way your blood boils like magma
Curls into your body the way your hair twists around your waist
I inherited your sadness like the flabs of your skin
Tucked under your zipper from pregnancies too early
I inherited your love like the mole on your breast
Where I would lay my head and tell you
“You’re more than enough.”
How can I tell you inspire the poet in me
you inspire the rage in my eyes
the irrational irritation, the ecstatic wonder, when I wake up each morning knowing you are alive,
Wanting to hurt myself
Wanting to heal myself
Because you survived.