Anita D.

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Anita D is a slam poet and spoken word artist, born and raised in Brockton, Ma. She first began writing in high school, utilizing her creative as a therapeutic tool. Over the years her writing improved and she began to engage in performance poetry. In 2013, she moved to San Diego where she stumbled upon the art of Slam Poetry. The was welcomed into the community was began to be mentored some of the art's finest poets. In 2016 she became a member of the San Diego slam team that went on to nationals to place second out of 80 teams as an all rookie squad. Since then she has featured at venues in both San Diego and Boston as well as many local colleges and universities in Southern California. In spring of 2017 she was granted the opportunity to perform at the Staples Center during an LA Sparks game. Most recently, she has replanted the herself back in Boston and is looking forward to rejoining and building with the community. Source

Porsha Olayiwola

cantfindit

Black, futurist, poet, dyke, hip-hop feminist, womanist: Porsha is a native of Chicago who now resides in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the artistic director at MassLEAP, a literary youth organization. Olayiwola is an MFA Candidate at Emerson College. Porsha Olayiwola is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too forthcoming with Button Poetry and is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. Source

Black Stars

Whitney was a star once.

Waltzed across our television skies,

a waning crescent.

So was Michael.

& Marvin.

All stars die though.

Explode into air thin,

cascade into black hole.

Black stars form under pressure

& leave us tragically,

either by death or betrayal.

When there was no other beacon on our screens,

we looked up to Bill.

When we wanted to name a future for ourselves,

we looked through Raven’s eyes.

When we needed validation an institution could not give,

we called on Kanye.

Astronomers say the larger a star’s mass, the faster they burn their fuel, 

the shorter their lifespan.

I say the more expansive the black star, the more mass of the explosion.

I say the greater the black star, the shorter we can expect them to shine.

Some weeks I only listen to Whitney.

Cradle her name, a prayer between my lips.

One dim dusk, her lover gifted her stardust.

Whitney danced, dosed, then drowned.

& we mourn her body celestial after all these years.

Joe Jackson tried to carve galaxies out of his children.

MJ got addicted to surgeoning his features for the masses. 

His daddy beat him, say dance, say sing, say don’t glide.

Walk on the moon, boy.

Turn this Indiana basement into a universe.

You a star, boy.

Kanye West composed pieces we didn’t know our bodies needed.

We had all the flashing lights on ‘Ye but he’s still a black star made in America

so he don’t get to shine forever.

‘Ye from the South Side resurrected and named himself Yeezus.

Got so big, white folks thought he was the sun

of God.

Now Yeezus only praises white folks in red hats

and white girls with fake asses.

Scientists say when you look up at night, some of the stars you see are already dead.

Maybe this means by the time a Black person becomes a star, they are already burnt out.

Maybe this means it takes a supernova to create a superstar.

Maybe we’re all waiting to be on fire.

Black stars disintegrate for reaching up towards a pearly gaze.

Whiteness has always been both a goal and unattainable.

Has been the measure of our success and the weapon that bludgeons us.

The higher we get, the closer we get to fame or manhood or God.

The further we get from ground or dirt or us.

Black folks stay folding in on ourselves,

stay a star on the tip of someone’s rising.

I say look at the way supremacy told Raven she ain’t black.

Misogyny told Bill he could take what wasn’t his to claim.

Masculinity gave Marvin Gaye’s father a gun,

told him to shoot his son.

& ain’t a sun the biggest star?

Don’t the biggest stars have the shortest lives?

Make the largest explosions?

Have you seen 

the energy burning out

turn to dust?

Did you know above you

there are a sea of stars

falling.

Published:

2018

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Spoken Word

Anthology Years:

Themes:

Death & Loss

Intersectionality & Culture

Pop Culture

Racial Injustice

Science & Climate

Literary Devices:

Alliteration

the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession

Allusion

an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference

Anaphora

a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered