i am woman

feeling like such a woman these days.

i am liveblogging now from The Foundation, the female hip-hop weekly in Detroit. the energy is live, lots of powerful women and lots of men here to support.

reading andrea dworkin, thanks to dani mcclain, started with the memoirs and working my way back. her writing is unapologetically, fiercely woman’s work. i don’t agree with everything, but damn if it isn’t challenging, to look at the setbacks and the amazing advances i can see happening in my life and rethink the role that my femininity plays into it all. my focus on being female in the work has been so much about leadership, and so little about the ways that folks have hated women, have held women back. it’s not where i tend to float, but it’s liberating to remember, to be firmly placed back into context.

this is especially important as i become more and more aware everyday of the shift that’s happening in the world right now. what women and feminist and feminine leaders are doing is the future. i imagine this is always what it feels like to exist on a fault line – we can feel the opening beneath us, we can sense that a new landscape will swallow the current one, some days we stomp on the earth to encourage the quaking.

i got this amazing poem in my inbox today:

The Strength of Roses
by RedsonRise

(dedicated to the women identified organizers, activists, and artists in my life
we could not win without you.)

how the peel back of her leaves
reveals the fence of her thorns
makes the wind step back
suck then breathe slow
how the wreck-less peace of those eyes conjures up this
the first unburdened sky of the season

how in a star blinking moment
the microphone appears
to accompany the single singing string
of her verbal violin
a succulent leaf trembling with precision
an earthquake of intent
the long metal stem below the cool shaft below
the round echo of sound
bows in gentle acknowledgement of her return
drops hot and slow
like a red son
a setting fire

that both mountain and gutter become her stage
even blowing in this wind all the world’s rage cannot touch her
held like this in the god’s eye maze of those Buddha eyes she made
with the same gold dug from the soft rock of her skin
her own two hands
meant to turn up the volume on any storm
walk the lightening line
balance between the broken beam of time
stand still and awake in this coming of summer
her moment arrived

to the way her words drop
like rose petals on concrete
like a dew drowned season
the way their blood elevates the color of empire
until its shame is laid bare
its diction deciphered
called by its right name
to the sound of her
tell it

feel it
as she arranges the bouquet of crumpled notebook paper
against an unending horizon of imagination of desire of love for the people
and the vocabulary shudders victory from its sleep
feel it
when the lights go down and when the mourning of her orchestra arises
feel then too
when the art of pistol and stamen swallows down the dawn
lets you cry
lets you come home
lets you understand better bye and bye
that a rose demands no audience
only allies


this event is dope – one amazing female after another taking the mic, rapping, singing, with emcee Piper Carter reminding us how evolutionary and necessary the space is. whole live band and DJ, all female (many from Lola Valley), and Monica Blaire is in the building right now and she is basically like church in an R&B-Rock full frontal assault.

its really powerful to see the men from the Detroit hip-hop community who are out here deeply supporting the ladies on the stage. there’s such a high level of talent on the stage.

we are so gifted.

took a break cuz Invincible and Monica Blaire joined Lola Valley up on the stage and it just turned in to one of my favorite off the top performances of the year. Performance with some preaching on what women’s hip-hop looks like, Invincible broke down how its not separatist, not segregationist, not about keeping anyone off the mic or hogging the mic (as the mic has been hogged from women on too many stages) – women’s hip-hop is about sharing the mic, the stage, the energy. Then Monica Blaire got up and said she just came from a Motown celebration of 50 years, preached about how this is Motown, how the age of cars is over and art is the commodity that is going to draw people to this city, make people want to invest and understand what this city is all about. She had everyone with hands in the air screaming “I Am Detroit!”

Nights like this make me feel all wombed out and remind me that I carry all the creative potential in the world within.