By Various Artists for Dorchester Art Project
July 17, 2020
I am SublimeLuv (@mssublimeluv), a Spoken Word Poet from Boston, Ma. I want to give a brief background of this project that came out so beautifully. The original purpose was for this project to be a substitute for the monthly DAP open mic due to the pandemic. We originally sought out to release the work of these amazing artists at the end of May.
We were all dealing with the pandemic since March, but the world swiftly changed when the Black Lives Matter movement gained extreme momentum due to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd at the hands of police. I believe we saw so many mass protests because of the pandemic. People were not working at the same capacity pre-pandemic; life had stalled to a certain extent for a lot of us. This pause enabled people to clearly see the problem, just how deep racism goes in this country.
We put this project on hold because so many of us were dealing with the aftereffects of what was happening around us. I chose the theme of reimagining the future out of the need for a collective deeper reflection and ideas on what the pandemic can leave us with in the future (personally or collectively), what a new earth could be. The theme was extremely open ended and did not have to include an ode to the pandemic. The work that you will see here reflects that. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this project! I hope you enjoy the art Luvs!
Bipolar Sky - SublimeLuv
To hospital beds
I live under
A bipolar sky
Where the clouds
One hundred percent
Of the time
And when the
It is scorching
I have existed
I call balance
Since I left
A locked ward
I still imagine
A new day
In the sky
But in this story
On a plane
When the world
Opens up again
I rebirth myself free
And isn't this
The audacity of hope
SublimeLuv can be found on Instagram at @mssublimeluv.
WE ARE TOMORROW - Teb
Teb can be found on Instagram @_tebspeaks and Teb's works can be found here https://linktr.ee/teb
Super Human. - Evocative
I envision a world where we remember to rest.
We rest for our bodies, our spirits, our minds
We rest for the earth also
We honor the grass, sand, and ocean under our feet
A world we're we create and hold community anywhere
A world where we check in with others
as well as be gentle with ourselves when we can't
Appreciate when others check in with us
And give grace when they don't
A world where support is not only survival, but gospel
so we share, donate, show up, again and again within our capacity
A world where we stay emotionally and spiritually close as well as physically
A world where everyone treats everyone essential
Provide them human treatment including housing, jobs, healthcare, and compassion
Real companions, to meet their human needs, not our privilege.
A world where we become the super humans we've dreamed of
Evocative can be found on Instagram @apoetnamedevocative.
dear hope - Livv Laughlin
Livv Laughlin can be found at @livvlaughlin
A submission from our first featured artist, Phree
If I took the time to reimagine the future
I would color you in yellow
Highlight our shadows in the sun
Give birth to the newly planted seeds of happy
I’m just beginning to learn of botany
A new hobby
The origin of life
How I’ve been taught that living takes a turn of soil
How patient I’ve become digging up the roots for a replant
I’ve never been graded well at chemistry
But I’ll study the bullshit if it will sprout into something beautiful
Spread over the garden to help it flourish
Often times compost is needed to flip the dirt
To make it a breeding place for new growth
How I can now Imagine love
In my future
How I have adopted the ability to recreate from broken twigs and stems
That belonged to trees I’ve cut down
Sprinkled over the grass in my back yard like organic matter
I will pray for rain in April
summon the sun rays of May and June
I’ve learned that shelter is the best place for sunflowers to grow
Protecting them from the chaos of the wind
Heavy the head that wears a crown of seeds
As a young blossom
Will face the East during the day and follow the sun as it moves
Will transform a stiffened stem as the flower becomes mature
Backbone won’t break unless it’s cut
will allow its head to nourish another body
Medicinal in nature
An herbal remedy
Its seeds a gift to this earth
And to a flower pot
Stands as bold and beautiful alone as it does with others
And aint that a reflection of self love
An epitome of righteousness
An ultralight beam of perseverance and dedication to our most vulnerable selves
I imagine a world that finds purpose in dying
A nuance of love and the exploration of it
A casket worth burying beneath the toughened ground
And we water it back to life
And we call it
Phree can be found on Instagram at @phree_dom
BOSTON CALLING - Hassan Ghanny
"It is now more possible to conceive the end of the world than the end of capitalism." - Fredric Jameson
On Monday the Seaport vanished.
On Tuesday the Charles
and left a sandbox
under the Longfellow Bridge
that quickly filled
On Wednesday the Red Line
ran outbound on the
and never returned.
a second great molasses flood
overtook the Callahan Tunnel.
Cars belonging to landlords
with license plates
from as far away
in the amber.
On Friday the morning fog
with more than 10 floors
with the exception
of Walnut Park tower.
By Friday midnight
the court officers had fled,
the Mayor had skipped town,
the district attorney
herself into orbit,
and BPD had become insolvent
after every active duty officer
in a coordinated effort
drove their paddy wagons and cruisers
off the piers
into the Harbor.
On Saturday morning
the city was quiet.
The fare gates did not beep
because they had been left
No one Ubered to the South End
for prix fixe brunch.
Haymarket still happened,
but the vendors overturned their carts
and everyone who came
left with three bags
of free produce
and apple cider donuts.
No one cheered at Fenway.
the stadium had been flattened.
from as far away as Ringer Park
saw the Earth underneath it bloom
and a forest
filled with tropical fruits
took its place
and became one
with the Fens.
Strangers shared umbrellas.
Mothers bathed children in the Muddy River
and the faucets dripped
libations of sorrel nectar.
By Sunday it was clear
that no one was coming to rescue them.
The troops did not descend.
The National Guard was AWOL.
No President or imitation of one
made any announcement
It was as if Boston,
once Mashauwomak, once Tri-Mount,
had simply broke from its borders,
disentangled itself from eternity,
and floated out to sea.
In the now-vacant picnic area
where once had stood
the Millennium Tower,
the cookout was already underway.
From one old margarine container,
everyone was served
a portion of saltfish
and scorched rice.
When the clock struck noon,
everybody who had gathered there
raised a left hand full of pão de queijo,
and a right hand adorned with roses,
and for the first time,
ate their fill.
Hassan Ghanny can be found on Instagram @diaspora.gothic.
My Future - Jay King
Jay King can be found on Instagram @wakandanartist.
Radical - from our second featured artist Amanda Shea
Reimage a Future? Feels like a trick question My ancestors are saddened by the notion of such a question Or rather a response That it may be my generation to build it To reimage I must recall The injustices of all folx Not just of my Black and brown The cost of the Holocaust To the Jews The land that's been stolen from Native Americans Then burned to the ground once the law recognizes it was stolen Tis the law of the land If it's ever acknowledged then its buried Burned into ash Full erasure of what we been fighting for Governmental policies that govern our bodies Yet leave bodies in Rowanda UN United Nations is not what this is They divide us to conquer us Then ask us how we manage to have Black Magic Deemed as a threat Voodoo curses It's been our medicine that they've Wanted to keep hidden Like blood diamonds Our soil was tainted the moment they stepped on it How can I radically imagine a better future? When I'll be labeled a Radical? Rebellious Irrational For not adhering to the conditions I'm given Meanwhile I watch blood trade hands in the form of green paper Evil faces, subliminals traced on dollar bills Mark of the beast Microchipped Our wrists determine our worth Reminds me of black men built Ford tough Who were used as an example for obedience Left breathless due to their build Framed as super predators Our labor was predotarized Our art, our culture Appropriately appropriated No more white guilt tears We need more than guilty verdicts and apologies We need acknowledgement and accountability
We are the movement Creating yet another movement Instead of gentrification The luxury apartments are not affordable Neither is healthcare My mental health is unstable Stop stigmatizing us Our black lives matter Air is a necessity Let us breathe in Quality of life Equity Equality Our names, birth and dead names are respected We reclaim ourselves Our land, our banks, our institutions In a world that can see us and love us for who truly are
Amanda Shea can be found on Instagram @amandasheaallday.
BLACK IS A PREEXISTING - D. Ruff
It seems like its always an Underlying condition for black folk It's not Covid-19 Its diabetes Its not Covid-19 Its asthma It's not COVID Its hypotension High blood pressure Mental disorders But its not how gentrification lack of resources Nepotism Corporate greed led to this way silently in the public eye As the public eye, becomes picky about it's outrage Protest? It's not police murder If he hadn't been... You know they need says They just should've listened But during covid Its we need to work Covid isn't picky The company's response is If you're black and don't get sick Ya wallet got preexisting conditions... Bill's got your credit card short of breath Job security brings anxiety to your back account Either you're a count on the sheet, or rethink strategy on your feet We're at risk trying to avoid risk And it's labeled as preexisting Like racism right? Like classism maybe? Like oppressive behaviors? It's always suggested... As if they'll come up with solutions As if solutions haven't been presented when are white folks going to examine their preexisting presented? Or do we have to wait til they're on their deathbed for solutions?
D. Ruff can be found on Instagram @d_ruff3.
Heaven - Kris with a K
Kris can be found at @kriswithakcreates.
Reimagining - SublimeLuv
Lift us up
As if we are
In the eye
Of a tornado
Move us rapidly
May we shift
Our path of
Let these winds
Serves us here
To the new
After the tornado
Ravages the land
And the winds
I call fourth
Not a rebirth
This is a reimagining
A fresh inception
I dream of
A new future
One led by
The people of
The global majority
For we hunger
For structural change
A society with conscience
In this version of events
We will look back
And praise the storm
That shifted us here
It will become monument
The sacrifice for a
More fruitful existence