Soulful Visions of the Speaking Self – download it right now!

My show last night flowed really well, and the sound quality was much better than I thought. Have a listen while you head to work in the morning! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2018/12/13/soulful-visions-of-the-speaking-self-ronald-mason

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Soulful Visions of the Speaking Self: Ronald Mason on At the Edge – Thinking Culture

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Ronald Mason the spoken word artist who came to Washington DC as an educator from New Orleans returns for part two to talk about poetry, spoken word, and making culture. Poet Carl Moore who hails from Philadelphia will briefly join us to share his work as well. Tonight we will each share our works, methods, and stories about what it means to be creative writers in a highly politicized time period while holding true to our visions as artists. Tonight we will discuss soulful visions and being true to the speaking self! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2018/12/13/soulful-visions-of-the-speaking-self-ronald-mason

Amanda Huron – Carving Out the Commons – BlogTalk Radio Interview Today

My show will start at 4:30 today with Amanda Huron – Carving Out the Commons http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2018/12/05/amanda-huron–carving-out-the-commons

Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington, D.C. began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. These tenants were creating a commons, taking a resource—housing—that had been used to extract profit from them, and reshaping it as a resource that was collectively owned and governed by them. In Carving Out the Commons, Amanda Huron theorizes the practice of urban commoning through a close investigation of the city’s limited-equity housing cooperatives. Drawing on feminist and anticapitalist perspectives, Huron asks whether a commons can work in a city where land and other resources are scarce, and how strangers who may not share a past or future come together to create and maintain commonly-held spaces in the midst of capitalism. Arguing against the romanticization of the commons, she instead positions the urban commons as a pragmatic practice. Through the practice of commoning, she contends, we can learn to build communities to challenge capitalism’s totalizing claims over life.

Author Bio

Amanda Huron is an associate professor of interdisciplinary social sciences at the University of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C. She is an urban geographer with a particular interest in housing, gentrification, the decommodification of land, and the history of Washington, D.C. Amanda serves on the board of Empower D.C., a citywide community organizing group that works to empower low- and moderate-income District residents, with a particular focus on anti-displacement work. She is a native of Washington, D.C.’s Ward One.

Buy Dr. Huron’s book at Amazon

saying it

as if good wimen are silent
while bad wimen are loud
since respectability politics
demand female silence and emptiness
such irony matched with urgency
in these struggle times
for all wimen to echo out
our righteous right
to love and pleasure
this not being prioritized enuf
this healing need to feel joy
necessitates me saying it

I use your insults against me as poetry

So yes, folk, I do get fan letters. I also get trolls. And then there’s spies who look at my social media for the purpose of running my name up and down hallways because they have nothing better to do, which is ironic, considering the fact that most of them get bigger paychecks than me. In fact one of them sent a nasty note to me via FB msgr whining about me being “sexually frustrated, anal retentive, and racist.” Someone, probably a man who really resents my voice on matters like consent and privilege, wrote this whiny set of accusations. I’m petty enough to use it in the next three poems in a short series called the accusations. Use it, said Blade to Whistler. Use it.

 

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Poems are like a box of clothes never worn from your brain

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I think my brain treats my poetry writing sessions as an exercise in unpacking boxes from the attic and every once in a while finding a good classic cookbook, or a lovely set of dishes never used. Or a dress worn just once and it still fits. Or even an old, raunchy paperback novel, like The Story of O.

I think I had once of these month long sessions of unpacking some really raunchy novels, and given what I just dreamed last night, I think that analogy fits like a ball gag. Someone asked me about teaching The Story of O by Pauline Reage, a work that should not be taught without matching it with the French Feminisms anthology that tears it to pieces. I pretty much view Reage, du Sade, and other erotic writers of the 18th through the latter 20th century attempting to expel the Church’s repression of sexuality—but not the misogyny that came along with the repression. How is it in the 21st century we are still dealing with repression, misogyny, and fear of female desire?

I did not dream of finding wedding dresses in my closet. I have many more stories and poems to unpack and put on a table to shine or toss. Some of them sound like fragments from a raunchy novel. It’s my way of getting my brain out of writers block as I finish my other writing gig for a deadline later this month. I wouldn’t say it’s better than sex, but given the level of frustration that summer brings me (it’s warm, so I exercise and that definitely gets me aroused), writing about these things helps chase away writers block and depression over my summer blues over my lack of companionship. Love and lust really do matter for us writers—at least for me it does. And vibrators don’t inspire 5000 word chapters. Or epic poems.

Enjoy your morning commute.

time for a new bed

haunted space
empty
this is a bed
that needed to go
ten years ago
beds keep memories
beds soak up sorrow
bad breakups
every single fight
every drop of semen
every drop of blood
every drop of urine
every tear
not wiped away or scrubbed
every dream
every nightmare
every moment of
anger
joy
horror
fear
depression
you thought lost
or forgotten
echoes of orgasms
you thought
best not spoken of
every lover
every spouse
real or imagined
soaked in fabric
you did not realize
consumed your
parts of beingness
left in the ether
of the past
and like shoes
over worn and torn
it must be replaced.