Posted in Blog, General

Rejections

I get them. I get a lot of them. And each rejection is starting to hurt just a little less, but I must say, each one also gives me something to strive for. Now I’m not the absolute best by any means. I am not perfect. And generally, my writing is very touchy-feely, very passionate, very pro-black; not many people are into that. Does that make me a bad writer? No. It just means that my work is not for everyone, and that’s completely fine.

I don’t write anything I don’t experience (for the most part). I don’t write about nature. I don’t write about the stars. I don’t write about traveling… or at least not that much.

I write about the hurt. I write about pain. I write about my blackness. I write about my womanhood. I write about my queerness. I write about Baltimore, a city I have a love/hate relationship with. I write about men. I write about women. I write about liminal spaces. I write about magic. I write the depression. I write the sex. I write the ugly.

I just think of rejections as people saying it’s not my time to shine yet. One day, it will be.

Posted in FYMBF, In progress, Poetry

Snippet letter from the first draft

Like I said in my previous post, the first draft of my nonfiction project (there’s a poetry one coming too!) was written entirely in rants, letters, and poems. Here is a combination of all three from the first draft, something like a prose poem. Feel free to comment and/or make suggestions. I originally wrote this a few years ago and have not come back to it until now.

Untitled

My best friend wanted a picture of me. I sent him one after a long spiel of why I did not want to send him one. There should not have been a negotiation, but he knows his power and he owns it and he uses it accordingly.

I wonder why me saying “no” does not stick. I wonder if he really loves me or just likes what I give, which confuses me because it isn’t much.

But he tells me I am beautiful, so I forgive him and forget about the weight he adds to my shoulders. Then he sends me a picture of his dick. I laugh. Not because it is funny, but because I am uncomfortable, and I do not know how to tell him “no” without 1. Feeling bad about it and 2. Him not taking me seriously.

He knows I do not want him like that. He knows I am mostly a lesbian. He confuses me. I confuse me. When I talk to him, my voice should not waver like an old record. It is clear I have let him rot in my ribs for way too long. This needs to stop. He is hurting me. I am letting him. I do not want to anymore.

Posted in Blog, In progress

Projects abound

So, like I said in my previous post, I am working on a longer nonfiction work about a previously platonic turned intimate relationship I’ve had over the years, and I am going to admit something to you that I haven’t admitted to anyone:

This project scares me. 

Words normally don’t scare me. But I am doing it because it scares me, because I want to feel, and I know this will get me riled up. Though I’m not sure how long I want it to be or if I want it to exist in the world or just on my computer, this is getting me to a pen, to a page. And yes it’s slow going, but once I’m writing, I can’t stop until that thought is gone.

I am currently on my second draft; the first was all poetry and curse words and rating and second person nonsense, but now I am flipping those poems into memories, into revelations, into substance. I am pouring my heart or my brain into the page. The working title is For You, My Best Friend.

Comment below if you want to see a snippet of what I’ve been up to or a poem from whence it came.

-A. Elizabeth

Posted in Blog, General

update

I have so missed updating everybody with my work and life, so I have a lot of updates for you!

I graduated from undergrad May 2015. I taught for a year and a half, leaving the classroom in order to focus more on myself and my writing. However, I do substitute and work as a freelance editor now, so I feel lucky enough to be able to do so.

From summer 2016 until now, the following sites have published my work:

In addition to poetry, I have also been working on a nonfiction project/future book of sorts about a previous mostly platonic relationship I have had that stemmed from a project I was originally working on during undergrad but nixed it. I will keep you updated on that too.

Take care y’all & please share!

– A. Elizabeth

Posted in Blog, General, Uncategorized

The N-Word

Rose Water Magazine

There are many conflicting views about the N-Word, and by N-Word, I mean both the words “nigga” and “nigger.” Although the word is rooted in history and originally only meant the color black, it quickly became a very derogative term for those of African descent living in the Americas through slavery and discrimination. Even more quickly, the N-word has become something of a controversy in the United States. Since the reclamation of the N-word by African American people, others have wanted to use it, despite its racist history and are offended when told they should not say it. The reasoning goes a lot deeper than “because I said so.”

The word “nigger”  is derived from the Spanish word “negro,” which ultimately comes from the Latin word “niger,” meaning “the color black,” as mentioned earlier. The word was used in reference to a group of Africans brought to what is now the United States…

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Posted in Blog, General, Uncategorized

Toya Graham is Not Your Hero

Rose Water Magazine

Toya Graham, the woman all over the media for slapping her 16 year old son on camera in order to stop him from rioting in Baltimore, is not your hero. She was not trying to embarrass him. She was trying to save his life; she didn’t want him to be another hashtag, another Freddie Gray. However, most of the world is looking at this video and laughing despite the fact that it wasn’t funny. There is no understanding of the black mothers plight.

For those that are unaware, April 12, 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray of Baltimore, MD was illegally arrested and detained, and died on April 19th from a severed spinal cord after numerous cries for medical services during his arrest and the hours that followed. On April 27th, the same day as Gray’s funeral, several protests and riots occurred in the streets of west Baltimore. Some peaceful, others not…

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Posted in Blog, General, Uncategorized

No, Not “Pretty for a Black Girl”

This is something that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time and finally have.

Rose Water Magazine

I’m not pretty for a black girl; I am simply pretty. When approached with the line “You’re pretty for a black girl,” what I actually  hear is, “You are too pretty to be black,” especially when followed with the question, “What are you mixed with?”

Whether or not I have multiple races that make up my genetic code is irrelevant. I want to scream from the top of my lungs that my black is beautiful and that one drop of white does not make me pretty. On the contrary, I am beautiful despite this backwards “one drop” rule.

When this “compliment” is thrown around, it is hard to believe that the person saying it is aware of exactly what they’re saying. The perfect response to this is, “You’re beautiful for a (insert whatever race the speaker is here).” Not only does this turn the tables onto the original speaker, but also…

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