won’t you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton
won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up here on this bridge between
starshine and clay, my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
12:11 am • 20 August 2014 • 115 notes
DayStar by Rita Dove
She wanted a little room for thinking:
but she saw diapers steaming
on the line,
A doll slumped behind the door.
So she lugged a chair behind
the garage to sit out the
Sometimes there were things to watch—
the pinched armor of a vanished cricket,
a floating maple leaf.
Other days she stared until she
was assured when she closed
her eyes she’d only see her own
She had an hour, at best,
before Liza appeared pouting from
the top of the stairs.
And just what was mother doing
out back with the field mice?
Why, building a palace.
Later that night when Thomas
rolled over and lurched into her,
She would open her eyes
and think of the place that was hers
for an hour—where she was nothing,
pure nothing, in the middle of the day
12:07 am • 20 August 2014 • 42 notes
WORD! WORD? WORD! Issa Samb and the Undecipherable Form at Raw Material Company - Dakar, Senegal
12:28 pm • 19 August 2014 • 328 notes
"Origin of the Universe," a survey exhibition of Mickalene Thomas’s work, just opened at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s an expanded version of the show that debuted at the Santa Monica Museum of Art this past summer. Don’t miss Roberta Smith’s smart NYT review of the Brooklyn show.
Mickalene Thomas was the lead guest on Episode No. 30 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast. We discussed her art, her interest in art history and how her relationship with her mother has fed her work. If you’re interested in the art and themes in the Brooklyn show, you’ll love the podcast.
(Bonus! The photo of Thomas above provides a neat tie-in to this week’s MAN Podcast, which features Carrie Mae Weems. Thomas’s t-shirt — click here to see the large version of the picture and then scroll down a bit — puts Thomas and artists of her generation, including Kara (Walker) and Wangechi (Mutu) in the context of the previous generation of black women artists, including Lorna (Simpson) and Weems.)
Download the MAN Podcast featuring Thomas to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe on iTunes or via RSS. See images of artworks Thomas and I discussed on the show.
Image: Mickalene Thomas by Philip Montgomery for the Wall Street Journal.
3:30 pm • 18 August 2014 • 51 notes
Neger Don’t Call Me, 2000
Video projection, 4 chairs with loudspeakers, 11:34 minutes (courtesy of The Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC)
12:58 am • 18 August 2014 • 225 notes
"As a black artist, the expectation of what you should be doing is always programmed for you regardless. There is a tendency to try to cubbyhole you that exists across the board in the art world… I’ve always done exactly what I wanted to do, regardless of what was out there. I just stuck to that principle and I’m a much happier person as a result. And I can’t imagine trying to satisfy any particular audience”
gelatin silver print, vinyl lettering
9:47 pm • 17 August 2014 • 1,336 notes
Warsan Shire - “For Women Who Are Difficult To Love”
you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him traveling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do, love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
9:29 pm • 17 August 2014 • 297 notes
“You will not be able to stay home, brother./You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out./You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,/Skip out for beer during commercials,/Because the revolution will not be televised.”
— ― Gil Scott-Heron
10:58 pm • 16 August 2014 • 309 notes