Claim To Fame: Why I Breathe Fire

Reflection:

The same thing I am praised for, is the same thing people try to snatch me for—this thing I do with these 26 letters.

In the face of abject crazy which is the current world, I would be remiss in my duties as a writer not to speak or record it. When I decided to lean into writing, being a writer as a career, I knew what I was getting into—what it would cost, and what I aimed to do in it.

This is the thing I love, communication and the art of word play. It’s what I do. It’s legit what I do. And for the love of it, I happen to write down my imagination to sell to people. I keep pens on hand, my desk is covered in papers and my laptops are always running out of space.

This, indeed, is my sweet spot.

Love and blessings,

JBHarris

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30 DAYS OF JAYE: Joker In The Pocket

Note: I am a better card player than I am a chess player. In the game of Spades, unless the Jokers are in the deck (meaning the 2 of Hearts & 2 of Diamonds are out of the deck) there is no way to beat an Ace of Spades without it.

Rule 0: Keep a Joker on you.

When you play,

When you take your place

In the space

Wherever you are,

Sit.

Breathe deep, back straight.

Sit down because your

Life is on the line.

Trust that there is

on on your side

From who is sits higher.

Know when you sit down,

You have all in you,

do to you, and come through

to send all that doubted you

home with the assbeating

they deserve!

When they underestimate you,

to stumble you,

stop you and, humble you

remember that you must

Keep a Joker in your pocket.

You have to understand–

When life gets hectic, and you can’t keep your head on your shoulders,

When you feel like you can’t know your left on your right,

up or down, and when dark looks better–

and you’re like you got a tap your pocket,

But you must understand and maintain

that what is in you

is greater than you

Is greater than anything else

in the world,

and with time come

When their final book is won

when they think they

have counted you out,

when they think they

have killed you when they have run

all your books out —

when they have cut your partner,

with they have flip the table almost

on you because you were about

to win you have to be able to reach

in your pocket and with the force of incarnated ancestors

slap the joker from your pocket!

Let these cats know that you

take no prisoners—

prisoners, and never have you been a victim!

All you do is win

Because you kept the joker in your pocket?

—you always got something for they asses!

-JBHarris, April 2021

30 DAYS OF JAYE: Widowwalking

They talk in crowded, quiet rooms

In matters of death

and the life thereafter.

They talk of in time,

Never minutes or hours—

Always years.

Years gone.

Years ahead.

Years spent.

They speak of papers,

Clothes,

Suits,

And dresses.

They speak in

Ancestor whispers

Holding hands,

Infusing strength,

Wisdom,

And peace.

This trinity, known to those

Who have buried husbands,

Committed the crime

Of marrying one made from

The dirt of a foreign soil.

In such processions,

All are quiet.

All are watching.

All are wailing.

All are mourning.

All are morning.

We, clad in the armor of black,

Steady as thunder, are

Loud and noticed.

We are the spiritual walkers.

-JBHarris, (c) 11.14.2019

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge-Week 7 (2021)

“What Black People Be Thinking?”

This is a dissertation! Earlier this week, I talked about how NOT to ask Black people about their social media presence or absence. Again, PSA: DON’T DO THIS.

As this week ends, let me tell you this. Black people are also thinking: Where is this America that people keep traveling to that is supposed to be so great?! Where is it?!

Now, I will say this. Being in this nation, even as a descendant of slaves, indigenous peoples I am more ‘free’ than any other woman in the world. For this, and for this cause, I am grateful. I am thankful that I live in a nation that I can be Black, woman, and writer, all at the same time. With that said, in light of all the mass trauma, murder, mayhem and socially acceptable chaos–I am still wondering where the American Dream is.

George Carlin, comedian and social critic, said that the American Dream is just that, because, he said, “You have to be asleep to believe it.” So, to ask what Black people be thinking? Whew, chile! All we want are the same opportunities and access to be amazing (and alive) as anyone else! Why is this hard? Why does this feel impossible?!

Why does being Black have to be the thing people buy, people hate, people kill, or people mimic? Why are Black men great in alphabet soup (NCAA, NBA, NFL, MLB, D1, D2, etc) because cannot be seen as competent enough to run companies, countries or departments? Why are Black women–from our essence to esthetic!–marketed, copied, and set up to be sat out for the consumption of thirsty women whom cannot compare!

WHY CAN’T WE JUST LIVE!

You can tan, but I can get fired for braids.

You can pick all the big, tall, fast, Black men for your Fantasy Football League–but you call the police on them when “I don’t think he belongs here, and looks suspicious.”

Make it make sense. Just make it make sense. From where we sit, the nation (and the world at large!) love Black culture…just not from Black people.

30 DAYS OF JAYE: Say The Quiet Out Loud

I want nights

That are quiet,

And still

Loud as thunder,

I want storms in

Oceans of sheets

And limbs pulling

Me further from

What I know into

All I want.

I want the quiet parts

Said out loud

And kisses made only

For me,

And all my inner light

Being bother magic

And woman lit

By you.

I want the now

and the present presence

Of what it means to be

Lost and still be found.

From sky above

And Earth beneath

I want to dream

Of setting future

Suns…

Again.

-JBHarris