Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 25

doesn’t make me have to transform or conform to what they want me to be. I always think of rap music….”to pimp a butterfly.” That’s what Kendrick Lamar said. I don’t want to be pimped by any industry, and I think as women we shouldn’t be pimped by anything in that sense either. We shouldn’t let anyone tell us how to write or why or if we’re writing something too bold. Or if it’s too loud.

JGH: Or even it makes people uncomfortable.

Jassi is connected with other writers and artists at an organization in Sacramento called Sol Collective. Jassi has done spoken word poetry with their “Poets of Color”. She connects the layers of meaning in rap music with this spoken word poetry.

JKB: Yeah, that’s the kind of writing that makes people think. It makes you uncomfortable. You’re thinking if it makes people question it. That’s something that, in poetry when, if you read poetry, you have to read it three times. That means you’re thinking; that means that you’re actually listening. Because fiction, I love fiction, but fiction always has to explain itself, and you have to make sure the story matches everything. Poetry is more of that cerebral, a spiritual quality. You just have to know, even with rap music. I’m learning in my hip hop class, the reason why some rappers, you don’t understand what they’re saying; they do that on purpose. Right now we’re learning about Bay Area Rap and Bay Area Rap is so, you know, it’s out there.

JGH: That’s my people.

JKB: You know, only people from Bay Area will understand you. That’s the reason why these Hyphy, all these rappers, do this is because they’re trying to see who’s actually listening. If it’s their people that are listening they’ll get it; they’re vibing with it. And that’s the whole idea. You just have to make sure you’re that trickster character.

As women we have to be that trickster character, because to work around the system is finding our own way to do it. That’s how I think of it. Men are getting reviewed; so what if the men are getting reviewed? If we write better, we’re happy with it, and there’s an audience that is happy with it, and it’s inspiring people and making people not want to kill

like “I love India. It’s this mystical, magical place where arts and literature thrive. I don’t hate it. I’m just trying to tell you the truth and what’s wrong with us, what we need to be better with.”

So I believe when I was reading her writing, that’s where I got so much inspiration to just write about these things that need to be written about; society, and when I’m reading her writing that’s how I feel. I know that these stories, these women, don’t talk about in my culture. I know that I need to say it for them. Even though I’m not experiencing it, or I’ve maybe seen it experienced, I think that it’s important to write about it because if they’re not going to ever talk about it their whole life, at least I can do it through my writing.

That’s what I think of doing. Personally, I’ve been blessed to have the parents that I have, because I’ve never seen any of that domestic violence. I don’t know much about it because my parents… the thing that I love about my dad in particular, in our culture it’s a bold statement to say “I raise my daughters like sons,” and that’s what my dad says all the time. I think, for me, that’s made me such a strong person, but the reason why I’m a very strong woman is because of my mother.

She’s a very strong Indian woman; she’s everything an Indian woman should not be. I believe that’s what I enjoy about my mom. She speaks out. She’s known to be intimidating. She’s known to have a temper, and she’s everything that she shouldn’t be, and I believe that’s because what happened to her when she was a little girl. She lost her father when she was nine and had to take care of her little sisters and her mom. My gramma, she’s everything an Indian woman should be. When she’s spoken to she’s quiet, when she should speak up, she’s quiet. So, I mean, she’s a typical Indian woman.

JGH: You see both sides.

JKB: I see both sides, and I see how, why my mom was so strong and why I never really questioned why she’s that way. Most Indian women I see, they cower in fear, and I started seeing that in myself, I started being more silent. I don’t know why I got that way. I think the reason I got that way is that I was so overwhelmed by taking care of my parents and doing all the translating and making sure my dad doesn’t go blind. So it was a heavy load, and I was always just distracted and felt like I couldn’t speak. I was noticing, I’m becoming more like my grandmother, but I really want to become like my mom. So lately I feel like I’m more of my mother’s daughter, and I believe that’s what I love about my parents is being exposed to their love.

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"A Fake Reality"

Marcos Carillo

JKB: I see both sides, and I see how, why my mom was so strong and why I never really questioned why she’s that way. Most Indian women I see, they cower in fear, and I started seeing that in myself, I started being more silent. I don’t know why I got that way. I think the reason I got that way is that I was so overwhelmed by taking care of my parents and doing all the translating and making sure my dad doesn’t go blind. So it was a heavy load, and I was always just distracted and felt like I couldn’t speak. I was noticing, I’m becoming more like my grandmother, but I really want to become like my mom. So lately I feel like I’m more of my mother’s daughter, and I believe that’s what I love about my parents is being