After the workshop, they take us back to the hotel before the poetry reading later tonight. No need to talk about the physical condition, because that’s already understood. However, the mind is hard to cage, and so I respond: In other words, I saw it play out all to often with men who dominated women to the point they broke their spirit and stole their sound. The women couldn’t speak of their own oppression because they had no language to express the unimaginable. It reminds me of Pudding and Sunshine from another life. Sunshine prostituted and Pudding was her pimp/mane/lover /abuser wrapped into a six-foot frame with a gold tooth. Sunshine loved Pudding so much she strolled around Logan Circle in dc every night selling the one commodity she knew well, and that was her[self ]. Here’s the oxymoron: Sunshine never saw the light. Darkness choked her to death. Sunshine never got to understand we are the shadows in the dark novelist Toni Morrison talks about. We play between histories. Our sound originate from the breaking of sound—and then again. Like life, language is only the beginning and perhaps in its death too comes a new beginning, a new language. Randall BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE Isn’t choice the reason we as humans go through drama? We script our lives on reaction rather than action, meaning our daily life is always in response to, or a reply to a command or demand. The world uses us in that way—we are the backsided-brainwash of society’s failure—the aftersound of oppression, but we know this maxim, and yet become willing participants to our own commodification, which simply means we are caught up in the failure of capitalism. We become reified melodies in the architecture. The world does this to us—holds us down, I am certain. Then too, I have been thinking long and hard about the question you pose with regards to women and believing. Perhaps images and how we nurture young women as a society creates this insecurity. The American Dream chokes little girl’s dreams insomuch as not all of them will be able to live up to ideal beauty as constructed by the benefactors of what I like to call the dominant narrative, or those who dictate the ebb and flow of how we live. Beauty is a dangerous thing and know that brown and black women bear the weight of civilization, in addition to their own weight which, at times, can be daunting. But more than that, the male plays a role in this insecurity, especially in these so-called streets, by his rejection of the woman as equal counterpart and anything other than “sexual object.” We just wanna love and ?]?H??YH?\?H??H?H\??X???%???X?Y?X?][?\?H[X?]H?[[??K???LNB??X\??Z?HXYX?]K[?[?Y?[?]\?[??H?X??\??[?[Y[?]\?[???]?Y[?NM?H[?NM?K??H?YB??H??[[?^\?[H?X????X?[?[????X[??][??H?][?[??]??[\?[??X?\?\??HH]\?]\?B???X?Y?\?Y??K[?^H?[?[??H]\?]\?H?[Y\?X?K[?H\?B??'[Y\?X?x?'H???[K\?\?[?Y?]?B?[Y\????X?H[??[[??\?[?B??Y??\?Y?X?]\?H?]??[?[Y[?[??[YY?[?H??YH???Y]x?%]?[?Y???HX?Z?H?H?H???\?Z[???\??X?[K??YH[?x?&\???X?\?]?B??Y[??X\?Y??\?\???\?[?x?&\???X?\???X?\? ?X??X\?\?JK[???????HH[?\]YH]\??]??][?\?B?[??\?Z[Y]X????Y]K?XX?\????\???H\??\?????Y??\??[?H[HX??[???[[\???&\?[??\?X?HX[??[Y[X?\???B???Y??\?[?Y??\?[?x?&\???X?\??Y??HXZ?[??\????K[??]\?\?\?\?[?]?YX[?K?K??X???????[?[?X??H???H[?\??X]?[??XY?x?%????YZ???Y??X]B??X?H?X\?\??\??H???????Z[\?H?\??&]YX[??H\?H???\X?B??\??]???Y?x?&\???\??^K???]?\??]?[?[?H[?]]YX[??[??Z[\?B??\?Y\??]\?H?][\8?%???H[?K???H[??H[8?&H?Y??\?[?\?]X^H?B?[?\??\X?H??]?\??]?H?\?]???\?\???]?[^?][??H[H?[Z[X\???]???\??&\????[?H[H?Y??YH][?H[?\??[?H??\???]\?]\?H\?]\]X]\???\???]?\??????Q?SL?L?[??LNB??K?L??L?L??SB??