Photos by Malcolm Johnson
Post Soundtrack: On the Regular (Shamir)
NOIRLINIANS NOTE: We would like this blog to celebrate and be representative of all of the mediums we create with, one of those being poetry. For me (Denisio) my English Literature degree was actually with a concentration in creative writing and poetry. So I’ve been writing poems for as long as I’ve been able to write. But when Dopeciety became more successful I abandoned my writing practices and so I’m hoping that this will help me be more accountable (even though I didn’t come up with a new poem this week lol). For me (Mwende) I spend most of my time as a full time poet. Making art a profession though can sometimes take the joy out of it, so I want to use this as a space to create poetry that speaks to me and not to any specific projects or audiences.
FRENCH QUARTER: I love to shoot and create amazing visuals but sometimes finding the inspiration to carry out these projects could be exhausting. As I am finishing up my last semester of college my creative drive has been very low, especially with trying not to lose focus on the few assignments I have left till I graduate. Actually, it has been a struggle my whole college career. Deciding how much attention to give my school work over practicing my art has been my main struggle. Thankfully I have amazing friends who always push me to be creative especially when they see I’m slacking. This collaboration with Mwende and Denisio helped get me back in the creative spirit. As we walked the French quarters trying not to look too touristy, I found so much inspiration each step we took. Like I stated in the previous post, The French Quarters is always flowing with vivid colors, funky shapes, and rhythmic melodies all which help influence me as a creator. My advice from one creative to another is to never lose faith in your craft. Sometimes you might not be in the mood or can’t find anymore inspiration in your current project, but don’t give up; It happens to the best of us. Always try to surround yourself with other creatives who will all ways push you to keep creating or just surround yourself with people you love, who won’t give up on you no matter what. Stay true to yourself, and love what you do.
#FEATUREDFASHIONS-outfits in this post can be found in Black Businesses below:
Jua Kali: Still being founded by artist, pattern enthusiast & patternmaster Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa, Jua Kali is a shapeshifting collection of Kenyan made clothing, jewelry and accessories for people of all genders and gender expressions. It is also one of many entrepreneurial effort to ensure Africans on the continent financially benefit from the recent resurgence of “African & African inspired”, and an effort to train young women in New Orleans in entrepreneurship through gig based employment and mentorship.
Dopeciety: Founded by artist/designer Denisio Truitt in 2013 as a t-shirt and women’s apparel line, DOPEciety now includes items for both men and women, bags, art prints, and occasional collaborations with other artists/designers. We are also an event production and curation team, featuring emerging vocalists, musicians, and visual artists through our flagship show, COUCHES, held intermittently at different locations in New Orleans. www.dopeciety.com
Denisio: In honor of women’s history month, I’d like to share this poem with my fellow women who have been accused of being crazy. I wrote this poem some time ago based on notes I had written to myself after my divorce. Its been in workshop mode ever since.
“I’d rather be crazy.” – Beyonce, Hold Up
you once shattered a moment of silence
with your tense laughter,
you had a habit of dating
and how glad you were
to find someone more stable.
i joined in
your bass chuckle with my unsteady alto
thinking how sad it must have been
to deal with
such unstable women.
(the weight of the guilt I felt when you left the room lingered all day.)
At the end of us
when i became your craziest girl
i realized it was you
who was insane.
you needed to fix things,
little projects to distract you
from your own
one by one, you found us
each marred and chipped
from a life too rough
with our delicate frames.
one by one you failed,
grew frustrated and
your unfinished works
with the icy nonchalance, i came to
know as your brand of
I laughed then
at the craziness of it all.
we never needed your fixing
your improvements, your renovations
your sanding at our sharp edges
that set our teeth on edge.
of our less than perfect surfaces
all we needed
was to be loved
for the beautiful imperfections
we were. we are.
Mwende: I’ve been travelling alot recently (I’ve been on tour!) and over the past year, and when I travel I usually dress very masculine because masculine clothing is just more comfortable to me when I need to be seated and cramped for a long time in a small space (also I feel like most of the posts on this blog show my feminine side, but I spend most of my time fairly androgynous or masculine presenting…except in the summer, too hot for all that lol). The ways I am received when I present as masculine (or as I like to call myself, ‘masculine off center’ …get it, instead of ‘masculine of center'”) tend to start;e me. People, often men, tend to be hostile towards my masculinity and want me to stay in my place as a woman which I guess means feminine and beneath them? Anyway, I wrote this poem reflecting on masculinity and what it does to men who lose their humanity in search of the approval of a toxic sort of masculine power that this culture socializes men to desire. I also try once a year to write a poem with a little humor in it…
Yo masculinity so fragile
it would starve in a house made of kitchens
(it seems to only knows how to make meals of women’s bodies),
it thinks Mr. Clean is a real live person,
it is still telling people the air is suddenly ‘dusty’ every time
you watch Set It Off instead of just admitting that shit is sad and made you cry.
Yo masculinity so fragile,
it thinks saying you do something like a girl is an insult,
thinks getting receiving a compliment from a man makes him
or you gay,
it thinks you need to be a dick
and have one
in order to be a man.
that when a woman tells you
but when she tells you she has a man,
you learn to recognize restraint,
Yo masculinity so fragile,
it thinks gift wrapping catcalls with compliments
means women should receive them like gifts,
it become a grinch or a gun if they don’t.
it would shatter under the weight of the truth…
that it’s not helping anyone,
that if it shatters, it’ll still expect a woman
to clean it up off the floor.
Yo masculinity so fragile,
that it can’t possibly be all your fault,
we must deal with the fact
that this world,
it makes men hard
because it is less complicated
than allowing them to be human.
that if it shatters
(and if you are lucky it will eventually shatter)
it will die a heavy thing,
having consumed so much
of your being and so many messages about what it should be…
… but on that day,
I look forward
to finally meeting you.
Noirlinians is a love story by two wandering Daughters of the African diaspora