modern conjure

junot diaz on decolonial love

killingdenouement:

The Strand: You said in an interview with Paula M.L Moya for the Boston Review that you wrote Yunior as this character on a quest for “decolonial love”. Can you talk a bit about what “decolonial love” is? I’m interested in how you define it, what it means to you, how you came to the idea and how…

(Source: cupwire.ca)

satindolls:

“I spent only one night photographing Billie Holiday,” he [Carl Van Vechten] wrote, “but it was the whole of one night and it seemed like a whole career.” The session began badly. Gerry Major had arranged the meeting, and had asked Holiday to wear a gown for the sitting. Holiday, however, arrived “at the appointed hour in a plain gray suit and facial expression equally depressing.” In spite of his disappointment, Van Vechten began photographing Holiday. It wasn’t going well and he was considering giving up when he thought to show Holiday his photographs of Bessie Smith. The photographs brought Holiday to tears; she explained that Smith had been an inspiration to her in the early days of her career. Their discussion of Smith softened the mood, and Holiday agreed to wearing a drape fashioned to look like an evening dress instead of her suit for some of the photographs.

At midnight, Holiday announced that she had to go home; she promised to come back shortly. Van Vechten, afraid she might go in search of drugs, sent his assistant Saul Mauriber to Harlem with her to insure her return. Holiday and Mauriber reappeared with Mister, Holiday’s boxer. She was in a different mood entirely, more lively and relaxed. Van Vechten continued to photograph her for some time.

Afterward, “she related in great detail the sad, bittersweet story of her tempestuous life.” Van Vechten’s wife Fania soon joined the group, and “in a short time Fania, like the rest of us, was in tears, and suddenly, also like the rest of us, found herself attached to Billie as if she had known her intimately for years.” Holiday didn’t leave the apartment until shortly before dawn. “We never saw her again,” Van Vechten wrote, “but not one of us will ever forget her.”

Portraits of the Artists, Esquire Magazine (1962)

Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, c. March 1949

Billie .

(via loveonceuponapoet)

"From" by A. Van Jordan

from (→) prep. 1. Starting at (a particular place or time): As in, John was from Chicago, but he played guitar straight from the Delta; he wore a blue suit from Robert Hall’s; his hair smelled like coconut; his breath, like mint and bourbon; his hands felt like they were from slave times when he touched me—hungry, stealthy, trembling. 2. Out of: He pulled a knot of bills from his pocket, paid the man and we went upstairs. 3. Not near to or in contact with: He smoked the weed, but, surprisingly, he kept it from me. He ~aid it would make me too self-conscious, and he wanted those feelings as far away from us as possible; he said a good part of my beauty was that I wasn’t conscious of my beauty. Isn’t that funny? So we drank Bloody Mothers (Hennessey and tomato juice), which was hard to keep from him—he always did like to drink. 4· Out of the control or authority of: I was released from my mama’s house, from dreams of hands holding me down, from the threat of hands not pulling me up, from the man that knew me, but of whom I did not know; released from the dimming of twilight, from the brightness of morning; from the love I thought had to look like love; from the love I thought had to taste like love, from the love I thought I had to love like love. 5. Out of the totality of: I came from a family full of women; I came from a family full of believers; I came from a pack of witches—I’m just waiting to conjure my powers; I came from a legacy of lovers—I’m just waiting to seduce my seducer; I came from a pride of proud women, and we take good care of our young. 6. As being other or another than: He couldn’t tell me from his mother; he couldn’t tell me from his sister; he couldn’t tell me from the last woman he had before me, and why should he—we’re all the same woman. 7. With (some person, place, or thing) as the instrument, maker, or source: Here’s a note from my mother, and you can take it as advice from me: A weak lover is more dangerous than a strong enemy; if you’re going to love someone, make sure you know where they’re coming from. 8. Because of: Becoming an alcoholic, learning to walk away, being a good speller, being good in bed, falling in love—they all come from practice. 9. Outside or beyond the possibility of: In the room, he kept me from leaving by keeping me curious; he kept me from drowning by holding my breath in his mouth; yes, he kept me from leaving till the next day when he said Leave. Then, he couldn’t keep me from coming back.

studiomuseum:

Glenn LigonUntitled (I am an invisible man), 1991Oilstick on paper30 x 17 1/4” (76.2 x 43.8 cm)Gift of The Bohen Foundation  218.1992© 2014 Glenn LigonSaturday, March 1st, we’re partnering with The Schomburg Center to present Ellison at 100: Reading Invisible Man. This week we’ll be sharing our favorite Ralph Ellison or Invisible Man quotes or artwork using #Ellison100. Stay tuned and use the hashtag to share your favorite quotes and artwork too!

studiomuseum:

Glenn Ligon
Untitled (I am an invisible man), 1991
Oilstick on paper
30 x 17 1/4” (76.2 x 43.8 cm)
Gift of The Bohen Foundation  218.1992
© 2014 Glenn Ligon

Saturday, March 1st, we’re partnering with The Schomburg Center to present Ellison at 100: Reading Invisible Man. This week we’ll be sharing our favorite Ralph Ellison or Invisible Man quotes or artwork using #Ellison100. Stay tuned and use the hashtag to share your favorite quotes and artwork too!

(via divalocity)

1 month ago

My childhood library was small enough not to be intimidating. And yet I felt the whole world was contained in those two rooms. I could walk any aisle and smell wisdom Rita Dove