Don't Let Them See Me Like This
Playlist by Jasmine Gibson
It’s interesting being asked to make a playlist of my book when I had my own playlist while creating it. While writing this book I was reading "Black Marxism", "Heroes" and "Everything You Could Be If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother". I was also listening to stream of doom metal like Electric Wizard & Sleep but also the oldies like Black Sabbath or Alice Coltrane. People often ask me what my book is about or what it means for the moment. My answer is my book and work can speak for itself, don’t ask me, ask it, it can speak for itself. Maybe this is comes across as a flamboyant refusal of my work to being package as a commodity, and that is partly the truth, but also an encouragement for readers to make up their own mind about what it means for them. My book carries its own mood and weight in the world and it doesn’t even answer to me anymore. I think I’ve most appreciated my work when I’ve seen it on my mother’s bed, tucked in my sister’s purse, a friend’s mother telling me “man, you’re heavy” after a reading or on my friend’s instagram story. That is how this book has developed meaning for me. That it's become a love language between those I love the most. I think I wrote and completed this book to spite many people. But ultimately, in the end the people who I love welcomed it the most and everyone I wanted to spite just fell away.

Of course the book works with current events that have happened and lead me to question my own existential being. Reading the news, being involved in protests and other political actions can often lead you to a psychosis like state. However, in these moments, in the middle of a march, getting kettled or whatever things that are better left unsaid, I felt like I had seen a glimmer of what it truly means to be a part of collective. A (love) supreme ego death.

During the day, I work as a mental health professional, and when I have moments I am a poet and writer. But in totality I am a Black communist, hungering for freedom and deliciousness, and that is how you should read these poems.

-Jasmine
It’s interesting being asked to make a playlist of my book when I had my own playlist while creating it. While writing this book I was reading "Black Marxism", "Heroes" and "Everything You Could Be If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother". I was also listening to stream of doom metal like Electric Wizard & Sleep but also the oldies like Black Sabbath or Alice Coltrane. People often ask me what my book is about or what it means for the moment. My answer is my book and work can speak for itself, don’t ask me, ask it, it can speak for itself. Maybe this is comes across as a flamboyant refusal of my work to being package as a commodity, and that is partly the truth, but also an encouragement for readers to make up their own mind about what it means for them. My book carries its own mood and weight in the world and it doesn’t even answer to me anymore. I think I’ve most appreciated my work when I’ve seen it on my mother’s bed, tucked in my sister’s purse, a friend’s mother telling me “man, you’re heavy” after a reading or on my friend’s instagram story. That is how this book has developed meaning for me. That it's become a love language between those I love the most. I think I wrote and completed this book to spite many people. But ultimately, in the end the people who I love welcomed it the most and everyone I wanted to spite just fell away.

Of course the book works with current events that have happened and lead me to question my own existential being. Reading the news, being involved in protests and other political actions can often lead you to a psychosis like state. However, in these moments, in the middle of a march, getting kettled or whatever things that are better left unsaid, I felt like I had seen a glimmer of what it truly means to be a part of collective. A (love) supreme ego death.

During the day, I work as a mental health professional, and when I have moments I am a poet and writer. But in totality I am a Black communist, hungering for freedom and deliciousness, and that is how you should read these poems.

-Jasmine
1. Verde, Te Quiero Verde
Jasmine Gibson
2. Stop Texting Me
Jasmine Gibson
3. LoveLife
Jasmine Gibson
4. Hollow Delta
Jasmine Gibson
5. Electric Wizard
Jasmine Gibson
There are definite tasks
Behind all that earth, behind all that cement
that lines prison and school yards
Where does God lie
When I cannot touch you?

I could count on a hand the months and years
that it takes to amount to Hegel’s infinity
It is an equation with no answer and no future
Is it supposed to feel like this?
Am I supposed to be like this?
Queen of aches

I won’t be here forever, especially once I delete this account
Why call it social media? Can’t you call it what it is:
Wasteland, and other blank spaces like
“That really hurt _____. I didn’t want it that way
But you made me. _______, you already knew about me, baby”
And who knew God could sneak into those tiny spaces

I tried to find you in the picture of hanging flowers
Feeling hard up, frustration sticking you in the side like Brutus’ dagger
But I was Julius crying for you to come back or at least take me with you

I keep telling you it’s not your fault, it’s not my fault
It’s no one’s fault
And it’s all our blame
And the historical process of
Marcus Garvey Park jutting into me like a monolith
You really think you’re free when there’s ghosts

like Kalief Browder that haunt you?

He will be avenged

Coming in signs of three

1. A burning limo

2. The void

3. The crushing of white marble and the release

of a howl from the deepest part of the belly:

the disembowelment of slaveholders, in every definition the title.
This is how the world ends
swallowing inside of us carcinogens
you can only hear me when I say “fixed capital”
“object” or “that’s right, this is the political line to end all lines”
a love life
totally lush
pulsing
total desolate
feeling all spasm and highs
how cruel, kind of
love Life

Something like an absence of feeling, I never had permission to love you
never had permission to love
anyone
you can’t love me the way I deserve to be loved
never
so, it makes sense
a love life
only on the weekends when you can't see me in the light
a real love life. A real girl with cottage parts
malting


My insides decided to hangout
with us
in public
in the cold
rotting
like a hollowed out
ornament

People die in private ways
our relationship to property

I get to hear about black people dying while I’m in the woods
historically a place for black people to die
hunted by dogs, raped, lynched
A sketch of patrols
It’s the cops you love

Like when have I ever loved
life
really loved life
a love life
a horror
(spoken in a Baltimore accent)
a real love life
pain and secretions
overloaded
once and for all
a love life

A door in the trees
coffee stain smells in my nostrils
under a dying wild earthy vibration
the howling of coyotes

I ruined the home of spirit with my fingers
its web got tangled
in the hair
on my hands

I was falling apart as the woods were falling with me
into the hole of the city and the city
told me
us
that it was shaking
another dead black man
a constricted flesh
taunting
some who would call a bare life
not bare as the night sky against epidermis
but bare as not being born
and being forced to live

How many people like me could only exist on the margins straddling the darkness
the marshy, dewy feeling of freedom
maroon
matching blood
under sun

I dreamt
I
was a rebel
in the bushes
hiding with you
but I realized
love could
only
be useful
via my corpse

I’ll be here as the
world lurches
and folds upon
its own flesh
and hills
and taut musk
reeking of history
the jaggedness of the tree line

Someone is calling on the other line
mountains disappearing with the
turns of roads
the base of the mountain
reminding us that all are welcome to reasonable attainability
but the top of the mountain is negative infinity something that isn’t quite true and
meant for peasants to have fever dreams about bread, champagne and opiates
I know about your lies, Mt. Shasta

We can only hope that when the gates of hell open up that evil takes us
because utopia is only for those who can afford it


We can imagine Anglo names that have
no function
and that’s fucked up

The fault of mesas
I’m not meant to live in the woods
but to cut through them
vengeance is justified
abolition is my chariot
when children mourn
Philando Castille
and say
“You have rainbows in your heart”
I want them to know
there’s a dead cop at the end of that rainbow
and we gonna be alright
I read sunset hills as
“suspect hills”
Because my hate cannot hide in the
expansiveness of
the day
or literally light

“Hope you feel better”
but
time
is built
like Pelican Bay
built up like
a love life
so instead
I hope you can bleed
in something that
isn’t nice
or too expensive
and that others can
see it run over all our
pretty
things
that
can only
hope to be beautiful
so that
it can be a proper
love life

Hydrangeas
remind me that all
wounds are forgiven

I ran my fingers hard
against the edge
I welcomed splitting
not yet a burn
not yet a cut
trying to
decide how
it wanted to be fucked up

We have lovers to
text
as we lay side by side
wondering
what they ate
forgetting our
own pleasure in
the sunshine
and rumbling
inside of us
are we seeking
water
food
or
hurt feelings
divorce is an earned tree ring
me
matching with
you

Other’s ghosts
becoming an other’s
second act of being
ghosted upon
there are at least three in the room
there’s at least an
incubation
stage
a sketch of Trotsky’s
scheduled decline
of capital
stage theory // attachment Theory
a musical
            The Love Life
Freedom in capital can be measured in furloughs.

Diagonally, the lovers have merged with The state
The scene has merged with the state
The scene, like the barricades
Cannot hold
Out against Saturn
But who will pay the price?

Suicide happens by proxy
We get a dose of it in our feeds
Keeping us enraptured, utterly broken-hearted
Lonely like god

We lose in school

We lose in the hospital
What is given was haldol
Because the voices
We hear are loud
And external
Telling us:
“Struggle is gradual. Don’t you want to function?”
But my body is in pain now
With my heart slipping out my anus
Because my sphincter got too weak from
The stress of holding shit in

We lose in church
Because the preachers, pastors, clergy all are silent
When black women are murdered by black ex-police officers
And black on black crime becomes null
Because this about lost masculinity
There it is
A hum of
"And the church say: AMEN"

We lose in work

We lose in romance
When we don't have to die
As a result of the passion of our lovers
Because we can't submit,
So we are beaten
ecause only the abuse of our corpse
Can be proved innocent and worthy of love

I can tell you how this story should end
Something like
The Middle Passage reciting on Tuesday under a blood moon
Whispering:

I know people who would’ve been happy to just taste the sun once
Really

But this should be the true ending
We should repeat and fuck to:

If Black Lives Matter, then that means the destruction of America.
The entirety. That vibrates deep down into the core of earth, to emerge and destroy Europe and the imaginings of it.

I’m the angel knocking on yr door
To let disease in
The place that I fit in doesn’t exist,
Until I destroy it.
Commodity commodity
It’s the black commodity
Corrosive commodity
Burns through tin and aluminum
In my hair commodity
Black commodity
Holding animality
White girls can understand,
it’s close enough to the dog commodity
It fits in your bag, made to be in your life
In the company of fetish
                      In which panel do I get to be Fred Moten or
                      Frantz Fanon, so that you can think my words are pretty too?
                      I want myself against everything
                      Stay there and be burned into the mind
                      Into the mind
                      So god
                      So god, so good
                      Got soggy on my way here
                      But So god
                      If your church isn’t handing me a metro card
                      Then why isn’t god saving our souls from capital
                      This truly is heaven on earth
Heavy energy
Heavy life
Death in
Mundane out

My lover comes bearing coins
And I always know what time it is
                      Death and war all by my side
                      A year with pulse
                      A year of dead teenage girls
                      In jails Black oil snakes
                      So good, so god
                      The end and un end
                      Everyone is learning how to drink poison
                      The darkness of the south
                      The blindness of the north
                      The grand delusion of it all

                      A hung moon
                      Time of all time has ended
                      With what is a poor substitute of equity
                      Sometimes death isn’t even enough to make good on past grievances
                      Sometimes suffering for god isn’t summed up in embracing the graveyard
Time of timed boundaries has ended
It began on the edge of a fence in a great hall exclaiming to no one in particular
“Watch me light myself on fire and burn for you”
As I tell this story about stingy lovers
                      Or how about we did embrace the tomb
                      Or how about we did win by losing
                      Or how about “yeah, man, I’ll miss you when you leave this city”
                      And how we can’t pronounce the word “touch” or
                      “I need you now. but no, don’t come over, I’m exhausted”
                      But of course we settle for private property as an alternative because
                      false gods taught
                      Us well

                      Everything is a joke with time
                      In time, around it, scalping up roots that were supposed be to
                      buried in our stomachs
I’m traveling along time to make up for wages
Lost wages in negative time
The kind without growth
The kind without organs
Body time
This internal clock breaks for you
But others will call it the selling of labor power
Labor power meaning desperation at the term “electoral activism”
Perverted time, obtuse because
I want to fight and care for friends at this edge of time
Explosion of Saturn time
Looking for soul in a leather jacket
                      I chose not to sleep through time
                      This time
                      The suffering made things feel more possible
                      I’m going nowhere fast, all of our secrets about the world
                      Aired out at this exact moment together

                      Walking diagonally speaking to God
                      Hoping the night doesn’t eat too much of me
                      In the absolving time of night
                      Falling upwards longitudinally through history where mosquitoes
                      Grow living in the crochet text-flesh of our friends
                      Praying that it flows into what could be the constellation of bonds
                      Strong enough
                      Lighting a fire in the woods, hoping something good will see it
                      Hoping it’s good enough for them
                      Telling us through the fire to use the sword to our advantage
                      Built in the blood of travel of the fool’s journey
                      Running wet under the moon
                      Teaching myself how to cauterize a wound that’s decades old
                      Licking away at a curse that isn’t even mine to hold
                      On left handed coasts we lie
                      About how our bodies learned how to say hello
                      How we wanted to be in the light In the dark
                      How we whisper things better left unsaid
                      Because everyone is searching for life and meaning
                      Everyone is in crisis and we just fell into the trap
                      We just wanted to experience death without it being mortal
                      We wanted to fail and believe there was a hereafter
                      And that there is something beyond blood and cum
                      Something beyond being a vampire
                      Something beyond dead Even beyond that because then
                      There isn’t even infinity and if there is, math couldn’t count it
                      We lit a fire and everyone saw
                      The world ended and we still chose to live in it
                      Hoping for no return
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