1. New post up. Link in bio. #babymamahood Me & My a Family Became Homeless & How You Could Help… I am getting better. I can write about it now. But, I am still fragile. Today it is raining. Seven days ago was the last time it rained and when it rains it pours… in my house.

    Yo! My life is too real. It is too hood. And right now things aren’t good. I am grateful that I have friends that loved me enough to hold Zi down, who held me down, and fed me with food and a warm bed.

     

  2. How Me & My Family Became Homeless & How You Could Help


    I am getting better. I can write about it now. But, I am still fragile. Today it is raining. Seven days ago was the last time it rained and when it rains it pours… in my house.

    Yo! My life is too real. It is too hood. And right now things aren’t good. I am grateful that I have friends that loved me enough to hold Zi down, who held me down, and fed me with food and a warm bed.

    Exactly one week ago around midnight I heard a banging on my door. I thought it was my friends who had just left after we had an impromptu workshop around healing the mother wound. Before they came, I had a full day with my daughter and her five year old friend, they were fed, bathed, and sound asleep before my homies came over.

    When I heard the bang, I thought maybe it was them. That maybe they had forgotten something. I was so tired and lit that I opened the door to my upstairs neighbor yelling in patois and I didn’t understand nada. She’s frustrated and tells me to come upstairs.

    When I got to her front door, I was wide-eyed and I immediately turned around and went back downstairs. She had water pouring from everywhere. Her bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and hallway. I looked in my apartment to see if water was coming down. It was making its way down in drips.

    I immediately woke the girls up because I was loud, telling my parents to get dressed because I knew we weren’t staying here. I pulled out extra blankets, towels, sheets, and whatever else I could get my hands on, so I can absorb the water coming from upstairs.

    I made my way up to the fourth floor and that apartment was already accumulating two inches of water. I went back downstairs for more linens and laid some out on her floor. Her apartment is the last floor, so her bathroom and kitchen ceilings had fell. After I laid what I could, I dressed the girls, packed our clothes, and gave them each a pillow, a blanket, and a black garbage bag to put their stuff in.

    By this time, the fire department, the police, and the city for building enforcement is here. They shut down the power. My step pops is like all your clothes are gonna get soaked. So, I am literally in the dark grabbing bags and pulling everything out of my closet. I am getting “rained on” with brown water, all of my clothes are getting soaked. I am dragging bags of clothes and shoes in my room. I notice that there is water coming into my room, so I lay out some pots and push all my shit on the furthest side of the room from the leak. I bagged all my journals and dip out of there before the ceilings falls on us. A police escorted me at 2am to my homegirls house with two small girls…

    I am still at awe that my life changed so drastically in just a few short hours. Our landlord is a slumlord. We always reported leaks and mold, but all he did was patchwork. So, the roof finally caved.

    The building has been condemned. It is unfit for human habitation. We are supposed to make arrangements to move all of our stuff by the end of the week. All of us are scattered at friend’s houses. I couldn’t do that anymore, so me and Zi went into a shelter on Monday until something changes.

    All of my work and travel arrangements for the summer is in the air. I had to wash all of my clothes, keep going back to Yonkers to pack and get things I need. I am currently further upstate in Westchester. I am exhausted, tired, sad, frustrated, and holding back a well of tears. A lot of you have been asking me what happened, how can you help, and what do I need.

    I need help. Lots of it. My priorities right now are as follows:

    1. To maintain a normal relationship with my daughter despite the shelter circumstances and the distance from our nuclear family.

    2. To buy groceries, since all of it was lost when the power was shut off and is still shut off.

    2. To throw and give aways a lot of furniture and stuff and pack what I want to keep and move those belongings to a storage facility.

    3. To find a full time job with benefits that pays at least $50,000 a year.

    4. To secure a home for me and Zi.

    I am thankful for the roof over my head and I have to keep reminding myself of that.  I am so broken, y’all. I feel like I am beginning all over again.

    I have no other family than the one that I lived with and now they are all scattered trying to figure out the day to day, like me. If you care to help in anyway, I will leave my shelter address, secure donation link through e- commerce, and a secure donation button via Paypal. You can also personally e-mail me if you have any leads on jobs, resources, or just want to spend time with us.

    At the very least, please pray for me and share this post. I need to be strong so I can get through this rough patch. I need to feel loved now… more than ever. 

    Juju & Zi Angeles,

    123 East Post Road Rm#622

    White Plains, NY 10601

    jujuangeles(at)gmail(dot)com

    ~

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  3. Teaching a new series of workshops with some awesome fellow Yonkers writers.

     
  4. Spotted at the Kara Walker exhibit. #WeAreHere

    weareherekwe:

    photo by siemprefresca

     
  5. My favorite mermaid who hates taking showers. Straight baths. Happy Solstice from #ConeyIsland #Brooklyn #MermaidParade

     

  6. Joi Ride: Reimagining Motherhood After Divorce - Wasband Part III: Saturn’s Return


    I didn’t know what my mom meant then.  At the time, the hormones had me very defensive and very emotional.  I didn’t think I was keeping our son for him. I had convinced myself that the baby was someone who would love me regardless of my faults. The baby was someone that would never leave me, never abandon me like my parents had. The baby would let me have the family I had lost so many years ago.  He wanted the baby.  Even if he didn’t want me, I was okay with that. 

    Coming from the queer/gay NYC culture, I identified family as more of a commitment/bond between people than a blood connection.  Just cause you’re blood that don’t make you family.  I have many people in my life that I considered as family because we took care of each other with an open heart and open mind. To this day, they can call me day or night, if they need me.  I will drop whatever I am doing (outside of my kids) and come to their aid—no questions asked. 

    On the other hand, blood family has turned their back on me.  They would condemn me with false reasoning justified by their fear of an alternative lifestyle or because of their hatred of my mother.  I have had family kick me out in the street, left me starving, ripped me away from those I love without a care, they have brought in strangers into my home that have hurt me.  So when I saw a chance to create my own, how could I say no? 

    I did what most of us black, low-income, broken women do.  I kept our baby as a means of trying to heal myself from the broken cycles I had been raised in.  I don’t regret it.  Now, I know that it wasn’t the best choice for a hurt 24 year old to make. 

    ~

    This month I turn 31. Coming to the end of my Saturn’s Return a little wiser, I’m grateful that this is one of the lessons I learned in order to evolve. 

    My Saturn is in Scorpio, which is all about relationships and relating. It deals with how do you treat others and how do you want to be treated. I can look back now with the wisdom that I hadn’t done the necessary work to unpack the issues I had been carrying. I was so ‘grown.’  I thought I knew what was right for me. I’ve learned that the work it takes to be strong and secure in ones spirit is a constant process of holding myself accountable to what you show others is an acceptable way to be treated or talked to. 

    These days my wasband and I are able to relate in a loving and respectable manner. So much so, that we sit down for dinner with our children every night, without fighting, without the air of frustration that used to gather around us. It a beautiful thing to have this peace. To have his respect and be treated like a human being. 

    I’d love to say it was natural, that he automatically treated me with equity.  But that would be a lie.  It only happened when I took the time to dig deeper within myself and acknowledge what I really wanted, how I really wanted to be treated, and began treating myself in those ways. Before I knew it, everyone around me treated me exactly how I wanted, even my wasband.


    JeSansChez is “awesome on two legs.” A bi-borourgh based NYC native. She is a performance poet and urban Art curator. Through open mics and Art events her company, ArtLovesHer, works to present and preserve the work of women [& of color] artist. Find out more about her work at ArtLovesHer.com

    She curates the series Joi Ride: Reimagining Motherhood After Divorce

     

  7. (Reflection) Loosing the man, regaining an ancestor: Amiri Baraka

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    Losing an elder is like taking a tongue out of a mouth. The youth becomes betrayed by it’s silence. – Aja Monet

    When Seamus Heaney passed away last year, I remember being saddened by the loss. The online world mourned him by posting their anecdotes and pictures of meeting him and by quoting his writing.

    A day before Amiri Baraka passed I was in an online poetry therapy session and we read a poem…

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  8. 3. To the women who write

    I really owe my life to the women who write. The ones who have written me into existence. My father who named me after Judith, a hebrew warrior woman who decapitated Holofernes and saved Israel. My mother who gave me my middle name, De Jesus, because she bore me without my father. And my last name Angeles, because my family has always lived on the mountains, a little closer to the sky with a…

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  9. 4. Tired of the concrete

    I wonder if there was a time when a man loved me, not because of my beauty, but because of my humanity.

    I have this narrative in my head that I must be loved not because of what my hips or my lips offers to the eyes. Yes, I know that I am human and that attraction is an aspect of who we are, but I am also aware that I am a soul. An old huntress of life.

    We all need death to live and I often…

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  10. Why Teachers Don’t Look Like Their Students OR Why I Was Fired from the NYC Teaching Collaborative

    I always find it alarming when the Department of Education pushes this narrative of closing the achievement gap in public schools without taking into a account the people they hire into these Transitional B Certificate programs. 

    As someone who has been teaching for the past twelve years in the capacities of an artist and has been in two teaching fellowship programs, Citizen Schools and the New…

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  11. 2. Letting go of Facebook (sort of)

    It’s just everywhere. Technology.  It intersects with my life so much that I had to let it go. I wake everyday and after I turn my alarm clock app off, I check my Facebook notifications and timeline.  I am pretty embarrassed to say that Facebook has become a part of my daily morning ritual like using the toilet and brushing my teeth. I’ve always been jealously inspired by those who say that…

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  12. 1. Letting go of limiting beliefs

    I let go of the staggering belief that having a stable job will take away from my creativity and role as a mother. I have believed in this limited view for so long that I have taken away from the value of the entirety of life because I feel like I need all the time in the world to create and to be a mom. The truth is I can do this. I have done it before. I have raised a daughter, founded a club,…

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  13. Letters for my brothers

    Is there a bridge between our voices
    Smoke above our heads
    A sky between our siblinghood?

    Has time made us mountains
    Leaving the valley of mama’s womb
    Piling up the dust silently?

    Am I a home for a familiar silence?
    The traumas called ghost
    The ones I’ve buried under fields of tongue

    Am I the only one?

    A spiny map of epidermis
    Crossing the palmed weathered rivers
    Tracing the North Star with guts

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  14. (Theatre) Aja Monet’s First Solo Show at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, NYC

    (Theatre)

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    Last night, Querida Revolucion, Soy Tu Nieta was Aja Monet’s first solo show in NYC. It was held at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe where Aja is the first youngest poet to win the poetry slam title.

    Although Aja Monet is not yesterday, there is a consistent path that she is on since her formative days at Sarah Lawrence, studying the spirits and poets. Aja steadily reads and writes and produces work…

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  15. (Music) Brooklyn’s Own Chelsea Reject Radi-8s

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    Radi-8 is a portrait of an artist defining her vision in rap, while also giving us a glimpse into her personal narrative of love, life, and loss.

    Chelsea Reject is a 20-year-old unsigned emcee. A Hip Hop revival, lover, natty, creator of change—and that’s just what her twitter says.

    Her aura is on some hood head-wrap tip. I met her at SUNY Purchase through Sahir AKA City, another Brooklynite…

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