Tag Archives: msauciana

The Song of Mothers

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Dedicated to Mami, my mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother:

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I can hear her humming in a distant room.

She sings songs of her childhood

that were from her mother’s time

and the time of her mother’s mother.

No complaints.

No slowing down.

Just the rummaging of what she’s getting done

and the sounds of her voice.

A few sighs here and there may be heard,

but never a malicious word.

She goes about her business,

finishing every chore with perfection,

while lightening the load of those around her.

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Her humming is soothing like a lullaby,

but with a melody that keeps her going.

It takes me home to my island.

It takes me home to my childhood.

It is the humming I love most.

The humming of my mother,

my mother’s mother,

and her mother’s mother.

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Stay Woke

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The night is black
Our skin is black
Yet the world flashes
With lights
That are red and blue
As the world wakes up
To an orchestra of sirens
After the introductory
Boom boom boom.
And your son or your daughter
Your brother or your sister
Your nephew or niece
Comes to you and says,
“I heard the fireworks.
They woke me up.
I see the reds
And the blues in the sky,
But I don’t see the big boom.
Where’s the spark?
Where’s the explosion?”
And you look that child
Deep in their eyes
And you realize
“Baby, that’s exactly
What I’m trying to find.
That’s the thing I ask myself.”
And you aren’t feeding him lies.

You truly think to yourself
When will people see the spark?
When will they hear an explosion?
When will my brothers and my sisters
Wake up and see the red and blue hues
For what they really are?
Those alarms don’t mean
Music to my ears.
They make opportunity
For my fears.
The fact that the badge to me
Is more of a warning
Of the devil in blue
Than an angel on earth
Means we need to wake up.
We have to rise from our slumber
And make our own explosion,
Our own thunder.

Now why is it that our children,
Who can’t even vote,
Are dying in the name of America?
Why are they dying in America?
And why is it
That when they die
Our protests are seen
As hyperboles and jokes?
Why must they die
For our people to wake up?
For their people to wake up?
Because if I wear
A black hoodie and blue jeans
That means
I’m the director
Of the city’s crime scenes?
Because “protect and serve”
Can be exchanged
For “project and slay”?
Why is there a new case each day?
At least that’s how it seems
With the most recent of things.
There’s always a new one.

Hashtag rest in peace my angel.
Hashtag you got your wings.
Hashtag never forget.
Rest in peace
Because we haven’t found it here.
Rest in peace
Because we’re still restless.
Rest in peace
Because dying is the only way to get it.
That’s the price of peace?
Death?

The irony of the land of the free
And the home of the brave.
Where our people
Fear the youth
And dark skin.
Where the new slaves
Are still shackled in chains.
Where our leaders
Pray we stay sleeping.
Land of the free
And home of the brave.
One nation under God.
One nation together
As long as we stay divided
From bottom to top.
One nation united
As long as you stick to a curfew,
Walk on sidewalks,
Stay away from skittles,
And find a way to hide
The melanin you inherited
From your dad and/or mom.

Now call me selfish,
But with a father who looks Arab
And a brother who knows he’s black.
My father is named Martin.
My brother is named Martin.
I’m just grateful
I’m not hashtagging
Rest in peace to my Martins.
Because I know all too well
No one is safe
Unless I have the right friends,
Know the right places,
And disown the ancestors
Who make up my faces,
I’m not safe.
My family is not safe,
My friends are not safe,
My fellow Americans are not safe.
All college educated,
All clean records,
All good people,
But no one is safe.

Officer, what was my crime?
Was it the fact that I was out at 1am
With my brother
On my way to Taco Bell
Because I was hungry?
Or was it the fact that my skin
Blends more into the night than yours?
And I can’t deny it
My roots aren’t from the land of the free
And the home of the brave.
You’re right about that, Officer.
I’m no Native American
Because I can’t trace my ancestry
To the Iroquois or the Cherokee.
I just know I was born on U.S. soil
That was stolen from the Spanish
In a war I had no part in.
And, on this night,
That I choose to get a quesadilla
And nachos with guacamole on the side
I see five patrol cars pass by
And I tell my brother
“Junior be careful I’m scared.
Something doesn’t feel right.”
And I didn’t feel safe
‘Till we were both
In our home.
I didn’t hear any boom boom booms.
There were no fireworks tonight.
No rest in peace tweets,
But a friendly reminder
To stay woke.
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Blatino

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I dance to drum beats

with my bare feet.

I was born in the heat

and I am made of dark meat.

My hair is thick,

my hips make them sick,

and they wish

they could be just as slick.

We all eat the same fruit.

We are all seen as strange fruit.

Our tongues

may not understand each other,

but I am still a sister

and he is still my brother.

Bomba, plena, and santería

all derive from your same

rhythms and religion.

We were all stripped

of the choice

to make a decision.

We all lost our voice.

Together,

we make up the hues

of all the rainbows.

That’s just how it goes.

It takes two of us

to equal one and then some,

which is why we must

remain united as one.

An ocean stands between

and you may consider me

lost at sea,

but there simply

is no denying

you are the root of my being.

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Yes, I Still Write

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Besides the Steeze app, which I previously told you all about, believe it or not, I’ve actually been spending a lot of time writing. I’ll admit I haven’t been writing a lot for MSauciana, but I have written a lot of things. I’ve mainly been preparing a collection of poetry for publishing.

I started off by sending a good chunk of poetry (150-200 poems) to family and friends to pick out their favorite poems. I gave them the ballpark of selecting their top 50 poems. I know what I like, but I don’t know what everyone else likes, so I wanted to get their feedback and see which writing styles of mine they like most individually. What better way to do that than by seeing what their favorite poems are?

But don’t feel forgotten because your opinions have been taken into account as well. I’ve been going back into my blog’s archives and making a note of how many interactions each poem I’ve posted has gotten. The poems with the highest amount of positive reactions will be considered your “favorites” and could be included in the collection I’m putting together. (For those of you who would like to help with this process, you can find all of the poems I’ve posted here. Feel free to ‘like’ whichever ones are your favorites, so I can take your opinion into account. If you’ve already liked it, but you want to make sure I know how much you enjoyed a specific poem, then a comment works just as well.)

So, yes, I’ve sent out poems to people and I’ve been going back and tallying your feedback, but I’ve also been spending A LOT of time writing new material. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First off, it wouldn’t be fair to present a book of poetry filled with poems you can read for free on my blog. There has to be something exclusive and special about the book that you can’t find anywhere else, especially on MSauciana. Because of that, a vast majority of what you see in the book will be never before seen and never published kind of poetry.

Second, I feel like my voice as a poet has evolved within the two plus years of MSauciana, so I need to create a good amount of material that reflects my new voice. With your help and life’s hand, I’ve been steered toward certain personal writing styles that I’m now exploring and developing. Although I love and respect my old work, I feel like my new work is even better, which is to be expected. No artist wants their work to be in the same place two years later. So that’s why I’ve been hoarding away so much of my new work. Just because I haven’t been posting as much as I used to on here doesn’t mean I’m not writing.

Aside from working on my poetry collection, I’ve also been submitting my work to organizations, awards, and competitions. I’m working on getting my writing out there and I’ve been trying to push myself, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. Thus far, I’ve been quite productive, so I’m going to use this momentum to stay focused and continue to progress. But, don’t worry because MSauciana is still very much in my plan.

The Steeze App

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To answer your question regarding what has been keeping me so busy, the main project I’ve been working on is a new app, called Steeze. Steeze is a photo based social media app that directly competes with Instagram. My brother put in a lot of hours working on the UI design of the app with the app’s founder, while I watched in on many of those sessions. I know you understand how Instagram works, but I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly is so special about Steeze?

Steeze in App Store

First off, there is a “Peep or Toss” feature that you can turn on for each picture you post. The purpose? To get feedback from your friends on Steeze. Users can peep your picture to show that they like it or they can toss it to essentially dislike. The toss feature actually allows people to have a more rounded opinion on Steeze, as opposed to the standard like or ignore that happens on other social media platforms.

Say, for example you’re out shopping and you’re not sure whether or not you should buy a pair of shoes. Just post a picture of the shoes, turn on peep or toss mode, and let your Steeze friends help you decide. Soon enough, your friends will be peeping or tossing your photo to help you decide if you should get the shoes or not. You can do this for anything. What to eat, what to wear, what to do, anything you want.

But are you worried about people judging you for all of your tosses? The beautiful thing about peep or toss is your friends can see how many “peeps” a photo gets, but only you can see your tosses. That precious number will only stay with you. So now you get the peep or toss feature, but what else makes Steeze so great?

Peep or Toss

The Steeze app also has the Steeze Mag, which is essentially a magazine built into the app. This is where I have a heavy hand as one of the top bloggers on the app. The Mag updates throughout the day, featuring posts about the latest in fashion, music, movies, television, sports, art, technology, and trending news. With the Mag, you’ll always have something new to look at, even if your friends aren’t posting. You can also peep or toss articles within the Mag and comment to give your opinions on different topics.

The Steeze Mag

By the way, if an article features a song on SoundCloud, you can play the song and continue browsing the app without interrupting your listening experience. Other features of the Steeze app include filters and editing tools for your pictures, a meme generator, and adding text with a selection of fonts to your pictures.

Steeze Meme

Thus far, Steeze has gotten co-signs from the blog Sneaker Watch and R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn, who actually has an account and frequently uses it. These two co-signs are huge bumps for the app, which we’re very grateful for. I’ll admit I’m biased toward the app, but it just launched this week and I’m absolutely loving it. More so, I’m loving seeing other people enjoying it. As of right now, Steeze is only available on the iPhone, but Droid users will be getting the Steeze app within the next few months. I would greatly appreciate it if all you iPhone users could download Steeze and peep me @ msauciana.

MSauciana Steeze Profile