Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why do they hate women so much?

Mainstream Media is killing my mind. Maybe I came to feminism a little late in life, or maybe media moguls have reverted back to their clearly misogynistic ways; no longer pretending to give a damn about obviously turning women into sex objects. Either way, it is becoming harder and harder to turn on the computer, television, or radio without being bombarded by the new "shut up and look sexy bitch" culture.

We often worry about what messages this kind of programming will send to our daughters. I am becoming increasingly worried about the effect this culture is having on me and my other "adult" friends. I know a lot of people would say that I should just stop complaining and turn the television off. Some people would have me live life off the gird so I would not have to worry about such imagery.

But, I refuse to walk into the woods and away from civilization. I would rather ask the question; What is so wrong with showing women in a positive light? Why can't respectable women get a shout out in the mainstream media anymore? And, how are we going to ensure that they do?

I’m starting to think that I just don't know enough about mainstream media to even know where to begin. So, I am going to my media guru. One of my best friends, Stephanie Kowal, knows everything there is to know about mainstream media. If she doesn't know, it isn't pop culture. I decided to get her perspective on the state of feminism per the media.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Occupy Philly


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Philly Strides Towards Gentrification

 Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has been buying up land and homes throughout the city for decades at a considerable loss. I often walk around my newly developed neighborhood, formerly North Philly now renamed Northern Liberties, wondering why they would continue to build PHA and section 8 housing in a neighborhood that is rapidly gentrifying.

It hit me today that the answer is simple; they do not intend for it to remain PHA housing. I recently spoke to a long-term resident of my gated (for safety) community. He informed me that our complex used to be PHA housing. As property taxes rose and the yuppies (myself included) and temple students moved into the neighborhood PHA sold off the property and it became condos.

And, it is safe to say that they intend to do this with the majority of their properties. Philadelphia’s government may be broke now, but there is a twisted vision for the future. PHA is just another tool city officials are using to white wash Philadelphia.PHA will continue to sell off and assist in foreclosing houses “reserved” for low-income families, moving large numbers of government dependent, unemployed African Americans into surrounding suburbs.

The vibrancy that flows through Philadelphia will soon be lost and we will see the legacy of the disenfranchised black community continue. What will happen when the hearts and souls that this city was founded upon move out to the burbs?

I guess only time will tell.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Few Words On Gun Violence

A few weeks ago I asked an old friend of mine what I could do to improve my blog. He suggested that I post regularly and produce researched articles every now and again. Bloggers block kept me from doing this. However, yesterday I had a great conversation with a very enthusiastic foster parent about gun violence and I found myself depressed and inspired.

She told me a story about a shooting death that occurred in her neighborhood about 2 weeks ago. She said that a young man from around the way was in the process of robbing a convenience store when a police officer arrived. The perpetrator turned his gun on the officer, shooting him in the face from about 10 inches away. The reports following the incident were politically correct. They stated that the officer experienced serious trauma to the head.  The foster parent I was working with chose to scream the truth, “that asshole blew his face clean off.”

As a case manager I often find myself in forgotten neighborhoods where violence runs rampant. Every parent or guardian I speak to has a story about gun violence; a story about a family member or friend they recently lost to the “block.”

In 2005 there were 305 homicides in Philadelphia as a result of gun violence. This figure does not include the number of people injured.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence “Sixty-six percent of all murders are committed with guns.” Further more, campaign representatives suggest, “Relationship problems, interpersonal conflicts, mental-health problems, and recent crises are among the primary precipitating factors of violent deaths. Access to firearms increases the lethality of these interactions making it more likely that someone will die.”

A few months ago I may have been apt to believe that the facts justify the interpretation: guns should be outlawed, or made inaccessible in order to reduce the number of violent crimes. But, as I learned in the very backdoor documentary “Guns and Weed: the Road to Freedom,” guns play an important role in keeping our civil liberties in tact. And, in the heat of the moment, at the height of rage a person will use whatever he or she can as a means to their wrath.

Maybe the solution is to address the issues behind violent crimes. Maybe it is time that we address domestic violence, gang violence, violet cultural icons, and where our mental health and judicial systems are failing.  Our systems are in need of serious restructuring. It is time that we address the problems with the intention of rendering solutions. Now I guess we just have to figure out what that looks like.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Clic on the Pic if u actually want to read this.

Talib Kweli - Def Poetry Jam

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Still Peeling Carpet Tape Off My Nipple

I have been feeling a little stagnant lately. Though I just moved to this city a year ago, and started this job only 6 months ago, I am itching for change. I have always been hypnotized by the bawdy acts of low brow vaudeville so this past weekend I took a BURLESQUE workshop to mix things up.

The workshop coordinator, a Philadelphia burlesque veteran, asked us to bring high heels and to wear skirts. I don't even own a pair of high heels!! My confidence began to wane. Could I really go strut my stuff in front of women I don't know? I ignored the doubt and headed to my old building for the workshop sans heels.

The workshop was comprised of me and one other woman. We giggled, oohhed, and awwed over home made costumes, wardrobe illusions, and some standard burlesque tricks. At the end of the workshop we made our own pasties. I can honestly say that I have never had so much fun with arts and crafts. My pasties had a bedazzled, floral theme of course.

Once I'd finished attaching my tassels I assumed that the workshop was over. I was wrong. The workshop ended with tassel twirling practice. This would have required me to strip down to my pasties. I thought it over for a few minutes. If I can not twirl my tassels in front of these ladies who can I twirl them in front of? I ignored my spontaneous self as usual and praised the others for their grasps of tassel tricks.

When I left the workshop I was excited to have some moves under my belt and a brand new pair of pasties, I was also extremely disappointed. Yet another lost opportunity. Another moment to live behind me. Isn't it a shame that we forget that every moment is a gift until the moment is gone?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


They say people in your life are seasons
And yeah I started this poem out stealing from yeezy
I'm young, star struck, and trying to be easy
But these days it's hard to be original
My mama tells me it's all about dedication
All I can hear is wayne and kelly singing motivation
Mainstream is taking over my mind
Why doesn't the radio play anything of mine?
OH that's right
Because I don't make music
I'm just another punk punk
listening to you abuse it
The mainstream is trying to steal my mind
But I'm fighting back with some of mine
Art is for the people
Free creativity is the ammo and the answer
So, fall back and free your mind

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Attempt at Honesty
I jacked this picture from the blog My Cross-Stich Corner.
Link above for all my crafting hommies 
IN true Michelle fashion I ditched one of my new Philly friends last weekend. We had plans to chill after work on Friday night. When she called to meet up I didn't answer my phone. I sunk into hobbit mode, turned my phone on silent and sat on my bum all night. I have a very bad habit of doing this. And, I think that all my friends take it personally. I know I would.

On Monday I said I was sorry to her and she said she forgave me. Later she asked me why I had done it. I wanted to lie. I wanted to say I was super busy, I fell asleep, I lost my phone. I didn't. I told her the truth. "No offense, it's just something I do." I explained that I am a giant flake. I told her I had no good reason for ditching her. I told her that I sat on my ass in my apartment watching crap on the internet and stuffing my face.

She seemed offended. She seemed like she wanted an excuse. Then the confusion left her face and she seemed to really appreciate that I had been honest about it. I told her that I was working on it.

Verdict: I love being honest! Putting it out on the table means that there are no more excuses. Yes, I am a flake. Yes, I am working on it. No, I will not disrespect you by laying down some lame excuse.

If any one out there is dealing with a flakey friend, my advice to you is to be honest. The next time they try to feed you the BS, don't eat. Simply tell them, "that was a shitty thing to do, you are being a crappy friend." Hopefully her skin is thick enough to appreciate criticism and her soul is poised enough to change.

If I am your flakey friend...Thank you for loving me anyway. I am working on it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Attempts to Evolve

What am I using my voice for? And, when am I going to speak up? Preguntas. I am using my voice for art. I am ready to speak up now.

My experiment with radical honesty has been a bust thus far. I am still telling little white lies about nothing. I can not say why. It is almost as if I have nothing better to say. This tells me I am not trying hard enough. I have plenty to say and a unique creativity with which to express. I will say that I am encouraged by this concept to be more of myself and hopefully this will come through in my artwork.

With that said, I have looked back on my past posts and felt that these are not good representations of myself. Or maybe they are just not good enough for me. Is it a crime to delete a post? I want to erase the past and start over. But, I can't do that in life, and something in my heart is telling me that I do not want to do it with my blog. If I erase the past I will have no idea how far I have really come.

Finding a voice takes time, patience, and dedication. It does not come to you in the night. I hope that my voice has become more meaningful. I hope it deserves to be heard among the passionate. And, when they look over my work with judgmental eyes I hope that they remember that we are all phoenixes. Our lives have ups and downs and we can only return to the world of the inspired through the ashes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Think You Are Fat Too

A dear friend of mine, the only one who ever reads my blog, said that he could no longer look at it because all I write about is hating men. I cannot tell a lie, though I have told many, I am bitter. And I am expressing this bitterness in the form of "art". But, if my art is offending my only follower I guess my preferred subject matter may need some tweaking.

I would like for my writing to be meaningful. I love being inspired and I like to think I have the potential to be inspiring. Man bashing does not compel me to think positively nor to engage in positive acts nearly as much as I thought it would. So, I guess it’s time to broaden my scope and write about something else….
Yesterday Stephanie Kowal, internet queen, posted this interesting article on her g-status.

"I Think You're Fat" --A.J Jacobs
Normally I try to stay away from mainstream magazines. I do not like the idea of the entertainment industry doing the corporations bidding. I do not like that they produce dribble about inconsequential people to lure us away from the facts. But, I do indulge every now in them. What can I say? I love a good train wreck. Deep down it probably makes me feel better about myself. Or, maybe, I'm just trying to escape like everyone else.

Either way, it forced me to confront my own issues with honesty. I lie all the time. I lie to spare other people's feelings and I lie to spare my own. I lie to get out of commitments. I lie just because I am not used to telling the truth. I do not particularly love the true version of my life. It seems lacking.

However, my lying has defiantly affected the way that other people view me and the way that I view myself. My lies make me a flake and as a result no one ever takes any of my pursuits seriously. I have rededicated myself to my passions (at least I’m trying to) and I am excited to share my voice with the world. But, who is going to listen? If I want to be respected as a woman of vision and integrity I really do need to change my lying ways.

I think I would like to start giving radical honesty a try. I think the only way to totally ditch old habits is to completely throw myself into new ones.

I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Single Black Female Seeking Growth

I am 24 years old. I can not believe that I am 24 years old. I can not believe that I am where I am right now. I thought I had a plan for my life. At this point I can not even remember what it was. Life has this funny way of turning everything upside down when you feel like you are finally right side up.

My ducks, though not in a row, are finally back on the ground. Now I am faced with the challenge of figuring out how to line them up. I am afraid to line them up. I am afraid that life will spit in my face yet again. I always try to think of myself as a strong person, and some of my closer friends try to indulge this, but really I'm just a punk.

I don't want to be afraid to go after the things that I want because I may not get them. That is what I'm doing now and the only thing I'm getting is no where. I feel like the last runner in a marathon. Everyone else seems to have everything all figured out. Do they? Or are they just faking it better than I am?

I guess that is really not my concern. I am the only person with whom I should be concerned. That is a lesson I learned recently. I think I spun my tires for so long because I was too busy concentrating on everyone else. That has always been easier for me. As a result, every one around me has gotten the love and attention they need to grow. Meanwhile I am sitting in the shadows battling weeds and fighting for sunlight.

I am trying to address my own stuff. I am trying to nurture myself in hopes that one day I'll grow as tall as the other plants in my garden. I want to feel the sun on my face too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Life Without Men

I know what men are after. It took me 24 years to figure it out, but I finally know what men are after. My mother's words haunted me throughout my adolescence.

"Watch out for them, they are only after one thing."

I was sure she meant my body. Now I know.That is not all they want. Even though their primary interest finds sanctuary between my legs, they are not fully satisfied unless they have garnished my spirit as well.

After sex men cannot disappear into the night without taking a spirit along with them. They are not satisfied by sex alone. They are only satisfied after they have relished in the gifts of womanhood and made off with a warmth they are incapable of creating for themselves.

Perhaps my hurt feelings are my fault. Maybe I should try to detach my feelings from the act of sex. I'm laughing as I write this. I am no man. I am a woman. I am passionate, I am sensitive, I am doomed.

I cannot remove my heart from the act of joining my body with another. And, I cannot bear to lose another piece of my spirit. I guess to protect myself, I will have to remove myself from the act completely.

NO MORE SEX! I guess that means no more love as well. Men do not believe in love without sex, only in sex without love.

A Feminist Plot

Love and lust leave me subject to the spells of damaged and damaging men. I worship the concept of LOVE. I revel in the feelings of LOVE. But, most of all, I fear LOVE. Love makes me weak. It leaves my mind, body, and spirit open to the attacks of wanton men.

Monday, April 25, 2011


This will not be a story about love. When women write stories about coming of age they always include love. From a very young age we are taught that love is the most important facet of life. Finding love and keeping love are all that matter. We have been duped. Men do not spend their time thinking about love. They devote their time to ideas and to dreams.

Most women spend their teen years dreaming of the perfect man, or woman. Then we spend our twenties looking for the perfect man. We spend out thirties planning the prefect wedding and giving birth to our prefect children. We spend out forties getting divorced and healing from the pain. And, we spend the rest of our lives thinking we wasted our youth on men.

I am determined to give every young girl starting out in the world a better sense of what it means to be a woman.

Photo E.J. Bellocq, Storyville Photographs

Walking with the Past

It is early morning; the sun has yet to hang itself in the sky. I am obsessed with this time of day. It is the only time a person can be alone in this overcrowded city. I love being alone, but I also fear it. When one is alone the voices in ones head tend to take over. A lot of the voices in my head are ridden with anxiety. They are constantly trying to remember things that have never been forgotten.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The city of Sisterly Love

I have become isolated in this uniquely hostile city
And now I must face what I have always feared
I am alone with myself

I love looking into the windows and souls of strangers
They serve as distractions
If I can focus my attention on them
I can continue to hide from me

I am alone in this mural drenched city
What if I do not like the person I meet?
I am alone in this bike ridden city
I cannot abandon this friend
like I have so many before

If I don't like her
the rest of my life will be a bad christian marriage
A life sentence of contempt

If I find her to be rude, untelligent and borish
I will still have to take her to parties in this wild city
and claim her as my own
while others roll their eyes

Why is it so easy to love others
and so hard to love myself?

Voyage of the Damned

When I started this blog I thought I was starting a flower empire. I had big plans. I just did not know what they were. As the months went on it got harder and harder to find something to say about flowers.

Then this week it hit me; I am having a hard time pursuing this bountiful flower empire because while I love flowers, I just don't care that much about them. I love to look at them, I love to smell them, I love to cover my apartment in them, and I especially love to put them in my hair. But, when push comes to shove I just don't give a damn about flowers.

Of course this blog will suffer. But, now I am faced with the challenge of figuring out exactly what it is that I am passionate about. Lately I've heard that this is the challenge of youth. As I walk among the all-knowing adults I am starting to believe that seeking out true passion is a life-long quest. And, for some, a damned voyage. Before I set sail on this journey I'd like to make a champagne toast to hope, to perseverance, and to finding new worlds.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Some people say you are born into the world with a destiny, an unbendable path. Most people believe them if only to survive. To stay alive in the dark, unyielding world that we live in one must find something in which to believe. I believe in nothing. If I was born with purpose, it has yet to show itself to me. I bend with the wind, waiting for my spine to break.