Why We All Should Support Chewstick
I don’t have to list all the reasons why i love and am grateful for Chewstick, it’s enough to be able to call it home, and know that that means everything. That means that I can go there, and have always been able to go there and feel safe, and heard and understood. Chewstick is where I first spit terrible poems and learned from them, it’s where first spit dope poems and learned from them too. It’s where I first felt safe enough to spit a queer poem and to honour the person who made me feel strong enough to be ok with that, Gracie.
[Chew is] The reason I was able to go to Women Of the World Poetry Slam this year and compete is because that trip was fully sponsored by Bermudian organisations that believed in me, y’know who was the first one to donate the first funds? Chew. Deidra Lee specifically, who transferred money from her personal account to mine, and made it possible for me to register for the competition. Y’know this MFA that I’m leaving Bermuda to pursue in a month? My reasoning to chase this degree was highly, HIGHLY influenced by my time spent mentoring and coaching the National Youth Poetry teams of ChewSLAM & Break the Chains. By which teaching those kids changed me so drastically, that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life.
Y’know po=t? That narcissistic rendering of myself in comic strip form…she exists because Gavin said to me one day, in some form or another, “hey, you should like, keep that going.” So I did.
Today, when I finally made it to Front Street, just to see it for myself, I wept uncontrollably on Matthew’s shoulder while we watched our home turn to cinder and smoke. Matt said simply “Salt water”…motioning to the stream still spraying to the embering building, & to the runoff nearly reaching our feet.
I’m island enough to know that there’s nothing that salt water can’t fix. This year has been a constant opening of a healing wound. It has been a hurt reaffirming itself every few weeks. And I haven’t yet been in the water. So, if you need me 2day, i’ll be in the ocean, healing. Hoping that the salt, in all its magic can suture.
To Gavin, Jenille, Deidra, Najib, Haile, Eden, Yassine, kids,chew fam