Thursday, November 14, 2013

#poems #gay #trinivocies

(a fashion advisory from the Marike de Klerk Spring Collection)

"...Aries... My best friend's an Aries too. I really like Aries people.
So tell me? what's your antibody!"

Post the minus sign
mezuza on your doorway
Let it dangle golden
from your ankle
like a southern chain
Strap it to your forehead like a frontlet
pressing in the brain
Or wrap t round your wrist in bondage
like your name
Weave it into charms
and scratch it into crystals
Shop for buttons
Hang it
in a collar on your neck
Tattoo a tiny straight cicatrix
on your cheek or'
asshole skin back
display your modern cut
To overstate it shave a line into your bush

Wear it like I've worn my sexual choices
Parade it proudly
Flaunt it like a man
Put it in your Cv on your ID in the phone book
Don't forget to stamp it on your mail
Think negative
Be testy

Horizontal stripes are in

By Colin Robinson. Taken from The Road Before Us - 100 Gay Black Poets edited by Assoto Saint.

Monday, November 11, 2013



I don’t know where to start this story! Alright....I got a sky box recently, one of those U.S. addresses that allow you to shop online and have it delivered then brought to your door by a local service provider. Among my first online purchases, a pair of Ecco boots and a Nixon watch.

Now I first saw the Nixon brand while window shopping at Barney’s Loft in New York in 2010. I fell in love immediately and coveted one ever since. I was able to afford one last week and it arrived a few days later. I have been dying to share my excitement with someone as the brand isn't that popular yet in these parts.

The first day I wore the watch I walked in to the RED96.7 studio and host and man about town, Kwesi Hypa Hoppa Hopkinson, had on a Nixon cap. I was again immediately excited and bursting to share the news of my new acquisition.

Today I managed the nerve to say to him, hey I got a Nixon! In that way that Trinis do he say “you late…I have about five”. I went on to tell him, trying to save face, that I had known the brand since 2010 but was only now able to afford one. He said he’d been wearing the brand since about 2008 and went on to say he’d moved on to owning Breitling’s and has his eyes set on a Hublot and a Rolex! Lol!

You ain’t see I was fass and outta place to think that of all people Hoppa would have been the one to share in my joy?

All the same I like my watch and despite my bruised ego will continue to prize it as something to be proud of…I mean after three years my attraction to the brand didn't wane and that must mean love in some way.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut

I love food and fashion. I have been, I would say, on the periphery of both worlds since my years in New York but never fully immersed – I worked at trendy restaurants that attracted the fashion crowds and most of my good friends worked directly in the fashion industry.

I used to know how to pronounce the designer’s names, what they were up to professionally, know who the models were and know some of the models. I have grown away from my loves in some ways. Now I eat as a matter of necessity and not so much as a foodie, too I make little effort to keep up with the world of fashion. It has been a growing estrangement.

The fact is that I am good friends with one of the best designers I know, Robert Young of The Cloth and we eat a lot and we enjoy what we eat. This is not to say that all that I said before is not true but it speaks to how we view ourselves here in Trinidad and Tobago. Too, how I view myself in relation to my own life.

Robert is a major talent but he doesn't get the respect he would if he operated in another space. His company has been around for 26 years, he has dressed the best of society and entertainment, his aesthetic is strong and unmistakable – these are among the markers of his success. He’s an ordinary man though even while being extraordinary and that may be why we don’t view him in the same way we’d view a foreign designer despite the similarities in the stories of their labels.

I sometimes write for The Cloth and so I write for one of the region's and yes the world’s best design houses. We don’t view it like that though, he’d call and say he needs me to do some writing for him, I’d go over, spend some time on it , run it by him and he usually approves it and sends it off, press releases, interviews, biographies, stuff like that.

If you’re not familiar with Robert’s work it’s not my fault though as I am not his publicist and maybe if he had one you would hear more about The Cloth. That’s the thing; few things operate like industries in Trinidad and Tobago – with the supporting players that get fame and mileage for the work that many do daily.

This is Trinidad and Tobago, though, and it’s more problematic than I have made it out to be. It can be very vicious, perhaps in ways we only see playing out in the world of politics. I mean to be fair there is sport and it’s silent politics, silent in the sense that the back room race and class considerations that determine who makes National Teams rarely if ever makes it to the Sport pages of our free press. Similarly, the dirt of many industries is never part of our public discourse, we accept things as they are and rarely ask why...perhaps in Soca Monarch we hear of a certain amount of discontent and in Calypso about the politics of association and how that affects the success of bards.

The First World is not immune from these issues but there is more it seems, room for dissenting voices, the Black Girls Coalition being an example, the Super Model amalgam often speaks out about the color bias of many designers. Recently, too, I have heard individuals venting about race and fashion, yet those who complain still worship at the altar of this seductive industry. Perhaps they too don’t realize that they represent that black element they seem to think is missing. Much like me I guess, who misses good food and fashion despite having access to the best of both.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dye Dye

I asked a friend recently if a friend of our's dyed his hair and she said his response is usually that he was "born black and he would dye black". Haha! I recently dyed my hair after relaxing it. I was going to a 20's themed party on the night of my birthday and wanted to get that "fried, dyed and flipped to the side" look that was popular among black men in eras gone.

After a couple days I could take it no longer, it just looked and felt unnatural. The reality is, though, that not a day passes without me seeing men and women, countless, with dyed hair. It begs the question what's wrong with the truth? Why can't we face our ageing selves and accept our greys?

To me it's part of a wider problem, that we rather hide the truth and that goes for more than just about our appearance. I have blogged recently about the truth, the inconvenient truth but as I live each day it seems to me that more of us rather dye dye, than live in the truth.


#poems #plug

Check out my poetry at Pubic Space...its not the fully monty.