Poem on Saturday: An old forest fire

I have a midterm on thursday, but i’ll come over tomorrow

what are you doing

did you remember August?

They said you’ll never see him again, the voices

yeah fuck that,

i’ll see him tomorrow.

what are you doing

i’ll stop everything I’m doing, will

you let me tell you that you fucked it up?

that day we napped, kissed, tensions built up walls along my skin,

cement that cracked with skin and skin, and cement

and lips cracked too, open, my blood fell onto your eyes,

did they bleed too? or did you think I could trust —

coldly bruised, i knew that you’d hit me up 2, 3, 4, 8 months later.

with a couple of girls, yeah you remembered me most.

my blood stained your eyes, you felt my skin the other day,

Didn’t you?

you think it’s ok to leave things unresolved, tangled up, leave your necklaces wound up,

Leave your people and tell them tomorrow, or 8 months,

What’s the difference anyway.

what are you doing,

her tight ass, yeah you fucked her too, huh.

I saw you holding hands on Valentines Day, she’s your girlfriend?

i doubt it.

You can’t commit for shit, I know you mostly.

but i know that she’s hot, and you like heat,

reminds you of blood, my kisses on the windowsill,

when you yelled at me, “do you know how much it hurts, Brianna?”

yeah, i’ve been feeling it for months,

you didn’t ask though.

But you remembered, and you thought about it for a second,

math is the only thing you’ll ever love, i know that.

we know that.

I look at you and understand your brain, and i’m not mad,

but don’t fucking pretend,

don’t tell me you’re doing well,

You’re fucked up, will

you let me go?

doubt it.

 

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B

On: Writing Poetry

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found sketch – incomplete. 

I often think back to when I first encountered poetry. I was about 6 years old and had just started first grade at Le Lycée Français, an international French school in Los Angeles. I had never had homework before, as they only started giving it out in first grade. So when my French teacher announced to the class that we would have to memorize and recite a poem of her choosing every Friday, I was both nervous and curious. Intrigued, I raised my hand and asked Madame Renoir, “qu’est-ce qu’un poème?” (“what is a poem?”). Amused by my innocence, she proceeded to read beautiful combinations of words I couldn’t quite understand — but I fell in love with the rhymes, the rhythm, the emotion, and the discursive nature of poetry itself. I didn’t know why it existed, or how anyone could understand the content, but I knew that I had discovered something very special indeed.

Fast forward a few years to 10 year old Brianna, and I had been reciting poems every week for four years, honoring the words of Jean de La Fontaine, Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Aimé Césaire, Racine, Jacques Prévert…etc. I was becoming quite the poetry aficionado, scoring 20/20 on every recitation, perfectly enunciating and inflecting, I had fallen deeply in love with this new language. It was like a secret code, a complex problem that could be interpreted differently after each reading. I was entranced.

In 6th grade, I was assigned to write my own poetry in English class. Not any different from my six year old self, I raised my hand and asked, “But Mr. Kennedy, what should we write about? I’ve never written a poem before, how do I do it?”. What I didn’t realize was that I could write about anything I wanted, and that there was no right or wrong way to go about it.

And I chose to write about my depression. And I shared it with the class, after everyone had shared their poems about trees, sports, traveling, and their pets. And I was deeply embarrassed. But I had discovered a new way to express myself, a way that I understood more than anything else in my little bubble.

So I went home and I wrote. I filled up journals with poetry, pages smeared with blood, drawings, scribbles, and calcified salt deposits. I didn’t show anyone anymore, because the more I wrote, the more honest I became with myself, which meant my words were pretty grim. I learned a lot from a very young age, and grew jaded quickly.

In High School, I wrote sophisticated shit — I analyzed my life and the absurdities I experienced. I wrote about love (or so I thought it was love), and I wrote about things I didn’t understand. I wrote about suicide because it was on my mind. And I wrote about nearly dying, about hospitals and doctors and trauma. But I was less honest with myself in High School.

I didn’t write as much my first semester of college, I was happy and in love so I lived life instead of writing about it. But once I experienced real heartbreak, I retreated back to the only think I knew: poetry. I spilled my heart out; I cut it open and dissected my feelings for what they were. I learned about myself and my limits — but I disregarded my limits, I went past them and discovered my middle school self again. I hadn’t changed a bit; I was just as empty as I had always been. I was just as alone. But poetry helped me realize that it was all okay, because the emptier I felt, and the more honest I was with myself about how I felt, the easier it became to accept life as such.

Poetry was and will always be my shoulder to cry on.

**

B

“Wut” issue 1

Yeah, we’re releasing our first-ever Blend publication, “wut”, very very soon.

As like, a printed, tangible thing. 

And as a big fuck you to every guy who has made me feel like shit. I may have been voiceless in my relationships, but never as an artist.

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Calling out every human who has been left feeling broken and lonely by a man, “wut” is an ode to self-empowerment, to standing up for yourself, for breaking down and feeling weak, to feeling and being unafraid to feel.

All poetry/drawings/pictures were created and experienced during times of great turmoil and disempowerment.

format:
A5 softcover zine
50 pages
words/images/drawings

you can buy it at the BlendShop! (very soon)

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If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, comment below or email me at bhd@berkeley.edu, and I’ll send you something special along with the zine 🙂

**

B

The Berkeley Desk Series: Brianna

*The Berkeley Desk Series will feature the desks of people we know, UC Berkeley students, strangers, artists, savants, intellects, eccentrics, normies, and whomever wishes to contribute.*

The first installment is brought to you by Brianna, the founder of Blend and BBB, second year UC Berkeley student studying Undergraduate Law, and avid social justice advocate.

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BlendHQ

We’ve made Protest Materials so you don’t have to!

Feel free to print these out and bring them to protests / hang them up on campus or around town / put them up on your walls or on your windows / hand them out to anyone wearing a MAGA hat.

{all designs by blend}.

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B

 

BBB Reading Lists: Social Justice Edition

The purpose of this reading list: to get woke.

  1. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Gareth Stedman Jones
  2. The Autobiography of Malcom X – Malcom X, Alex Haley
  3. Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther King Jr.
  4. Animal liberation – Peter singer
  5. Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington
  6. Are Prisons Obsolete – Angela Y. Davis
  7. On Anarchism – Noam Chomsky
  8. Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order – Noam Chomsky
  9. The History of Sexuality – Michel Foucault
  10. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson
  11. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City  – Matthew Desmond
  12. Undoing Gender – Judith Butler
  13. Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal – Laura Nader

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B

Weekly Tunes: BBB14

it’s ok to be angry.

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B

How to do a flight to Paris the right way

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I’ve flown to Paris more times than I can even count, but this is the first time I’ve been here in a couple of years, and my experience has proven to be very different than it usually is.

On this trip, I decided that I wanted to test out some tricks to make my flight the best it could possibly be, while minimizing jet lag and getting some beauty sleep. Here’s my advice.

  1. Take an Edible 

Ok, so this was 100% my first time taking an edible before a long flight, and I do have to say that I was a bit weary, considering a lot can go wrong with edibles. All I can say is that it depends. First of all, I took an edible that I’m very very used to taking, so I know exactly how much I need to feel fantastic, and I know exactly how I’ll feel too, instead of being surprised and then having an anxiety attack on the plane. Secondly, although I took a sativa edible (which energizes), I actually had a really great time experiencing all of the new sounds and feelings that being in a plane can bring. Many first recommendation would be to take an indica edible if your goal is to fall asleep on the plane, however. But if you do want to have the trippiest plane experience ever, take a sativa edible.

Also, I opted to take the edible about an hour before takeoff, and it ended up hitting about two hours after that, which came to my surprise as I was watching a movie. It hit me like absolutely out of nowhere. But damn was it fun.

2. Come prepped with sleeping supplies 

Planes are cold and uncomfortable places (if you’re flying in economy, which I’m assuming most of us do!) To make your 11 hour flight much more enjoyable, bring a few things in your carry-on:

3. If you’re over 18 and flying to Europe, you can drink on the plane.

When the flight attendants were bringing drinks down the aisles, I noticed two things. Firstly, the flight attendants were French. Secondly, they were passing out champagne. Through various mental processes that lasted much longer than they should have, I reasoned that since the flight attendants were French, they probably wouldn’t I.D. me, since the drinking age in France is basically nonexistent. Also, I figured that if I asked confidently, everything would be fine. And it was. I had multiple glasses of champagne during my flight, and it definitely helped me sleep 😉

4. Bring Snacks!

I’m vegan. Plane food is awful. Vegan plane food is even worse. So I always bring snacks in the form of protein bars and sushi rolls! Usually I’ll just make a Tupperware full of rice rolls and bring them on the plane, and I’m a happy camper. And everyone else will be über jealous!

5. If you can, try to travel as light as possible and avoid checking any bags!

This may seem obvious, but it’s probably my best piece of advice in terms of traveling. The Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris has the worst baggage claim situation, and it’s honestly just best to skip it, or your wasting precious time you could be spending outside of the airport and in fucking Paris. But this stands for any airport in the world. Bring a little carry-on suitcase and a backpack, and you’re fine. You don’t need 3 pairs of shoes and an entire bottle of hairspray. You’ll live.

Happy travels!

With love, from Paris ❤

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B

Paris, je t’adore.

Pictures of Paris I’ve taken thus far.

I’ve fallen absolutely and undeniably in love with this city.

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