Jassmine Parks

USA

I often dream of black girls and women frolickin’ flowery fields. A lush world of growth sprawling around our bodies enveloping us into tenderness. We deserve softness. I am not afraid to speak of the wounding, but I have realized that I too want to uplift the sacred world of companionship amongst black femmes. How does it sustain us, bring us joy, call us in, seek us out, beckon our song, thrust us forward, make us a woman unto ourselves aside from rearing children and marrying off? I am intrigued by how we flourish within a routine of community care.

Makidada

Artist Notes

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makidada | jassmine parks for ericka

you, firmament of lavender may i touch your skin makidada
& hold you close to my face, breathe your scent? ain’t
me praying a man will never let you wilt in his grasp a good thang, no?
us a field of laughter men cannot pluck & give to us as a bouquet. the ocean
never did return the bones of our foremothers who jumped to their freedom & risked death. ain’t
part of them in our wicked smiles, the cage of our searing secrets that only we unlock? no
madkidada, i am still not ready to read anything except the folds of your face, a rippling sea.
you thread a tapestry of language & braid it into my scalp so that I keep you near makidada.
& cicadas will sing of us during summers they emerge hibernation. listen to their crooning. keep
me tucked in your breast. i am the humming of your heart & you are mine. oh my,
us in a man’s world owning ourselves, no matter how briefly, is a miracle. sista
have you noticed how women are quartered once married, separated ‘way,
one part from the other parts of themselves, such a gruesome death we cannot run from.
heartache cannot quiet the thrum of our love. nor children. nor oceans. we never part, you & me makidada

Jassmine Parks

Jassmine Parks

Biography

 

Jassmine Parks is an interdisciplinary storyteller, educator and spoken word performer. Using language as a catalyst to time travel through storytelling, Jassmine believes thoughtful introspection on past experiences in present time allows one to access our agency, creating a future in which we live as our best selves. Jassmine’s work focuses on the intersection of identity and actively identifying, naming and healing trauma on a personal and systemic level while creating a world in which we thrive. As a black woman and mother she explores blackness, motherhood, girl/ womanhood, and the carceral system including foster care as she is also an adoptee. She has received the support of fellowships from Pen America Emerging Voices (2023), The Watering Hole (2022 & 2023), Kresge Arts In Detroit (2021) and the Room Project (2021). Jassmine’s work has been published with Obsidian: Literature & Arts In The African Diaspora, Room Object Anthology, and Clearline Magazine. Her performances can be seen on SlamFind, All Def Poetry and is forthcoming on Button Poetry as the winner of the Editor’s Choice Award. Jassmine is the Program Development Coordinator of InsideOut Literary Arts, the Membership Facilitator of Room Project, and Co-Producer of the podcast, Black Her Stories.

Makidata Collaborator Info

Sophiyah Elizabeth
Composer

ig: sophiyah.e
website: www.sophiyah.com

Jassmine Parks
Poet & Interdisciplinary Storytellerwebsite: www.jassmineparkstheflowerchild.com
ig: jassmoneyrecords

I am currently working on a manuscript entitled “Miss. Ceilie’s Blues” inspired by and to be in dialogue directly with Alice Walker’s genius canon, “The Color Purple”. The book will allow readers to penetrate the complexities and motivations of characters within their own thoughts and emotions. It is an homage to Walker’s work, my family’s lineage and my own healing process. I also imagine this work to be in lineage with Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ “Mule and Pear” and Tyehimba Jess’ “Olio”. I am forever inspired by the work of Danez Smith, Sadiya Hartman and Toni Morrison.

Black Listening's website front page header art and Obsidian 49.2 cover art were  created by Nettrice Gaskins

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