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Radio Tuning with station chatter
The voice of an elder woman speaking with light humming noise in the background: Sparkles firecrackers that what they bought, just sparkles firecrackers...
A second of Radio Tuning
1:50 Origins - Sparkle Nation
GR: Gabrielle Rucker DS: Diamond Stingily
GR: Hi, Everyone listening I'm Gabrielle Rucker and I am one the founders of Sparkle Nation.
DS: Hello listeners. My name Diamond Stingily. I’m one of the founders along with Gabrielle Rucker and Precious Okoyomon of Sparkle Nation.
GR: Sparkle Nation is um...loosely a literary arts collective dedicated to the written word and organizing through its various forms. Through intentional readings, radio broadcasts, workshops, and discussions, Sparkle Nation’s purpose is to directly challenge traditional academic notions of properly, obtain, share and utilize knowledge.
Um, The way that I recalled Sparkle Nation starting was Diamond reaching out to me and saying that she wanted to start a book club.
DS: For me Sparkle Nation started May 2nd 2018 when I made a post about how I wanted to start a book club because I think I was just frustrated with this idea of intimidation of a book club. That, I don't know you had this is my own projection of a lot of things but I kind of felt at that time of my life that book clubs were really exclusive and like a lot of people I knew that were in book clubs were like grad students or like had some type of BFA of some sort or they were reading things that were intimidate about but it was this assumption that I should know it.
And I want to create something for myself and like other people where you can go into something a little bit blindly or not fully understanding what was going on, something being able to discuss it openly and feel for a lack of a better word feel safe. Um, it was so simple that I said starting a book club let me know if your interested will start off with short stories and essay work are way up to novels and I received over like 90 plus comments on it and one of the only people to comment back let’s do it was Gabrielle. So, I met up with Gabrielle and Gabrielle did not disappoint because she is such a go-getter and someone that when they say something they’re going to do it. So, we meet up and we discuss what we want to do and the next day on May 3rd I posted on Instagram
“Sparkle Nation Bookclub the SNBC would like to welcome all who is interested in literature. We will read poetry, essays and short stories eventually working our way towards novels. As a nation we are interested in everything that we did not read in High School. Excerpts will be scanned and emailed for the PDF that aren’t available online. Sparkle Nation Book Club first meeting will be held on Tuesday May 8th at 7pm in Bed Stuy. If you plan to show I’ll DM location.”
GR: Not been thinking about starting a book club but I was aware of book clubs going on but none of those book clubs to me personal felt um that welcoming not that like I would have been ostracized or anything but they weren’t necessarily reading books that I wanted to read with a group of people that for me felt they were going to inspirer deep conversation a lot of the books that I were seeing being read at book clubs were kinda being used as marketing tools which is fine but again not really where my interest in a book club lied or they were books that however interesting were books I would rather read alone and don’t know if I felt that I like I need to process in a group um were there so many other types of writing critical theory, essays, poetry, like short form writing, excerpt from larger books that I general i’m doing all the time like i’m usual reading work like that anyway for like whatever purposes being like for my own casual interest or actual research for things that i’m either working or thinking on. Um, and so when Diamond and I were talking about starting a book club we kinda we were talking about what type of reading we wanted to do and I don't remember who suggested I'm just going to say Diamond because it probably was Diamond.
DS: I wasn’t the only one who wanted to be a part of something like this and I was just in good company. I had good company. I had someone who was more than willing to help and actually be my partner in it which is Gabrielle and I had someone who helped us facilitate a space which was Precious.
GR: Precious was very generous with their space. Precious um in the first few I think maybe the first two or three meeting we had in person Precious provided meals um for everyone and we encourage people to bring snack that was another really big thing for us was kinda like we want to create I don’t like the word community um the way that it’s currently used because it’s kinda used as this buzzword I think too for like glamour activism or like you know activist marketing i’m not saying that word isn’t real but I think the way it is often used can be misguided and so we weren’t necessarily looking to build community. But it’s like people are coming here after they get off of work.You know some people are coming here and we don’t know how much they got in their pockets. This is a free thing if you're going to come and you read it. Yeah you can eat! It was kinda that simple.
DS: Um it’s..it’s..it’s so much i think meaning to the word sparkle and bit um there’s a humorist story there’s a mystical story there’s like three different stories actually humor, mystical and manifestation for me but you know you gotta wait till the movie comes out and I don’t know when that’s going to releases maybe like 2040 or something like that we’ll see.
GR: I guess what I'll say is you know even though I don't know really what the future of Sparkle Nation holds. We won’t...Diamond and I specifically have had to get realistic about what like what we have on our plates I think that’s another thing I like about working alongside Diamond and doing Sparkle Nation with everyone is that we try to be we try to really respect not just the people that we’re you know that we’re working with or who are attending our reading or listening but also ourselves um i think a lot of projects that happen now that i’ve seen they can get really big trying to maintain that steam and it’s like if we have to sit down for a few months like we’re tired we’re tired. You know it’s kinda a roaming project that I don’t think has any particular goal in place other than to grow as we grow. Um, you know if we get to do in person things again that will be great if it ends up staying on radio or email chains it is what it is.
I think that you know that we’re both just dedicated to maintaining a practice as friends you know like I think friendship here is the number one thing and our shared interest and our sharing that interests and sharing that friendship with other people who can then share with their friends or share with their people.
I really think this is all it’s about and giving people the space to think about reading in a whole new way and to read when they want to. It’s not like you have to be reading like the most popular thing that’s out right now. You don’t have to be reading, you know the thing that everyone else is reading you don’t have to be reading you know every single day. You have to read what you like when you like and talk to people about it. I think that reading with others is deeply important. I think reading alone is great but if you can read with other people that's even better to me people. If you can read out loud with other people that is amazing. I think that a lot of people forget that reading out loud and reading with others is a form of confidence building and it allows you to be vulnerable in front of other people. If you thinking about you know being in school an a teacher calling on you or maybe one of your classmates to read out loud either you or one of you classmates there’s always someone that was really shy about doing that and that’s a really vulnerable activity to do with other people especial if you don’t know all those other people and at most of our meetings everyone didn’t know each other. So, I think this practice and whatever Sparkle Nation is a mediation in like, friendship, vulnerability and learning. Just like exercising your brain learning something you never knew before even if you don’t fully understand it. Um, taking the time to stretch yourself so one day you might. That’s it.
Radio Tuning sounds
12:18 For Our People - Angela Jackson
Angela Jackson speaking: “Let’s see I got my books lined up right here.”
“For Our People, an homage to Margaret Walker’s For My People:
For our people everywhere sing their Gospels and their Rap their Blues R&B and their Jazz their Soul and their Neo Soul
All great Black music scuffling scraping struggling to get by
For our people working as wage slaves in collars blue, white and pink.
Doing the best they can with what they have hoping it will not to be taking away with a pink slip
A sudden slip from the perapats on cement into disability or welfare or not
Hustling to keeping to being crush on the unemployment line
For our people for the way of years sipping summer from tall glass of ice water
Buttermilk and cornbread out of a mayonnaise jar
Years testing watermelon cutting apart the sweetness knocking on the round or up long
To listening to the taste for the excellence of young boys running like they stole something
But only owning themselves and the strength in their legs
And girls would keep up who could keep up before breast held them back
For our people and red kool aid days for smother chicken and our cries smother
In a world that did not adore us but ignored us or worst an ran us back on the other side of the vadock where we belong not in the wild world
we could conquer or excel in giving the gates opening into tools for redress
For our people everywhere growing garden on vacant lots
Training roses and blackeyed susans and perennials in front yards
Raking leaves and shoveling snow scooping doo and picking up litter
Washing and ironing out the wrinkles of everyday existence
For our people running and hiding with nowhere to go
Watching television and movies looking for ourselves
Searching books in nooks and crannies of histories
For a glimpse of what was wade laid late and what is to be
In barbershop and beauty parlors and ice cream parlors
And the stone faces in funeral parlors picking up children from school from daycare
Taking them to football, soccer, baseball, tennis, basketball, volleyball having a ball
At family reunion on saturday night’s
For our people who came in chains tortured over trumbulant waters
Broken hearted and broken tongue and broken magic broken blood lines
Strangled and whipped distraught and driven to the edge of the mind and beyond
For our people leaping into the sea feeding sharks and myths
An cautionary tales surviving the journey to reach auction blocks
A prurient pedestal for deposed queens and chieftain villagers humiliated abused rapped and Riddle with misery into exquisite survivals
changing vocabulary and clothes changing into sleep Panthers and super heros making the world safe for demonstration of protest and affection all beauty and love scapegoated
Purity deny the excellence we brings
For our people gasping for gadgets and genuflecting to electric celebrity worshiping trinkets and noise and symbols that blink against the eyes gaming and gambling and laughing to keep from crying and crying laughing cracking up and falling out drinking sucide and spilling milk and blood
gun down under lamp post in playgrounds bloody in drive bys in alley in living room in bed sleeping
For our people bulging by police and each other killed by presumption watchers taxed for Black and driving while Black
Shot in the back falsely convicted sentenced to dwell alone and want to be redeem incarcerated in stone
Tracked in department store harassed stalked in malls and all the place people spent and sale
Our people selling loose squares, oils, socks and peanuts on the corner on are desperate longing for hair for nails for body graffiti
For our people in the casino scheming in penny from heaven with that one arm patriot
Dreaming in die in cards in dealers
Dreaming numbers and playing them till they hit
For all people drowning in spirits burning throats and pockets losing in all spoiling liver lungs and kidneys hearts with too much each of us addicted to drugs of fashion to ancient hurt choosing crabs in a barrel or lifting as we climb each one teach one
For our people who do not belong to me but to all of us
for we belong to each other must hold each other in heart and mind
For our people in the cathedral of learning and the one room schoolhouse in the store fronts of funeral parlor fans and the catheradles of paint window and arched ceilings that lend toward skies
For our people in the baptismal pools in white robes on the edge of the river
For our people chanting and praying and hoping and for a sweeter brew to sip and savory
Let a new earth arise let justice pour like trembling rain and mercy prevailed as plentiful fields Let our strength be matched by vulnerable honesty of heart may resilience be our guide
for will stumble and then we’ll rise more able having falling more beautiful having met each other along the way as we lifted each other up
Hero people who go out of their way for love and stay on the way of goodness let our people be the people who remember and believe that love is all our portions all our all our currency and all our wants each of us injured or exalted betrayer or be betrayed muted and declamator all one each of us all of us each of us a private star beloved in the universe each of us creature of burdens and seeing angels merge as one alive and moving upward holding on and lifting this earth our house precious and precarious and God be our witness between this gravity and this grace hold tight and FLY”
21:41 The Serpent - Devine Malone
Sound environment:--charged, urgent, meditative, with driven movement, thinking of procession march.
A voice repeats a mantra: “The Serpent is loose and the hour has come...” (repeat 54 times)
The sound of kitchen utensils rattle while and hitting a hard surface, possibly a table.
A woman's voice: “What did the walls of the house look like?”
Radio Tuning cuts into a brief house music instrumental plays for around 20 second
26:18 Madison Smith
House / Body
after aracelis girmay
Drawing the apartment anew, I pace for hours
The mind and the eyes
Follow shadows between vinyl flooring and plaster walls, plotting fictions
They call out to the gut, echoing through currents of blood and bone
To announce that these shadows harbor a heartbeat and a cunning brain-- albeit tiny
The mind and the heart spin tales of sharp-nosed beasts deprived of sunlight, seized by dusk
Tunneling through porous clay
Each indecent limestone brick teeming with new lids
Intent to rip the threads beneath my blackened skin
After which, their polished talons coat the prey in a sap-like resin, a venomous gloss
Sealing kin with swear
To preserve and to drown
Calling to god
The mind promises a terror seen
Between the aisles of grief
In these moments, I ask what sits on the other side of fear
The bite an antidote and the pain a lesson
What if fear is a tool only to be held in a trembling fist
An instrument to propagate, to build the soul anew
And in the silence, of space and body
A register, bright and breathless erupts
Fear rules this house
The mind and the heart quiet
My legs, weary from their march, still
A putrid bile, fear
The gut sings
For it keeps the bed warm and reeking of yesterdays’ oils
Expending all that is sacres, a shameless vision
Vibrating through the feet and fingertips, the frequency awakens
A body of light sits opposite fear
Name it truth
No satisfaction or guidance
No god or ghost
Truth rules this body
29:19 Take a Breath/Catch Your Breath
The sound of heavy breathing, fading when inhaling and loud when exhaling, has been processed to sound distorted
30:11 Blue Haiku(s) - Briana Lynn
there’s distance between what I wanna do and then what my body does.
I live there in the
paradox of desire
can you tell the truth
about what you want from what you said you wanted?
there’s space between what I wanna do and what my body really does.
I’m stuck there in the
paradox of desire
tryna tell the truth
about what I want from what I thought I wanted.
there’s difference between wanting and really wanting to just be wanted
I try there in the
epicenter of desire
I don’t know the truth
about what I want from what
31:32 Phone Call from Edgewater - Jared Brown
Hey what's going on?
Hmm I’ve just been wrapped with a lot of stuff.
I’m Sorry i keep missing your phone call
Yeah...well i’m calling you back now and i don’t know
I have a lot on my mind
I got this thing that i need to do for a friend it’s about renaissance in Chicago it’s about writing verbiage and um...i just feeling lost right i’m not feeling really inspired and you know it feel kinda cheap to to feel so uninspired when talk about such inspiring people you know
You know the Black renaissance writers?
Yeah [pause] exactly um
Can I ask you something?
You think that any of those writers ever thought about clout?
You know what clout is? OK.. yeah...Hold on the train coming...yeah wait hold on the train…
Train sound fade in loud then fade out
LEVERAGE.. Right... you think that they care about that? You think that um it mattered to them who they posed in pictures with? Do you think it mattered that…um...they had a white boyfriend or not? Would that make them go further at that time you think or what?
I don’t know. I mean things are different now. You know things are much different now. Things are like...feel like so far away from the way people use to externalize stuff. You know. Do you remember how it felt like when somethings first came out and you were excited for like a long long time and you were like excited to share what you thought about it with other people conversation like something that doesn't happen no more. Yeah i know i’m just saying yeah I think the internet cool sure but that’s not what we're talking about. You think the renaissance writers were worried about clout? Or how many people bought their work or saw their work?
Or did this just come out of nowhere.
Oh I know I’m not a writer per say but well not yet but you know like do I need to get a white partner in order to get published? You think?
It’s not silly. I'm telling you there's..it’s a thing. You just not in these scenes so.. you just...it’s it’s...
I don’t know I wonder how they dealt with their white fans?
You know what I mean?
Like all the white people who claimed they love you but still ended up doing referencing externalizing things that if not didn’t traumatizing you traumatized your parents or your grandparents
You know i just wanted to hear what you thought about it
I know It’s early in the morning and here I am getting deep
You always say that
[Laughter] I don’t know
just question I had
Do you ever feel failed by language? You think they did? I wonder what they did to decompress from that? [laughter]
Exactly, EXACTLY, exactly yeah
I am tired um i’ve i’ve
No, I’m getting enough rest
Thank you for asking! I am.
I’m trying to put my time into the things that matter
Doing my best
Yeah I appreciate that
You always telling me you praying for me
The north side is ok i mean it’s not really like my..I mean
You I’m a southsider we’re southsiders it’s felt
I remember when I used to work up here mmm….
I mean it’s A Lot of maskless people a lot of cigarette in the street
Like white folks feeling like this pandemic has inconvenience them enough
38:30 soundings (Ambient Edit) - Imani Elizabeth Jackson
Sound environment: Ethereal, melodic electronic synth atmosphere
Imani Elizabeth Jackson speaking: These are from a set called soundings
they were moving northward fleeing heat as home began to strangle unwilling drifters forced
up a thermocline wanting to float cool and free tense is water’s top and full is its floor whole and huddled together in search of right climate some died and some fell to the floor this was a shell
this was a test perhaps some dead still rest atop fishes but some fell to the floor
The floor has archived several thousand years of plankton blooms to retell climatic change
(Monsoon: you depend on me / summer swells you leaves you swollen)
Living remains as material Material breakdown and enormity Coat the floor Living remains
I’m unisex in cotton and crying It comes in waves
cast the flower out to sea it’s over, i’m blown it is known how ooze tucked the floor away up on the shoulder once upon a time
the shield of said sully how to say what it seemed that i suckled the bone
i toe along in constant readjustment to toe i tread and plead
in favor of a drape of order to measure and write the compact fold
it drags to rope along into consistency
friend find their anchor points latch on to rock or stable leaf braced for the push of the
current time has yield to the tasks of salt degradation ad infinitum the floor is
afield now there are curios and detritus cast away sead flor to hit against
the material depends very greatly upon the character of the bottom
character of bottom: they were well-composed things gathering up come upon rock reef sand amid scattered shells speck stones pebble priorly rock scattered beings now rest together composing a restful bed upon which no sleep might be small scattered seaweed glob priorly mud scattered ooze small pebble priorly rock well-composed and leveled priorly composed of resistant test
in one family a single flor of sand usually secretes very little florid inhabiting of dredged material bloom family having family a family bloom simply gathers about with very little concern excepting for the material free and cool the floor as far as is know free, composed of arms composed of mud with fine sand make for mud grains of fine threads freely to form the soft parts of mud i’ve known
do naught but go adrift soon dead become particulate and matter for flowering for gathering for fielding with others split now yield to currents I would leave I would go unknown
Radio tuning out