Prophylactic

Probably my favorite thing about Rafeeq is that he tells his truth and damn you if you can’t handle it. The other night at his reading at the Lit he told us that unless we write from personal experience and belief our stuff is going to continue sucking. I’ve been really struggling with writing lately, and I think this is because I’ve been trying to train myself into some sort of conformity to status quo and acceptable emotion. I’ve been putting an emotional condom on my poetry. Rafeeq’s stuff is very personal, and reading it in front of a bunch of white folks who’ve probably never even seen the inside of a jail cell must seem so futile. Paraphrasing, he said that though we might appreciate his writing, we can’t empathize with it, and that’s very true. I’ve never seen the inside of a jail cell, and while I can’t empathize with the experience, I can empathize with the frustration that he must sometimes feel. I’m just grateful that he’s sometimes willing to share those strange sides to me. Once Andy posts the video of Rafeeq I’ll link to it here.