P / P Poetry: Sediment and Sentiment

Written by: Carolyn Shayte

Photo credit: Photographer unknown

The switch was flipped

the city turned on

and twinkled

from beneath orange clouds

vibrantly reflecting the sun as it made it’s way

to morning

made its way to the other side

So the earth turned

and the earth turned

and I wondered what you thought about me

He thought of her

with his soft heart

with his fresh wound

and his harden scab

and he tried not to think of her

The pan had been used twice

to fry oil Continue reading

PUBLIK PRIVATE MIXTAPE # 16.16 – Daydream Machine Mixtape

Mixtape and Words By: Daydream Machine

Portland’s Daydream Machine are friends I’ve made by being a long time member of the neo psych, shoegaze music community. Our love for the music connects us with musicians from all over the world. DDM are have released a new album on March 7th entitled, The Show Must Not Go On on Picture In My Ear Records. I thought we’d celebrate the release of their album by inviting them to curate our newest mixtape. PS: Here’s a link to an alternative Spotify version so you can listen to the songs in their entirety. -je

Luna – 23 Minutes in Brussels
It would be a lie to not acknowledge how much of an influence Dean Warhem has been on Daydream Machine and this song was certainly the musical inspiration for “Modern Prophecy” and that I’m comfortable believing we turned it into something wholly our own, though I won’t deny the stylistic similarities between Justin and Josh’s bass lines. It’s just such the perfect groove to frame Jsun’s critique of the bourgeois spiritual hypocrisy and diplomatic war mongering pervasive in American culture.

Spiritualized – Medication
No song has influenced me on a psychic level or as a producer more than this. I still think of the first time I heard it, on headphones on a hotel bed in London in the 90s. I sold my soul to the dual philosophies of minimalism and maximalism. The song, and the album, Pure Phase, also spoke to me on a lyrical level, one that continues to resonate with me throughout my life. Continue reading

P / P Introspective: The Summer Tarot Deck

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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Photo of the Summer Tarot Deck by Mary Shock. Photo: courtesy of Mary Shock

I am happy that there is a vulva in my tarot deck! – Mary Shock

Mary Shock has a gift. I’ve witnessed it first hand. The first time I met her was several months ago when I stumbled into an inclusive workshop for strange people. I was born strange. My mother told me the first time she realized I was “different” was when I sat in the front yard of my childhood home and dumped dirt over my head. I’ve been essentially running around the world, “dumping dirt over my head” ever since.

Anyhow, the workshop where I met Mary was last Spring. She and I were both attendees and politely promised to connect in the near future during everyone’s niceties at the end of the event, but it wasn’t until a bitter cold night in Baltimore a couple of months ago when I stepped into a lecture put on by her group, the Bmore Tarot Club that I saw her again. The lecture on the history of tarot was fascinating, and I was glad I attended.

Mary has this ability to create opportunities for people to learn. She doesn’t take advantage and she doesn’t hoard information like many metaphysical professionals do. She’s a portal for the local metaphysical community to gather and learn from one another in harmony. At the end of the lecture earlier this winter, all attendees got to check out different tarot decks from some of the teacher’s personal collection, and that’s when I was introduced to her Summer Tarot Deck. Continue reading

P / P Essay: The Water Inside (Can You Hear Me?)

Written By: Alanna Bailey

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Photo By: Joshi Daniel Photography

The word claustrophobic came to mind. I’ve never been one for small, contained spaces, let alone small, contained spaces that swallowed sound—so this was starting to fit-the-bill for pulling the fire alarm in my lizard brain. Survival mode, hyper-vigilant, I surveyed every detail of the small, angled room, a series of rectangles stacked and repeated in different orders: rectangular ceiling mirroring the rectangular floor, pulled out and mirrored again in three-dimensional rectangular blocks, steps, one on which I sat, directly across from the standard rectangular door and an adjacent tiny rectangular window, across from a rectangular speaker fastened in the opposite corner. And as if this rectilinear closet wasn’t unfortunate enough, everything, save the door, window and speaker front, was covered in entirely drab slate-grey, carpeting, institutional, no doubt special ordered from a company that made the dowdy material with a special ability to absorb acoustics.0

The soundlessness magnified my breath and heartbeat, now entirely in my throat and head, but consumed anything else. The ad for the material or it’s corresponding ‘Yelp’ reviews must have been equally alarming—‘Wish your son and his band weren’t into death metal? Cover his room with this soundproof material!’; or ‘I’ll bet Ted Bundy wished he had this! What a great invention!’; or ‘Now my small farms slaughterhouse doesn’t scare the other employees!’. The list goes on. And horrors aside, I was shaking my head at the designer. I imagine some interior architect fell asleep in front of a bottomless Auto CAD galaxy and woke to see their toddler had stacked up shoe boxes and wood blocks on the floor nearby, and simply said—brilliant, I’ll just do that. Lazy… But perhaps fitting for a great torture chamber, or audiology testing booth, as it were.

I shifted on the scratchy carpeted step and adjusted the large leather headphones waiting like a noose around my neck, which was now starting to itch. I felt hot despite the moderate-to-cool-temperature, standardized, as the grey room. I focused on my hands, my nails, then looked down and studied my boots, shiny calico toes illumined under a fluorescent bulb; they looked like a pair of leopard’s-eye stones waiting on the dusky granite cushion of a jewelry box, snapped shut, yet to be gifted. How lonely. How the hell did I even get here?

My entire life I’ve been a water-baby, half fish[1], beach bum, and I never got ear infections[2], which seems funny to consider since I was such a sensitive kid. I would get hay fever from too much dust or cat dander, occasional hives from cat or dog saliva, full-on allergy attacks from over-chlorinated swimming pools, or my cobble stones[3] would get activated and my eyes would be so itchy I couldn’t stop rubbing them and they’d swell shut. I’d sporadically get laid up and miss half a birthday party with an ice pack on my eyes, waiting until the magic medicinal eye-drops I had to carry with me kicked in (sometimes I’d totally score extra cake because the supervising parents felt bad, though it rarely made up for the discomfort). What caused this horrifying allergy? No one knew. Some swimming pools set it off, some didn’t. I eventually grew out of some allergies, but never my love of the water. Something about it, free from gravity, suspended, an alternate atmosphere, sky’s parallel universe, immaculate symmetry split by only the horizon. Perhaps it’s the closest thing to tangible proof of magic I could experience, though I’m certain there’s also something to it akin to the womb— a fluid abyss of infinite, quiet calm, the whole body swathed in slow time and a cool cloak or velveteen warmth. Continue reading

P/P Book Review: The Future Generation (Anthology) – Atomic Books

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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I’m about the same age as Clover, the inspiration behind the 90s underground parenting zine, The Future Generation. She is 28 and I turned 30 late last year. My mom is nothing like her mom, the anarcho punk momma essayist, China Martens. My mom is not a punk. I became a punk because I found out about Riot Grrrl through a book about Kurt Cobain (maybe earlier around 12 years old, but I remember when I became truly aware of the movement at 14 or so) and was a little jealous of one of his first girlfriends who made zines and seemed super cool. Legend has it, he wrote song about her called, “About A Girl”, a song I sang off key one time as karaoke in a deadhead bar in a small mountain town in Colorado when I was 19.

Anyway, I like China and her writing because it’s out of the box. I like everything that defies the binary, breaks patriarchal social codes and tells the unadulterated truth. The Future Generation: A Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends and Others is a well printed anthology of the 14 issues of her self made zine that spans over 14 issues and 17 years. You can read and watch Clover and China grow up together and it is quite incredible.

China is a sweet writer and a hardworking mother who was acutely aware that motherhood sucked – correction, through her experiences it was stressful to align her reality with her beliefs and lifestyle as a radical punk, and to make ends meet for Clover and herself. Nonetheless, the anthology is deeply touching and eye openingly intimate.

All in all, I find the book to be  a small miracle for weird girls. a) I don’t have kids because I suspect the truth that raising a kid as a radical woman is super hard and no one has ever told the truth about it except for China. b) She gives you the opportunity to check into reality in a way you’re not quite prepared for. c) she shows you how much empathy she had for other mothers as she worked to find solidarity in her lonely experience, convinced that there were other young women like her who needed a support system and network through her zine. Continue reading

P / P Editor’s Picks: Best of 2016

Written By: P / P Editors
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Apparently, many people feel like 2016 was the worst year ever. I beg to differ. I would think 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated was a pretty tough year.  I believe our country has been through numerous turbulent and violent years. Nonetheless, I do not forget Alton Sterling and the string of televised assassinations that inundated our news feeds and television screens this year. I do not forget Prince, David Bowie, Sharon Jones, Phife Dawg, Leonard Cohen and others who have passed away this year. I will never forget that this is the last year we get to experience one of the classiest First Families in history. It’s been heavy. One thing I did learn though, was the power of prayer. The Standing Rock protests showed us how peaceful protests should be done, which revealed itself to me as a reminder of Martin Luther King Jr’s immense strength and capacity for love when it came to his and this country’s style of peaceful protests. All in all, I traveled this year, loved, lost, danced, sang and cried. I know this will happen every year until it’s time for me to leave this great Earth, so I am just going to simply bid 2016 ado and let go.
Publik / Private senior editor, Michael Martino and I put together a short list of our personal Best Of 2016 experiences. Hope you enjoy it. -je
Best Book You’ve Read This Year:
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Jordannah: Amiri Baraka’s “Black Music”
Michael: Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet”
Best Album You’ve Heard This Year:
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Jordannah: MIA – AIM
Michael: The Avalanches – Wildflower

Continue reading

P/P Year in Review: Best Books of 2016

Written By: Olivia J. B. Baxter

into-the-light

Editor’s Note: Here we are at the end of 2016. I am sitting here working on my computer while listening to James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” as a book on tape. I wrote a poem about being so tired that I couldn’t read Baldwin, but of of course, like him, I have a morbidly effervescent determination to find a way around my exasperation. I have over 200 books stacked up in my small apartment in Downtown Baltimore. “Discovering Your Past Lives: The Best Book on Reincarnation You’ll Ever Read…In This Lifetime!” jumped out at me as I am currently doing research for my second book, “The Warmest Low and Other Essays & Poems” which is a surrealist love story and collection of writings about reincarnation, karma and relationships.

Anyway, my new friend Olivia wrote a list of the Best Books of 2016 for Publik / Private. We met at a reading in Philadelphia a few weeks ago and immediately recognized that we had a lot in common. After hearing each other read excepts from our own upcoming books, we walked over to one another, noted our literary similarities and exchanged information.  She and I are both autodidacts, feminist women of color and have a deep love and affinity for the written word. I am so thankful to have met her and that she was able to volunteer to write this list. If you want to get ahold of her, email us at info@publikprivate.org. Happy New Year! -je

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Into the Light- Aleatha Romig  

intothelight

Into the Light prompts an examination of the Duality of light and dark. This psychological thriller accentuates human motive and underlines inter-connectivity as we follow two women protagonists existing in different environments having disparate experiences. A prodigious mind f*ck. Continue reading

P / P Outreach: We’re Accepting Blankets & Warm Clothes for the Homeless

By Publik / Private Team:

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Publik / Private is accepting warm blankets and clothes in the downtown Baltimore City area. We’re moving into our coldest months and we’re working hard to get warm clothes, socks, hats and blankets to the homeless. For drop off points please email us at info@publikprivate.org. Please cc founder, Jordannah Elizabeth: jewriting@outlook.com

  • Blankets
  • Winter/knitted hats
  • Sweaters
  • Warm, thick socks
  • Unopened boxes of sanitary products

Please contact info@publikprivate.org before donating clothing or financial contributions. We hold a fiscal sponsorship 501c3 through Independent Arts and Media.

P / P Poetry: I’m So Tired I Don’t Want to Read Baldwin

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

“Willing Scapegoats for the Male Ego”

womein

I’m so sick and tired I don’t want to read

Baldwin.

I’m so sick and tired I don’t want to read

James Baldwin.

Wake up. Wake up.

To be at this point,

surrounded by systems, white women

sexual threat, secret white guilt.

Buried tears too prideful to say,

“I’m racist. I was wrong.”

Misogynoir.

Continue reading

P/ P Introspective: A Brief Woman’s Guide to the End of Freedom

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

feminists

Yes, Coretta Scott King was a Feminist.

(This piece is very simple with no bells or whistles. It is geared towards heterosexual women. We’ll have LGTBQ voices speak here and in other outlets I contribute to very soon. I love you all. And I love American men, but we really need to get real.)

I am pretty used to men’s drama. I’ve been told I am “too pretty” (to do pretty much anything intellectual), I’ve been called names, fired after not adhering to sexual advances, overheard the most lewd sexual jokes in office environments, and of course, I’ve been working in our culture’s male dominated music industry for over a decade. The patriarchy is a minefield I’ve learned to navigate as a professional and as a female identified human being.

Trump is a human manifestation of an unchecked pattern of male privilege induced by self hatred, insecurity and capitalistic manipulation. Trump says what he needs to say to manipulate sexist men and self hating white women. Trump hates women. Trump wants popularity and power, Trump is an American man (respect to all the complex, thoughtful men who don’t subscribe to traditional masculine stereotypes).

I believe influential American Black men have indirectly played into Trump’s persona and triumph by having artists like Lil’ Wayne, A$AP Rocky and others denounce Black Lives Matters while rapping about sexual exploitation and treating women horribly in their personal lives. Kanye West spent millions of dollars to make a life sized naked body double of Trump to sleep in bed with him and his wife…it looked like an endorsement to me. American men are taught to hate and objectify women and prioritize money and material goods over us and our children. It is how it is. Continue reading