Metro Times 05/17/23

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2 May 17-23, 2023 | | May 17-23, 2023 3


We received comments in response to last week’s cover story by Randiah Camille Green about the late burlesque performer Toni Elling, aka the “Satin Doll.”

Beautiful and a wonderful reminder about this importance of community and history within the burlesque arts.

—Eve Riot, Facebook

Beautiful article!

—Adèle Wolf, Facebook

That is actually a really lovely write-up. What a lovely way to celebrate her and the legacy she leaves behind.

—BeeBee Sanchez, Facebook

I loved this article. I’m not a burlesque dancer but I have come to love learning about lovely Toni from posts from fb friend Lottie Ellington. I’d love to see someone write her life story.

—Mary Ann Tolly, Facebook

This was such a beautiful, emotional, piece.

—Chelsea Lockwood-White, Facebook

Feeling beautiful inside n out is sexy.

—Mz Heatha, Facebook

Please take some time to read about a special person who always had a million cheek kisses for me .

—@BrittanyRoyale, Twitter Sound

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4 May 17-23, 2023 |
News & Views Feedback 4 News 6 Lapointe 8 Cover Story The Fiction Issue 10 What’s Going On Things to do this week 26 Food Review 28 Weed One-hitters 30 Culture Arts 32 Film 34 Savage Love 36 Horoscopes 38 Vol. 43 | No. 30 | MAY 17-23, 2023 Copyright: The entire contents of the Detroit Metro Times are copyright 2023 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, selfaddressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Prior written permission must be granted to Metro Times for additional copies. Metro Times may be distributed only by Metro Times’ authorized distributors and independent contractors. Subscriptions are available by mail inside the U.S. for six months at $80 and a yearly subscription for $150. Include check or money order payable to: Metro Times Subscriptions, P.O. Box 20734, Ferndale, MI, 48220. (Please note: Third Class subscription copies are usually received 3-5 days after publication date in the Detroit area.) Most back issues obtainable for $7 prepaid by mail. Printed on recycled paper 248-620-2990 Printed By Publisher
- Chris Keating
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in Chief - Lee DeVito
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On the cover: Illustration by Solomon Johnson | May 17-23, 2023 5


Detroit woman evicted from tiny home gets a second chance at life

WHEN TAURA BROWN was evicted from her Detroit home in April, she feared she’d lose more than her house.

She had stage-five kidney disease, and without a transplant, her days were numbered.

There are strict requirements to get a transplant, and one of them is stable housing.

The owner of the home, Rev. Faith Fowler, knew she needed a transplant and evicted her anyway, Brown says.

“I could have easily not gotten a kidney,” Brown, 43, tells Metro Times from a hospital bed. “She didn’t even have the decency to see if I was going to die before taking my home.”

Brown can’t explain how she still qualified for the transplant, saying she sees it as “divine.” She only knows that earlier this week, she got some amazing news. While having lunch with activists and friends Sunday, May 7, Brown’s cell phone rang, and her sister shared that the doctors had an available kidney.

“It was a total shock,” Brown says. “The doctors thought it was a perfect

match. They wanted to know if I was interested. I said, ‘Yes.’”

Last week, Brown received the lifesaving transplant. The kidney started working immediately. But the following morning, a hematoma formed around the transplant, and she was rushed into emergency surgery.

Since then, Brown says she has fully recovered and is feeling more energy than she has experienced in a long time.

“I didn’t have this energy before,” Brown says. “I had a bunch of fatigue and crankiness.”

But her struggles are far from over.

She needs to find an affordable place to live. Since her eviction, which turned violent when bailiffs broke through a human wall of activists, she has bounced from her boyfriend’s home to her sister’s house.

“I never intended to live with a man I wasn’t married to,” Brown says. “I want to take care of myself. I have to find a place to live.”

Since January 2020, Brown had lived in a 317-square-foot house that was part of a community of unique tiny houses

in the Dexter-Linwood neighborhood on the city’s west side. Built by Cass Community Social Services (CCSS), an anti-poverty nonprofit, the community of homes — ranging from 250 to 400 square feet — is designed for lower-income Detroiters and youth aging out of foster care. The goal was to provide permanent homes to people whose families never built generational wealth.

When the houses were built, CCSS promised that tenants who paid rent for seven years would receive the deed to their home, mortgage-free. Brown, who says she never missed her rent payments, won’t have that opportunity.

Brown was evicted after blowing the whistle on problems at CCSS. She accused the nonprofit and its director, Rev. Faith Fowler, of fraud and micromanaging residents. She also alleged CCSS never intended to provide permanent homes for tenants.

Fowler insisted she evicted Brown because she was living with her boyfriend at his riverfront apartment, a claim that Brown adamantly denies.

Fowler’s spokeswoman Marcy Hayes previously told Metro Times that Brown was faking the severity of her illness. Some media reports described Brown as “allegedly” having kidney disease.

“If there is any doubt that I had kidney disease, there’s a big old scar on my stomach and a nurse who comes every 30 minutes,” Brown says.

It has been more than a month since the eviction, and Brown says she still hasn’t received her security deposit.

Brown says she’s committed to fighting for other residents who are lured into false rent-to-own promises at homes across the city.

“Now that I have this kidney and I have more energy, I’m going to see about passing legislation for people who were promised they could rent to own,” Brown says. “It’s a scam happening in a lot of places.”

For now, Brown is soaking up her second chance at life.

“I’m so happy,” Brown says. “Everybody has come together and really supported me. The kidney was a life saver.”

6 May 17-23, 2023 |
Taura Brown, who was evicted from her tiny home in Detroit in April, is recovering after receiving a kidney transplant. COURTESY PHOTO

Fired Starbucks barista back to work following court order

A BARISTA WHO was unlawfully fired from her job at a Starbucks store in Ann Arbor last year returned to work Monday after a judge ordered the coffee chain to reinstate her.

Hannah Whitbeck is the first Michigan Starbucks worker to be reinstated after being unlawfully terminated for union organizing, according to Starbucks Workers United, the union representing the employees.

“I am excited to be back in the store so I can continue to help the union effort and hold this company account-

able,” Whitbeck said in a written statement. “Hopefully they will actually sit down and start bargaining in good faith with us soon so we can get the contract we are still fighting for and deserve.”

Whitbeck works at the store at 300 S. Main St., where her coworkers voted to form a union in June 2022.

At least 13 Starbucks stores in Michigan have voted to unionize, part of a wave of union activity at the coffee giant that started at a Buffalo, New York store in 2021.

In February, U.S. District Judge Mark

A. Goldsmith ruled that Starbucks illegally fired Whitbeck for union organizing and ordered the company to rehire her with back pay. The coffee giant was also ordered to hold a meeting with employees and management to notify them that the company broke the law and that workers have a right to support unionization.

In the order, Goldsmith issued the first nationwide judicial mandate preventing the coffee giant from firing workers for engaging in union activity.

At the time, Workers United alleged

Starbucks had fired more than 200 workers nationwide in retaliation for supporting union activities.

Whitbeck was fired in April 2022 after becoming the leading union organizer at the store. Starbucks countered that she was fired because she left work early, forcing another worker to manage the store alone for 20 to 30 minutes.

Goldsmith didn’t buy Starbucks’ explanation, saying there was reasonable cause to believe the company violated the National Labor Relations Act.

Stellantis slapped with 8th violation for Jeep plant

STATE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATORS on Thursday issued an eighth air quality violation notice for the nauseating stench wafting from Stellantis’s two-year-old Jeep assembly plant on Detroit’s east side.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) said an air-quality inspector detected “persistent and objectionable” paint odors that constitute an “unreasonable interference with the comfortable environment of life and property.”

The company was given until June 1 to

respond to the violation and come up with a plan to address the odor.

Despite repeated violations for the odors dating back to September 2021, the pungent, headache-inducing smell continues to make life miserable for the predominantly Black neighborhood near the Mack Assembly Complex, which builds Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Stellantis is violating its air permit and state and federal air quality rules and regulations.

In December, EGLE entered into a

consent order with Stellantis to require the company to address the smell by June 30. Under the agreement, Stellantis must install a second regenerative thermal oxidizer and update its nuisance minimization plan. It must also pay the state $136,832 and install a new building management system for Southeast High School.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Detroiters who live near the plant objected to the consent agreement last year, saying it didn’t go far enough to protect residents. They called on stricter penalties

for noncompliance, and some asked for reimbursements to relocate.

In November 2021, five residents filed a civil rights complaint against EGLE for allowing the plant to increase emissions of toxic contaminants. They also allege the state failed to analyze the cumulative impact of air pollution before issuing the emission permits. They called on the state to stop allowing polluters to primarily build in predominantly Black neighborhoods, saying it amounts to environmental racism.

Man charged for smashing windows of Café D’Mongo’s pays for damage

IN A SHOCKING security video, a young white man is shown hurling a patio chair through the windows of Detroit bar Café D’Mongo’s last week.

On Friday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced that Jaden Alex Geck, 21, of Ira, Michigan, has been charged for the crime. In a statement, Worthy’s office said Geck was arrested on Thursday and was charged with malicious destruction of property ($1,000 or more but less than $20,000), a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years behind bars.

“It is critically important that the public is able enjoy everything, everywhere that southeastern Michigan has to offer — especially in the State’s largest and most diverse city,” Worthy

said in a statement. “Café D’Mongo’s is a place where people come from all over for an enjoyable experience. The alleged actions of this defendant are criminal, and upset that balance.”

Speaking to WDIV-TV, Larry Mongo, the owner of the longstanding business, connected the act of destruction to the spate of mass shootings.

“He threw that chair through that window as a way to handle his anger,” Mongo said. “Then, I thought about every mass shooter had a beginning.”

He added, “‘I want to make the world feel as miserable as I am,’” imagining what might have been going on in the young man’s mind.

In the statement, Worthy’s office reminds that charges are allegations and

defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Geck was arraigned in Detroit’s 36th District Court and given a $50,000 personal bond. A probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on May 24 and a preliminary examination is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. on May 30, both before Judge Patricia Jefferson

After he was charged, Geck and his father met with Mongo to apologize and pay for the broken window, according to a post published Friday on Café D’Mongo’s Facebook page.

“The Geck Father and Son met Larry at Lafayette Coney Island to apologize and deliver a cashiers check for all expenses to repair our window,” the post reads. “All is well… Thank you Larry and the Geck Family for sharing

a terrific outcome with the world!”

“Larry Mongo is a great compassionate man, he is a class act, that did not have to do what he did for my Son, a life lesson has been learned at a critical moment in life, but not only has he taught him to own up and pay for your actions, but also how to forgive when someone does you wrong,” Jeff Geck Sr. wrote in a comment under the Facebook post, adding, “God Bless !!”

A spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office says that the case will still proceed to court.

Following an initial run from 1985 to 1995, Café D’Mongo’s reopened in 2007 at 1439 Griswold St. in Detroit’s Capitol Park neighborhood. | May 17-23, 2023 7



Replace Justice Thomas with Barack Obama?

The ethics of Justice Clarence Thomas are now seen to be easy and sleazy. In the unlikely event he is forced to resign in disgrace from the Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas could no doubt find work as a college professor right here in Michigan.

And his potential court replacement might provoke hope — and change. The Thomas landing school would be Hillsdale College and the new justice would be Barack Obama. Sure, that’s a far-fetched parlay. But it is not out of the question in an era of political upheaval and culture war.

Recent revelations by ProPublica show how gifts, graft, and grift flowed freely to the pompous Thomas and to his busy wife, Ginni. Some of her allegedly legitimate money got laundered with cryptic notes like “No mention of Ginni, of course” as the paperwork gathered fingerprints.

She and her haughty husband took expensive vacations on the luxury yacht of a billionaire friend, a Texas wheelerdealer named Harlan Crow, a collector of both Nazi memorabilia and powerful friends. Crow (no relation to Jim) gave the Thomases other gifts as well.

But fear not. Justice Thomas remains venerated at Hillsdale, Michigan’s influential right-wing incubator for white, Christian nationalism. Just ask Larry Arnn, the president of Hillsdale, who defiantly defended Thomas on a recent podcast with Hugh Hewitt.

“I just adore that man,” Arnn said of Thomas. “I often say he is the greatest man I ever met. I did get to know him before he became famous . . . I’m sort of in awe of him . . . I do admire him.”

While downplaying the frequency of recent interactions, Arnn couldn’t help but gush about their long-term friendship. After all, Ginni Thomas once worked for Hillsdale as a member of the board of trustees and a booker of Hillsdale speakers.

One speaker was her husband, for a 2016 graduation speech at Hillsdale, near the borders of Ohio and Indiana.

“It has been some years since my wife, Virginia, and I have been to Hillsdale together,” Thomas said then. “Of course, we have known Dr. and Mrs.

Arnn for many, many years. And we have been quite close to Hillsdale.”

Evoking the Bible and Ronald Reagan, he called Hillsdale a “shining city on a hill.” During the administration of former President Donald Trump, the reactionary Thomas was joined on the bench by fellow zealots Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

All three were pushed by the Federalist Society, whose leader, Leonard Leo, directed consulting fees to the business of Ginni Thomas through Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to Trump, according to the Washington Post

In one of the few true things Trump has ever said, he had vowed to appoint conservative and originalist justices who would overturn a woman’s Constitutional right to choose abortion.

He did just that, and so did they. And Thomas has hinted further at attacking gay rights as well, even as the Court’s public approval ratings drop to historic lows.

That decline is due to Trump and the Federalists packing the Court with wealth-protectors, gun groomers, and religious fundamentalists out of sync with popular opinion. So some progressives urge expansion from its current nine seats to 11, 13, or 15.

Even Arnn seems to agree that this is the long-view strategy of liberals and Democrats in Congress. It’s just that he’s against it. The recent exposures of his pal Thomas, he said, are a disguised backlash against the entire Court for its abortion ruling.

“What they’re doing right now is reducing the credibility of the Court,” Arnn said, “so that it will become plausible that they could change the number on the court. And that’s a long game. They might not be able to do that for two whole years. But that’s the plan. And, why? Because somebody said ‘No’ to them.”

Should Thomas resign — or should Congress expand the Court — Obama would be one of the logical candidates under a second term of President Joe Biden. Like Trump, Obama is a former president. Unlike Trump, Obama is

Black, a Constitutional scholar, and a wise person.

During his 2020 campaign, Biden dropped hints about expanding the court and even appointing Obama; but he made no guarantees.

There is precedent (that’s a SCOTUS word!) for a former Chief Executive on the Court. After William Howard Taft’s four years in the White House ended in 1913, he was appointed Chief Justice in 1921 by President Warren Harding. Taft served until he died in 1930.

In his re-election campaign next year, Biden would have to be cagey about promising too much. But with abortion and gun safety likely to be major issues, Biden might benefit from Obama as a background presence.

Certainly Arnn and Hillsdale have benefitted from their connections to the Court. Online, the school brags that three graduates served as clerks in the previous term when Thomas and cronies overruled Roe v. Wade. One Hillsdale clerk worked for Thomas. What a coincidence.

A recent New Yorker article reported that some of Trump’s White House speechwriters were Hillsdale graduates. In the same story, Arnn assessed Black students from Detroit once recruited to his almost all-white campus about two

hours west of the Motor City.

“It’s on my list of dumb things I’ve done from which I’ve learned,” he said. “They weren’t ready to come here. They hadn’t done any preparations. They thought it was a magical place.”

Among those who still consider it magical are former Vice-President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Both potential Republican presidential candidates recently spoke at Hillsdale and DeSantis cozied up to Arnn on Arnn’s podcast, The Larry P. Arnn Show.

Can Trump be far behind? Arnn helped boost Trump with right-wing scholars in 2016. They stayed allied. In the Hewitt podcast, both men floated the idea of a Presidential debate at Hillsdale.

Don’t rule that out. It is ironic and perhaps just a coincidence that a slick, national Republican power broker like Arnn would operate in a state where the local party resembles a Three Stooges film festival. But Arnn is no local yokel.

He scratches backs nationally and they scratch him back. He is a potent ingredient in the steaming, bubbling, right-wing stew that mixes education, law, politics, money, religion, and media. Keep an eye on Larry Arnn — and on Justice Thomas, too.

8 May 17-23, 2023 |
Despite his gifts, graft, and grift, Clarence Thomas has a loyal friend at Michigan’s Hillsdale College. PUBLIC DOMAIN
10 May 17-23, 2023 |

The 2023 Fiction Issue

Detroit is a city that speaks when entering a room.

When we visit our loved ones, or are at the gas station while waiting in line to pay, or merely as we pass a stranger on the street, we acknowledge one another. When we come into a space we say “Hey, how’s it going?” or we give a head nod or the most common greeting, “What up doe?”

Whether you are a lifelong friend or a new acquaintance, we speak. We check in.

Our way of greeting is Detroit’s way of inviting each other to share space. It is the way we love each other — even strangers. It is the way we recognize a collective consciousness in a city where thousands of people, each with their individual stories, work their way through the day.

This year’s Fiction Issue contributors have created a shared space speaking to one another and acknowledging a shared experience. The pieces in this issue offer meditations on identity and grief. They relish in the celebration of ancestors, traditional practices, and healing. The way we grapple with technology and our sense of self is seen in this year’s cover art, “Are We Human Enough,” created by Solomon David Johnson, and further echoed in the

poem “DETROIT BABY” when the poet by Yasmine Roukiaya meditates on desire in a tech world. In “Bearing Witness,” Carole Harris invites our eyes to witness the narrative in the layers upon layers of her quilts. She reminds us that Detroit narratives show how we believe something to be true. And in Sterling Tole’s “Get Yo Mans” I see our audacity in the eyes of the cluster of young men who are both receiving and daring the viewer to respond in any way as long as it is respectful.

Reader, included in this year’s issue are stories of joy, exploration, growth, and loss. In other words, this issue is the most Detroit greeting I’ve seen since we started producing the Fiction Issue. I invite you to enter the collective room these artists have created.

2023 Metro Times Fiction Issue


Melba Joyce Boyd

Shawntai Brown

Esperanza M. Cintrón

Jazmine Cooper

Kristen Gallerneaux

Carole Harris

Solomon David Johnson

Miranda Kyle

Kylie Lockwood

Rochelle Marrett

Tariq Luthun

Kikko Paradela

Mieyoshi Ragernoir

Vanessa Reynolds (Venusloc)

Katelyn Rivas

Yasmine Roukiaya

Manal Shoukair

Sterling Toles

Chris Turner

Morgan Mann Willis

FACING PAGE: Ghetto Palms & Momma’s Rage

Vanessa Reynolds (Venusloc)

Oil on Canvas, 5’ x 4’

Vanessa Reynolds (Venusloc) is a self-taught interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.


Are We Human Enough?

Solomon David Johnson is the author and illustrator of the children's book series Daddy, Where Do the Animals on the Train Go?

The fiction issue is a collaboration with Kresge Arts in Detroit to elevate local artists. Artist fees were provided by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the College for Creative Studies. Nandi Comer is this year’s editor and Casey Rocheteau the deputy editor. Solomon David Johnson is the cover artist. | May 17-23, 2023 11

La Dulzura

The repast was at tia’s café in Loiza, Daddy was dead and we laughed, talked loud, drank, ate papas rellenas arroz con pollo and made piraguas for the kids, but tio the last of seven brothers, dragged a straight back chair across the dirt road, his faltering eyes squinting up at the sun as he sat and pulled a long stalk of sugar cane out of nowhere then chewed at its tip, splintering the thick skin as he and his brothers, now boys in short pants, bare feet and arms filled with stalks pilfered from a nearby field bent low slipping past the open window where abuelita sang along with the radio a tender bolero as she sliced yucca for dinner all grins their toes sinking into soft grasses the boys squatted behind the house savoring the looted stalks strong teeth tugging, splintering then spitting bark before sucking the juicy flesh as tio savored the sweetness the afternoon sun warming the many creases in his brown face

Esperanza M. Cintrón is the author of Shades, Detroit Love Stories and four books of poetry including Boulders which was released in January 2023.

A Nothing Year

Everyone will tell you it started with a bang. No. It was a boom.

On Thursday, September 29th back in 1998, I was walking past Mr. Orman’s house and noticed the little Japanese maple bush. Only reason I knew about them was because the day before, my girlfriend Alicia McGray took me to the little botanical garden out there in Andersonville for my birthday. Turning 19. A nothing year. It was a small place but we walked around like a couple of plant sophisticates, pointing out textures and colors until we ended up surrounded by a small forest of thick maroon Japanese maple shrubs. We were alone, the timing was perfect. I started fumbling around her bra, hoping for a little luck in the garden. From around the bushes I heard a voice saying, “Orman’s got one of those now, just put it in.”

I remember looking at a lanky sapling next to the biggest tree and vaguely registering the voice as familiar. But my mind was bloodless. Alicia leaned in and gave me the sexiest kiss. What was that? Twenty six years ago? I still remember. Right then her grandma comes around the bend and stares at us. I froze. Alicia let out a quick yelp. She was still holding the button on my jeans. There we all were. Alicia was the first to move and when she did she started swiping down the front of my pants like they were dusty. Her grandmother just stared at my feet. Head low; heavier than embarrassment. Shame.

“Alicia,” she said, saying her granddaughter’s name like they were enemies.

I turned and faced the far corner of the garden, trying to get myself together. Give them a moment. Everything around me was suddenly the most interesting thing I had ever seen. In the back corner there was a two foot hole in the dirt. A tree had been dug up, messily. I assumed it was the botanical garden’s doing. Maybe it died. I turned back around to Alicia crying and her grandmother gone. We walked to the car like we were leaving a funeral. There are certain birthdays you never forget.

it was murder. I couldn’t get a word in over her crying. Tough gig, I thought. Day one of being 19? Dumped. My mind ran from the lump in my throat. I thought of the hole in the garden. Was this the missing tree? It was the same kind of red. Weren’t they all? How would Mr. Orman have pulled that stunt off? My heart was thumping. I was 19. I didn’t know heartbreak — how it seizes your chest and crumples it into a little ball, like old tinfoil. Then it happened.

Thirteen of the biggest birds I had ever seen came swooping down in a perfectly straight line. So, I guess if we’re going to be accurate it wasn’t even a BOOM that started it all. It was the faint sound of those wings in flight. I almost dove down onto Mr. Orman’s driveway. Instead, I ran behind the maple and squatted down. I didn’t know what else to do.

They landed on the telephone pole right in front of me. Snowy owls — the white ones that look like hawks. That’s the other thing people keep getting wrong. No hawks swarmed Gornton. They were owls. Thirteen of them, right at dusk. Twenty-five seconds later the transformer on the pole they had all chosen exploded. That was the boom. In a split second I saw a huge orange and black bubble of fire expand and burst into smoke and flame. A few feathers went flying, I’m sorry to say. Some thinner branches on a big oak tree next to it caught fire but they fizzled. Then, pole by pole, the explosion spread. Power went out all around me. Those were the bangs. In five minutes the whole town was powerless. I stayed behind that shrub for a while. Imagine me, 19 years old, heartbroken, hiding like a kid, afraid of the dark. The lights never came back on. So I finally got up, dusted off my pants, and ran home. Later that month I saw Mr. Orman’s neighbor, Jasmine and she said yup, she saw the whole thing too and even told me that the surviving owls stayed until the next morning.

Oil on canvas with digital effects

So the next afternoon, I happened to be walking by Mr. Orman’s house on the way to the gas station and saw the bright, little maple tree. Naturally, I slowed down. That morning Alicia called to tell me I couldn’t see her for a while. She was sure her family already learned what happened from her grandmother. They’d all know her shame soon enough. She talked like

All of Gornton was down that night. The flashlights, oil lamps, headlights, whatever we had did nothing to illuminate the dark. East, west, uptown, the Union. No one had seen anything like it. Seemed like forever. Three days and some change, no power. And you know what? It started out okay. Then it went a little crazy.

We call those days, The Nights.

12 May 17-23, 2023 |
Morgan Mann Willis (she/they) is a storyteller whose work explores themes of memory, mundanity, and home. The Titanz By Mieyoshi Ragernoir Mieyoshi Ragernoir is a painter, art educator, and mixed media artist from Harlem, NY; she creates celebratory paintings archiving the connections of people, heritage, and joy; predominantly portraits highlighting the radiance of Black femininity. | May 17-23, 2023 13

When We Were Close a short play


LAJOY - a lesbian stud

STRAIGHTIANA & FRIENDS - feminine Black women


Detroit, a straight club in a time when lesbian bars are extinct.

Club lights flicker. Bad music plays. LAJOY stirs her drink. She is alone; the bar is crowded. STRAIGHTIANA enters, sets an empty glass down in the tight space next to LAJOY, waits.

When I see a string of women carving through the club like a moving Wall of China, I see us not-so-long ago: finger-linked or with our palm at the small of the next one’s back, caravanning. Our borderless skin — a whole spell. Remember, we’d form covens of vibrating hips? And when we was really feelin’ the music, it was ass to pelvis! Palm into shoulder of your bestie — to steady yourself — while you were giving whatever nigga’ was behind you That Work!

I was your shoulder

Unwilling to let a nigga grind on me, but if you wanted bounce that ass — I was your support staff.

LAJOY (After a moment.)

Kill the DJ, right? Cain’t nobody dance to this!

STRAGHTIANA ignores LAJOY. Or doesn’t hear her?

Remember? Piling together, laughing at the TV: three sets of thighs squished together on the sofa, and my body sprawled across. Remember how no one flinched at my touch?

You flinch now.

See my men’s-section clothing; second guess why I’m here. Like I’m not dodging their gaze, too.


(Tapping STRAIGHTIANA’s shoulder.)

I said—

STRAIGHTIANA whips her shoulder out of reach, looks LAJOY up and down.

I wasn’t trying to—

Just making conversation...


STRAIGHTIANA turns her back.

STRAIGHTIANA snatches her refreshed drink, dancefloor bound. LAJOYA stands, grabs her hand. STRAIGHTIANA freezes. A spotlight falls around them. Remaining lights dim to black.


Remember, we used to be girls?

Not me and you, specifically. Me and your kind.

STRAIGHTIANA unfreezes, retreating to FRIENDS who appear under a hazy spotlight. They touch constantly: dancing, fixing hair, makeup, hugging for photos.

Back when you were tomboy-era-Aaliyah and I was Da Brat Tat Tat, posing back-to-back in front of an airbrushed skyline.

Now, I can’t even get close.

Which is funny to me, because one thing we do as women is touch. Constantly.

Like it’s necessary.


Remember our touch as platonic love offerings? Taking braids down in class. Oiled fingers on a dry scalp. Sharing chapstick — no danger predetermined on my lips.

I want that back.

To fix your hair — no flirtation assumed. LAJOY moves closer.

To sit closer to you at the bar and talk about how bad the DJ is.

Even closer. Could you hear me? If I wore heels? Short-shorts with my titties elevated and revealed?

Could you remember me then, as one of your girls? Me as me — as us;

LAJOY, now nearly in their spotlight. and not another nigga you ain’t got time for at the club.

LAJOY’s spotlight cuts out, disappearing her. STRAIGHTIANA & FRIENDS remain lit, posing for a photo. Lights flash.

Blackout. - END -

Shawntai Brown is a Detroit playwright, poet, teaching artist, and co-host of Woman Crush Everyday, a webshow for fans of Black queer women-centered media.

14 May 17-23, 2023 |


Fadia says as she plucks the stray hairs from my face don't send texts that end up in mass graves but every good Ghost story starts with presence & I wear war like a favorite jacket picture it a simple scene constructed from sprites: static & color a screensaver selfie a dangly earring bouncing like rush hour on 94 exporting ports & neon-pink fuzzy handcuffs I came on to you like April, a total fool; persistent & viridian a stick shift commitment Behind the screens we glitched at the intersection of doom & desire swirled like tyrian bruises under the marbled disco lights All artificial means of connection fizzed its syrupy carbon away the bugs thawed too early we kissed sooo deeply every sky became a homeland painting yours & mine now are people even a people if they are forgotten left on read? Does my tongue crave the coney on Lafayette because it is colonized? My google search only shows pictures of Belle Isle sunny-side up, the two time zones back home, Casper the friendly ghost & his mugshot uncles. The albatross is born in the sky flies 20 years straight without missing anybody my Detroit baby Habibi with brows on fleek what I’m trying to say is only ALLAH gets the last laugh & I’m so very sad you had to meet me at a haunting time like this.

Aretha Franklin, Rock Steady for The Queen of Soul (1942-2018)

“Aretha sang the way black folks sing when they leave themselves alone.”

God lifted your regal voice, invoking your father’s seamless faith and mission, marching with Martin, to sing for our King, for his vision, for his dream.

“Mary, don’t you weep, Pharaoh’s army got drowned” Your songs soar with angels, strengthen our resolve, demand RESPECT like a Natural Woman, to THINK, to Do Right despite racial strife or some lowdown man, inflicting endless grief on a woman’s pain, cause “Ain’t no way, Ain’t no way, for me to love you.”

Hailing from New Bethel Baptist, your gospels bring healing to sorrow, subvert suffering,

and inspire choirs, preachers in pulpits, and even the Pope.

“Got to find me an angel.”

Your rhythm and blues are liberation anthems, Bridges Over Troubled Waters, elevating inaugurations for Presidents Clinton and Obama, crowning your legacy Gold with the Freedom Medal of Honor.

“What it is, What it is, What it is.”

Amazing grace, how sweet is your sound born in Memphis, raised up in Detroit city, reaching Spanish Harlem, with spiritual reverberations scaling a nation’s blues, revolutionizing American music, blessing an entire world making us whole.

“What it is, What it is, What it is.”

Sista Re’s gone home.

“Mary, don’t you weep, Martha, don’t you moan”

Bearing Witness

53” x 42” Commercially printed cottons, acrylic paint on muslin, cotton batting and thread.

Carole Harri s is a nationally recognized fiber artist and 2015 Kresge Fellow, whose abstract compositions expand on the basic concepts of quilt making, while telling the stories of time, memory and place through the use of densely layered textiles, stitchery, and mixed media.

Rock Steady, baby. Rock Steady for Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.

Melba Joyce Boyd is an award-winning author of nine of books of poetry, two biographies, editor of two poetry anthologies, two documentary films, and is the 2023 Kresge Eminent Artist.

The Ocean Deserves a Song

My mother is dead. I know this because she appears in my dream, baking a cheesecake in a kitchen I know but do not recognize, to tell me the hurt I have felt is a pool that I must submerge myself in. Why would I want to do that? Because time is not a salve, but a weapon and my time is almost up.

There are too many dead calling my name, too many.

I learned this way before I was born in water. I knew this before I learned about the sinking.

I have sunk to the bottom of this pool. I have heard the whispers of my ancestors speak time into my name. My name, my name.

When I awake, I am late for work the last time I am allowed to be late. I am going nowhere, my body cemented in my sheets. My first thought: I can’t afford this. I can’t afford… this. I cannot help but stare at the white, digital numbers on my phone. My world is an ocean, and I am sinking. This reminds me of my lover’s grasp and its forbidden clutch, but this has nothing to do with it. This is what the ocean does to the mind after the body has dissolved. This is what the tangling does to ones who believe they are not a mess. I am | May 17-23, 2023 15
Yasmine Roukiaya is a Lebanese/ Appalachian/American lyricist, fictionist, and performing poetess living in-between hyphens, genres, and political streams of consciousness.

Within the Garden: Self

“My work reflects the stigmatized ideals placed on black individuals, but flipping it by giving them representation from their perspectives.” —Miranda Kyle

used to the sinking, but the ocean still swallows.

I get the call that I am fired, and my boss decides to lecture me about my usage of freedom. Do not lecture me about my freedom. What is freedom when the mind is hostage to itself? My mind knows everything about chains.

My body knows everything about chains. Even loose metal holds a grip on tender wrists for generations and generations.

I roll over to the window, where the blinds are closed shut. The dark is a swallow, whole and choking. This is not how I am supposed to be. I remember many things like why I am so alone. I am in a city I never knew, where the only patrons of my existence are my ancestors. Do they know why I am so alone? Should I ask them?

Should I talk to god? What is poor design to the divine?

My room is dark. Instead of opening the blinds, I light candles as though the small satisfaction will mend this sinking. I think of my lover’s hands and the crevices its caresses do not touch. They appear at my door knocking, knowing that I am here because this is a con-

venient time for them. When I don’t answer, I hear them become angry. My phone rings and rings, and they call me call me call me.

When I open the door, they are wanting, and I am too vulnerable to resist. But even when we are together, they don’t say my name.

To not think, I decide to dream. I dream of my flesh falling loosely around my ankles, my flesh becoming more than water, ebbing and flowing like a wave in a calm ocean. I am one with what should heal me, but for that to happen, I must become the healing. I do not know what this means or how the healing should be, yet I am here.

I’m awake. The sky is dark and there is air in my lungs. I breathe deeply.

My father calls me to tell me what I already know, and I hesitate to tell him that I saw her in a dream, radiant, and happy. My lover must go, and I tell them to not come back. I tell them the reason is they never knew my name, the name I have breathed life into. I don’t care they are confused, but I need this more than I need them. I need the wholeness of my name to fill my mouth until I am choking, to let me know that

Pregnant torso with head of the Pietà against mirror and sky, 2021

I am still here and my heart beats and beats and beats until it will pass onto another name.

When I look at the blue-black sky, my ancestors scream my name from the deep. I am still here. I am.

Jazmine Cooper is an MFA student at Antioch Los Angeles and lives in Detroit.

Echomaking: Corvid, Double

There are four people sitting around a kitchen table in a house alongside the Snye — the Chenail Ecarté — the edge -

land of Bkejwanong Territory, “where the waters divide.” From the outside, looking in, the room glows orange. Light diffracts through a wicker lamp swagged on a gold chain over a hefty wood table with mismatched chairs and unpainted chipboard-panel walls. Jars of expired spices, family photos, decorated plates, and other curios sit on shelves in random spaces, along with stacks of cookbooks whose covers have turned tacky from decades of gas stove fumes. There is comfort in this particular kind of grit and clutter that attaches itself to rural self-built homes from the 1960s, away from the scrutiny of building codes and permits. The way lives and undusted objects expand to

16 May 17-23, 2023 |
Archival inkjet print, 11 1/8" x 16 1/2". Courtesy of the artist and Simone DeSousa Gallery. Kylie Lockwood (b. 1983, Detroit) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reconciles the experience of living in a female body with the Western history of sculpture. | May 17-23, 2023 17

Division and Russel

fill any available space.

Outside again, stepping back, the ad hoc-ness of the house reveals itself in other ways. Constructed over two decades of scavenged materials, its improvisatory style makes it difficult to determine where the true front of the structure lies. This quality makes it churn in memory and evade clear remembrance. It is a self-camouflaging blur--an architectural shift — softened at the edges by swishes of willow branches, a rutted gravel road, and folksy installations of found objects leaning against fence posts on the laneway to its door.

Although it is night — pitch blueblack with no streetlamps for miles — in the chilled-out April air, anyone who has lived in the area long enough can perceive the dense marsh on the Snye planning its annual crawl from the reservation toward town. Local white children with relatives who

hunt ducks and fish are told that the floating mats of bulrushes, grasses, and cattails mark the legal boundary for gathering rights. If their boat drifts too far inward towards this buzzy wetland border, townie fishermen who have come to dip their hooks into the richer, luckier, river stock are asked to leave. Each year, retired grandfathers of Euro-Canadian descent can be found posted up on stools in the donut shop, mumbling paranoid thoughts to their coffee mug reflections: “Y’know, I think that rez over there is getting a little closer to town each year with all those rushes.” Island folks prefer to avoid sparking backlash in this small town, with its underbelly of tension and occasional violence towards most things Indigenous. Sometimes a verbal crosscheck emerges with a reminder: “This was all of ours once, before you arrived.”

If you press your ear firmly against

the ground this time of year, you can hear the crackling sound of seeds and insects pushing and popping their way up to the surface.

The table is in the house of a retired archeologist. An eccentric missing several fingers on one hand who, as a hobby, upcycles bones from roasted chickens into complicated sailing ships. In the mudroom where one enters, strings of drying animal bones hang from a workbench pegboard. The lingering smell of collagen and calcium incinerated by a Dremel tool, rasped leather, and airplane model glue permeate the room. Carcasses and hides in various states of processing could make it seem to those who didn't know better that they had stumbled into a backwoods horror film. Past the kitchen, on the fireplace mantel, a crumpled piece of tinfoil is used as a prop to backfill a story about a late-night call from the

government in the 1980s to recover an alien craft that washed up on the shores of Lake Erie. Conspiracy theories and emergent folklore collide on this property, in a time more aligned with the Time-Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown encyclopedias and Unsolved Mysteries than Ancient Aliens.

Everything up until this point — though it may appear unsettling to outsiders — has been adopted into small town normalcy and legendry. Two of the people in the kitchen reside in the house, the other two are visitors. Weekend social callers. From tipped back chairs, things lean a little wine hazy, but aren't so muddled that the events of the night could be imagined. Above the table, there is another visitor — an injured crow that wandered onto the property, now recuperating in a cage hung at the ceiling in the corner next to the table. At first wary of visitors, she gradually begins to improvise

18 May 17-23, 2023 |
For the past 25 years Chris Turner has been a working artist exhibiting in sculpture, painting, architectural design, and fabrication locally, nationally, and internationally while living and maintaining studios in Detroit.


Wed 5/17


Fri 5/19



mizz ruth’s grill @ 7 pm fireball fridays!

$5 fireball shots all day! Happy Birthday, DEVONN!

Sat 5/20








Sun 5/21



Tues 5/23

B. Y. O. R. Bring Your own Records (weekly)

Open Decks! @9PM NO COVER IG: @byor_tuesdays_old_miami topp dogg grill @ 7pm

Thurs 5/25




Doors@6:30pm/ Show@7:30pm mizz ruth’s grill @ 4 pm

Coming Up:

5/26 Werkout Plan (house/ pre-Movement hype)

5/27 Winestoned Cowboys/ Rachel Brooke Band



6/03 lisa hurt & the consequences

6/07 partyup! prince’s birthday dance party

6/09 the fabulous henhouse boys/ billy clay & the coyotes

6/17 BANGERZ & JAMZ (monthly)


6/21 Make Music Detroit (yearly/no cover)

6/23 DEATH CAT/Burn Maralago/ Blood Castle

6/24 Grommet/Cocktail Shake/ John Bunkley w/ Leaving Lifted JELLO SHOTS always $1


around their conversation, adding topend clicks and pops, guttural shuffling, and a low-beat throat rattle.

After dinner plates cleared, the crow begins to whistle. One of the guests remarks on the bad luck of the sound, it being night and all. An engrained teaching from her Métis Papa, who knew better than to tempt the attention of bad spirits attracted to breath forced between pursed lips after sundown, especially near the river. The crow whips itself into a frenzy, steam-kettling its displeasure and fanning her wings, clearly bored of caged convalescence.

A blast of beats resounds outside the kitchen window, a jump-scare written off as willow branches scraping by in the wind. Before the adrenaline can subside, a shadow forms in the corner underneath the cage. One of the guests senses it first, and then, wordless, without prompting, all four turn to watch it in unison, stuck in that strange and liminal space of shared ghost-time. The shadow manifests into a vaguely human-sized form, all swirling gray and black, opaque and dark at its core, but shimmering and transparent at the edges. It moves away from the corner and glides out of the kitchen, into the living room, and evaporates. Sudden silence from the crow amplifies the stuttered breath of humans, ringing in the ears.

The guests turn back, locking wide eyes, troubled by the consistency of the group encounter. No one needed to be told where to look, where to send their eyes to follow, or to describe what they’d just seen, other than to say collectively, “You just saw that, right?” The residents of the house, unphased, mention a rise in “visitations” since the corvid’s arrival. Visual manifestations of shadowy shapes, all centered around the cage. One of the hosts announces their eagerness to rewild the bird.

A weight lifts from the house when it is released a few days later, but the shadowy imprint remains for a month or so afterward, echoing along its usual path. There is a sensation that is difficult to describe attached to those moments when this memory resurfaces — a particular vibratory quality felt not just “in the bones,” as her mother would say while shudderspeaking: “someone walked over my future grave.” Rather, this memory is rooted in the eye. There is a desperation to recall in exacting detail the photographic quality of the landscape, the subterranean activities of the soil, up to the support beams under the kitchen floor, and each fleck of keratin dust floating through the air, cast off from splayed crow wings. The nearly-

Below Her By

Site specific installation; dimensions variable, nylon, solid bronze, 2022

Manal Shoukair is a Lebanese-American artist whose work in video performance, sculpture, and site-specific installations explore the complex intersectionality of her multicultural identity, Islamic spirituality, and contemporary femininity.

metaphysical sensation —a visceral and questioning-cold “wrongness” exudes from within the vitreous body, the optic nerve. A cellular-level haunting that repeats itself; a shadow skipping across an infinite fluttering loop.

Kristen Gallerneaux (Métis-Wendat) is a sound culture writer, artist, and museum curator based in Dearborn.

Non Compos Mentis (an excerpt)

After the dream, all I can think of is decay.

* I was standing in the kitchen with my mother waiting for the water to

boil. Teabags already in our mugs; ginger to prepare the fasted stomach. Along with my persistent badgering and her recent blood sugar results, the mounting concerns (read: threats) of her primary care physician have led her to stop taking hers with sugar.

It was the morning after my return from the residency, and the day after the dream. The sky was still dark. I could see nothing through the windows, and secluded as I was in my own mind, I had very quickly forgotten even my mother’s presence. So, when she set her good hand on mine, splayed flat against the countertop, my eyes sprang wide, awakening from a trance. I could tell even she was startled by the unfamiliar contact. Her hand rested there a few beats, made two hesitant taps, then pulled away.

My mother’s love has never been demonstrably physical, or even verbal. Her love reveals itself in acts of service of indiscriminate scale. Off-hand, I may mention needing a new stapler or a set of notecards or needing to complete a nearly-expired return to an outlet store over an hour away, and before I can make the necessary arrangements, these issues will have been resolved. My mother likes to feel useful. She cannot believe that it is her mere presence that adorns my life.

Looking up, after the timid tap, I watched her face for an explanation, but her lips held tight. She reached for the kettle, cleared her throat, and began, hesitantly, to speak. She told me she was a fortune teller. I sighed. I was in no mood. I raised my cup and watched as she poured for us both. Unfazed by my tepid response, she forged on, scrunched her forehead, and gazed at something beyond my face. Then, with one hand cupped to an ear, she mumbled something inaudible. I played along. And in a voice tinged with revelation, she whispered, “They tell me you’re sinking, Zora,” and her eyes lanced mine. Despite my trying to hide it, she has discerned my sunken mood, knowing all too well there would be no lifting it. My moods changed willfully and of their own accord, and seemed indifferent, one way or the other, to external stimulation.


Here's the dream. I am stiff as a corpse watching as worms (or is it maggots?) burst through the skin on my arms and legs and I’m making desperate pleas for help to the people around me whose faces I do not recognize, but who stare on noncommittally, and then pitifully as though they can see no cause for concern, as though it were all in my own head and finally, helplessly, a scream, curdled in desperation, incites the maggots, blue, at first, now white, to rise up from behind my chest and burst from my mouth in astonishing numbers, and I’m choking, and they, the unfamiliar people who are now enclosing me entirely, beam in wonder, until one of them reaches out tentatively for my arm and before they can touch me, I shudder awake.


On my last day at the residency, moments after the dream, my mother called to tell me she had been held at gunpoint. I darted up in bed and before I could ask them, she answered all my questions. I’m fine, she said. Unharmed, she meant. I’m safe, I’m safe , she insisted. It seemed to take great effort. Zo, you should see it.

22 May 17-23, 2023 |

FBI jackets everywhere. The bank is sending me home. Her tone implied it was the least they could do. Or maybe I was projecting. I didn’t give him the money. Her voice fell to a hush. I guess they’re happy about that. Then, she was quiet, so quiet I worried the call had dropped, and suddenly a fantastic array of horrific explanations sprung to mind. Slowly, she spoke again, drawing me back to reality. He was so young, Zo. And again, a pause. Seven thousand dollars? She was thinking aloud. So little, she said. So exact, she clarified. I agreed — it was an odd sum. It seemed to imply the money had already been allocated. What did he need it for? she mumbled, mournful. I sat silent, thinking of all her medical bills, out of sight, in the basket above the refrigerator.

Last summer, I had found her unconscious on the bathroom floor. The ambulance arrived within minutes. She’s suffered a stroke, the ER doctor informed me. And there was something striking about his use of the word suffered.

Slipped beneath bulletproof glass, the note had insisted, among other things, that she remain calm. It was itemized and hand-written on ruled notebook paper. And next to the final item, a meticulous heart had been drawn and colored in. I can say with certainty, that if the lid of my mind were to be knocked open ejecting all but five memories, the recollection of this note would be one of those remaining. It brought surprising tenderness to a notoriously callous interaction. And it was funny, in the way absurd things often are. I began to picture him drafting the note, (for use in his impending bank robbery — already an outrageous state of affairs). But then rereading it, and, finding himself dissatisfied with… the tone (?), choosing to pencil in a heart for good measure. Needless to say, the image endeared me to him. Although I had no way of corroborating its validity, and although he had threatened to shoot my mother.

I’ll call you when I get home, she said. And hung up. I love you, I said. To no one.

Ode to Brown Child on an Airplane for the First Time

I don’t remember if I, too, was afraid, but I do remember when the sky was

Get Yo Mans

Sterling Toles | May 17-23, 2023 23
Rochelle Marrett is a Jamaican fiction writer and essayist currently at work on her first novel. Learn more and connect at Acrylic on Canvas Sterling Toles is a visual and sonic artist rooted in Detroit.

Preface to Violence

our thing — I could say the word: flight and, in its stead, none would hear fight spill from my jaw. The last time it took a punch, I was in the boy’s bathroom, surrounded — by boys — as a boy unleashed his fist into me. I returned the favor into his gut, and ran. Moments before, he had called me gay, but I wasn’t sure why I had to defend my glee — scarce as it was. Hours later, a mess of tears

ran through me as I was pulled from gym by the principal and suspended for defending

what little parts of myself I could still call mine. I don’t know why this is the story I choose to tell, but I do know that I may forget it once we take off; shedding the skin

that everyone fears of releasing towards the sun. Beautiful, isn’t it, to be able to leave behind this world, its lost and angry boys.

Out of the Fog for adopted, fostered and trafficked people

Here I am Curly hair, Brown skin

Emerald golden sunflower eyes

Radicalized to the truth of my story

I am the lily in the valley

Determined to dance inside of darkness

I often felt like Loneliness was my name

Often I nursed my own wounds and bandaged my own wings Despite being placed in the whitest countryside in America

Blackness still came for me

I was Black when my classmates did not want to stand next to me in line for the recess bell

I was Black when I walked into the town’s beauty salon and the hair stylist told me she was scared do my hair

But they did not own me despite the price tag beneath my infant face

I get to be my version of Black

I love all of me and I am learning to be free and embrace my audacious bravery

And that means, I can no longer go home. Not all the way. Because there are men with rifles and confederate flags at the gas station, their latest brown hide laying across their truck beds Some might say that I have forgotten God

That every night I gather with other wild haired women in the woods

To catch the stars

And who knows, maybe they are right?

Maybe I have found my ancestors in places once marked forbidden, in the words that were blurred out

There are women who have my back

And women behind them

And women behind them

All like me, searching and believing in something greater and promised

Where there was no archive, the women carried in my body cried out to me to be chosen

To be gathered up into a brilliant bouquet of spring flowers

To be held like the babies they never were allowed to be

I have looked for my first mother and found her

I have seen her in my dreams for decades

I have seen her in the mirror when brushing my teeth

I have seen her name on my official birth certificate

When I close my eyes, there she is

She is preparing dinner for all of my brothers and sisters

No longer are we separated

No longer displaced

No longer are we severed

The table is full and we ask for seconds

My mother calls me by my name.

My name is Love.

My name is Wanted.

My name is Belongs Here.

My name is Welcome Home.

24 May 17-23, 2023 |
Tariq Luthun is a Detroit-born and Dearbornraised poet, community organizer, and data engineer whose family hails from Gaza, Palestine. Katelyn Rivas writes lyrical poetry about motherhood, transracial adoption, critical race theory, memory, and care for Black bodies. 2022, Poster, Archival inkjet print, 42” x 68” Kikko Paradela is a Filipino-American, Detroit-based artist, an independent designer, and researcher.


Embedded Systems Firmware Engineer - Electric Drives, Pontiac, MI, General Motors. Gather technical reqmts, design, &dvlp embedded Electronic Control Unit (ECU) SW for core motor controls in electric motors (surface-mounted/ interior-mounted permanent magnet, &induction machines) in Electric Drive Units of Hybrid &Battery Electric Vehicle. Dvlp embedded SW in Embedded C &C++ prgrmg languages, using Git, Gerrit, Jenkins, Eclipse Integrated Dvlpmt Environment, Artifactory, IBM RTC, IBM Rational Rhapsody, &Model Dvlpmt Kit tools, following MISRA CERT C standards, &GM SW dvlpmt process, &SAFe. Perform embedded ECU testing on test bench using dSPACE Hardware in the Loop (HIL), ETAS INCA, &Lauterbach Trace32 debugger, to verify functionality at Function, Controller &Sys levels prior to production release. Perform peer reviews &unit level testing using C++ Unit Tests for Multiple Condition Coverage &Modified Condition/Decision Coverage to reduce rework requests &achieve zero SW defects. Master, Electrical, Computer Engrg, or related. 12 mos exp as Engineer or related, performing embedded ECU testing on test bench using HIL &Lauterbach Trace32 debugger, to verify functionality at Function, Controller &Sys levels prior to production release, or related. Mail resume to Ref#24351, GM Global Mobility, 300 Renaissance Center, MC:482-C32-C66, Detroit, MI 48265.


Senior Electric Drive Software EngineerTraction Power Inverter Module (TPIM),Pontiac, MI, General Motors. Design, dvlp, integrate, implement, & release low level HW Input/Output SW, in C prgrmg language, using Git, Gerrit, Jenkins, Workbench (Eclipse Integrated Dvlpmt Environ), ETAS INCA, Vector CANalzyer tools, & neoVI FIRE & Lauterbach Trace 32 Debugger, for TPIM (for GEN5 Electric Drive Units). Analyze & implement CAN bus, LIN bus, & Automot Ethernet commn protocols, & Direct Memory Access, pulse inputs, pulse outputs, digital inputs & outputs, analog inputs, complex Pulse Width Modulation, electronic Time Processer Unit for TPIM in current & future BEVs. Analyze & implement Serial Peripheral Interface commn protocol to enable commn btwn microcontroller & App Specific Integrated Circuit in TPIM. Design, dvlp, & test microcontroller & ECU & complex drivers for AUTOSAR standards compliance. Bachelor, Electrical, Computer, Electronics & Communication Engineering, or related. 60 mos exp as Engineer, Developer, Technical Leader, or related, incl. SW dvlpmt in C, & dvlpg low level drivers for microcontroller or module, or related. Mail resume to Ref#2652308, GM Global Mobility, 300 Renaissance Center, MC:482-C32-C66, Detroit, MI 48265. | May 17-23, 2023 25


Select events happening in metro Detroit this week. Be sure to check all venue website before events for latest information. Add your event to our online calendar: AddEvent.


Wednesday, May 17

Salsa Night Ft. Grupo Escobar with Náli 6:30-9:45 p.m.; The Blue LLama Jazz Club, 314 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $45.

Set It Off: The Dopamine Tour 6 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $29.50.

The Aquadolls 7 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15.

The Bros. Landreth: Come Morning Tour with Special Guests 7 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $22.

Volcandra, Voraath 6 p.m.; Sanctuary Detroit, 2932 Caniff, Hamtramck; $13. Orange Juice 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; Spkr Box, 200 Grand River, Detroit;

Thursday, May 18

Billy Porter - Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One 8 pm; Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit; $49.50-$149.50.

Brit Floyd 7 pm; Cathedral Theatre at the Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit;

CupcakKe with Milfie, Auntie Chanel and DJ Myint 7 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $30-$95.

Dave Fio 7 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $15.

Dave McMurray: Grateful Deadication 2 Album Release 7 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15.

Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet with Elden Kelly and Vishnu R. 6:309:45 p.m.; The Blue LLama Jazz Club, 314 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $15.

Desmond Jones, Sabbatical Bob 7 & 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15.

Detroit Has Talent hosted by J Cutz 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; The Compound, 14595 Stansbury St., Detroit; $15.

Pet Symmetry, Retirement Party, Camp Trash 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager

House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $18.

Rick Springfield 8 p.m.; Sound Board, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; $65-$78.

Friday, May19


Andrew Jannakos: Nashville

Hits the Roof! 8 p.m.; Tin Roof, 47 E. Adams Ave., Detroit.

Anointed Faces Gospel Coffee House Presents All or Nothing

Tour (Christian Hip-Hop) 8-11 p.m.; Anointed Faces Gospel Coffee House, The Mag Entertainment Center 21421 Hilltop Dr. Suite 24, Southfield; $12.

Club 90s Present: Lana Del Rey Night (18+) 8 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $15-$45.

Joey Valence & Brae 7 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $18.

Paralandra 7:30 p.m.; The Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $15.

Paul Marier Live At The Bull & Barrel 9 p.m.; The Bull & Barrel Urban Saloon, 670 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor; $13.39.

Spanish Love Songs 7 p.m.; Sanctuary Detroit, 2932 Caniff, Hamtramck; $20.

Spencer Crandall 7 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $17.50.

Stormstress, Shadow’s Reflection, Forge the Sun 7:30 p.m.; The Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $12.

STUPIFY - A TRIBUTE TO DISTURBED wsg Generation Day - Godsmack Tribute and Ray Street Park 7 p.m.; District 142, 142 Maple St., Wyandotte; $18-$28.

The Mega 80s 8 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $20.

BLOND:ISH 9 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $21-$26.

Boris Brejcha - Open Air 9 p.m.-3 am; Russell Industrial Complex-Exhibition Center, 1600 Clay Street, Detroit; $40.


UDENJOE Bowlero Lanes & Lounge, 4209 Coolidge Hwy., Royal Oak; no cover.

Saturday, May 20

Bovice, Atlas, We Will Rot, Loose Cannon, Punch Out, Self Ab -

sorbed, Fiend Le Champ 6 p.m.; Sanctuary Detroit, 2932 Caniff, Hamtramck; $15.

BUKU 8 p.m.; Tangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; $20.

City Lights Chorus Spring Show - Once A Year Day 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Hilltop Church of the Nazarene, 21260 Haggerty Rd., Northville; $20.

DIRTYBIRD Players: Claude VonStroke & Friends 9 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $30. ECHOES OF PINK FLOYD 7 p.m.; District 142, 142 Maple St., Wyandotte; $25-$35.

Every Rose Has a Song: An Expo of Paintings by R.M. Halprin with Music by Three Roses 7:30-10 p.m.; Berkley Coffee & Oak Park Dry, 14661 West 11 Mile Rd., Oak Park; $15 suggested door.

GENE DUNLAP BAND 6:30 & 9 p.m.; The Blue LLama Jazz Club, 314 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $35-$85.

Hip Hop Smackdown: Old Vs New 8 p.m.; Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $69-$154. Hollywood Casino Greektown Present The Stylistics & The Spinners 8 p.m.; The Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; $30-$70.

Hung Up, Boomcat, Jackson and the Poolsharks 7 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $10.

Laura Rain and the Caesars 8-11 p.m.; Cornerstone Village Bar & Grille, 17315 Mack Avenue, Detroit; $15. Madrigal Chorale Spring Concert 7:30 p.m.; St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 620 Romeo St., Rochester; adult $20, student $15, $25 door.

REVEREND GUITARS PRESENTS: J. Navarro & the Traitors 7 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $20.

YYNOT - Classic RUSH Tribute and Prog Rock Originals 7 & 8 p.m.; The Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $20-$140.

SORTED! Dance Party w/ DJs ALR!GHT and Mike Trombley 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; Bowlero Lanes & Lounge, 4209 Coolidge Hwy., Royal Oak; no cover.

Sunday, May 21

2023 Rising Star Jazz Vocal Competition fundraiser for MI Jazz Festival 7-9 p.m.; Aretha’s Jazz Cafe, 350 Madison St., Detroit; $30.

Amatuer Vocal Jazz Competition Fundraiser at Aretha’s Jazz Cafe 7-11 p.m.; Aretha’s Jazz Cafe, 350 Madison St., Detroit; $30.

Bizzy Bones - Im Busy Tour 7 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $27.

Bluebucksclan - No Rules Tour 7 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $25.

Detroit Deltas present Raheem DeVaughn A Soulful Evening 7:30 p.m.; Sound Board, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; $55-$100.

Remember Sports, The Ophelia’s 7 p.m.; Sanctuary Detroit, 2932 Caniff, Hamtramck; $17.

Seal 7:30 p.m.; Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $49.50-$229.50.

Sunday Rockabilly Unplugged 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Cadieux Cafe, 4300 Cadieux Rd., Detroit; $15.

The Gilmour Project Explores Dark Side Of The Moon 7 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $29.50-$75.

Tyrant with Dark Entity, Among These Ashes, Reducer and Theandric 6-10:30 p.m.; Small’s, 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; $12 advance, $15 day of show.

Monday, May 22

Adult Skate Night 8:30-11 p.m.; Lexus Velodrome, 601 Mack Ave., Detroit; $5.

Tuesday, May 23

Future Islands 7 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $29.50.

Inlovingmemory Tour With Bones, Xavier Wulf, Eddy Baker 6:30 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $40.

Inlovingmemory Tour With Bones, Xavier Wulf, Eddy Baker 7 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $40-$89.50.


Riverbank Theatre Steel Magnolias. Through May 28. Sponsored by Paul Mitchell the Schools. $35. Sundays, 3-5 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre Tom Papa. Thursday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m. Temple Shir Shalom The Vagina Monologues. $36-$75; student tickets are $18. Sunday, 4-5:30 p.m.


Honky Tonk Angels Wednesday, 2 & 8 p.m., Thursday, 8 p.m., Friday, 8 p.m., Saturday, 2 & 8 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.; Meadow Brook Theatre, 207 Wilson Hall, Rochester; $46.

May 17-23, 2023 |


Six (Touring) Tuesday, 8 p.m.; Fisher Theatre. $59-$165.



Planet Ant Theatre The Ants In The Hall present The Hamtramck Clown Trials. Thursday nights at 8 p.m.

Stand-up Opening

Caesars Palace Windsor - Augustus Ballroom Kevin Hart: Reality Check. $96-$266 Sunday, 8 p.m.

Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle

Josh Wolf. $30. Thursday, 7:30-9 p.m., Friday, 7:15-8:45 & 9:45-11:15 p.m. and Saturday, 7-8:30 & 9:30-11 p.m.

Pike Room Rory Scovel. $29.50. Friday 7 p.m.

Saint Andrew’s Hall Creed Bratton

$25. Saturday, 7 p.m.

Continuing This Week Stand-up

Blind Pig Blind Pig Comedy FREE

Mondays, 8 p.m.

The Independent Comedy Club at Planet Ant The Sh*t Show Open Mic: Every Friday and Saturday. No cover.

Thursdays, 10 p.m.; Fridays, 11 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 p.m.


Suburban Collection Showplace

Motor City Comic Con. $30+. Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Beacon Park Connected to All: Environment + People + Community. Friday: 1-7 p.m. Saturday: 12-7 p.m. Sunday: 12-5 p.m. Just Place: Exploring the Intersectionality of Race & Accessibility in Detroit’s Urban Green Spaces takes place Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. -21.

Cranbrook Art Museum Family Day at Cranbrook Art Museum. Children 12 and under are free! Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Northville Art House A Day at the Park: Images of Michigan State Parks. No cover. Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Tuesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Playground Detroit Keto Green: Against It All. Saturday, 6-9 p.m.

Berkley Public Library The Art of Steve Barnaby. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cranbrook Art Museum Constellations & Affinities: Selections from the Cranbrook Collection. Museum admission, free on Thursdays, WednesdaysSundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

I.M. Weiss Gallery Unravel by Arjuna Durrant and Krystal Fortune and documented by Monique Ross. 7-9 p.m.

Local buzz

Got a Detroit music tip? Send it it

Duality/Detroit returns: Freak Press is the label run by keyboard-piano maestro Ian Finkelstein (or Ian Fink, for short), serving up technojazz experimentations and some of the finest modern jazz improvisations to come out of the city. The imprint has slowly released Finkelstein’s more dancey tracks on beloved 12-inch white-label singles, as well as a volume of Duality/Detroit jams recorded live at the group’s popular weekly residency. Typically, the Duality/Detroit concept is based around Fink on keys and synth bass performing alongside a drummer, and often has featured Dez Andrés’s legendary congas playing. As an early kickoff to Movement festival weekend, he’s kicking it up a notch with the Freak Press Ball on Wednesday, May 24 at Marble Bar. The evening will feature a special iteration of Duality/Detroit that includes vocalists Supercoolwicked, Salākastar, and Cjay Hill, guitarist Sasha Kashperko, drummer Amir Edwards, and of course Dez Andrès on percussion. Scott Groves will also be behind the decks for a rare DJ set — the local heavyweight’s only appearance during Movement festivities. Tickets available via Resident Advisor or also at the door.

Rocksteady Disco brings the balearic energy: Although a big part of the Movement festival and all the parties that surround it is late-night partying, there are plenty of more chill options in the city that weekend. The Rocksteady Disco crew will host their annual Viva La Resistance party for those looking to groove in the sunshine while kicking back with a wine spritzer at Motor City Wine. Label boss Peter Croce will be manning the decks, as well as fellow labelmates Blair French and Eddie Logix to keep the downtempo flow going all day long. The party will also feature a rare set from John Beltran, a veteran producer and DJ known for his ambient techno and IDM compositions, as well as his forays into Latin funk and soul music. The party happens from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, and advance tickets are available via Rocksteady Disco’s Bandcamp page and will also be available at the door.

The best local guide to Movement: Every year, Detroit Electronic Quarterly and The Detroit I Love team up to release an allencompassing guide to Movement festival for fans of electronic music. Before Resident Advisor picks and officially-sanctioned after parties became the norm, since 2017 this hand-held, physically printed guide was the one-stop-shop for all things Movement weekend, and the presence of the pamphlet continues

strong to this day. I remember the first Movement that I was set to attend, I begged my friend to get me one, because no matter how hard you search online or tour the city for fliers, there are always a few hidden gems that you might have missed. The release party on Saturday, May 20 at Marble Bar will serve as a preparty of sorts, featuring DJ selections by Haute to Death, Jeffrey Sfire, and Vincent Patricola, and you can grab your tickets via Resident Advisor


Protomartyr takes you out to the ball game: For those of you who don’t know, Joe Casey, the frontman of Detroit post-punk band Protomartyr, is a huge Tigers fan — so much so that the band will host a private listening party for its new alnum Formal Growth in the Desertat the Tiger’s game on May 27 against the White Sox at Comerica Park. Yes, you heard that right — you have the chance to listen to what promises to be a great album based on recent single releases all while drinking beer out of baseball bat-shaped cups and eating your body weight in hot dogs. Your free RSVP gives you the chance to hear their new record in full before its official release on June 2, and also includes tickets to see the baseball game afterwards. RSVP does not guarantee entry, so act fast and visit linkt.ree/protomartyr today to reserve your spot. | May 17-23, 2023 27
Noted Detroit Tigers enthusiasts Protomartyr. TREVOR NAUD


Detroit Soul


14300 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit

Dinners $17.99-$22.99

smothered pork chops, where the copious but bland gravy covered up any flavor of pork; I’d get the plain ones next time. A lighter hand was used with fried catfish and perch. These are done with a light, crisp coat and a buttery flavor; even if you don’t order fish for your dinner, try the catfish fritter appetizer, which almost literally melts in the mouth.

Salmon cakes, another appetizer, are similar in their good texture, with the lightest of crusts, though they include more ingredients and have a little bit of peppery bite. This is another one of the traditions that came from poverty, where families could get some protein from an inexpensive can.

Meatloaf is pretty dense and moist, not overly salted though perhaps overgravied.

Soul food

Restaurant websites are home to some of the most clichéd, repetitive, content-free platitudes you will find on the internet. Everyone has a “passion” for “telling their story” through food, often with an homage to a mom or a grandmother. Ingredients are not chosen but “curated” and if the food is “sophisticated,” it’s also “approachable.” There is no “traditional comfort food” that’s not served “with a modern twist.”

And don’t get me started on why a restaurant, which is a building with physical objects in it, must now be called a “concept.”

So for a person who cares about writing, it was a thrill to find Detroit Soul’s page giving us a history lesson on the origins of soul food, well-told and not pulling punches. The writer talks of “that peculiar institution [slavery] and its offspring Jim Crow” and gives a nod to the Green Book and to Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, about the Great Migra-

tion that brought Black people to Detroit. Owners Samuel Van Buren and Jerome Brown are “sharing the food that helped us survive the decimations of desegregation, Devil’s Night, and the Detroit auto industry.” Read on to find that captured women smuggled African seeds to the New World in their braids.

Thank you to whoever decided to take a stand against pablum in public pages.

I visited Detroit Soul’s second location, which opened in December 2022; the first is a carryout that’s been at 2900 East Eight Mile Rd. in Detroit since 2015. The sit-down spot is one large room with big windows, nice but not fancy, full of well-dressed postchurch diners on a Sunday afternoon.

The traditional meat and choice of two sides are offered, and if there’s a “modern twist,” it’s that healthier cooking methods are sometimes used: vegetable oil instead of lard, smoked turkey instead of ham in the collards.

What’s not on the menu is ribs, which are available only at the Eight Mile spot and only on Saturdays.

Probably my very favorite dish was fried chicken, which was lusciously juicy and well-spangled with flaky crust. It was a slightly different style than my Alabama-raised mother used to make (there’s the inevitable homage) but I did not hold that against it, since the result was a crunchy, squirty mouth-feel. I of course chose the dark meat option, preferring flavor.

Sorry, a family anecdote: For years it was known in our family that my father always wanted the drumstick. No problem. Then somehow the truth leaked out: the man did not like chicken, and the drumstick was the smallest piece. He did not like my mom’s fried chicken! This is unaccountable. At Detroit Soul, the drumsticks are large enough that my dad would have suffered. You get two plus a thigh.

I didn’t feel the same way about

Among over a dozen sides, it’s hard to choose just two. I broke them down into three categories: like Mom’s, not like Mom’s but good, and no way this is right. Only one fit the last category, some soupy potato salad tasting like pickles. Mac and cheese is made with the requisite sharp cheddar. Blackeyed peas are their earthy selves, seasoned with a few turkey bits. Collards are well-stewed but still with a bit of chewiness. Green beans taste right but could be left on the stove a bit longer (if you grew up with the falling-apart kind). Yams are not overly sweet and provoke Thanksgiving memories. Baked beans are maple-y sharp. Dressing is the fine-grained, solid kind (you can’t discern individual bread crumbs); it was generous and great with cranberry sauce.

Dinners also come with a cornbread muffin, which is sweet with a light, airy crumb.

Desserts from a vendor are traditional and vary from day to day: 7-Up cake, yellow cake with chocolate icing, cheesecake, German chocolate cake. I enjoyed a lemon pound cake with a dense crumb and lemon drizzle. There were no strawberries in the strawberry shortcake.

Detroit Soul also serves sandwiches and weekday lunch specials at a bargain.

You’ll be reading this review after Mother’s Day, which is probably a good thing. I would not have liked to take my mom to a place where all the conversation was about “whose is better?”

28 May 17-23, 2023 |
Catfish dinner with collards, mac and cheese, and cake. TOM PERKINS | May 17-23, 2023 29

Psychedelic-assisted therapy training is now available in Ann Arbor


LIKE psilocybin mushrooms have seen a surge in popularity as their therapeutic benefits become more widely recognized. In Oregon, the first state to legalize “magic mushrooms,” licensed psilocybin service centers have begun opening with guided trips costing up to $3,500 per person.

This could soon be a reality in Michigan as well. In Ann Arbor — where possession of psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, mescaline, and other entheogenic substances has been decriminalized, though their use remains illegal — two community leaders are offering their own psychedelic therapy training program.

Julie Barron and Modou Baqui, who both work extensively with the advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Michigan, are spearheading the effort. They emphasize that psychedelics will not be used during the training. The focus is on preparation and integration coaching for health workers, healing arts practitioners, and community leaders.

The 10-week training costs $2,000 with sessions covering harm reduction and ethics, ketamine-assisted therapy, psilocybin-assisted therapy, psychedelics and spirituality, microdosing, and activism. Full and partial scholarships are available with priority given to BIPOC participants.

Beyond their work in Michigan, Baqui and Barron are also on the Decriminalize Nature National Board. But they don’t want Michigan to be like Oregon, where psychedelic therapy is only accessible to people who can afford $3,000 for a session with 2.5 grams of psilocybin.

“When legalization happens there become barriers for entry, so we want to focus on decriminalization first,” Baqui says. “Look at what happened to the cannabis industry when it was legalized with all the licensing costs. We don’t want to just see rich, white, men doing this. Everyone has the right to access and interact with nature and it should be available to everyone.”

Barron, who was formerly a licensed therapist and now does health consulting, created the training after the University of Michigan approached her

about researching the effects of psilocybin on fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder characterized by pain, fatigue, and muscle stiffness.

“They asked if I would consider training their psychedelic-assisted therapists, so I started building a training program and then I didn’t hear back from them for months,” she says. “When I reached out, they said, ‘Sorry, we can’t have you. We’re gonna have to get somebody who has done it in a clinical trial,’ probably because I’ve been doing this sort of underground for so long.”

Barron started the Michigan Psychedelic Society and previously ran Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor. She says she gave up her clinical therapy license after deciding to work with psychedelics because it’s not approved by the licensing board.

“I don’t feel like I need to be licensed to do this work,” she says. “The clients I work with are often people who have been through all the Western medicine approaches to mental health and are still deeply suffering from treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and anxiety. They usually come like, ‘I have no other hope, that’s why I’ve turned to psychedelics,’ and it changes their life in a drastic way.”

Baqui studied plant medicine and African martial arts under revered Detroit mycologist Ahati Kilyndi Iyi for more than 20 years. He organizes with the Detroit Psychedelic Society and Black to the Land Coalition. He’s seen firsthand the effects that psilocybin mushrooms can have on addiction and other disorders.

“I had a cousin who was heavily addicted to crack and after one session, he stepped away from it,” Baqui says. “He had some relapses with alcohol at first, but as he continued the therapy, he completely changed his life. He’s now a fitness instructor and teaches people about healthy eating.”

Barron says that decriminalization is happening across the state and she wants to prepare practitioners for when that happens. So far in Michigan, entheogenic plants have been decriminalized in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ferndale, and Hazel Park. Barron tells us Decriminalize Nature groups are working to add Flint, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo to that list.

“We need to train a lot more people to be prepared for when it’s decriminalized or legalized across the state,” she says. “The thing is that working with psychedelics takes time. Moudou and I have been doing this for a long time and it drives me crazy when people have one or two experiences with psychedelics and decide to dedicate their lives to it. That’s awesome you’re excited about this, but it

takes lots of experience to do this work. That’s why we are getting people started now.”

In total, Barron has trained eight psychedelic therapy cohorts. The next round of training begins on June 12 and applications are open until May 19.

More information is available at

Stiiizy hires up to 350 laid-off Burger King workers

ABOUT 200 LAID-off Burger King workers will soon begin earning more money making products for Stiiizy, a popular cannabis brand in Michigan.

The marijuana company already hired four dozen workers who lost their jobs when a Burger King franchise owner closed 26 restaurants, mostly in metro Detroit, in late March.

In an announcement first reported by Metro Times on April 24, Stiiizy said it was offering jobs to the laid-off workers at its manufacturing facility in Orion Township, where the company makes a popular line of vape pods, infused blunts, and pre-rolls.

Of the roughly 400 laid-off Burger King workers, an astonishing 350 of them have applied for a job with Stiiizy, says managing partner Ryan Jundt.

The company plans to hire 200

workers in the first round of hires, and an additional 100 to 150 in the second round.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Jundt tells Metro Times. “We were happy and excited and amazed. It truly is a win-win. This is positive for the community and for the people who were laid off. And it’s positive for Stiiizy because we needed the workers really bad.”

The jobs pay between $16 and $17 an hour, more than an entry-level position at the fast food chain. The positions are part-time or full-time — whatever the worker prefers.

Unlike many cannabis businesses in Michigan, Stiiizy says it’s thriving because of its popular products and brand recognition.

“Burger King’s loss is Stiiizy’s gain, and we are happy to put these men and women to work,” Jundt says.

30 May 17-23, 2023 |
Julie Barron and Modou Baqui. COURTESY PHOTO


The sun is humanity’s original ancestor according to Zoe McGuire.

“We can really trace our origins back to these basic elements coming from the sun,” the painter says. “So it’s really like a mother figure in a way, but also this kind of indifferent power. There’s this quality of it being omnipresent in everything we do.”

McGuire’s first exhibit in Detroit, Earthshine, is a tribute to this supreme source of light and the world behind the world that humans don’t see. Her oil paintings come off as landscapes of a distant planet, but she says the glowing orbs, waves of sound, and pools of deep purple are here on Earth. It’s her way of “undressing nature to the what’s behind the curtain” at the places where nature and human consciousness intersect.

“They’re the connective forces that we can’t see on the spectrum of light — the light that we can’t see, the energy

Artist of the Week

Zoe McGuire illuminates the unseen world

we don’t see because it’s not relevant to our biological necessity for survival,” she says. “It kind of illuminates the world when you think about all the energy that’s connecting things on both a molecular, macroscopic, and microscopic scale. Think about the way that the color we actually see is the color that objects reject and don’t absorb.”

McGuire was originally based in Brooklyn and studied art history at Skidmore College before moving to Michigan in 2021 to complete her MFA in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art. After her graduation this month, she’ll return to Brooklyn, but not before leaving us with Earthshine’s ethereal body of work at Library Street Collective.

The word “earthshine” describes “the glow on the dark side of the moon that is really the reflection of the sun off of the earth, and then reflecting back to us,” she says.

A few of the pieces in Earthshine are energetic paintings of McGuire’s family members. A vulva-like piece called “Gardner” looks like a cavern into the soul of a deconstructed “Red Magic” daylily. This is McGuire’s mother. Another painting called “Ripple In” with bursting sun rays flowing over cosmological orbs, is her father.

“I was listening to music that specifically pertains to them and trying to conjure their energies, in a way,” she says. “I don’t sketch before paintings, I just go straight into them. I’ve done portraits of my family before in a much more literal sense, but this felt more authentic to me. I’m also synesthetic so I have very strong color relationships to music, letters, numbers, etc.”

Cranbrook’s campus with its gardens and sculptural architecture reminds McGuire of her time growing up in upstate New York where nature was always accessible. As part of her practice,

she takes morning walks around Cranbrook to take note of the landscape’s natural energies and infuse them into her paintings.

“It makes the world so much more interesting and beautiful and allows us to kind of wake up to what exists around us and all of the incredible processes that we have sort of filtered out or decided aren’t important to see,” she says. “But I think it enables us to fine-tune this almost muscular ability to recognize connectedness between all things. When you think about the world in this way and think about pollination and these moments of intersection, it has broader implications for how we consider ourselves operating as part of the natural world.”

Where to see her work: Earthshine is on view at Library Street Collective until June 24; 1260 Library St., Detroit; 313-600-7443;

32 May 17-23, 2023 |


Master Gardener

Rated: R

Run-time: 107 minutes

but the arrival of Maya (Quintessa Swindell), Mrs. Haverhill’s great-niece, upsets the delicate balance at Gracewood. Norma describes the biracial Maya as adrift and troubled (“lifestyle choices, I believe they call them”). Because the young woman’s mother has died — from “tit cancer,” in Norma’s oddly blunt, unsettling words — Norma has decided to offer some impersonal noblesse oblige: She will pay Maya minimum wage while Narvel shepherds the wayward lamb by teaching her the gardening profession.

What Norma fails to anticipate, however, is a slowly blossoming attraction between Maya and Narvel, who serves not only as his employer’s gardener but also her on-demand lover. When Narvel tenderly comforts Maya after she’s beaten by her mother’s drug-dealing boyfriend, a jealous Norma impulsively expels the odd couple from Eden.

The garden of good and evil

Paul Schrader brings cinema another agonized hero in Master Gardener — and shows he’s still in command

Although one of the world’s most accomplished filmmakers, with a remarkably deep and surprisingly diverse body of work stretching back 50 years, Paul Schrader has seldom received the adulation lavished on such contemporaries (and past collaborators) as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, or even the more critically divisive Brian De Palma. Certainly, he’s respected — especially for his screenwriting on such now-canonical films as Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull — but Schrader never quite managed a major commercial breakthrough, with American Gigolo (1980) the long-ago exception, and for most of the past two decades, he’s struggled mightily to find viewers, toiling on an uneven mix of under-seen work-for-hire films and more personal projects that were either mishandled by distributors or mangled by producers.

Schrader’s admirably uncompromising artistic vision no doubt accounts for much of his difficulty winning a mass audience. Although occasionally enlivened by an ironic black humor, his works feature a self-conscious seriousness and a grim, relentlessly bleak worldview. As I wrote nearly 30

years ago about Witch Hunt — one of his undeniable misfires — “even when working within popular genres, Schrader brings an art-house sensibility to bear and always remains at a critical remove. Chilly and abstract, his movies — especially those he both writes and directs — are weirdly calm intellectual meditations on agitated emotional states: Schrader wants to cut loose — he’s drawn to violence, fascinated by dark forces and underground men — but he’s too smart, too cautious, too restrained to forfeit control.”

That description of Schrader’s films remains entirely accurate today, and his new Master Gardener features another of his exquisitely agonized heroes. Like Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle — and the thematic variations found in American Gigolo, Light Sleeper, First Reformed, and Card Counter — Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton) qualifies as one of “God’s lonely men,” largely isolated from “normal” society and desperately questing after purpose and redemption.

The chief horticulturist at Gracewood Gardens, a sprawling estate presided over by the imperious Norma Haverhill (a superb Sigourney Weaver), Narvel

presents a placid surface — he’s unfailingly calm, measured, precise — but he’s roiling underneath. A former enforcer for a cadre of neo-Nazis — his torso still bristling with tattoos of swastikas and white-power sigils — Narvel turned state’s evidence and found refuge at Gracewood as part of the federal Witness Protection Program. The careful order of the garden he now tends contrasts starkly with the chaos of his previous life, which is purposely communicated with telegraphic brevity: memories that erupt in periodic flashes that never fully illuminate Narvel’s backstory. Despite voice-overs that share excerpts from his journal — a device nicked from French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest but now Schrader’s unmistakable signature — Narvel keeps his true feelings hidden, and we’re never quite confident that he’s expunged his racism. Given the film’s Southern setting, William Faulkner’s famed quote seems particularly apt: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Having progressed from untutored apprentice to master gardener, Narvel appears to have found a measure of contentment in his circumscribed existence,

At this point, the simmering tensions present from the film’s start rise slowly to a boil, and Master Gardener begins to deliberately echo elements of Taxi Driver: Just as Travis eventually “rescues” Iris from her pimp in an apocalyptic gun battle, Narvel seems inevitably headed to a similar conflagration as he attempts to free Maya from the depredations of the dealer R.G. (Jared Bankens). But Schrader for once opts for hope over despair, blessedly pulling back from the abyss and allowing Narvel to find redemption through mutual love rather than expiation through blood sacrifice.

Concluding an unofficial trilogy with the well-received First Reformed and Card Counter, Master Gardener on many levels seems a grand summation, a capstone to an enviable career. But the 76-year-old Schrader already has multiple scripts at the ready and firm plans to shoot an adaptation of Russell Banks’ novel Foregone with his American Gigolo star Richard Gere. Age hasn’t diminished Schrader’s skills, and there are sequences in Master Gardener that rival those in his masterpiece, Mishima In particular, I was transported by an eruption of Lynchian surreality after Narvel and Maya finally make love: Driving headlong down a darkened highway, the couple finds flowers efflorescing in absurd, delirious abundance on either side, and they lean out their windows and howl with ecstatic delight.

Master Gardener caps an exhilarating run of recent triumphs, and if Schrader wants to climb back behind the wheel for another film, I’ll happily take that ride again.

34 May 17-23, 2023 |
Mutual attraction proves a major complication for Maya (Quintessa Swindell) and Narvel (Joel Edgerton). MAGNOLIA PICTURES | May 17-23, 2023 35


Savage Love

Wash It Away

Dear Readers: We’re rerunning some very early columns while I recover from shoulder surgery. This column is from February 1999 — the “Hey, Faggot” days and doesn’t appear in the online archives.

: Q HEY, FAGGOT: I feel dirty. Not dirt that can be wiped away with a Wet Nap, but two-cans-of-Ajax kind of dirty. Alas, no matter how hard I scrub, I can’t get the memory of this man off of me. The urge to grab an SOS pad and scrub my nether regions is almost irresistible. Long story short: I spent the last year ass-over-teakettle for an older man who never made me feel very good about myself. At the time I thought I loved him, but now the mention of his name makes me wish I were

one of those aliens on “V” who can shimmy out of their fake human skin.

This is a man who refers to a certain male movie star, whom he met 20 years ago in an acting class, as “Robin.” This is a man who — IN ALL SERIOUSNESS — gives that speech about how he’s a loner, so please don’t fall in love with him. This man questioned every positive step I made in my life, in an attempt to keep me in obsessive crazy love with his rickety frame. I’m furious with myself for letting it go on as long as it did, and for ignoring the broken hip, butterscotch pudding, and adult diaper jokes my friends threw at me in an attempt to bring me to my senses.

Do not label me “bitter”— that’s too easy. What I need from you is an answer to a simple question. I know that not even Dan Savage can turn back time. I mean, if Cher can’t, you can’t… but I ask you, Dan, is there any way you can un-sleep with someone?

—Filthy in New York

: A Hey, FINY: On our own, neither Cher nor I have the power to turn back time. And are you even sure you would want us to — and I’m not making any promises here — if together Cher and I could turn back time? Be careful what you wish for, FINY: because if together we could turn back time, you might be doomed to relive the whole nightmarish experience. “Robin,” adult diaper jokes, questions about every positive step you make — all of it.

But if un-sleeping with this man is your goal, you don’t want time turned back. You want time to pass, and pass quickly. Because it only takes three to four weeks for your skin, your epidermis, to replace itself completely. Like those aliens in “V,” you’re constantly wiggling out of your human skin — only the process is a bit more subtle and hard to see. But for all intents and purposes, a month after this sorry affair ended, the skin covering your body never touched the skin covering his. You never even shook hands.

As for the rest of your body — vaginal canal, esophagus, stomach lining, rectum, and any other organs and orifices that came in contact with his organs or ejaculate — it’ll take more time for the cells comprising those tissues and organs to regenerate and replace themselves. But rest assured: you will, in time, have brand new everythings. The life cycles of various cells range from months to years, but soon enough you’re going to be a whole new woman, FINY, a woman who never touched that creep. So, there’s no need

to take an SOS pad to your nether regions, as soon they won’t be the nether regions he touched. They’ll be new and improved nethers.

Brain cells, unfortunately, are not regenerated, so you’ll be stuck with the memories forever. You could regard them as having been falsely implanted by an unethical therapist, or, if that’s too passive, you could drink them away. Alcohol kills brain cells, and with a lot of cosmos and a little luck, you may kill the very cells that store the memories of this sorry affair. Be careful, however, that in your efforts to drink away your bad memories you don’t create new, equally regrettable ones.

: Q HEY, FAGGOT: No one should take advice from a homosexual.

I have a gay uncle who always said I was his favorite relative, which was understandable since I loved him while others in our family wanted him to go away. My fiancé and I met him one morning for coffee. When my fiancé left, my uncle advised me not to marry him: because in my uncle’s opinion, my fiancé — with whom he’d had one cup of coffee! — was a homosexual, and our marriage would surely fail. I never intend to speak to my uncle again. But I know he will see this because he reads your column. I want him to know that my fiancé told me that he experimented with homosexuality in college, plus a few flings afterward, but he stopped a year before we met. Even more important, while he and I are celibate, and will be until we are married in April, we have spent a night together. I’m probably less sexually experienced than most 23-year-olds, but I do know what a man is supposed to do, and he did it all. Once we’re married, we intend to start a real family.

When my fiancé heard what my uncle said, he said that one of the main reasons he abandoned what he calls “the brown lifestyle” were all the envious old queens bitter at being denied the fulfillment only normal people can have. I used to believe in live and let live, but now I understand that straights have to defend decency against the homosexual forces that would sabotage it. And we should never take advice from people like you and my uncle, who are on the wrong side in this war.

—About to be Traditionally Wed

: A Hey, ATW: Here’s your letter, and while I won’t presume to offer advice

to you, an engaged breeder, I have some for your uncle, one homosexual to another.

When your niece divorces the sorry-ass fag she’s about to marry — which is inevitable — don’t let her back in your life. She may have been nicer to you than other family members, but apparently, she held you in just as much contempt.

So, like most gay men, you can spot ‘em, and when you sat down for coffee with your niece’s fiancé, you spotted one. You could have kept your mouth shut and played it safe, letting her marry the big homo. But you didn’t want to see your niece hurt, so you felt compelled to warn her. Telling someone an unpleasant truth takes guts, and I admire you. You did the right thing. Your niece, naïve and inexperienced, apparently thinks a man who’s capable of doing everything a man is “supposed to do” to a woman must be straight. Ha. She doesn’t know most gay men “successfully” have sex with women before coming out, and that it isn’t a difficult a thing to do, especially if one fantasizes about “the brown lifestyle” as one plows away. Additionally, it probably hasn’t occurred to her that the reason celibacy comes so easily to her fiancé is that he doesn’t desire her. If he were a straight guy, he wouldn’t want to wait ten minutes to get at her pussy, much less until April. Again, you were right to point these things out to her.

When your niece dumps this cocksucker or gets dumped by him which will hopefully happen before they start a “real” family — she’s going to come crawling back to you for sympathy and advice. And when she does, promise me you’ll tell her to suck your dick.


36 May 17-23, 2023 |
your burning questions to Podcasts, columns, and more at Savage.Love! | May 17-23, 2023 37

CULTURE Free Will Astrology

ARIES: March 21 – April 19

Aries dramatist Samuel Beckett, winner of the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote 22 plays. The shortest was Breath. It has no dialogue or actors and lasts less than a minute. It begins and ends with a recording of the cry of a newborn baby. In between there are the sounds of someone breathing and variations in the lighting. I recommend you draw inspiration from Breath in the coming weeks, Aries. Be succinct and pithy. Call on the powers of graceful efficiency and nononsense effectiveness. Relish the joys of shrewd simplicity.

TAURUS: April 20 – May 20

In the coming weeks, you Bulls must brook no bullies or bullying. Likewise, you should tolerate no bullshit from people trying to manipulate or fool you. Be a bulwark of integrity as you refuse to lower your standards. Bulk up the self-protective part of your psyche so you will be invincibly immune to careless and insensitive spoilers. Your word of power is BUILD. You will align yourself with cosmic rhythms as you work to create situations that will keep you strong and stable during the next 12 months.

GEMINI: May 21 – June 20

How much do you believe in your power to become the person you want to be? Ninety percent? Fifty-five? Twenty? Whatever it is, you can increase it in the coming weeks. Life will conspire with you to raise your confidence as you seek new ways to fulfill your soul’s purpose. Surges of grace will come your way as you strive with intense focus to live your most meaningful destiny. To take maximum advantage of this opportunity, I suggest you enjoy extra amounts of quiet, meditative time. Request help from the deepest core of your intelligence.

CANCER: June 21 – July 22

Early in the 19th century, cultural researchers Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm gathered an array of old folk stories and published a collection of what we now call fairy tales. Because the two brothers wanted to earn money, they edited out some graphic elements of the original narratives. For example, in the Grimms’ revised version, we don’t get the juicy details of the princess fornicating with the frog prince once he has reverted to his handsome human form. In the earlier but not published stories of Rumpelstiltskin, the imp gets so frustrated when he’s tricked by the queen that he rips himself apart. I hope you will do the opposite of the Brothers Grimm in the coming weeks, Cancerian. It’s crucial that you reveal and expose and celebrate raw, unvarnished truths.

LEO: July 23 – August 22

you right now, Virgo. Forget about the future and be focused on the present. Dive into the interesting work and play that’s right in front of you.

LIBRA: Sept. 23 – Oct. 22

I would love you to go searching for treasure, and I hope you launch your quest soon. As you gather clues, I will be cheering you on. Before you embark, though, I want to make sure you are clear about the nature of the treasure you will be looking for. Please envision it in glorious detail. Write down a description of it and keep it with you for the next seven weeks. I also suggest you carry out a fun ritual to formally mark your entry into the treasure-hunting chapter of your life.

SCORPIO: Oct. 23 – Nov. 21:

in the film Gandhi. Then his career declined. In an animated movie in 1992, he voiced the role of an immortal frog named F.R.O.7. who worked as a James Bond-like secret agent. It was a critical and financial disaster. But Kingsley’s fortunes rebounded, and he was nominated for Academy Awards in 2002 and 2003. Then his trajectory dipped again. He was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for four separate films between 2005 and 2008. Now, at age 79, he’s rich and famous and mostly remembered for the great things he has done. I suggest we make him your role model for the coming months. May he inspire you to emphasize your hits and downplay your misses.

AQUARIUS: Jan. 20 – Feb. 18

We’re starting a little cult, seems to be back in vogue, ‘The Prophets of Procrastination’. It’s based on drinking and a better tomorrow, or maybe a worse tomorrow depending on how much we drank, and other stuff. Anyways, I figure we could start next week, or maybe the following week?….Tell you what, I’ll a, I’ll get back to you on that.


Is there a job you would love to have as your primary passion, but it’s different from the job you’re doing? Is there a calling you would delight in embracing, but you’re too consumed by the daily routine? Do you have a hobby you’d like to turn into a professional pursuit? If you said even a partial yes to my questions, Leo, here’s good news: In the coming months, you will have an enhanced ability to make these things happen. And now is an excellent time to get underway.

VIRGO: August 23 – Sept. 22

Virgo-born Samuel Johnson (1709–1784) was a versatile virtuoso. He excelled as an essayist, biographer, playwright, editor, poet, and lexicographer. How did he get so much done? Here’s one clue. He took his own advice, summed up in the following quote: “It is common to overlook what is near by keeping the eye fixed on something remote. Present opportunities are neglected and attainable good is slighted by minds busied in extensive ranges and intent upon future advantages.” Johnson’s counsel is perfect for

In the coming weeks, you’ll be guided by your deep intelligence as you explore and converse with the darkness. You will derive key revelations and helpful signs as you wander around inside the mysteries. Be poised and lucid, dear Scorpio. Trust your ability to sense what’s important and what’s not. Be confident that you can thrive amidst uncertainty as you remain loyal to your core truths. No matter how murky this challenge may seem, it will ultimately be a blessing. You will emerge both smarter and wiser.

SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 22 – Dec. 21

If you take the Bible’s teachings seriously, you give generously to the poor and you welcome immigrants. You regard the suffering of others as being worthy of your compassionate attention, and you express love not just for people who agree with you and share your cultural traditions, but for everyone. Numerous Biblical verses, including many attributed to Jesus Christ, make it clear that living according to these principles is essential to being a good human. Even if you are not Jewish or Christian, Sagittarius, I recommend this approach to you. Now is an excellent time to hone your generosity of spirit and expand your urge to care for others.

CAPRICORN: Dec. 22 – Jan. 19

In 1982, Capricorn actor Ben Kingsley won an Oscar for his role

I’m devoted to cultivating the art of relaxation. But I live in a world dominated by stress addicts and frenzied overachievers. Here’s another problem: I aspire to be curious, innocent, and open-minded, but the civilization I’m embedded in highly values know-it-all experts who are very sure they are in command of life’s secrets. One further snag: I’m an ultra-sensitive creator who is nourished by original thinking and original feeling. And yet I constantly encounter formulaic literalists who thrive on clichés. Now here’s the good news: I am a successful person! I do what I love and enjoy an interesting life. Here’s even more good news, Aquarius: In the next 12 months, you will have a knack for creating rhythms that bring you closer than ever to doing what you love and enjoying an interesting life.

PISCES: Feb.19 – March 20

Most of us suffer from at least one absurd, irrational fear. I have a daft fear of heights, even when I’m perfectly safe, and a manic fear of mosquitoes dive-bombing me as I sleep, an event that has only happened four times in my life. My anxiety about running out of money is more rational, though, as is my dread of getting sick. Those worries help motivate me to work hard to earn a living and take superb care of my health. What about you, Pisces? Do you know which of your fears are preposterous and which make at least some sense? The coming weeks will be a favorable time to get a good handle on this question. Ask yourself: “Which of my fears are misdirected or exaggerated, and which are realistic and worthy of my attention?”

Homework: Make a pledge to the person you’ll be two years from now: a beautiful promise.

38 May 17-23, 2023 |


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