Vinyle zine issue 1. Vol. 1

Page 1



Acknowledgements If I haven’t told you I love you, consider this my dedication to you. If you support me, I love you. If you rocking we solid.


do this for you all the way. We do this for us –by us.

Love and kindness, KRF



Table of Contents Poetry ‘Seppuku” by Isaiah Brown…………………..6 “Untitled” by Bri Simpson……………………7 “Day, Night Life; The Cycle” by XVA……….8 “Untitled” by Bri Simpson…………………….9 “Toxicity” by Nailah Herbert………………….10 “Feel” by Latanya Smith……………………….11 “Untitled” by Bri Simpson……………………..12 “Addiction” by Isaiah Brown…………………..13 Prose The Hate U Give book review by KRF……….15 “the bet” by KRF……………………………….18




Seppuku by Isaiah Brown

At night I close my eyes and see my jealousy personified, fallen into a sleep so deep, I lay where fear resides he looks into your eyes, and hand on each thigh embers of envy begin to ignite

In the midst of the flames, I find reason to blame my dreams and my reality aren't one in the same, for this reality is not mine, it is his to claim

To hear you speak of the truth you so fearlessly seek, leaves me with anger, sadness, and confusion, not for you but at me with motivation to meet, and willingness to leap, with love on my mind, I'm pushed to my peak

With a snap, I return but much to my surprise, I awake, but not with tears in my eyes, instead with the ember that served as a guise for the feelings of jealousy, I held deep inside



Day, Night, Life; The Cycle By XVA Night Haik Ebony sheathes light, only at a lowered sun. The tree sleeps, hungry. Affirming my Life Die for what I stand on. I might die for where I stand. I will die standing. My pride conflicts my will to survive. I live to thrive in the height of my life. Day Just Does 12 A.M. starts today, no matter when you wake. Activity might be the only entity that is immortal. A new day is a sign of progression constantly being propelled forward. A constant continuing. Some consistency some only see is sleep. The sky does not wait to wake, so why should we wait to dream? Living life during the P, manifesting during the A, materializing when we wake.



Toxicity by Nailah Herbert Dear Toxicity, I’ve tried to encourage you and lick your wounds but to no avail you never seem to heal, You never seem to be inspired You never seem to be in a place where you want to grow, where you want to be better than you were yesterday You are standing still, and baby, I can’t stand still with you, I love you but I have to move on, and here’s why, I can’t deal with you being so inconsistent, I can’t deal with your toxic traits, you make it a habit to lie to me every day, You’re mean when you feel like it, You’re happy when you feel like it, You’re sad when you feel like it, But most of all It’s always about you, it’s never about anybody else but you, I’m sick of it, I’m sick of catering to your needs I’m sick of trying to always be a good person for you, I’m sick of always trying to be there for you when you’re only there for me half the time, You always doubt me which makes me upset, you always make me feel like I should have regrets, I’m getting sick of it I can’t take it anymore, I have to take a stand, take responsibility for myself, be accountable for myself and move on with my life, no matter who the person is— I need to move on, if we aren’t growing in our relationship, if we aren’t moving forward in our relationship, then it’s time to move on, It’s a been a long time coming but I’m ready to say farewell Goodbye, Toxicity.


FEEL by Latanya Smith I am not compulsive I am intentive, Far from explosive No near compressive, Gently relative To what is reality of expression, Far from ego Near the ethers, Breathes in air Or does it blow mi out? Pulling mi back to this confusing existence, My love and light is always expressive Numbing mi sometimes to this zealous perfection, Forever thankful cause this is my lesson Cause knowing more means I have to hold on to pain like im possessive, But still maintaining my composure For this I have created, Or is that all I know Or what I see, Sometimes, maybe it’s just mi.



Addiction by Isaiah Brown

One day will the love speak for itself, will actions and words no longer be apart, If loving yourself is so easy, why isn't it done from the start? it's too late...

Hopefully this hit of dopamine doesn't get the best of me, if it's best for me, why does it always get the best of me, in the right place at the wrong time it’s destiny, if it's not all mine –is the rest for me? don't hate...

slow down, take a breath, does this feel right? inhale.... exhale... should my chest be tight? part of me is missing, was it really mine? forgiveness is key, it just takes time– never hesitate...


Photo by Kevin Zaouali



Angie Thomas’ novel, The Hate U Give is more than a novel about losing a friend due to police brutality. When peeling back the layers of this piece of Young Adult fiction, it’s about the two sides of causal death for the Black narrative cycle: the hands of kinfolk or the hands of white people. The protagonist Starr Carter lives between these two worlds where she has to live her life in pieces of fragments depending on which environment she’s in –her Black neighborhood or private school. One night at a party, Starr is reunited with her best friend Khalil for what feels like an extended moment of life. She hangs out with Khalil the rest of the night where they catch up on memories, and he questions whether he can speak with her father soon during that night. But, their moment is cut short when Khalil is pulled over by the police and shot and killed in front of Starr. The novel thus progresses around seeking justice for Khalil, the media’s portrayal of Khalil as a local drug dealer part of the King Lord gang, the kingpin whom Khalil worked for continuing to not have any thought for humanity, and the police justification for their lack of thought for the Black life as well. Thomas is shining the light in The Hate U Give on the need to value Black lives all around from outside and inside the community in order to combat the vicious cycle of hate.


Hide -NSeek The Hate U Give book review by KRF.

When I think of The Hate U Give, Thomas was not only aiming at the hate towards Black people outside of the community, but also the breeding of hate within. The fatality of the Black community comes full force in a cyclical effect of hate via executive forces which have constantly waged to oppress the Black community, but in addition, the post-effects of generational racism which has caused Black people to oppress one another. When Starr is watching the YouTube video of Tupac describing what “THUG LIFE” means he says, “The Hate U Give Little Infants F-U-C-K-S Everybody.” In mentioning this quote from Tupac in the novel, Thomas is implying that the cycle of hate begins at a young age, but this hate is carried on generations after, and will continue to live on so long as someone is keeping the hate alive enough to give to the next generation. This is significant because children are not born with hate internally, but hate is given to them. We can see hate being given to children who grow to wreak chaos in the forms of racism, homophobia, religion, terrorism, or any prejudice-charged act which results in a fatal detriment of another belonging to a group. This includes the internal hate in the Black community to kill each other without a question of our own humanity. Although Khalil is killed by a white police officer, the story continues with another King Lord gang member, DeVante, being targeted by the same kingpin Khalil tried to escape from. This kingpin, King, targets Starr’s family and has a tight grip on the young men who work for him to perpetuate the cycle of violence and lack of humanity for oneself, thus others. DeVante wants to escape the King Lords gang because he is requested by King to complete a task that he ultimately knows will result in the end of his life. King might or might not know this, but despite his awareness of the circumstances, he has no consideration for DeVante’s life as well as any of the other gang members that are loyal to him. This thus proves the cycle of hate given and then pushed back out because of the perpetuation of hate externally to let it internally fracture the way Black people perceive one another. Though, one can see that the choice to walk away from this cycle is of your own accord, and despite being engulfed in the environment, one can choose 16 the opposition to what has been given in order to stop the cycle.

So Why Should Black Folks Read This? So why should all Black people read The Hate U Give? The hate begins externally, but the way we conquer is internally. The message hidden in this novel is conquering the hate given with love.

Despite the circumstances, one can take the hate given and use it as fuel to empower oneself and others that are oppressed and thought less of –through unity. This novel paints the narrative of passing along hate to one another, and thus continuing the cycle of oppression, but the way we break this cycle is choosing to walk away from the hate, or embrace it in order to conquer it with its oppositional force. A quote which echoes the need to break the cycle is when Starr’s mother (Lisa Carter) says, “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.” I think that if we could all see the significance of choosing the right thing over the wrong thing, it will then result in a more unified productive community –on the outside and within. If we all attempt to continue to fight fire with fire, the world may continue to perish and there will be no room for love. But, in choosing the right thing there would be less hate in the world, and more importantly unification under an umbrella of love of self and others in the Black community.

Works Referenced Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. Walker Books, 2017.


The bet By KRF “Robert, I need your half later today on that mortgage alright?” “I got you Betty, I told you that already.” “You told me a lot Robert but I’m serious that bill is gone get us if we don’t pay it. I need that money. I’m not playing Robert.” She kept putting on her earrings. Robert came up beside his wife and wrapped his arms around her waist and swung side to side. “Baby, Imma give you the mortgage, the electric bill, the water bill, and them two new pair of shoes. Since we talking about all the stuff you want.” He kissed her neck, and she rolled her eyes back. “It ain’t what I want Robert, it’s what we need. But keep them shoes of mine in mind. I’m tired of wearing those old raggedy thangs.” She did a two-step in her linen tennis shoes. “Baby, you gone be the manager up there soon. My baby gone be able to boss all them folks around and sit at her desk with the shoes on I bought her. Kick them pretty feet up. Ain’t no more cleaning them rooms, you the boss.” He pulled her in close and pressed his lips against her neck. “Yes, baby Imma be the boss. I talked to Lanyette today, she said since she’s transferring hotels n’ that they gone need a new supervisor. She said she recommending me.” “Ya see there. That’s what I mean. You gone wear them heels and click clack up them halls and check ‘em. Ain’t no more cleaning them.” “Yes, baby. No more. I still need that money.” “Woman, you need a lot.” “Robert, I’m not playing okay.” She kissed his cheek then his lips. “You come home with my money, ya hear?” “Imma come home with OUR money. But tonight I’m watching the game with Rags. After I get off work” She smacked her teeth and rolled her eyes dropping her arms from Robert’s neck. “That fool? Really Robert?” “What baby? It’s just the game. We always watch the game on Friday nights.” “That ain’t all y’all do. Y’all be spending my bill money up at that bar.” “Listen baby, you ain’t got nothing to worry about, we just watching the game tonight baby.” “Whatever Robert I don’t wanna hear that. Just come home with my money. Come home to your family.” “Baby, baby, I hear you. I got you okay.” “Alright now Robert.” 18

“ Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea “Immaconsequat.” come home with OUR money. But tonight I’m watching the game with Rags. After commodo I get off work” She smacked her teeth and rolled her eyes dropping her arms from Robert’s neck. “That fool? Really Robert?” “What baby? It’s just the game. We always watch the game on Friday nights.” “That ain’t all y’all do. Y’all be spending my bill money up at that bar.” “Listen baby, you ain’t got nothing to worry about, we just watching the game tonight baby.” “Whatever Robert I don’t wanna hear that. Just come home with my money. Come home to your family.” “Baby, baby, I hear you. I got you okay.” “Alright now Robert.” Robert was left alone in him and his wife’s bedroom as he dressed for work. He buttoned down his collar and wrapped his tie through the loopy-loop, and pulled. He grabbed his two favorite work shoes from underneath the bed and began to slide on the right leg’s socks. His bad leg was stiff as a plank, but it wasn’t artificial. An old knee injury left Robert unbending at the knee and able to stretch his 6’5 stature down to his foot and pull his left leg sock up around his ankle. He called into the room his youngest daughter. “Anna, baby. Come in here.” Anna-Lynn came into the room, but his oldest daughter, Alena, followed behind because she always thought Robert was going to give Anna-Lynn something nice since she was his favorite. “Yes, daddy?” Anna-Lynn said to her father swiping away snot bubbles with her wrist. “Oh baby you still got that cold going on?” Robert said on the ottoman at the foot of his bed. “I’m okay, daddy, Mama gave me some ‘Tussin. She said just keep blowing my nose.” “Yeah baby gone in the bathroom and get away them bubbles.” Anna-Lynn went into the bathroom of her parents’ room and blew her nose loudly. “Lena baby, come and help ya’ daddy.” “Uhnnnn-uh no. I know what you want. You want me to put on yo’ socks.” Alena said in the doorway. “You used to put my socks on for me. Clip my toenails too.” “I ain’t doing neither.” She said, putting her hands on her hips. Anna-Lynn came back from the bathroom with an ashy brown nose tip stripped of a little skin from too many tissue tears. “You need me to clip your toenails daddy?” Anna-Lynn asked. Robert looked at his toe nails and how they were long and pointed and curling over his toes. How long since the girls last cut his toe nails he thought? They have been cutting up his sheets and leaving holes in his socks. He didn’t have time for the girls to cut them now though.


“How about when daddy comes home tonight you can cut them sweetie. How about that? I just need you to help me put on my socks.” “Okay I can cut them tonight. I can do the clear paint again?” “Anything except that pink ya sister be putting on you.” Anna-Lynn giggled and picked up her daddy’s sock and began to slide it up. “I can’t believe you touch daddy toes. Mama don’t even touch daddy toes,” Alena said to Anna-Lynn, “but, daddy, Mama said to ask you for my field trip money.” “How much is ya field trip?” Robert asked. “Twenty dollars.” “Twenty-dollars! You know how much field trips were when I was a kid? Free. You know how much gas money is? Not free.” “Daddy, all my friends going, and mama said ask you because you got all the money.” That woman always after my money, Robert thought in his head. “Alright baby, I get paid today, so I’ll bring home your field trip money.” Anna-Lynn finished her sock duties, softly having dragged the sock up his foot to not puncture a hole in the tips of his toes. “And I’ll bring you something too for being my little pedicure agent.” He tickled Anna-Lynn’s sides and she giggled again. Robert worked in automobile sales. He made his way to work around 8 AM and left at 6PM. In between 9 and 6, he sat behind his desk, worked the grounds, showed people a few vehicles, made one or two sales, a many maybes, then his favorite time would happen —lunch break. “Man they done won three games in a row, you can’t tell me Pittsburgh ain’t got this in the bag.” “Now you know them players can get in over their heads and start fumbling. Remember the Titans? Got too damn cocky third quarter, let the other team get in they head, completely bullshitted with no chance of a comeback fourth quarter.” “Who’s to say that’s the Pitts though? They seem levelheaded to me. Shit if I were on a 12-0 streak, I wouldn’t be too levelheaded myself. Plus look at Missouri’s scores, 8-4. They don’t stand a chance.” “Ya see that’s what fucks the whole game up. Thinking you got this. Underestimating folks. I’m telling you man, the Pitts gone lose.” Robert listened introspectively to his coworkers discuss tonight’s game. He wanted to throw in his two cents but never got the chance. Instead, he listened fascinated. Confident in who’s going to win. When lunch was over, he went back to his meager responsibilities at the dealership. Robert pulls out his phone and sees that there is still no confirmation message from Rags, but instead a text from his wife saying, “Don’t forget my money today, Robert.” Robert sighs and anticipates a drink from Jack’s later that night. The thought flurries across Robert’s mind of Robert shaking Rags’ hand with a rubber banded roll of cash sandwiched in between. Robert held a gaze with Rags and uttered something, but Rags just smiled back coyly flashing his single gold tooth. Robert’s stiff leg tightened at the thought, which made him wince and try to stretch it, but it could only go so far. So, he simply sat stagnant and anticipated that drink later that night.


A well-off couple comes into the dealership and one of Robert’s coworkers, Manny, rushes over to him. “Ya’ see them two? Oooooo boy, they smell like money. You got ‘em Robert or you want me to handle ‘em?” Manny says. “I ain’t had no quota in about three weeks now. I don’t need the boss looking at me crazy. I’ll handle ‘em.” Robert says. Robert begins to gather a notebook and pen, but when he tries to stand, his leg gives out, and he falls back into his chair immediately. “You still getting that surgery on that leg man?” Manny begins to walk off but turns back reading Robert’s disheveled nature. “I’m coming up with the money for it.” Robert says trying to unstiffen his leg. “Right.” Manny gave a chuckle and walked away in the direction of the awaiting couple. Robert watches Manny formally address himself to the couple, and eventually gives into the sessile leg and plops down roughly into his desk chair. The other salesmen were busy with other customers, but still had their attention subtly averted to the well-off couple. They all could smell it —money. Robert observed the couple too from the desk sidelines: the woman’s perfume dragged across the room like a rolled out red carpet. She had a ring on the size of the fingernail it sat on. Her lips were painted a ruby red, and she had on a slim-fitting casual dress to match it. Her pumps clacked like the sound he’d imagined his wife’s shoes would make if she wore heels too. The man who arms she intertwined hers with had a grizzly face that confidently screamed this is my woman without saying a thing. Robert thought on to how she didn’t say a single word. He wondered if he was henpecked, or if she just pecked him for money. What he did know, was that she just wrapped onto her husband’s arms –proudly. The husband wasn’t all fancy dressed, but he had on an expensive cologne that reaped suave with the accent e on the end. Robert looked on, curious as to what car they were going to drive off in. He stared in their direction, but they never looked his way. When 6 PM hit, Robert sped to the cigar bar the men planned to congregate for the game. It was the cigar bar married men came to after work to seek a sports game with a nice cold brew that curled with foam around the glass rim; the bar men could slip their rings off or keep them on depending on how rousy it makes the broad; the bar men were not afraid to be men and get away with it.


On his way into the bar there is a homeless man who asks Robert for money. Robert stops to open the cracked leather wallet and sees lottery tickets wrapping around the satin trimming with only $1.00 in cash to spare. Robert gives the homeless man the dollar and enters the bar. Robert shackled through the surge of Friday night game spectators and drunken buffoons until he got to his normal seat. “Aye Jack, whiskey.” Robert said, but Jack didn’t get on it. It was almost as if he heard Robert and turned around. Jack was usually surged with customers on Friday nights. All the married men came to Jack’s old cigar bar and puffed the place up with smoke. Accountants, electricians, musicians, HVAC specialists, practitioners, custodians, alike came to the bar to fill their heads up with smoke. The game went on and Robert finally got his whiskey. The Pitts were in the lead, and Robert patiently watched through his sweating glass and listened to the commentary of the bar. Someone in the bar said to Robert, “I see you ain’t talking shit tonight, Robert, ‘fraid you gone lose or sumn?” Robert made a simple nod of the head in his direction then turns and tosses back the rest of his whiskey. He looked at his phone again to see if Rags messaged him. Still no answer. His friend Rags showed up and Robert came alive. Rags took a seat at the barstool next to Robert without purchasing a single glass. Robert came alive at the thought of seeing his friend and began to poke and jive him with crass insults, Robert was also on his third glass of whiskey, but Rags was stiff and unamused by his friends taunts. Rags held his hands together and just watched the game quietly, just as Robert was doing before. Robert took notice and quietly returned to watching —it was game time. Fourth quarter the bar was a mess with shit-talkers and nay-sayers. “Man they gone make a come back! You don’t remember how—.” “Boy they team is ass, good looking out for them though that’s what cheerleaders do best —-.”


“All I know fool, is I better get my money once that clock strikes.” Robert watched. Robert listened. The fourth quarter count down was in place and concubines grappled onto gentleman’s shoulders, and men grappled onto fair hope. The last quarter and the Pitts have been neck and neck with Missouri, but the Pitts sent the last shot. A stunning victory for all. Robert felt his stomach drop then shoot up with a roar. “Well I’ll be damned! I’m a rich man! That’s what I’m talking about!” Robert yelled. “What is you talking about Robert?” Jack’s attention now on Robert. “I done won $30,000!” “Woooooweeee, damn that’s a lot of money man, congratulations.” Someone at the bar said. “Yeah, congratulations Robert.” Jack said. “Ya know what, shots on me.” Robert said. The whole bar raised their glasses to Robert. But Rags, unmoving the entire time at the occasion, slammed the table and walked away from the bar. The slam was loud enough for everyone to be seconds mindful of it but pay less attention to Rags’ unreasonable gesture as a bar norm. Robert’s cheeriness was mindful of it so he followed behind his friends in a drunken daze of happiness. Disillusioned by his friend’s bitter temper. He found his friend behind the bar in the vacant parking lot. “Aye Rags, you heard that? We rich? I was getting nervous with all that commotion but for the first time I won big. We won big.” His friend didn’t respond, he just paced back and forth rubbing his chin. “Aye man you ain’t been looking too good tonight? You cool? I just ordered shots for us all so let’s go back in and grab one or two, and maybe even a honey or two, ya’know what I mean?”


He still did not respond. “I need the money too, I just ordered us shots and I don’t want to keep them waiting —-.” “Yo shut the fuck up man. Just shut the fuck up.” Rags finally said, still pacing. “Aye man, I’m just asking where the money at? The bet was for 30K you should be—-.” “Robert shut the fuck up, I’m serious man.” “I gave you $8,000 where the money at?” He pulled out a gun. “Man, I just want my money man, that’s it man,” “Robert shut the fuck shut the fuck up just shut up.” Rags pointing the gun more furiously with every stressed syllable. “Rags I have kids man, I just want my money that’s it I just want my —-.” “He takes the shot: one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, and he scores!”


Photo by Svante Berg


Index Brown, Isaiah, 6, 13 KRF, 15-17, 18-24 Herbert, Nailah, 10 Simpson, Bri, 7, 9, 12 Smith, LaTanya, 11 Whitaker, Javan Artwork: front cover, 3, 5, 6, 10, 14 XVA, 8


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