Dangerous Compassions

apricot cousin


Hey, gmorning!  I’m working on a series of songs related to family.  I rapped a new one, Apricot Cousin.  I have the strong feeling I need to talk to my departed relatives, especially my cousin who died last year, and my dad.

But it felt incorrect, as it’s spring.  I associate talking to the dead with Oct 31, Nov 1, and Nov 2nd.  The veil is thin then, they say!  Death rituals, Halloween, bonfires, trick-or-treating and costumes, falling sycamore leaves and wind, autumn. Sugar skulls, ofrendas, skeletons, candy, vigil at the cemetery.  Singing songs to the dead.

I told Ming, I really need to talk to the dead, but it’s like the opposite time of year.  He was comforting me, that I could talk to the dead any time.  Maybe I’m in opposite-world, and May 1 is a good dead-time too.

cookies from England

I bought these certain cookies I associate with my dad.  I had the strong need to talk to him about the problems I have with white men, problems that originated with him.  Might not be a nice conversation, but he’s more of a captive audience, now?  Or he probably doesn’t have a lot of other things to do, unless other relatives are talking to him in their rituals also.

A friend said to me that just about everyone has problems with white guys, even white guys.  I was laughing about that–yes.  They’re right.  Brilliant.

I rapped this song Apricot Cousin about my cousin who might have been crazy like me, who died last year.  Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.  She was my age.  I facebook messaged her, and didn’t hear back–then my white aunt told me the cousin had just died, and I was like–what?  I just messaged her this morning…?

Two weeks ago I rapped the autobiographical song about my early childhood, Girl Baby.  Then this one, Apricot Cousin, is about how our culture failed to meet that cousin’s needs, and she died for that.  I’m angry she suffered and lost her life needlessly, and very lucky that I can live.  It didn’t have to be that way.

I want to do more songs, talking to two other cousins who died–one in a car wreck, and one to suicide.  And one talking to my dad.  So yeah, maybe that’s an album.  I never intended to make albums, but if you have some songs with something in common, there’s a name for that.

Please listen to Apricot Cousin, if you get the chance, and I will share with you more songs when they’re done.  Thank you for hearing my truth, speaking your truth, and facing reality as you’re able.  I get to live, so I might as well tell my cousin’s story a little bit, and mine.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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