TW for fucking everything.

A lot of people I know have asked me about my feelings right now.

Before I get all the way into it, I want to preface my remarks with a few things. First of all, I say none of this with glee or pleasure. Second, I’m going to keep it absolutely 100 with y’all because I feel the need for naked honesty. If after reading any of this, your instinct is to tell me I’m wrong or whatever don’t bother. I’ve heard it before. If you want to call me a crybaby that’s fine. …

[image description: a photo of DMX nee Earl Simmons looking into the camera]

I love bad men. The first bad man I loved was a neighbor in our apartment complex when I was a little kid. He and his girlfriend would let me come into their mostly empty apartment and they’d play me music from the LA hardcore scene, they let me eat candy and listen to them say bad words. He loved to show me things, he’d show me how his guitar amp worked, or he’d let me watch him work on his car. He was handsome to my eye, I thought he was smart and cool and said fuck a lot.

AKA..no bullshit financial advice for those in tears.

Slightly stylized image of cards in a wallet.

Hi, I’m Shannon and I am poor. For 2021 I have real talk financial advice for poor folks or folks working with small amounts of money. Before we get into it be aware. This is not aspirational; this is not a fantasy we are working with what we have right now. Accepting that as your starting point is essential to making progress. We’re going to discuss how I have managed to do the following stuff on a tiny budget. Our goals here are not wealth or the promise of upward mobility. This…

[image description: photo of the author clawing at their chest]

Cardi says, I was born to flex. A lyric from her song ‘Money’ and as I walk across the courtyard to go to work, I shake a little ass on my way to make a little cash. Saturdays, I am alone in the office and I turn up my one shitty speaker and try to keep my mood up by shaking a little ass in the office. My back hurts? Time to turn up and shake my struggle cheeks. Tired? Shake that ass. Bad mood on my way home? Deploy my resting bitch face, and stank ass walk. …

Let’s not do that again.

Recently another writer asked me about my now out of print poetry boo Gasoline Heart.

image description: a brightly colored photo of round fuchsia sequins with yellow text that reads: Gasoline Heart Shannon Barber. This is the cover of my poetry book.

First let’s talk about the writing. My poetry book was written mainly while I was waiting for buses on my phone using a notepad app. I have long used writing poems as a way of relaxation or warm up. I did not set out to write a poetry book at all. I wrote a bunch of poems and my editor had previously reached out to tell me if I did the thing, she wanted the thing.

And thus the thing…

For beloved Christopher Ropes

The theme music for this story.

Three AM is at least in the city the magic hour. The drunks gone home or wherever, the tweakers have scurried home, things settle into hazy orange light and the kind of strange quiet that pulls me onto the street. I don’t really sleep anymore; they used to beg me around 11 to lay down and I would oblige until three. I walk. I am out enough that the most strung out know me, “hey J. Stay frosty.” The man shuffles past me and I wave and keep going…

CW: racism, trauma, self harm.

[image description: a photo of a Japanese maple tree. I talk to it every morning.]

How I got here.

The news cycle. the police led assaults. the murders, watching people debate the humanity of people who look just like me, the calls for the killing of people just like me- y’all already know.

Since this current bout of awful, I’ve been deep in trauma response. As I get older the inevitability of specifically anti-Black racism has taken a whole new kind of toll on my well being. The recent extra judicial murders of Black people hit me differently, there is a whole new level to how I feel.

When I…

But harder.

Now that we’re weeks (years? I dunno) into quarantining and social distancing, I’ve had friends ask how it is for me.

For reference, I live in Seattle close to downtown. I am an essential worker. My employer does offer work from home currently however, my living space does not work with that. It is noisy (I have to take phone calls), I don’t have the space for a desk or work area and there is a whole other human being within close proximity when I’m at home so that is not happening.

[image description: the author, a brown skinned femme in glasses wearing a printed mask, glasses, a black and white headwrap and blue headphones]

On the surface of things, my…

A new fiction story by yours truly.

[image description: photo taken by the author and manipulated by them. An ominous looking bit of Seattle skyline]

“Babe.” Khalid/a looked up and paused their bicep curls, their heavy-lidded eyes moved lazily up and down the shadowy form of their partner. “Yeah, you okay?” Their vision wavered and the image of their partner fuzzed up around the edges. In the other room they could just hear their partner Viola’s voice, “son of a bitching mother shit bag. My transmitter is on the outs again, come help.” Khalid/a smiled to themselves, fully expecting to find Viola tangled in wires or something absurd.

Khalid/a rose and wiped their brow before heading into the…

Thoughts and Dreams

[image caption: a photo of a section of Seattle. There are several buildings in progress with cranes against a grey sky.]

For reference, my job is essential. There are work from home capabilities however, I cannot work in my home due to the nature of my job. I am out every day. I am immune compromised. My partner is at high risk. We are poor and not equipped to do anything but survive.

That is where I’m coming from.

When I heard about the possibility of needing to self-quarantine I panicked. I sat down and budgeted out to the dollar how to get my resources together, how much PTO I have, how much sick time, how much time…

Shannon Barber

I write a lot of stuff.

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