A Sweaty Meditative Letter from Brooklyn

I’m thinking about time, appropriation, queerness, and always social movements. And the ways fungi are really out there doing things in community with other plants and trees in highly complex ways.

From Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change our Minds & Shape our Futures:

“How do fungi maintain a sense of a body subject to continual revision? Hyphae must be able to tell if they are bumping into a branch of themselves or another fungus entirely. If another, they need to be able to tell whether it is a different — potentially…

A stroll through a part of my brain

I have recently become aware that I keep tabs open on my browser for insanely long periods of time. Both on my phone and my laptop. Here is a list of Safari tabs open on my phone:

  1. article on Ghost.io, an alternative to Substack that some to many substack writers are moving to over their platform partly or entirely due to the fact that Substack platforms some terrible anti-trans humans? I have a previous piece where I wrote about this. …

Thank you for showing up to my inconsistent writing experiment.

This is my latest interview for The Creative Independent with friend and theater maker/disruptor Modesto Flako Jimenez. Some of him:

“I think about audience all the time. What am I giving you and what are you gonna give me at the end of this, because there’s a trade-off. I usually create places where I could document your voice after. Tell us your story connected to what you just saw, to make sure that we are both giving each other something. My stories are just the Dominican in America trying to…

From Cathy Park Hong’s book Minor Feelings (read it immediately if you haven’t already), I read that the artist Gregg Bordowitz said this about radical art:

it bypasses social media algorithms and consumer demographics by bringing together groups who wouldn’t normally be in the same room together.

I’ve been thinking about the people I know, artists I know who do this. Radical spaces seem to create these confluences of mixed up groups of people. What are those spaces? What are the things that bring people there?

When I got my second Covid dose, the building was significantly more empty than…

Apologetically unapologetic musings

When you get your first shot of the Pfizer vaccine at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens are you also grieving the millions who died by this thing?

How do you grieve government incompetence? State-sponsored violence on our own people? State sanctioned bombs falling on other humans in faraway places?

Do we sometimes grieve our dead parents by saying those things we never got to say to them to our living loved ones? (That can be hard on those loved ones. And sometimes beautiful)

I’m grieving this week, this month, this year. I thought I wasn’t. I thought I had to say I was fine. I thought I had to say things were good. My projects were exciting. My writing is going well. My death training is changing…

How do you make adult activities like clearing your desk of bills fun? I’ve been an adult for a while and these things manage to get done, but seemingly by the skin of my teeth. Couldn’t there be a beautiful aching sad monotony to it all that I could tap into? Of course it’s not monotonous or boring. All of the issues and things we care about are hidden away in the blechy white envelopes with clear plastic windows for your peekaboo name. It’s all made to be so drab so you just pay the damn thing and ask no…

Be Easy On Those Doing The Work.

A random list I initially thought could organize this piece and would be deleted afterwards but as lists do, this one started doing it’s own thing and insisted it remain a list undeleted:

  • why i’m mad
  • why i’m grateful
  • why i cut my hair/ let someone I love who doesn’t cut hair cut my hair
  • why is my dog so itchy
  • what is the shape of my trauma
  • how can i use my time here for the most good for others
  • how can i use my time here for the most good for…

Zoom and Imperialist tactics for quelling a conquered people

To act like I’m not all out here spending the most on some completely bougie skincare products would be disrespectful to you. I’m here to lay it all out for you. I typically hate the whole genre of “Why is your skin so good” beauty piece where a brilliant sexy historian also has perfect skin (?!!), so I’d like to try something different. I’d like to separate skincare routines from their actual result on the skin. Skincare could be not that much about skin at all. Stick with me.

I don’t…

Sleepwalking into 2021

My 11-year old sleepwalks, talks, and apparently sleep searches for gold rings in potted plants. A few nights ago, I saw her pulling up my snake plant in the middle of the night. I called out to her surprised in my own sleep haze, she came back to my often communal bed, and we both feel asleep. The next morning we were both surprised to see the 3-foot tall snake plant in disarray, dirt on the floor. She then excitedly recalled the dream. It blew my mind that somehow she was not awake while digging for something precious in a…

White people cannot save black children using the tools of systemic racism. They can, however, understand the historical context for the suffering and dismantle the machinery.

Several years ago, I worked as a lawyer in the Juvenile Rights Practice with Legal Aid Society. My job was representing mostly black and brown children and teenagers who were entangled with the child protective/juvenile delinquent laws of New York City. Usually it was their families/caretakers who were entangled and the kids were simply dragged along for the ride.* We, as the lawyers for the children, met family members on occasion, spoke to caseworkers, read reports, interviewed young people and their caretakers, looked at school records, filed motions for things our clients wanted, sometimes pushed for reunification with parents, sometimes…

Resham Mantri

Writer. I care about justice for black and brown bodies, public education, good vintage clothes, how societies and technology work, and immigrant recipes.

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