Egypt R. Dior //
For my project I requested to take a different approach. Due to limited time, I did not have the time needed to master my track for autoethnography. My approach entailed questions I asked myself, brief questions geared toward my life during my incarceration, during the current pandemic, about how my “existence” will forever be incarcerated because of how I identify. I questioned myself because within me is where I believe the answers lie. And, “truthfully” speaking, I have no acquaintances that I could ask questions during these trying times.
Verse #1 What ya name? My name is Egypt Where you from? From the land of the leashes What does that means? It means I been locked down fed like an animal Even beat to the ground And this been my whole life I been Quarantined so the only thing I got to show for “Is me” never really had friends so I had to stay strong Green Daysaid it best - “I walk alone” Dark dreams (from) behind bars ain’t far had to live in P.C. being transgender was hard When I tried to fit in the haters would pull my cards Recreation was a dub Every sport I liked was barred Punched in the face by peers and police kinda baffled how I made it loss tears instead of teeth First bid did eleven watch years turn to weeks Now I’m even more scared How will I make it in these streets?
Verse #2 20/20 now What do I do? Plus I live in a building where it's barely a roof Where the kids are told lies So they rarely know truth And the older generation don’t even care to leave clues What the Flu didn’t hit Coronavirus will do Don’t be scared and act a fool “Humans viruses Too” If there’s a God PLEASE show me the proof ! I feel like a newborn (Hungry, Crying, Stranded) left in the nude What I really mean “Is I been stressed out” How many questions could I ask - when I’ve been left out? My Identity causes me to be X’d out Thought I took the best route Maybe I should have left town On my knees I pray I stay alive Would they care if I died? If I survive I then asked “WHY?” Nowadays we have a mask on when we been wore a mask Everyday CHANGING a sad song
Outro “Now I lay me Down to Sleep And I pray” to the Universe My soul to keep And If I die I wish not to wake Now I’m stuck in a Realm Where I feel nice and safe
Egypt R. Dior
Author bio: Egypt R. Dior was born and raised in the slums of Brooklyn and the prison industrial complex. Egypt is a black trans woman and a true scholar of music, currently in the Justice-in- Education Initiative Scholars Program at Columbia University. She has goals of becoming a better individual and is currently working on projects to better humanity and open minds. Egypt lives in New York City.
Image note: Several essays are accompanied by photographs that Neni Panourgiá took of flowers at Riverside Park in spring 2020. They are meant as temporal transitional points during the time that the workshop took place, from the last day on campus in the fall semester of 2019 to the last day of class in June 2020.