Remember; learn- Cliff Notez


[Poem by Cliff Notez, photo from the biography of Eva Jones-Young]

Remember;learn 1

There are times where I curse the past
Reminiscing on the Grit of pain
an accepting that things have happened.
Disregarding that things are happening,
I am turning a blind eye to my hindsight
Ignorance has never been bliss
Memories are not prophecies
They are blueprints.
Remember, recollect, remind.
Reconsider, revisit, recalculate
Remember, recollect, remind.
when concrete shaved the skin off your palms.
How it made you miss the comfort of your bike
and how you will never hit that corner,
Going that fast again.
Your first fight
Decorating your face with knuckles and blood
how he hit you with a jab,

– Remember;learn 2

jab, jab.
Learn to duck
And swing
And counter
And swing
Until you hit
Until you hit.
Until you break.
Not all things broken will be fixed
Surviving demise makes you invulnerable
we have been surviving since we were born
Nights with no box-spring and dinner plate,
Never go hungry and sleepless
sleep closely relates to death
The day your grandmother died,
never let another good woman leave you again.

– Remember;learn 3

the day you first cried,
how laughter felt like hugs
the homicides
And how to never relive a crime scene again
Remember denial
Learn access
Remember pain
Learn pleasure
Remember tribulation
Learn good fortune
Remember where your feet walked in turmoil
And learn to never walk in coal again
Compress the memories of those roads
And create diamonds
how they burnt your school down in 8th grade
Value your education
Savor every cent they give you for being under privileged
Remember you are privileged
Remember there is white privilege
Remember you are different
Learn the beauty of blackness

– Remember;learn 4

Remember you have Vitiligo
Never forget that beauty is beyond skin deep
when they kept you silent,
learn to sing euphonies when asked to speak.
after remembering the lack of luster and value in lies
learn to speak truth
how we’d be living the same pain
if we never learned to escape it.
When thinking of the past
Do not disregard struggle
how none of it came easy
be thankful that any of it happened.


Born in Boston Massachusetts, at the beginning of the 90s, Cliff Notez  is an artist, film maker, poet, musician, photographer, and producer/engineer working with people and places like Harvard, MIT, Boston University, RAW Art Works and more. Cliff recently graduated from Northeastern University [2016] with a masters in digital media and was 2016 Vox Pop Poetry Slam Champion with the Haley House slam team and is currently finishing up his new film and albums, and chap book due out in 2017.When he’s not working on his own art or doing shows, he’s working on everyone else’s as the founder and director of media brand HipStory as lead administrator and educator for the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Teen New Media Programs.

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