Jasmine Mans takes us through the “cycles” of heartache in her new poem
“What you see here is a poem about two women who loved each other,” Mans said.
Jasmine Mans has already climbed a hill with a broken heart. The poet and author of Black girl call home was tasked with releasing her grief when she arrived by her best friend (who was running alongside her). When they reached the top it was filled with fireflies. Their beauty was visual confirmation: it was time to let go.
The love she unleashed lives on in the six-minute video of her poem “Cycles”.
“There are times that you have in life that are exemplified by God and you are just a participant,” she said at the premiere at Dumbo House in Brooklyn.
“I wrote this poem a year ago with a broken heart and sleepless body. Art reflects life, even when the heart does not want to be seen. What you see here is a poem about two women who loved each other.
In the video, Mans and a lover dance and fondle each other in a Brooklyn brownstone. A neat color palette expresses the warmth of their moments with a sentimentality reserved for rom-com flashbacks. Their love seems eternal until some fate shatters their happiness. They glow and then shatter.
The protagonist of the poem does not judge his lover, played by DJ Fannie Mae, for betrayal because as Mans said “shame was never an activation of God”.
A chorus composed and performed by Bills Egypt asks “Who am I to blame you / Who am I to claim you / Who am I to shame you”, before declaring “I wish you well / I wish you well. well / I wish you well, my love. “
She found it important to share her experience, “So that other gay black girls know they belong and can take up space.”
Working with those she knew helped her become more comfortable on set. “DJ Fannie Mae has been a good friend of mine as well, so having her in this room was a nice exchange of energy,” she said.
The project is his first partnership with Umi’s House. “Umi’s House is a New Jersey production company created by friends of mine Herns Gabrial and Aziza Johnson,” Mans said. The couple reached out to her to create something special together.
“When they asked for a collaboration, it was the only piece I could think of. This poem colored my identity right now, ”she continued.
“I was nervous, it was my first time, in a song, with a woman. Herns, nervous because this is his first production. We were a team of eight friends gathered in Brooklyn to tell a love story.