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Screen shot of Tilt West roundtable conversation prompted by Rebecca Vaughan

By Jennifer Ho, in response to Tilt West’s roundtable on The Semiotics of the Stay-At-Home

We are a nation divided — this much seems clear no matter what part of the political spectrum you hail from. And it has me worried, not because I think we all need to believe the same things but because we can’t even agree on what to disagree on. Meaning: shared beliefs on what constitutes basic “facts” have become rhetorical weapons in a war of competing realities.

I suppose I saw it coming over a decade ago, when people were disputing that Barack Obama was…

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Prompter Bianca Mikahn, Tilt West’s virtual roundtable on Art, Trauma & Resistance

by Autumn T. Thomas in response to Tilt West’s virtual roundtable on Art, Trauma & Resistance

In March of 2020, the country was forced into introversion at the onset of a worldwide pandemic. A “safer at home” mandate was put in place to save as many people as possible from the threat of a widespread infection, yet the result forced many people to face unsafe circumstances at home. We were forced to deal with our families, our personalities, our thoughts, our addictions. We were forced to see one another, vulnerable and scared, with no means of escape. For some of…

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By futurist Chet W. Sisk, in response to Tilt West’s panel, Afrofuturism and Black Safety: Beyond Policing

Note: This essay will appear in the author’s forthcoming book, 10 Easy Steps to Creating a New Society.

One of the most notorious crises in the United States is the ugly and never-ending confrontational relationship between the State (the police) and communities of color, particularly African Americans. Before we take another step into this centuries-old dance of violence, let’s clarify a few points:

  • While one can trace the practice of policing as far back historically as 27 BC in ancient Rome, the heart…

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Tilt West’s first virtual roundtable on Curiosity & Deceleration

by Josh Mattison, in response to Tilt West’s roundtable on Curiosity & Deceleration

There’s a new podcast I just started listening to called Field Recordings. They describe their show as, “A podcast where audio-makers stand silently in fields (or things that could be broadly interpreted as fields).” And whatever you’re thinking that sounds like is probably close to correct. There’s no host, no editing; just the sound of a field, or a park, or ocean waves. The pieces range from one to fifteen minutes in length. Outside of the sounds of random people passing by, there’s no talking, so there’s…

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Noel Black (Photo Credit: Matt Chmielarczyk)

How to Be A Witch, Wizard, or Warlock in Today’s Economy

by Noel Black

Those who sought the illusion — it is done
Outdated bones impose the mundane
To discover the True
Do so with nothing
Seek not belief to remain
Hang up on people in real life the way they hang up on people in movies
Raise your right hand to the heavens and bring down
lightning to match the ground

It’s possible to communicate directly with
your chosen reality initiations
Become manifestations of The Witch

Who would say that pleasure isn’t useful? …

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Paulie Lipman (Photo Credit: K.V. Dionne)

We, Patron Saints of Troubled Times

by Paulie Lipman

We bang our heads in a whisper, screaming to a lord We don’t think maybe might be out there All of our altars rendered hollow wind candles blown out, waiting despite heaven’s backlog for so many candidates to finally be canonized Reaching for the language of ordainment its distance further all the time not realizing We are all already fluent Kingdom Come ain’t coming through so We must seize the means of production and baptize our own damned selves Act as ye have faith and faith shall be given to We But We is not an empty…

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Toluwanimi Obiwole


by Toluwanimi Obiwole

auntie grows ewedu in the backyard Ibadan is a handful of lemongrass boiled with rainwater the purest form of my father I know here, he smiles in love letters to old girlfriends runs his fingers through the rusted gate of his elementary school and we all breathe easier here the generator is twisted into ivy breaking through the brick of the outer gate the red dirt marks everything coats uncle’s pressed suit grows into your blood follows you the way a souvenir cannot this is unconquerable land wildflowers have overtaken the old foreign tire company your sugar…

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Bobby LeFebre (Photo credit: Victor Fossen)

Ghazal for Spring

by Bobby LeFebre

For now, let us hang our pain and worry on the closest hook and admire the army of tulips stretching outside, it is spring. If you will, turn off the news and be still for a moment, listen to the loud sound of silence that sings, it is spring. The coyotes and deer and bear have begun to reclaim the land the water is clearer, the air fresh, the fish are swimming, it is spring. Mother Earth is shedding the old like a snake, curando heridas abiertas showing us the love in sacrifice and growth; que hermoso…

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Bianca Mikahn (Photo credit: Katie Langley)

soul (noun)
the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body

philanthropy (noun, plural: ​philanthropies)
altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement

If you believe you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t yet spent the night with a mosquito. — African proverb

Giving First

by Bianca Mikahn

Awe inspiring collectives can be found in the tiniest corners of nature Neurons, insects, birds like starlings blanketing the ​sky To live Thrive to have enough maybe to distribute in spite…

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Assetou Xango

A Letter to Black Femmes

by Assetou Xango

Black femme. You night sky, You starless galaxy You stars for eyes. You are so full of empty of womb of creation You balance of holy fire You misunderstanding You misunderstood You so beautiful so lawless so… dark They branded you that, you know? “dark,” “black,” “demon,” You all reclamation all “yin,” “rebirth,” You beaten spine still straight you clawed teeth you rip them apart with rhetoric and discourse. You all community, all let’s talk this through all “What is ailing you, my love?” Them tired of hearing about how black you are, How straight your hair…


Tilt West is a nonprofit org based in Denver. Our mission is to promote critical discourse focused on arts and culture for our region and beyond.

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