Tag Archives: poetry

Body Smile

Now that you know
You were better than I was ready for
It’s not like before, no
Tonight I’m making up for it all
For every time I let you cry
I will make your whole body smile

Timing’s a funny thing. We get it wrong and the encounter—the words, the fumbling, the flavors, the weather—the whole exchange is tragedy written and assembled for lamentation. All this when regret doesn’t offer much of a beat to dance or even stomp to. This song says otherwise, it sings into existence a man who voluntarily offers a parable of his shortcomings and yet goes on to imagine a love that has waited patiently for his decency. I wonder how many people would be persuaded by a dry plea. How many women would find favor with a man of no lyrical capacity, one who has simply and finally grown up but does not possess the ability communicate this so it sounds like candy? That’s the thing about music, the entire story wraps up in under five minutes. Real life is so messy, so horribly maintained. It’s just not as beautiful or as easily mended.

I hope you like the song, I’ve been playing it constantly for the past few weeks since DVSN’s new album dropped. It is quite simply a fantastic euphoria!

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Hold my candor.

“There can never be another like you
You’re the only one in my eyes
And if you try to leave, I’m gone find you
Running through the back of my mind

I will search high and low, just to find you
Even though should’ve never found you
And I love what you’ve got on me baby
Can’t let you go, won’t let you go

Never try to hurt you or harm you
Well whenever you’re around
I am sometimes a little bit different, to please you
You’re the only one on my mind

I will search high and low, just to find you
Even though should’ve never found you
And I love what you’ve got on me baby
Can’t let you go, won’t let you go”    – Ro James ‘Ga$’

Every once in a while I discover a song that makes me feel present in life. I don’t mean to suggest I’m not aware of my existence in the world, I think I’m just numb to it. I recorded the video below as part of a Snapchat story. I’d gone for my usual late night workout, returned to shower and get ready to sleep. This was one of the songs I’d included on my playlist for the night and it just did it for me. Kept my energy up and broke the monotony of the exercises. Normally working out at night is the perfect lullaby. I feel a rush of endorphins, take big gulps of fresher air and I get to make up stories in my head- alternative realities that are easier to digest than truth. It’s like running away physically without really travelling anywhere at all. Living a life so foreign from that which you are resigned.

This song- it’s the way it made me feel. It was this sudden realization that some people get to present themselves on their terms to the world. They get to record their emotions and package their expression for scrutiny, having resolved that a combination of lyrics and melody are enough because they say so. So even if it’s rejected or ripped apart, it’s still there, it still makes it out onto the surface. It feels good to feel something- that’s the only reason why I’m smiling here. I felt something.

Writing is my whole life. Lately I’ve been lamenting that because it is not as in love with me as I need it to be, and I am trapped in its insecurity. I told this to someone I thought would understand a few months back. I told him I needed to write to live. I told him that the black community is failing itself by not supporting a record of our time with the necessary investment in our own stories, by our own storytellers. He tried to come back with different suggestions all of which did nothing to address the lack of readership and the inadequate representation of the black man and woman in literature. Then he stopped. He was turned off by my words and complaints, and I imagine reduced me to nothing more than, perhaps, an entitled, negative curmudgeon. And soon our conversations turned to silence on one end, and soon I stopped trying all together to redeem myself. Now I wonder why I tried at all. I didn’t lie, the black community has a poor readership. There is gross misrepresentation and underrepresentation of black people in literature. I have every reason to hurt over this. I don’t care how many black women have influenced his reaction to my lamentations, I’m done apologizing to black men for feeling deeply about things that affect our community negatively. These past two weeks in particular I’ve been dealing with the redundancies of chauvinistic, uncreative black men who think they have all the answers, but can’t provide any actual solutions to a very real problem that claims the lives of many. Apparently, my approach in their eyes is wrong, but their approach doesn’t exist altogether. So what then? Silence does not a cure make.

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I think when I hear certain songs, I envy their place in time and their unapologetic candor. I envy that 3 minutes and 20 seconds of song is enough to evoke emotion and answer pleas for euphoria. There is no point to a life that isn’t also poetic deliverance. Life is fucking hard- art is the only depiction worth living in my opinion.

Wisdom is not the free gift with purchase of age, wrinkles are.

(P.S: the iTunes version, which I have, has a better chorus in my opinion)

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Breakup Blues

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My favorite Instagram couple broke up. They were literally #blacklove #couplegoals; cute pictures together on each others profiles; names next to heart emojis in their bios; and endless declarations of love in the comment sections of one another’s posts. It was all perfectly adorable. Well, until it ended. No more pictures. No more I love you, baby’s. No more, never let me go’s. No more you are my forever’s. No more dancing in the dark. No more loving in the light. When I noticed the absence of their affection I felt oddly concerned, like somehow I needed closure too. What happened? Did he cheat? Did she quit? Did she cheat? Did he move? Did they grow apart or stop trying. Are they broken now? Is the damage irreparable? Of course this led me to twitter, where a medley of subliminal messages wrapped in genuine pain found room to nest.

I said forever.
She messed up.
I don’t want to see him with someone else.
I give people way too many chances.

They both seem so hurt, and so tragically in love. I am devastated for them- these strangers I have no business feeling anything for, whose love I seem to have irresponsibly admired.

It made me realize how unwittingly reckless we can be with our hearts. I remember writing subliminal messages two and a half years ago as I second-guessed my decision to end my last relationship. I remember missing our friendship more than anything, and wanting so desperately to cry on his shoulder about our breakup. I remember making a video, writing blog posts and reading self-help books all in effort to heal and let him go. I remember deleting him on Facebook in anticipation of the day his status would change from single to in a relationship. I remember running to 90s R&B breakup tracks, and clutching at my side deceptively as tears welled in my eyes, when really it was my heart that was hurting. We’d been together for years and I fell out of love and I thought I’d be okay. When it came down to it, when the words were said, it suddenly dawned on me that this person was in my system and it didn’t matter how prepared I thought I was, he still rented rooms in my being. I couldn’t see myself marrying him and simultaneously, I didn’t know how to unlove us for the longest time.

Two and a half years on, I don’t miss him, I don’t love him and I want him to be happy. I want him to be loved. I want someone to see him the way I did when we met and I want their narrative to end in promises they intend to keep. Should my favorite Instagram couple not find a way to reconcile, I hope they heal enough to only ever want good things for each other.

Someone asked me a few months ago what type of men I attract, and I said: “I don’t really know”, when I should have said: “all the wrong ones”. The ones that want more than I can give, or the ones that want parts of me I’m not ready to give, or the ones that don’t really want me at all. The ones that still think it’s cool to hurt people’s feelings and keep a count of the number of women they’ve slept with. Anyway, I think love is meant to hurt sometimes. Not so much that it breaks you, just enough that you feel like there’s something to lose. I can’t love right now because I’m not strong enough to overcome the inevitable hurt. The same someone made me realize that a couple months ago and reiterated it again today. So to that someone, at 26, I don’t need to hurt you or play any games. I just want you to be happy. I’m old enough to know that’s all I should really want for you. I’m wise enough to know she might be the one to give it to you.

So I hope you are.

Happy.

Take care.

 

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Happy Endings

DSC_0312Let’s tell stories that don’t have happy endings. Let’s sell reality and when they choke, let’s not give them water, and if they die, let’s let them rest.

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She, The Ocean

There is an ocean I fear.
The waves are strong,
And the water is shallow.
The coral reefs are sharp,
And the salt stings my eyes.
She is beauty packaged in lies,
Floating stories written in blood,
She is uncontrollable and inconsistent,
A wild, rebellious wonder,
A callous, unforgiving punisher,
A beautiful, inviting stranger.
She breaks hearts and bones,
Her consumption unexpected,
Love her and she will be the medicine that mends your soul,
You will learn why they fall deeply, quickly,
Into her arms, into her whole,
And when they rise, if they rise,
… May they rise.
This ocean.
The monster that loves,
The heart that beats and pounds,
A raw crash on unstable ground.
Wave after wave.
Waves and more waves.

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Surely He Lives

“Whoso has felt the spirit of the Highest,
Cannot confound nor doubt Him, nor deny,
Yea, with one voice, O world, though thou deniest,
Stand thou on that side, for on this am I!” – F.W.H. Myers

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I very rarely get it right. Most days I grapple with the idea that a Being so great would live and love us so completely as to let us choose. Most mornings, I wonder why I have to endure the task of a day’s worth of everything that goes against the rationale that God could exist. But He must. For me to live, He must. And if the day should ever come when I find He doesn’t, so my life will reach its end.

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A Kind of Nothing

He told me to write.
“Write about nothing.” He said.
The kind of nothing that matters.
The kind of nothing you worry about.
The kind of nothing that plagues your dreams.
The kind of nothing that feeds off of your soul.
The kind of nothing that makes you weak.
The kind of nothing that makes you scream.
The kind of nothing that makes you bleed.
The kind of nothing that makes you, you.
For in doing so, you may well find that it counts.
“Yes” He said. “Your nothing counts for something.”

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