if i had boots that were big enough,
i would put them on,
walk through bright pink paint
and stomp on the earth
to leave my footprints.
i’d want the world to remember me
and maybe i’m obnoxious
for wanting to stain it with my favorite color,
but i don’t want to just be
another broke down wannabe artist
too afraid to start shit
and content with mediocrity.
i want to be a visionary
pushing up against obstacles
and daring opposition to conquer me;
i want to be too big for my britches,
for my heart to be so huge that
i bust out of the constraints of stitches;
i want people to forget my real name
and call me “The Dreamer”
with the middle name “Doer”
and the last name “Believer,”
one who used to be an underachiever
til she looked in the mirror
and saw who she really was.
i lost who i really was,
hypnotizing myself to be content with 9-5 consistency
of knowing how much my checks will be.
depending on direct deposit every two weeks
never matches the sensation of expressing the true me
through this art that consumes me.
who is me?
just a big heart,
tongue stuck in dry mouth,
words afraid to come out,
soul waiting to talk,
and feet too small to even walk.
midnight eyes with dew on lashes
wish for love in the daylight–
a reason to burst with emotion
other than anger or tantrum.
if love were a tantrum,
how would it express its youth?
would it stomp hearts and scream obscenities such as
“Don’t leave me!” or “I need you?”
or would it just stream down tears of joy
and sit in a corner of the world known by most
but frowned upon
midnight eyes dream of stories in books
transformed into reality
so that days become pages
turned slowly and dog-eared for later reference,
an experience that good.
midnight eyes whisper when viewing
movies with method actors using realism
to display fantasy only realized in screens.
midnight eyes want to become alive,
want fiction to turn real–
not “keep it real” real,
but “blood pouring out of feet when glass is stepped on” real;
undeniable like the hour when yawns take over energy
and eyes get droopy until morning.
midnight eyes do not want to wake
until full moons shine too bright
and stars sink into sight lines without effort.
until then, midnight eyes stay closed
Hi everyone! Here is another video of me performing. This is my poem, “Exotic Beauty” (click here to read the poem) at an event in Washington, D.C. I did last week called “Women, Words, and Power!” (done in association with The Essential Theatre). I was one of nine female spoken word artists who performed.
I’ll warn you that the video quality isn’t great, but hey… 🙂 Enjoy!
he drove off and waved at me
with a smile that would’ve broken my heart.
this dark-skinned young man
with an old familiar soul
attempted to enter my life
and i walked away,
talked my way out of explaining that
if i had met him five years ago,
he would’ve had me.
but instead i smiled,
summarized my busy lifestyle
and used it as an excuse:
“i’m trying to make moves” and
“time is money”
but part of me now questions if
that’s all the way true.
if mr. right stepped into my life,
would i push him the other direction?
not only for my fear of love and affection
from strangers, but the danger
that would ensue from being knocked off of my tracks,
that the fast-moving train of my life
would derail, leaving all of my accomplishments
in the rubble.
and i don’t want to have to dig
to find all that i worked so hard to fix.
i don’t want to find no survivors
and hear on my mind’s TV that the only casualty is me.
i can’t be casual anymore
so now i lock doors before knobs are turned,
divert conversation before my heart turns
into a traitor and tells on me.
so as mr. not right now waves at me,
i recall that five years ago,
a man like him would’ve had me.
but i’m happy with the current me–
i no longer live in regret about turned down love affairs;
the capacity for nonsense no longer lives here.
so mister, i’ll see you one day
even though i knew you in my last lifetime
i’m proud to say
that this portion of my journey is mine
and there’s no room for two on this space shuttle
to the comets and stars in which i belong.
i’ll play hopscotch in galaxies while you sit at home.
i’ll smile at you from the sky and bask in the light of full moons
and hope that one day, maybe soon,
the man of next lifetime will be floating on a planet
that will align with the path in which i am moving.
if i meet him five years from now,
he will have me…
without reservation, hesitation, or waves in
the opposite direction.
i had a dream that i was
living out my fantasy and when
i woke up, i begged God to
let me be asleep.
latent images sit on the
edges of my mind and i
pray for the days when
these pictures will be a reality.
my dreams tease me like bullies,
stealing my lunch money
and kicking me when they please.
i try to speak up for myself
but before i can even choose my words
i realize that to fight back against my own wants
is rather absurd.
i guess it’s better to be beat up by dreams
than to close my eyes at night
only to envision nothing.
perhaps it’s more advantageous to experience pain
than have an empty, aimless brain.
so i relish in the wounds and count my scars,
smile with knocked out teeth
and stretch my sore body parts,
let my black eyes water with the possibility
that one day i will
live out my fantasy
and when i lay down to sleep,
handsome white guy
with the nice smile and brown eyes–
oh how you surprised me
when you told me
you liked my my body.
you explained to me how you’d
never been with a black girl sexually
and asked if you could get down with me
and i was like…
you want me
not for me
but what i represent:
so after our conversation
(which ended abruptly after your sexual solicitation),
i wondered what would have become of our relations
if i would have succumbed to your fantasy
and thought for a moment that it’d be kind of fun to become
what it is you want of me.
i am your exotic beauty.
my eyes are precious stones for you to appraise
with the magnifying glass of your mind.
lose yourself in the kinks of my hair
as you try to count the innumerable strands.
then take your hands
and trace the contours of my cheekbones,
moving inward to the peak of my nose
and down to the lusciousness of my lips.
close your eyes and wish for an exotic kiss
from yours truly,
your exotic beauty.
tickle my brown skin softly with the tips of your fingers,
grazing my flesh slowly and allowing your touch to linger
on the abundance of my breasts, the wideness
of my hips, the roundness
of my behind, the thickness
of my thighs
and experience the fullness of my foreignness.
just stop and stare for a while until i
get uncomfortable because i have never been looked at
never been put on display
in such a way.
i’m used to being an around-the-way girl
and to you, i am something special,
someone to be desired and pursued secretly,
an exotic beauty.
request dances from me
and i’ll sashay my sexy silhouette your way
and spread my smile and my legs with flexibility.
take me, love me,
touch me, see me,
i am yours–an exotic beauty.
i am no longer human, but property,
a resident in your world of fantasy
that you carefully consider making a reality
just so you can really see how it would be
to conquer me.
my blackness is dangerous and exciting,
scary yet inviting you to
request a piece of my dark meat,
to be honest with me about your curiosity
to the point that in your effort to confess,
you devalue me–
simplifying my existence to mere ideas and notions
and taking for granted that i am a woman,
i have a brain,
i have intelligent thoughts and words to relay
and that my body is not the defining factor
but to you,
i am only
an exotic beauty.
if i inhale deeply enough,
i wonder if i could convince
the scent of you to
live in my system forever.
whenever we are near one another,
i make sure i am connected with
my body so i don’t miss a breath
and a chance of holding you
from each inhale and exhale to the next.
at times i worry because the truth is,
we have nothing in common.
but i sense that if we kiss,
we will have so much in common.
daily life is so commonplace
and my intuition tells me that
if we can stand face to face
and feel each other’s hearts beat,
we can turn in this bleak
existence and exchange it for the
take a chance,
take my hand
and let’s prove our doubts wrong.
let’s hold on
to the present moment,
not contemplating the nearly impossible future.
for a few fleeting minutes, just picture
don’t wonder how
we’re gonna work out or if
we’re gonna make it.
i can’t take it when you’re away.
stay here, let me pull on your eyes
and make ringlets of O’s with the smoke
of words i am afraid to say.
let me cloud my lungs with aborted displays
and risk terminal cancer for
refusing to honor my connection
if i inhale deeply enough,
one day i might be brave enough,
to explain the extent to which i wish
to hold you hostage inside of me.
but until then,
i’ll just keep my distance
i want love in such a strong way
that i find it hard to be happy
for people who are in love,
i scoff at public displays
of affection, protest
and my overwhelming desire for it
inevitably turns to scorn.
love is an emotion and action
with the power to incite other actions and feelings:
envy, jealously, depression, joy, and hate
and i wonder if it is my fate
to be without love for this long,
to only express and feel it from
family, close friends, and slow songs.
it’s not enough–where is my lover?
where is that amazing brother
who will sweep me off of my feet?
my toes are tired from staying on the ground,
my heart is bored from regular beats.
my fantasies have even gone on vacation because
they’re tired of working so hard at chasing
my dreams that are so far from reality.
i am tired
and sometimes hopeless
but still wanting,
still desiring that loaded four-letter word,
the overused and abused three-letter phrase,
the intoxicated infatuation-feeling state
that is so different from the life i am living now.
i await the date and time when i will no longer
think of love and be angry,
when i will think of it and smile because it will no longer be a mere
thought or musing,
something intangible, hurtful, and confusing
but a part
i wish i could live in a poem.
wouldn’t it be cool for life to flow to a smooth rhythm
where word play could translate into laughter and
word choice would dictate just the level of happy that
you could potentially reach every single moment of every single day?
each time you alliterate you would illuminate
a fresh new idea.
every letter used in each stanza could help you dominate
and with each syllable, synonym, antonym or homonym,
you could levitate.
you could simile smile
as people around you inquire “Metaphor?”
and you can personify
that after laboriously looming in a long line for the loo for lingering moments that seemed like eternity,
you purposely onomatopéia’d your pants in front of everybody
and it feels
nouns would represent loved ones and
adjectives would equal fun and
for every punctuation mark used, you would get a kiss.
rhymes would mean impromptu trips
to the land of free and
double entrendres would demand that you get two scoops of ice cream.
verbs would reify daydreams
and adverbs would be your favorite movies
looping in conjunction junction
with your favorite songs on a never-ending playlist with no repeats.
whatever tones set in the poem would indicate your moods,
but not to worry–
this life creates beauty even out of blue.
and here, tears are valued and glorified,
which basically means that you can rejoice and shout “Hallelujah!”
every single time you cry.
life will become oxymorons and parodoxes busting out of boxes
and reaching truth as each moment passes
life as poetry in motion
would be like a vacation
where you get to see exotic animals, mountains, beach and the ocean,
where you could hopscotch from one continent to the next,
simultaneously experiencing the cultures of Nigeria, Greece, and Tibet
and the coolest thing of all is that
you don’t have to spend any money or even go anywhere,
you just have to open up your mind, eyes, and ears,
ride the wavelengths of your imagination and fantasies
and from there
that life really is a poem
if you allow it to be.
*Written June 18, 2008*
he’ll be a soldier, a revolutionary,
a force to be reckoned with.
watch out world!
once the two of us hook up,
the world will jolt,
Richter scales will revolt and walk off like
“We ain’t ask for all this work…”
minds will go berserk and souls of ex-lovers will hurt.
i see it now,
our names in lights in the sky,
just the two of us
as we were both afraid to envision,
limited by our faulty vision of what was right for us.
lowered expectations are no longer in the vocabulary
because we not only fulfill one another’s dreams
but we merely are each others’ dreams.
i want to be ready.
i know i’m a catch now but
i’m gonna be a fortune later.
i sense it i see it i smell it i will
touch it one day
and until that day…
i’ll work on my portion
of this love constellation.