For the girl that got me to say a poem…
The first time I saw a man say a poem I must have been too young to understand how much he had to say and how little time he had to convince me I was wrong or I was right or maybe just impartial. Five minutes to sell me his story, five minutes to leave a lasting impression that maybe would get me through some dark nights. They are all dark and sometimes we are its knights. Forging our way across blue prison bar pages careful not to cross the red line. Sometimes we are the sages that cast spirits and sins far from those who fear when they are walking through the valley of death. Sometimes we are the evil in the valley of death pushing to be noticed and heard in a crowded dark room but its just you in it. Most times we are the saddest in the room. He should have taken those five minutes to warn me of this. Instead I plunged into chasing the light at the centre of the stage like it was the tunnel to my dreams. Safe Space to settle my questions even though I waited for no answers. The audience if not lost in my words are always lost in whispers or laughter sometimes immersed in cups and bottles. My voice is reverted to being only a catalyst to conversation. For a few lucky seconds when I say something that speaks to them they will snap their fingers and go back to their phones. After my five minutes I will go back to my seat and someone will tell me I tried others will look at me as if I lied the whole time. I can never get used to this no matter how many times. You can get a mountain man into the valley, the sunny level pitched ground with streams finally warm from travelling the short distance from his home high up where the wind is always blowing his hat off its pedestal. Here the gentle breeze does not even massage his intellect. He will tell you, you valley dweller, while looking for a place to rest his own turmoil that this is not where to find peace. He simply cannot live like you. Simple and unnerved. The mountains …you only see from afar waiting to hear stories from those who come this far… are always calling him back…I, like him, cannot bare the comfort of your seats.
I could not bare and sit with the squad that comes for vitality and connection or the group that comes cause family is going to be on stage. I could not bare the emptiness of sitting next to those who came to listen to be fulfilled from watching us tear parts of ourselves into poetry silent while our pain reflects into their lives. Amazed at how much we could open up. I could not dare just sit there bottled up racing to empty cups or mugs or jugs. And in the same breathe as a consolation for my own turmoil I am too afraid to walk myself up to the light, too afraid to imprison myself on the little paper they passed around after declaring the open mic. One day I will find a way to say thank you enough but for today I will find my way back to the mountains and leave you with the promise of a better story, a better poem, a better collection of words and maybe some music. This.. this is how to find peace.
I know you are afraid of love like that nineteen year old girls heart you broke and you no longer think you have friends
Convinced yourself that it is your fault that you are a dying star that should only float into the cosmos all alone leaving only pieces of your self as you self destruct
Regardless I am one of the brave ones that understand what it is you hide and I am willing to lose myself to you and even if before me you die I will take it upon myself to read them your poems with an umbrella just in case its rainy and a mask because you say everyone wears one.
I know your mother always told you to carry one but you keep on forgetting about it every single time it rains
I know to you I am comparable to a valley dweller at the mercy of a mountain lion. But if you leave me in pieces who will tell them who you really are. Who will remind them constantly that you were black lest they Cesare you like they did to Jesus and paint you with Machiavellianism.
Who will convince them that they could be more or less.
That it is okay to be different
unique like the rhino cap in a crate of Batoleur beer.
Who will keep your daughters safe for you when you cannot lift a finger in their direction
When you are sleeping by the fire because you too like to live dangerously camouflage with the army uniform
That you are sorry for trying to throw those butterflies into extinction and we all already forgave you but you keep a record of your wrongs when we sing you right who will write
who will love you as much as to secretly screen the Mountain song at the beginning of your show
Who will show them the manliest song or masculine whatever you are the one with the pen when we are still typing however you are not just a poet
Let me desensitize you from the loneliness after you have closed our chapters before it takes over you when I am gone oh darling.
I have chosen to love you even for your nose, Evidence that there is French in your Kamba
I have chosen to read your pages and in between your lines
Stop hiding your diary
Stop keeping to yourself
Stop building walls in your forest you know better than to tame mother nature or to abuse father time by not letting me hold your hand while the iron in your blood is still hot
Let me hold you like you hold your pen when there are tears in your eyes and the valleys next to the French colony are visible from where I stand drenched in salty water and a generation of pain and erosion. Gullys of self harm held back by your denial
I know you can only be what God has made you and you are beautiful to him too I cannot deny that we are both numbering the hairs on your head waiting to bring you back home I keep begging him for more time with you. Just to get to know you like you know about us other basic forms. To smell you like you smell your trees when there is nothing to say
When there is nothing to say to each other we will whistle to Tetu Shani when there is no network or maybe just the pain of a monopoly in the lighting industry
Energy is the only thing I am here for
the rest is Architectural History in your first year you are way passed that
Just keep loving yourself the way you love your letters
First of all, an apology, for not posting as consistently as I keep saying I will. Hopefully I am better at writing than I am at procrastinating the inevitable. Yes.. the inevitable. The background story will always change. Change my friend is inevitable. But so are many more things.
I have been trying to conjure up the strength to slow down my beating heart. I do not want it racing down different paths tearing itself to different parts. On some occasions I can swear I feel a third beat after the systole. One that reminds me of the many hearts I have stolen some even in writing. Sometimes it reminds me of everything in my life that is out of place. How I keep on hoping that maybe I am having my middle life crisis early like my generation’s pregnancies or maybe I am just having my periods late… in my sentences. Hopefully, by the time I have gotten to the end there will be no more embedded clauses enclosed by pauses, or commas, there will only be the truth. And the truth hurts. I guess in a way therefore it also sets me free. All this pain all this anxiety all this searching all this waiting all my hurt all my heart sets me free. In a country that is still fighting for freedom because slavery is an equipped multifaceted system of corruption of hearts, freedom… freedom is everything but look at me. I am really scared. I am really scared. I dont know how to do what I say I want to do. I just know what I am aiming for. Everything else is uncertain. I am holding myself back because I am scared that maybe tomorrow, everything disappears and laughter is something I lose in the magic trick together with my voice and my thumb. I am holding myself back from fully experiencing the life I have chosen for myself because I am scared that maybe somebody else deserves all these chances to happiness more than I do. At some point I almost thought God was preparing himself to take back another black man home. I know I should be grateful but then humans cant fully comprehend the sort of love that drives our creator to do the stuff he does. To plan even before we get there. I am afraid that somehow I am in the middle of nowhere and courage like the cowardly dog he is hides himself whenever I have a bone to pick. Look at my dry bones. I wonder if they hear the word of the Lord.
Sometimes I feel like… No. Sometimes I remember that we treat our women poorly. To be honest as men we despise mothers. We lust over ladies. We discriminate and mutilate girls. To be more sincere we treat our women like we all treat our country. We sing anthems and raise flags but at the end of the day we never really build the nation. Will we ever be required to no longer build our nation? Is there a standard for a perfect civilisation that is not growing out of hand? I digress. I digress. I would like to believe that somehow we are still friends but I had this friend and she was once a prostitute when she was in university. There are no safe words for that. She, in more ways than she would imagine, led to the writing of this poem. I think you have grown to be much wiser and God has made you beautiful in your own time.
She does not check the time when she wakes up in the middle of the night. She has learned this over time and it has become principal. She is waiting for the sunrise and then she is waiting for the sun to settle into its position in the sky. Her room just like herself is empty, fully furnished and decorated. The work she does in it has paid for the rest of the apartment. Of course this is not the picture she has painted on Instagram and all other social platforms. Out there she is a different form of herself. She is another little girls dreams, another university females feelings and another man’s goals no matter how many have scored. You can tell from the last standard that she is always on the losing team but just like the politicians that creep out of the darkness to satisfy their fantasies and wake up to condemn her to her nightmares she has yet to concede. No man has yet come to intercede. She is always waiting for another man on the other side of the bed to leave having emptied his pockets of both notes and coin she has coined a phrase from this she says Men come and go but take notes cause notes remain. Another problem with being poor money could solve all your problems. She laughs as she thinks of this even if its not funny. She flattens the crescent of her lips in case the man misunderstands this for a sign of prowess under the covers but he is wrong regardless he reaches for her figure but she has already figured him out. She lashes her tongue like a trigger “nigger get out”. She is trying to be kind but she is not the kind that needs drama with a begrudging wife. She knows her place. He should definitely forget hers as he struggles to zip his pants wear his left shoe and get out the door. She is always hoping for a man that can stay like the white man stayed in Africa. One that could tell her she is independent and free. One that could tell her she is not who she thinks she is. One that could make her believe that other version of herself to be true. Everybody wants to be somebody. Everybody wants to be with her body. She tells all of them that her name is Samantha. There is no need to toy around after that. They already know how to play with her. Sometimes they forget that her soul is the playground and it is not a circus nor is it a zoo. There is no price for her sincere smile when she gets a tip. Like Africa she has no idea how priceless some things are. No idea that she is worth much more.
I almost made this post about love. But I am running away from such things. At least I am trying. Anyway I think loss is something we underestimate. We lose too much we lose to too much. And what is left of us is too little to matter. Remember losses are lessons. Unless we are losing people then that is just life.
I am losing them to the top of the bridge
To the cops waiting at the bottom
I am losing them to the thugs who take over at night. To the bugs that do more than bite to the snakes that just take a bite. I am losing them to the way side to the drivebys to the gang signs. I am losing them to the traffic signs which also tell you if you should stop that tell you if you should go I am losing them to simple misunderstandings having forgotten how to stay. I am losing them to the lack thereof. I am losing them to the sirens hoping its just an ambulance maybe he or she was just shot. As if there is something worse than getting shot. I am losing them to stab wounds they are prime cuts. I am losing them to the butcher with a smile I am losing some of them to the Ashton Kutcher’s some to the Mila’s and others to the Mia’s. Most of the times we are all losing them to ourselves. You are losing to your skin. To your own kin to the enemy within . You are losing to your TV screen to your mobile phones You are losing to neck ties to fresh lies to you can make it if you really tried to you never got the real prize feast your eyes but starve your heart You are losing to mirrors to billboards the cultural disease perfectly poised more of the miniskirt less the car insurance. You are losing to your car to the traffic jam to your impatience losing the essence of the ambience. You are exactly where you need to be. You are losing to where you want to be sometimes its where you have to be you are losing to who you want to be you have lost who you really are We have lost to minor divisions We are losing to them everyday We are losing to education We are losing our marks to award systems and paper certificates We are losing each other looking into different directions We have lost more than this election we have lost to the system we have lost to corruption. We have lost our rights. We are losing them every night The right to live the freedom to breathe this polluted air on this dying earth. We are losing to our egos to our tribes we have forgotten we are not yet independent. We are losing to war what can never come back. We are wasting our words We are losing the purpose to our anthem it is no longer a prayer It is the mourning song that reminds us that we are losing count of everything we have lost. We have lost too much. We are losing to time. To death. We are losing our children to misguided steps and inherited hatred. We are losing them in the name of revolution. We are busy trying to televise it. We have lost our step. We are all losing our minds to this effect. I am losing mine to my imagination to underestimating the situation. I am lost in a crowd of lost people who have lost hope the hope that they will find their lost homes. Home is where the heart is. We are losing heart. Giving up. I am losing my concentration I should be driving I can barely keep my eyes on the steering wheel. I am losing speed but I notice the window to the dark grey Subaru rolling down to reveal the fluffy fur of a Norwich Terrier feeling the breeze that comes with driving at a hundred kilometres per hour. In the midst of all this, at least there is something beautiful. We are losing everything that is beautiful.
First, this is just my side of a story where I am not the main character or maybe that is just how it feels. My interior has come apart, has melted, has waged war with other unwilling warriors for the thrill of it.. It came to a point I had to holster my affection somewhere I could not easily reach for it. And as much as I was successful, it must have slipped past me back then that we cannot bury our past we bury people. Now that I need my affection close by it only reminds me the love I have buried under pain. Or maybe the pain I have buried under my love. Maybe both. This time not so much for your enjoyment. This is for me. Because you cannot heal what you cannot reveal.
In retrospect I have been the lover that never loves never smiles and stops to say how much I fully appreciate this moment and maybe that is why I am this ungrateful. It does not puzzle me how nothing other than the colony of mosquitoes has come to want me for who I really am. I realise that maybe it is because I am searching for your smile Jerry. Lost in a city of cold faces looking for someone to show me their teeth and rob me only of my time. Maybe of my heart. Maybe I am still kissing you at your doorstep before I really leave. For the first and last time. Maybe for going away Hera has cursed to a fate much worse than Hades Hades has found love. For chasing back after her she has put a spell on me. Maybe it was always just in my head. Maybe I will never love anyone like I ever loved my twin. Maybe things have already gone too far. Distance that does not let me call you babe or watch you grace us with a dance. Maybe I will never look as good in the mirror as when I was standing behind you and I wore your smile. Maybe I am afraid to lose you in the midst of society I am afraid I will not follow you to the grave. It is the only thing I fear more than I fear you. I fear I am not the hopeless romantic that Shakespeare might have told you I was. In exchange for ancestral grammar I fill the emptiness with Sheng. Maybe I am just misunderstood. I am still learning a lot about myself. Maybe there is no room for you. No room for improvement. Everytime I text you it feels like the security wants to see my ID card and even though honestly I am almost into my late twenties, I do not know where it is. I must have left it in my room. My room has changed. Without evidence of you. These days my bed is always unmade my ID card is upside down on the floor. No. No. No.
My identity is on the floor together with the rags of my reputation. The drags of not having formal occupation everyone is always trying to take you for granted. I myself seem to fit in whenever you stand out but at the thought of a time when I knew how to love properly deeply and unwillingly everything crumbles. I have forgotten how to care for anything other than my body how could ever love you even with your flaws Am I willing to accept them or will I try correct them try to fix you leave you all blue and you are all yellow look how the stars shine for you. Am I worth the pain I will make you feel when I forget these lyrics like I forgot them in previous relationships. I know now that that is not a standard on where I am headed in a relationship. Only rocks at the end of that road. I have seen myself a thousand times standing at the end of my own aisle will I ever learn to wait for you at the end of yours.
First a background story. This poem was considered trash but not the feelings it reeked of. Regardless it was a nice take on poems when the stories are categorised into the difference between days. I have been trying different themes with it. However only loss and lost love seem to go well with the style. Without further bush beating .. haha or burning, Continue reading.
Tomorrow will mark another year waiting for my story to be true and another day gone knowing it to be false. I have been Peter Pan wishing you were alive hoping that someday you might shine like Tinker Bell fly away from this fragile physical connection. Bodies that wither into skeletons that our great grandchildrens great grand children children will discover and find peace in the belief of evolution. Tomorrow is just another day you are not part of this equation. Just another future you are not part of. Another holiday I dont get to see you and be grateful to be alive. I am always imagining if we were even meant to be friends. I mean I have lost so many ever since I lost you I am starting to lose count. Sometimes I lose my temper too and my tongue is tempted into thanking God that you were already gone before I sought to lose myself. Tomorrow is just another day I miss you. I wonder if I am the only one that does. I wonder if your small sister does. I wonder if your mom has a picture of you in her purse I wonder if the nurse that said your name and the time of death knows that it is not her fault that your mother cried when she found out that you were just another dead body another dead somebody. I wonder if she forgot you like I am starting to. I wonder because I mean who could I really talk to, would they even understand you and me would they listen to me like you listened to my silly dreams would they dream of you growing up past fourteen would they tell me to learn to let go Have you let go? Have you been trying to make peace with not telling me goodbye Have you forgotten the details to our secret hi? Have you gotten high or are you always there trying to make something of whatever trust or love or purpose that I have stripped you of when you died? Have you forgotten my full name? Or my nickname have you nicknamed me something new as a symbol of our friendship? Have you gotten a tattoo of that nickname? Or do you always say you will get it tomorrow? Cause I do. Tomorrow is just another day without you or your tattoo.