Monday, June 29, 2015

First Gen Diasporan

I am who I am
That is complex
Who I say I am
That is complex too
But you
Really don't understand
The complexity
Of being free
To create your own space
Where color and race is erased
Simply because that's all that matters to you
I don't racialize myself
Simply because my melanin speaks for itself
#teamchocolate in winter and #teamdarkchocolate in summer
Sun kissed rays say I am a child of my Bantu ancestors
Although some would fight me for that
I'm not Black, I'm African, they say
I'm not really Ugandan, I'm American, they claim
However, I eat kawunga and Hot Flamins with nacho cheese the same
I know of hood snow cones, sandwich bags of tootsies, Tootsie Rolls and lindazi equally
My heart beats are covered with Afrigo, Franco et le TP OK Jazz, Kaskade and Boyz II Men equally
I am an immigrant kid
My parents flew thousands of miles for college and opportunity
So I sound all Midwestern with an African upbringing
My name holds a few stories
And the weight of Baganda legacy
Yet you fight me for my culture
My experiences
My identity
My roots
I am multicultural
Your basic understanding will not limit me
I reject that
So I find solace
In the space
I have created for myself
To be free
To be me.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wordy Silence

-To Baidy
You ask me how I feel about you
And it silences me
It always catches me off guard
Maybe because
All this time
I have been struggling
To tell you how I feel
It hurts me
How feelings flow off your lips
That you are so sure about me
Even more sure than I am about myself
It hurts me
To be vulnerable
To even write this
But I owe you
You deserve this
So I type
Through the pain in my heart
You have no idea
How much
I want to say
I love you
But I am stubborn
And unsure
My head is fighting my heart
And I want to be sure
Just as sure as you
But my eyes are so blinded
That they only see you
My heart is so full
It can only feel you
My mind is so full
It plays back memories
Of when we are together
All the moments
And texts
You make feel cherished
Cared for
Your gentleness
Calms me
And stops me in my tracks
You don't have to shout for me or at me
You call quietly
And I have no choice but to come to you
So you ask me how I feel about you
Then there is silence
It is filled with all these words

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gray Promise

My mind can't make sense of this
So I gotta write what's on my heart
Call my world a snow globe
Because you took it in your hands and shook
Who knew how far a smile, a voice, some words could go?
I don't whether I could hug you or shake you
Can't choose between yelling and staying angrily silent
Out of distrust of my words
I'm the kinda girl
Who always dreamed of love
But hated how it felt
Awkward to the core
Just like me
I'm on an emotional overload
Feeling are waves on the shore
As I stand on the beach
Hoping a riptide won't pull me under
And never let me go
Somehow I must learn to trust you
To trust me
But I make it hard
I tend to be guard-ed
Because the sensitive don't live
And the vulnerable always die
But I
Have to be stronger than my emotions
And smarter than my fears
Whether a beautiful promise
Or a gilded nightmare
Either way I have lived

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bare (4/30b)

It’s hard for me
To pretend
I have no poker face
To see me
Is to know my thoughts
My feelings
From the masks that we all wear
I have no patience for facade
Blame the only child life
It’s not right
TO waste time pretend
Or to conform
The norm is passé
I’m blasé to what path I’m not follow
The only thing that I have to prove
To the world
Is that I’m special
Whether crazy special or unique special
Is irrelevant
I have suffered many blows
In multicultural society
For my nonconformity
Maturing to the point
Where I appear
Expecting a fight
It’s all right
That my name is different
That I bring paperbacks to Ugandan functions
That I consider myself a womanist
A Pan African
A thinker
A creator
A poetess
That I create my own limits
I am who I am
And that’s all I have time to be

Sistah, You're Beautiful (4/30a)

I only say this to you
Because I am feeling radical
Although I should not be
I never realized
That being yourself was radical
I never understood
How love has become radicalized
But some things just are
Just are and incapable of being understood
I should
Be working to dismantle a system
But it is much more effective
To dismantle mental barriers
Our own thoughts rule us
Better than The Man ever could
So I build you up
Even when Mister, Miss and Brothaman
Tear you down
Long hair
Short hair
Wavy, curly kinky hair
Brazilian stitch
African braid
Every color
Every shade
Straight road or rainbow
You are beautiful
It is your right
It is your inheritance
It is yours

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Silk Blindfold

Privilege blinds
When non-melanated voices
Clamor about rioting in Baltimore streets
Prefaced by silence about Freddie Grey
The terrorist attack in Garissa, Kenya
And the kidnapping of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram
Are mere blips on the radar
While Charlie Hebdo gets primetime
I don’t have to wonder
Why #BlackLivesMatter
They only matter most to other Black lives
Black on Black crime is the same as White on White Crime
Yet only one has a term
It’s easier to kill your neighbor next door
Who looks like you
Than to go cross town and shot a stranger

Privilege blinds
Some have the audacity and stupidity
To talk about race
To talk about being colored
To talk about being Black
When they have a choice
Of being English Irish French German Italian Danish
Or just plain ol vanilla white
What else can I be other than Black?
What else can I be other than Ugandan American?
I know as much about being White
As some do about being Black
I know what they say about assumptions
So to avoid making an ass out of you and me
I keep quiet
I observe
I listen

Privilege blinds
Even to the fact that one is blinded
One has the capacity to create what is satisfactory
Eschewing all that goes against the perfect picture
Before the laws, the practices, the regulations
Society holds up White supremacy with our minds
Society supports it with our thoughts
Because when a form of protest
Becomes more problematic
Than issue that is being protested
And no solutions are given
Then what are we seeing?
Where is the clarity?
We are so far gone
In a surreal post racial experience
As some frolic with happiness
They never notice
That they are dancing on graves

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


My heart does what it wants
It doesn’t listen to my mind
My mind knows who he is
But my heart refuses to be swayed
I want to be the right one
The One
One of these days
Because he could be that for me
I could listen to him forever
Accents do something to me
I’m so international
We joke
We laugh
His smile
His whole smile is a thing of beauty
I can admit I’m smitten
I just want to give feeling
To take root
To grow
He still cares
When this flower
Is in full bloom

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Wanna Be

Stronger than my body

Respect my divinity

My family should not be shot like animals

Why must my life turn into a hashtag
A movement?
Why do I have to assert my significance?
I have always mattered

Tired of being guarded
He could give me what I need
If only I ask for it

Because I can
I am

Quiet (4/26)

My mama is retired
After thirty odd years
Of working for The Man
He has given her freedom papers
So as she sleeps
I rise
The diligent worker bee I am
Getting things ready
For another workday
For another work week
I think of the future
Which helps me with
The lack of free time
Me time
A few moments
Snatched here & there
I have yet to reach
My full potential
Duties are calling me

Break (4/25)

So easily I think I’m invincible
But I am only a woman
A mere mortal
I need rest
I need love
Both are within my reach
I have to wear myself down
Be open
Be honest
What I want
What I need
Is within my reach
Sometimes I have to break
To come back together

Friday (4/24)

Check cleared
Week’s end
Good time?
It depends
Energy high
BS low
What are you saying?
I gotta go
Working hard
Oh so chill
Today would be everyday
If it was my will

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Chase

I stop
Move slowly and quietly
Maybe if I am undetected
I can sneak up on Happy
Happy comes and goes freely
Just as we get close
It slips away
And Calm runs right after it
I quit
And decide to take a seat
I am tired
And my breaths are short
I sit quietly
Tuning out the world
As I sit
 I think
About the tornadoes
I have stood through
The storms I have weathered
Then I look to my left and right
To see Happy and Calm sitting
On either side of me
I sigh deeply
And sit

Professional Rollercoaster (4/22)

Sometimes I wake up on top of the world
And return to bed and wonder
What happened?
My good intentions were innocent
Why were they slaughtered so mercilessly?
Too tired of fighting for calm
Tired of fighting for peace
Tired of fighting to do my job
This poem is an afterthought

Weekday (4/21)

Up ready to face the world
It’s waiting for me
I know what I gotta do
Do you?
Bills can’t wait foreva
So I neva
Sleep too long
Time’s getting gone
After a weekend of rest
My only request
Is that I get paid in full.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I Get High

I get high, high, high
I get high, high, highI get high off the memories…
I get high, high, high
I get high off the memories

I remember when I was a person
Biology had failed me in my humanity
I was barely 3/5ths of a person
Before my brothers were given their 40%
And I became American
Then I could vote
But I still wasn’t a big somebody
I wasn’t a man
I wasn’t White

I get high off my own supply
My nappy hair
My Z Snap
My anger
My tendencies to be grammatically incorrect
My ghetto and my ratchét
Even though the pusha man
Sells my supply at a premium
Thinking it belongs to all y’all

I remember not being beautiful
Trying to buy it with Ambi Bleach and Nadinola
Trying to relax all the ugly out of my hair
Buying blue and green contacts
Just so I can see beauty
And others could see beauty when they see me
Working so hard to be straight
Because who likes curves?

I am high
Elevated to a whole ‘nother level
Looking down on white Feminism
Part of me wants to shout,
“The air is better up here!”
My colored sisters look at me and laugh
They understand that our level isn’t for everyone
Some intersect
And others run parallel
The womanist air is too sharp for some
I just sigh and lay back on a cloud

I get high, high, high
I get high, high, high,
I get high, high, high
I get high, high, high, high, high…

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Forget it
I’m not human
But I’m super
Twist hair at the speed of a flying bullet
I gets it done
The only
I take care of business
Even that you didn’t know of
I got that work
I keep you in amazement and awe
How did she do that?
I make the difficult look easy
And the impossible possible
I am more than mere flesh and bones
I am an idea
Something like a dream
Elegant like a queen
Shiny like the real thing
I glitter because I am gold
14 carats straight from the heart
My strength is not measured
In pounds or kilos
I am my own force of nature
I don’t chase storms
Storms chase me
To capture my perseverance in action
In being stronger than the average bear
Yogi knows
I am emotional steel
A unique alloy

Worthy (4/18)

Of less pain
Of no pain at all
Of freedom from suffering
Of deep breaths
Of restful sleep
Of feelings
Of sadness
Of life
I am.

Yes To The Dress (4/17)

I was broken
I was pain
Holding on to the pieces for dear life
Sunlight was my kryptonite
I decided then that this day was for me
I watched shows on the DVR
I crocheted 
I did me
It was time to get out of my muu muu 
Find clothes to wear 
But I decided to wear a casual dress 
To greet the sweet 75° outdoors 
So I closet shopped 
Each dress saying,
"MUKISA! You have arrived!"
So I say yes
To loving my appearance 
To loving myself 
And to relax

Thursday, April 16, 2015


You look at me
And you see
The pretty colors
Arranged for your viewing pleasure
Yet you silently wonder
How I do it
No one sees the thread loosen
The binding get weak
The shape get slack
As fabric beings to peel back
I retreat to my dark solace
And let time unwind me
Until I am an unfeeling pile of scraps
Trying to get rest
No interest
In besting anyone
For that is an energy bill I can’t afford
Trying to catch my breath siting still
Willing myself to respect limits
So as the sun rises
The day brightens
My stitched up scraps
Pop brightly again

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Halfway through

I can see it
I have made it quite a ways
I have so far to go
I know that I will get there
But it will take all of me
Sleepless nights
Painful days
Stress reactions in ym body
I have come too far to turn back
For in retreat I would have covered the full distance
Sometimes you have to know when to say when
And when to press on
I have faith
Which will carry me

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I don’t talk about this much
Simply because
People don’t understand
And they judge out of their blissful ignorance
You have never been overweight
A day in your life
Yet you try to chide for taking the “easy way” out
Are you sure?
I think it’s much easier to be a smaller size
And to never be discriminated or bullied
Because of numbers on a scale
To have better choices for fashion
To be able to ride all the rollercoasters
To be comfortable with the lap belts in an airplane
But my opinion doesn’t count because I’m fat, right?
Even if I was to wear “fat” as a badge of pride,
It would irk you that I am starting to discard it
Working hard to shed your label
And break your box
Because I’m clever like a fox
I know that your mouth of knives
Is powered by a furnace of insecurity
All you have left to build yourself up
Is to try and tear me down
So go head
Talk about my looks
If it helps you sleep at night
Because my looks can and will change
But…what about you?

Ulcers (4/13)

What is it?
Because calmness doesn’t stay here long
I am fond of
Just calling it quits
Because despite my best interest
My best efforts
And my best intentions
Dysfunction still reigns
And we are his loyal subjects

What is it?
Why are you calling my name?
Is there something wrong?
What is wrong?
Because I have never been summoned for something right
It makes me endeavor to change my name
To stay out of sight
To be inconspicuous is always the goal
I can keep my head down and be busy

What is it?
An announcement?
I hope it is nothing bad
Another tactic to enslave e me
To the needs of this company
Giving time I can’t afford
That is WAY more precious than time and a half
Oh, whew.
Change in procedure.
Never mind.

Spirit Peace (4/12)

Peace be with you
And with your spirit
That always confused me, until now
I always thought
Just saying, “Peace be with you”
Like before covered it all
It was easy, it flowed
I suppose that peace in your spirit is more permanent
We humans are hell bent
 On being fickle creatures
On every news headline and magazine
Posing on the scene
 For the love of money and the money of love
Never seeking peace
Or understanding our restlessness
But I understand that spirit
Is the anchor of us all
So if the crashing waves try to wash me away
My peace has me still