Thursday, May 19, 2016



No time to breathe.


No time to be.

Friday, May 6, 2016

What It's Like To Be Me

What is it like to be me?
I don't really expect to see many girls like me on the TV
But it's a good thing I don't watch
Bombarded by messages about who I should be and what I should have
It's a good thing I like who I am and what I've got
I have gotten used to being ignored and silence when talking about issues
But it's a good thing I'm stubborn and loud
Groupthink gets people into sticky situations
So it's okay I don't follow the crowd
I work hard and pray harder
There's so much to be done
Sometimes I struggle to take a breath
And oftentimes I wonder
How I keep from from going under
What part of me is left?
What is it like to be me?
Yet grateful
Running from pillar to post
Some days I'm victorious
And others I could just cry
But if anything
I have learned
Both a triumph
And a trial
Start with a try.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Airtight Exchange (#30)

I wish I was
Strong enough to
Live in a vacuum
Then maybe I could live
Then maybe I could love
Like pure
Love like free
Because this love was fragile
Like a wet paper towel
It could only wipe up the mess if you set it the right way
But we got tangled up and we broke
I write this with no malice
Because it just is
Out here in the air

bewitched (#29)

oh, you
you think you know me so well
you have me under your spell
hell, i'll admit
that it
was hard to resist
your singular charm
i didn't see the harm
of saying yes
after saying no so many times
just tired of being guarded
and lonely-hearted
nobody understands how you did it
least of all me
because i never thought that i was the type
i believed my own hype
so when they ask me
i tell them to ask you
because clearly i have no clue
how you
have me bewitched.

Remote Control (#28)

A foreign object
That rarely stays in my hand
Remotely controls the TV
Remotely from my person
Because I can't seem to find the time
It is no longer mine
Obligations at every turn
My eyes burn
From staring at computer screens
While the TV stares blankly back

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blind Spot (#27)

I always learned
I always knew
That when I was driving
To check my blind spot
But I know now
That it is futile
I can still be blindsided anyway.

Heaviness (#26)

Is physical
Mental and
I can remember
Points in my life
At one time or another
Feeling them
Sometimes out of reluctance
Of pain
A soul of lead
Maybe from gunshots
Heard from a song on the radio
Or bad news
Maybe my body is an anchor
Stiff from a hard day's work
Or maybe
My mind anticipates a hard day's work

Ecology of Tenacity (#25)

I knew that this wasn't asking
What tenacity is made up of
Or what my tenacity is made up of
Since then it would be
Physiology of Tenacity
But my tenacity reacts
Like Yogi
Stronger than your average bear
I overwhelm and sometimes amaze others
And other times leave them aghast and angry
But it is me
And I won't and don't apologize

One Way (#24)

There's only one way
To finish what I've started
With despair and brokenhearted
I know the finish line is there
But for now I can't see it

Uptown Bliss (#23)

I must admit
Right about now I really hate
The creators of this challenge
Showing the bones, I know
But there's no other place to go
But reality
And the reality is this
Politics is a part of life
Laws and the people who make
Affect everyday decisions
And in some ways, decide the haves and have nots
By what is bought and where it can be bought
By zoning, both residential and commercial
So when I look at a prompt like "Uptown Bliss"
How can I be apolitical about it?
To me it reeks of politics
Both generally and specifically
Generally, people in Uptown are blissful
They have the money
Their kids go to good schools that are better funded
They have grocery stores nearby that are full of healthy food options
They have municipal services that come sooner or on time
But specifically I think of the neighborhood of Uptown, in my city
That has a lot of immigrants and poor and lower middle class people
That has a bad reputation on the North Side of Chicago
So excuse my politics
Maybe it's because I missed the bliss of living in Uptown
Le shrug.

Nemesis (#22)

As the bees
Buzz to and fro
And descend
Upon the floral colony
To pollinate the buds
In the hope that they will bloom
Spring forth
To bring seasonal adoration
In the hearts and souls of many
For some
This floral colony
Brings tears and shortness of breath
In the eyes and lungs of many
Sneezing, wheezing and runny noses
So I must mention
That this colony
This season has become my nemesis
The only thing I like about spring is the fashion

Mine (#21)

Pundits and doctors
want to own
my body,
but it
to me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Playing Boss (#20)

What is it?
Fix this
Do this
What is this
Why this
Know this

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Little Girl (#19)

Little Girl
I wish I could tell you
What I should have heard
What I should have known
But even though I'm late
I'm right on time

Little Girl
I wish I could tell you
That the world will accept you
Just as you are
The way you look
The way you think
But I can't
The world wants to pick you apart
But I want you to be brave
Be yourself Little Girl
You'll be better for it

Little Black Girl
I wish I could tell you
That everyone appreciates you
But I can't
Your skin
Your hair
Your brain
Your heart
They will attack them
And you for them
But I appreciate you
So you appreciate them
And you appreciate you

Little Girl
I wish I could tell you
That it gets easier
You won't have all the answer
You probably never will
But the thrill is in the chase
Live life anyway
Live it WELL

Guilty (#18)

Guilty is
An emotion
That deters
The conscientious
That is the weapon
Of the emotional manipulators
And is absent
From those
Human tornadoes
Who go
And wreak havoc
Wreck lives
Break heart
And don't look back
Or maybe they do
To look at the damage
And smile
So let this be your warning
Or your guide

Dry (#17)

You don't even have to ask
And it is done
I am a sponge
I water your desert
As the hands wring me
Drip dry

Forbidden (#16)

I think about
All the things
I want to be
The future I am supposed to have
With you
Hands on my skin
Hands held
Shivers pass
Fires burn
Baby carriage
Your thoughts stimulate me
Think harder
Be smarter
Do better
But you don't exist
So these thoughts are forbidden.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Obfuscation (#15)

What the hell is this word?
*Scrunches up nose*
I go get a new tab, my favorite
Type in obfuscation
Obfuscation is the noun of the verb
The simple definition
Is to make something more difficult to understand
How apropos
At first glance I'm wondering why this word is here
Prompting me to poetry
Only to look it up
And to confirm that its existence is that
To be difficult to understand
Unlike the prompt of this poem
I will not obfuscate my frustration
At the very existence of this word
And the presence of it in my life
So I bid it adieu
As well as this poem

Spring Break (#14)

When you have time for time
All kind of things just cross ya mind
Got me sitting here thinking why
Thinking why
Why I couldn't choose the easy road
The low and straight road I couldn't go
I had to choose the steep and thorny path
I must admit quite frankly the math
Doesn't add up
To regular nights of sleeping
And keeping
Up good habits or up with friends
So now I cook
Buy dresses
Binge write poetry
Binge tweet with virtual friends
Side eye Twitter Trolls
It's Spring
And I break.

Skin (#13)

I love my skin
My daddy, rest his soul
Gave me my color
However, when others
See me
They see
Affirmative action
There is no way that I
Simply worked hard
And was encourage to achieve
Like any other
Non-melanated individual
I am passing this semblance of advantage on
Like a baton
For the race
I didn't run

Ex-Factor (#12)

The heart is a strong muscle
Mouth wide open to form
Words that you thought
Would bring me to my knees
Bring me to heel
Instead I heal my wounds
Everyday I live without you
And my days turn more sweet
And less bitter

Before The Club (#11)

I'll be the shit
Up in that bitch
If you say different
Then fuck that shit
All eyes on me
The main reason I picked out this outfit
Pride got this third eye clear
Fore sight
Alll riiiiight
Good to go

Inhuman (#10)

The fist of prejudice
is inhuman
Choking us
Long before any of us said
I can't breathe
It's a system
Some need it like oxygen
And others need it
Like a fist around the neck

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Chores (#9)

Soap bubbles
Were the ONLY thing
I liked about washing dishes
As a kid
I would happily squirt Palmolive
Or Dawn
Whichever my mom favored and was on sale
Into an inch of water in the kitchen sink
And then let the water run
"Stop wasting soap!
Do you know how much that costs?!"
But I was "soaking" the dishes
Only to skulk away
And watch Tom & Jerry
Or 2 Stupid Dogs
Or the SNICK line up on a Saturday
Come finish washing these dishes!"
But I was watching TV!
Poor privileged only child me
Lured into a false sense of idle security
By soap bubbles.

rebirthmark (#8)

a body tells a thousand stories
especially your own
some laced with shame
tame, tempered by time or work
mine is no exceptions
moles on wrists
spots on legs
two tones
but the weirdest birthmark of all
5 incisions on the stomach
4 left
1 right
marking the birth of a new life
i could get steroid injections to flatten the scars
to make them more pretty
but the raised skin anchors me
better than memories and morphine pumps ever could
i may have lost part of my stomach
but i have gained
gained freedom
gained light

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Exit 52 (#7)

Full of bad intentions
She knows what he wants
And it'll cost extra
Hair fluffed
Lips popped
Lipstick freshened
Cab door slammed
Plaid shirt pulled
Hat tipped
What's it to ya?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Stress Headache (#6)

I can't breathe
I can't breathe without being tired
I can't breathe without thinking
About the homework I have to do
That piles up because I just don't have the energy
Guilty seems to be in my DNA
Chromosomes coded to work hard
Always to stay busy
To make decisions to stay busy
As much as I try to plan ahead
There's always something to do
I hope my head doesn't burst
These lights are too bright

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Carpool (#5)

When they told me your news
I just turned into stone
My world kept turning
My sun kept burning, alone

I couldn't think to be sad
I'm all saddened out
Because I can remember all the times
That I went without

Your actions told me that family wasn't important
That other people mattered more
I don't have too much real family
But what hurts more
Is that it mattered once

For a long time we were in a carpool
Until you took the keys and started the car
Without me
I got another ride
But you were driving in a passing lane
And you didn't look back

When they told me your news
I just turned into stone
My world kept turning
My sun kept burning, alone

Sadness is for people you keep close
Emotion is vulnerability
You have pushed away my sadness
And to you my emotion is cheap

Monday, April 4, 2016

Adulting (#4)

All alone
Spending 45 minutes on the phone
Debating and discussing health insurance charges
While your retired mother comes downstairs
In her pajamas and hisses, "Are you still on the phone?"

Every year you have to wake up early on a Saturday
And go meet the tax man
It'll be hard to give this one up, because you like him
Witty banter is exchanged as well as financial information
The bill at the end is a shot of vodka
I grimace at the amount
But I know the IRS won't take my shirt

Gas prices used never to bother me
But when commutes got longer
And time got shorter
I got GasBuddy
An app that helped me find cheap gas
Because saving 10 cents on 10 gallons
Well, that's a dollar
And that dollar could buy me something
Maybe a snack
I just have to make time
To fill up twice a week

You can do whatever you want
When you grow up
They tell the children
As they give them rules
You can do whatever you don't want
When you grow up
Is the truth
The truth you don't want

Sunday, April 3, 2016

26 (#3)

Raisins and peanuts
Wrapped in a a skinny purple bag
After 8 long hours toiling in a windowless box
Some call it a pharmacy
Sometimes I call it prison
And on those nights I shuffle to the break room
To get myself free
As hunger erupts from my stomach
Lunch break was at 7:30 pm
A long ways from 11
Heaven shines upon the vending machine
The ethereal glow of the inside light
I try my best to be healthy
The vices of snacking call loudly this hour
The bag of peanuts is strictly protein
But I need a sweet rush
So the trail mix beckons
Change goes in
Bag comes out
I rip it
And take it to the head
I chug it like a shot
Hunger > manners
26 miles cannot be driven while hungry
It's a long way to the money
And an even longer way home.

Love Lost (#2)

He had me
Under his spell
Oh so well
Tucked underneath his wing
Until he flew away
And I was falling to the ground
Yet knowing
The flight was so high
And the ground was a long way down

Friday, April 1, 2016

Song of My Heart (#1)

I must have been a fool
To think that I wasn’t appreciated
To think I would go unnoticed
So used to hiding behind shadows
Barely seen
Almost like a dream
To get praises and attention
Information overload

I must have been a fool
To think that I have to do it alone
A hard head makes a soft ass
And my whuppin time and time again
Is the burn out from not delegating
Even when someone asks
Control curdling into distrust
Spoilt milk of no use to me

I must have been a fool
To keep calling myself foolish
This life is a journey
I gotta keep trying
Keep growing
Keep getting better
Keep being
I know the error of my ways
I will try not to repeat  my mistakes
I will do what it takes
Honestly and earnestly
And even if I fail
Not to try

Is to truly be a fool.

National Poetry Month!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey folks! If you're on my side of the world, it's April 1st. You all are NOT April Fools, lol. i'm so excited because it's National Poetry Month!!!!!!!!!!!! See all the exclamation points? Lol.  I will be participating in the 30/30 Challenge, which is 1 poem daily, based on a prompt. I will post here and share with the masses, both on Facebook and Twitter! As my UG pipo say, watch this space!!! :-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dear Uganda

It's sad that I have write this
Because I try so hard not to worry about what I can't change
Because the things I can already drive me insane
But these thoughts keep racking my brain
So I have no choice, but to put them down.

Do you know the world is watching?
As so many millions of people
Put their hearts into their hands
And take a stand,
Do you know the world is watching?

People want a choice
They choose to make a change
They have had more than my lifetime
Of the same
Underfunded hospitals
Infrastructure a mess
And then trying to support a different candidate
Causes some "political unrest"

People from bordering countries are talking
About election money they've collected
Reporters getting jailed
For filming hospitals that are neglected
And I wonder
What all this is for?
Because it is not for the citizens of Uganda
Not for my aunties and uncles
Not for my cousins

My worry radiates from 7,000 miles away
And I wonder what will greet me the next time I get to Entebbe
And I wonder who
As time goes and who knows who will vote
I hope for better
But my heart aches for worse

If You Are Reading This

If you are reading this,
This is because I'm tired of waiting
Waiting for the right moment to say this to you
But instead I am kept
Teetering on the precipice of expectation
See sawing between the heights of exhilaration and the abyss of disappointment
See your occasional text, call or voicemail was the ointment
That soothed my irritated nerves

But like a steroid taken too long
I have rebound pain
I refuse to let you fill my empty spaces with longing
I reject the idea of the idea of you shattering the quiet peace that was my solace
So I ask you
What is it?
What is it that cancels out your amorous feelings for me?
What is it that demands your silence since your physical distance is normal?
What it is though?
Because what this is is unacceptable
Non sustainable
I'm tired of the same shit every day
So I'm off the toilet and out the bathroom
Let the waste water department deal with this
Because love does not cover
Repeated negligence.

They Wanted

They wanted me to be quiet
Head down
To give my silence freely
To mark all things, good and bad, without a word

They wanted me to be short
To blend in
To be inconspicuous
"Don't stand out," they say.

They wanted me to be dumb
To not understand
To let them play tricks
To let them win
To let them do whatever they win

They wanted me to work hard
Too hard
To the point of exhaustion
Without a thought
Without reluctance
For them

But I say what I want
I can't let them rule my words
I will make a joyful noise or an angry shout

I was born to stand out
To be tall
To be seen
To be closer to the sky

The ancestors made me clever
Who am I to forsake them?
Who am I to waste my parents' education?
Why, just because I was born a girl?

Everyone and everything must rest
I am no exception
I will not fall for the deception
That I will break my back
So they will step over my body
I will work for myself

I am my own African woman
So watch me live