Monday, May 25, 2015

Black Bird 3

When they call, tell them you are fine
When they ask, tell them you are fine
What do they know?
All these people you have housed under your rib cage
Forced into a nation that will never say their names right
Set the standard for love, family and friendships around
So that no one will ever measure up
These people who know your deepest flaws and greatest fears
What do they know about being fluent in solitude?
About being lost, somewhere between despair and East Texas?
About pulling your ribs out, one at a time, to make room for new people?

You are fine
You may feel alone, but you are never really alone
You housed them in your heart, under your rib cage, remember?
You learned to accept that education will probably never make up for ignorance about Islam and "Africa"
This acceptance created room for more people, remember?
You love God and God loves you, and most times, that is all that matters, remember?
You are fine
If you don't like it here, move
But before you do, check your heart
You cannot set fire to the fields and expect nothing to burn*
You might be the one that needs changing, not your location
You will be fine
So when they call, tell them you are fine

*N.L. Shompole

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Sometimes I want to return home
But then
Being at home makes me feel like a long lost cousin
Who has over stayed her welcome
And that makes me want to return home
Which begs the question
Where is home?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Second-hand Sweethearts

I have collected hearts over the years

Some have stayed
Some have left
The rest I have kept captive

My second-hand sweethearts

These are the ones that bleed me dry

I give them everything
My love, my heart, my soul
My life, my body, my gifts

I give till there's nothing left to give
Then I give some more

My second-hand sweethearts

I give till it kills me
Because it kills me
Because sometimes dying, is living

My second-hand sweethearts

You were never mine to begin with
Fairly-used is never as good as new
Alaha human iyol

Friday, December 19, 2014


I've been staring at the ocean
Holding onto a life jacket
Waiting for you to come up for air

Even as I hold you
I'm letting you go
Because I feel you shedding me
Like skin

We can't make homes out of human beings
So if you want to leave

I know that I am terrifying and strange
Something not everyone knows how to love

I have not stopped loving you
But I have stopped waiting for you

Be brave enough to love me
Be brave enough to let me love you

Maybe I'm tired of hurting you
Maybe I'm tired of breaking your heart too
But riddle me this
What do you tell your heart
When it asks after me?
I mashed-up these (rephrased) quotes from some of my favorite poems a couple of months ago because, well, shit happened. Credits to Warsan Shire, N.L.Shompole, Alice Walker, Noor Shirazie

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Public Enemies

Cigarette stained lies in cadillacs
Hunger induced hallucinations on bare floors
 We were never mediocre
Always either stinking rich or
Bread-slices-for-hot-dog-buns poor

We laid down on unmade plans
But always managed to get where we didn't know we wanted to go
We were nothing, but we were everything

Our love was the choking kind and we choked alright
Suffocating on presents, table service and hotel rooms
"Let's give them something to talk about" you always said
So we lived for the applause and revelries were our cause
All we lived for, all we fought for, all we died for

In the end
We were living on fourth quarter pipe dreams
Anything but a dose of reality
I loved you, I hated you
You hated me but loved me even more

We were driving 120 in a 60
We had two hands held together, two in the air
Our Johnnie Walker eyes on one another and your foot on gas

 We had to go out with a bang
Undramatic break ups were for sissies but we were rock stars
So we needed to give them a show, a concert in a sold out arena
Something to talk about

Then we crashed and burned 
And to my surprise they mourned
"My God" she said "you guys were my relationship role models"
-That love affair was stranger than her sympathy
And I pray I never get to hear more ignorant words till I die-

Ash to ash, dust to dust
We spread our wings and flew apart with relief
Hoping never to re-live
The present, the past
The love
The life, the death
Of us

*The song lines are deliberate

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cheating on the sixth

I believe Jehovah Jireh
I believe a woman's temple gives her the right to choose
But baby don't abort
I still believe in man because I just don't believe we're wicked
I know we sin but I do believe we try
We all try
Frank Ocean - We All Try

Considering how I lived last year, I know that I am the last person with the right to give notes on religion and morality. I hope however that even through my imperfection God blessed you with something, anything. If not spiritually then maybe about shamelessly stringing words together and working harder to get better at creative writing. I also pray that you have been blessed not only by strangers but through people who love you and prove in more ways than make sense that God loves you too.
I'll be 27 on the 27th , here's a link to my wishlist thank yoooooooouuuuu


I got invited by my dear friend Chioma Chuka, to participate in her "A Post a Day" project for the month of December last year. I appreciated (once again) the pressure of having to write because someone asked me to and having to work with a format. I've posted it below as my first (cheat) post of the year and I hope you guys enjoy it. Have a blessed year!


The biggest lesson I learnt (and I am still learning) this year is silence. My filters don’t work right but life has taught me to shut my big mouth and let some things be. Not every opinion needs to be heard, not every emotion needs to be expressed and not every err needs to be pointed out. I am gradually learning to love the silence and discover the secrets to it; how to smile with just my heart, hurt passively, go around like a ninja… unseen and unheard.
The thing I am most grateful for this year is that I got to go home, to Nigeria. My mother is so technologically handicapped that she refuses to get a smart smart-phone or learn how to turn on a computer so I only get to see her on the rare occasion that she dedicates 30 minutes to taking and texting me a picture. Concrete mumu that my genes are, they inherited some of this disorder. On a brighter note, going home meant I got to spend time with her, get breakfast in bed, eat pounded yam nine times in less than two weeks and have someone fuss over me round the clock. Priceless!
I read somewhere that “people take care of those they love and those who love in return are willing to accept that caretaking”. If I could do one thing differently this year, it would be to open my eyes to the depth of my relationships. I took some friends for granted and placed those who couldn’t care less about me on a pedestal. When people love you, they love all of you, tolerate your dark side and call you out on your foolishness. Unfortunately, it took a whole and three-quarters of foolishness to for me to realize this. Most of all, I hurt some of my favorite people in the world by not sharing my problems with them. I don’t think I understood how possible this was till they confronted me about it and counted instances in the past when I didn’t let them in. I grew up as an only child and learnt long ago to depend on just myself, my mother and my God so opening up and confiding in best friends/romantic partners is new territory.
In the end, I feel like a 5-year old who is learning the appropriate times to speak up and when to remain silent. In speaking up, I am learning that it is alright to seek comfort from the people who love me but not to yarn my church mind ever so often. In hushing up, I am rediscovering the secrets to silence, and the quiet is deafening.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Black Bird 2

Not dreaming is what happens when you have near death experiences
Your favorite aunt saved you from one and you both just stood there
Because you could have died and he wouldn't have stopped
You could have died but she saved you
So you love her even more
But then she dies (at another time)
And you don't cry even long after the funeral because you don't get it
When it finally registers you can't stop crying
And you remember to never forget that you shouldn't dream about the future

One day, you come back to America and it seems great
But then your uncle dies a week later
You see the text and the dm but you roll over and go back to sleep without replying
You call into TERC and act normal because you don't get it
Yours is the family where no one dies
But now they are dying and you don't get it
You cry a lot and know you will never forget not to dream

Then dad decides to kick you out a week after that
Because for the dumbest reason
He thinks you died ("or something") and that you are your sister
And that you and mom are playing a fast one on him
So he kicks you out till you agree to a DNA test
You tell him to go fuck himself and not bother looking for you when he comes to
You check into Motel 6 because you have nowhere to go and need to start living cheap
You move in with some roommates you find on craigslist
Because you don't have credit history to get an apartment
You get so sad it becomes all you have
You pray to God they don't kill you in your sleep
Sometimes, you wish they would

You work as a hostess at a restaurant for two months because no one will hire you
You work at a restaurant to get employment history so someone will hire you
You work at a restaurant and lie to your mother because she is already too sad
And you are sad too
And one of you needs to be a little less sad
So you lie to her
And that makes you even more sad
But she is a little less sad
So it is ok
At this point you know that dreaming is for fools and you are not one

One night, pain stabs you in the guts
You know this is it, you wish your mom had other kids
ER, kidney stones, ovarian cysts, cervical cancer
Biopsies, samples, drips, blood, so much blood
You never tell anyone all that really went down
Not even Chiki
Because you know what it is to be sad and don't want to be the reason they ever feel it
But you get so sad from carrying all that weight that you stop to write
Because everything on your inside is sad
And all that you want to write is about being sad
But that was never why you wanted to write
So you stop towriting
And so you don't write and you don't dream

But then Someone smiles at you
You know He has always loved you and you live for Him
But you shut Him out of this part of your life
The sadness
He keeps smiling and you eventually smile back
You know He knows
And you know it's going to be okay
You've come so far that even you can't believe it
You know He has a hand in it
Because you were too busy being sad and not dreaming to have the life you have now
Eventually, you get two clean test results
And then you get a bigger raise than you asked for and benefits at work
You and dad talk some but it needs time and work
You still get sad but not so much
God loves you and your family loves you and your friends love you
So you start to enjoy forgetting the pain
And you dare to dream about the future

I want to work for UNICEF
Or at least work with children in whatever capacity
I want to build a house for my mother and give her whatever she wants
I want to own an early education center
I want to adopt at least one child
I want to work for UNICEF
So help me God