Monday, January 18, 2016

Enough

There is poetry in the way some people look at you
...like you are the only star in the sky
And you don't need to shine any brighter to be enough
Because you are enough
Strange as you are
Exactly as you are

It's the nerve to dive into feelings that don't make sense
Make room for reservations that fill you with exuberance
Become a living paradox but balance the equation
Laughter, tears
Simplicity, complexity
Beat poetry, slam poetry
Not-so-good poetry
Music
Art
Love
Love for the things that make your ears flutter
And your eyes water
Love for the things that make your heart want to give till it hurts
And then give some more
Love for the things that make you smile
With tea-stained teeth and olive-filled cheeks
Love for the things that are only perfect in their imperfections
Beautiful in their ugliness
Long reaching in their short comings 

Some people smell like love
Without even trying
These people
Treasure them
These people
They are enough
Strange as they are
Exactly as they are

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nothing's got to give

Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji'un - To God we belong and surely, to Him we shall return.
This is my favorite Arabic phrase. It is typically said when speaking about someone who is deceased however, I love it most when it is said in respect to living a (spiritually) fulfilled life because... well... YOLO!
My point, in the rephrased words of Anais Nin, is that 'I want to be a mermaid, with no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living'.


*Middle-Eastern Mermaid by Sully

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

Diaspora

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

Neanderthal


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
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
Revelries!

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