Dark Places and People

How many more scars

do you need on your body

to remind you of the existence

of some dark place?

To remind you to not

stray too far

To not bring along people

whose hands cannot build home

or hold one down?


Painting Survival

While you’re painting survival

with your blood and tears,

do not forget that this war you fight

began with your permission

and will end only when you decide

that you have seen enough

of your own blood being collected.

Random Thoughts

What Are You Telling Yourself?

“Our minds love sound. Our minds remember sound. Our minds recreate sound.”

Nothing you want will ever come easy. Why don’t you go back into time, think, was there anything you really wanted, truly wanted, badly wanted, that was just handed over to you – that was just uprooted from its pre-designed space in this world and planted in your hands like a gift, just like that? No.

You ought to know, by now, that things do not work this way. Things do not arrange themselves or shift themselves or package themselves in this manner. Something has to move them. Something has to touch them. Something has to brush against them that will cause an alteration, a change in position, belonging, and ownership.

Things don’t just happen, you have to make them happen, and if you think you cannot make them happen because you lack the expertise, or that you are undeserving of the re-positioning of things, then you have to create an atmosphere for you to deserve it. You have to create an existence of the want and tell your mind about it. You have to tell your mind that you deserve it. That you want it. That you’ve been waiting for it. You have to make your mind hear you speak.

There’s something about sound. Our minds love sound. Our minds remember sound. Our minds recreate sound. Take the sounding of a bell for instance. It rings and rings and rings so that even when it’s no longer ringing you can hear it. You think you can hear it. Or even the buzzing of a mosquito or a large green disgusting housefly. It whizzes past your ear; makes that irritating sound that makes you bend your head sideways. Still, seconds and minutes after it’s gone, you can hear the buzz, even feel it such that you want to fan your ear.

The mind is an interesting thing. Perhaps we should encourage people to speak more to themselves instead of leaving that aspect to be explored only by those roaming naked on our streets. But of course, it actually depends on what you’re telling yourself.


The Lying Game

there’s a way you hang on to words

even after the last letter has escaped the lips

even after the last pause

even after the last exhale

that is you being expectant

that somehow the lie will be given up

and the truth will, for once, make an appearance

and when it doesn’t

when it dawns on you

how much you’ve always known this person

there’s also this way you look at them

their eyes

their lips

some i-told-myself-so jumps up from within you

your insides are on fire

you begin to think of the many definitions of a fool

beginning with you.




How To Fight the War Inside Your Body

War is raging in your body

Oppression of all sorts under your skin

The same that tore your mother down

and your sisters, too.

The same that will break your daughters

because you have not been taught how to love yourself

but everything outside of your own.



down to your birthskin and into immersion,

water resuscitated all of your unjustified guilt.

Bathroom mirrors scrutinized more than just your upper body

You fought

And you lost

Crumpled to pieces at your own reflection

–  not enough strength to pull yourself from the shame

Not enough will you hold your head high

and look you in the face.


You have long made excuses for this repression

Worn it like a crown upon your head

Adorned it with your diamond tears

Deified it

Even given it face

And form

Given it home inside your most sacred places.


But if you will wake

Give yourself some of this love you give to others

You will find an army sitting inside of you

ready to help you extract freedom from any kind of oppression

You will be done fighting

Because you will love

And you will heal.



Your walls will go up again.

And this time you will swear it.

You will swear to keep them standing.

You will swear to protect yourself.

You won’t break like tired wood.

You won’t fall.

Your bridges won’t burn

because there will be none – no crossing to the other side.

No marching against yourself.

You will surrender to yourself.

You will belong to you.

Not to the promises.

Not to the waiting.

Not to the wishing.

Not to the lonely nights,

or the dying lights.

Not to self-destructing habits.

Not to people who aren’t or things that aren’t.

Not to what you’ve lost

or what you will never gain.

You will be yours now.

Yours to guard.

Yours to defend.

Yours to secure.

You will come home, to rebuild.




For A, and the many times you have burnt my body


Like adrenaline pump life. Make us woke.

In just enough time to do foolish things.

Because one-night stands are stories we swear to never repeat

Until our bodies catch feelings and we attempt to burn evidence of it

In several wild sexcapades.



There is something about a person needing several shots of it.

Before sanity scrapes the folly off their eyes.

You’re alone in this bubble and it’s going to burst. Run.

But you can’t.

The last of it hits you.

As if you’re anesthetized and time contains you.

You’re cold.

In a room that feels that like it’s just been torched.

Your stomach turns. And crumples. And kneads

Like the diarrhea it announces when you’re anxious or too nervous.

Only this time there’s less physical awkwardness

And the pain coming is from a place beyond the soul.



On its own it triggers bearable harm.

What makes it insufferable is the thought that we ourselves, might have been guilty of giving it all the venom it needed to destroy us.

Like when I thought I could love you enough for the two of us.

To balance out this rollercoaster relationship.

This, fucking love.



What It Takes To Be a Writer


It is mostly these that creep up on you.

Fears of never making enough sense to keep an audience.

Fears of never making it to the shelves.

Of waking up someday and realizing this thing you have with words is.




It is being broke.

And damned.

And condemned.

To social invisibility, internal confusion, nervous tension, mental strain.

And all the words and phrases used to describe a lunatic proud of her paltry creations.


It is private shame.

Not being able to reach inside your own dreams.

And the damn clock keeps ticking.

And the sun rises and sets.

Every. Other. Day.

And yet nothing changes about when?


It is a slow slow kind of life

In a fast fast moving world

Where nobody sees you,

Hears your shy hellos,

Or bothers to ask about the nonsense you’re writing.

Until you are dead.

And your letters are discovered buried in some old wooden box.

In some ramshackle apartment.


Suddenly you’re a genius.

The whole world knows you.

They talk about you on TV.

You even have a name.

You’re Jack. James. Pablo. Susanne, with two ‘n’s.

Or whatever you want it to be.


You’re no longer the creep that moves in the shadows with a pile of papers.

You’re no longer the creep that lives around the block with a receding hairline or the bad clothes.

Your once forlorn life jumps on fame lane.

Without warning you’re an epitome of true talent

And every one sentence you’ve written is quoted with so much pride.

It is only now you know what it takes to be a writer.

All of your damn fears and all of your damn dreams combined.


A single emotion of fear

You pretend they don’t care

so you can also stop caring.

Have reason to hate.

Reason to shut yourself out.

Reason to be bitter.

Reason to spite.

Reason to have all the reasons

to justify your overthinking

of things.



I won “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi and I read the heaven out of it!

I have not read a mountain of books, but I’ve read a lot of the ones I have come across. I’ve never won anything before, I think. So I was pretty excited when BrunchoverBooks informed me that I had won a copy of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

I instantly fell in love with the book when it got to me last Sunday afternoon and paraded it all over my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Yeah, I’m that vain.

First, I thought the bag it came in was super cute. And the book! It was such a happy color. img_20161120_144406

My first impression was that a lot of work must have gone into it. When I began to flip the pages, it was as if the words were jumping and screaming into my face read me read me. I’m not even laying it on thick. I immediately knew I was going to love it. It was going to be food. I was going to savor every sentence. Every phrase. Every word. To the last letter.

“History is storytelling…We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clear, yet still imperfect, picture.”

Homegoing is history merged with present day traced from the eighteenth-century with the story of Effia of Fanteland as the opening, followed by Esi of Asante. Effia and Esi are half-sisters, although they never get to meet. Effia marries an Englishman (the marriage is arranged) and goes to live in the Cape Coast Castle. Unknown to her, her half-sister Esi, is imprisoned in the women’s dungeon and is later sold into slavery.

The rest of the book trails the bloodline of both women; travelling through time while revealing, chapter by chapter, each descent until the story eventually converges back home.

The chapters in Homegoing are like standalone stories; each is somewhat conclusive, (because each chapter is built around a character and finishes its own story) yet in some way, not fully independent of the main story.

There are a lot of names, and they are not just passing through. Each has its own story trailed from either Effia or Esi, so you want to make sure you remember all of the names because you are going to build on them in subsequent chapters. It’ll be good to get some stick on pads or something to write on (I prefer stick on pads).

PLEASE. DO. NOT. WRITE. IN. THE. BOOK. I love it too much.

Homegoing leaves a lot of grim feelings. It has anger, violence, death, horrors, and fear. But it is also an incredible story; beautiful, sometimes haunting, but yes, expressively and captivatingly beautiful.

Being so richly told, I could put face to a lot of the characters and match them with history especially in the story of the Yaa Asantewaa War.

My favorite person in the book was/is Akua, aka Crazy Woman; haunted by a firewoman, ends up burning her two daughters to death, and leaving a horrid scar on her son’s face. Her story is disturbing, sad yet strong, and she moved me in many ways more than the others.

On the downside though, I would have liked to return to the stories of some of the characters in the book, but the structure makes it impossible because after each chapter, there’s only a building on so you’re kind of forced out of one storyline to the next.

Aside that, it is such great story-telling by Yaa Gyasi! Beautiful exploration of how slave trade affects one family and what it costs it. A lot of research must have gone into this book, obviously. I was in no hurry to finish it, yet I couldn’t put it down. I’m pretty much not getting over it anytime soon.

You really should read this in 2016 if you haven’t yet.