NaPoWriMo Day 4! With Our Teeth

Hey! Day four of #NaPoWriMo is here! I hope everyone is getting into the swing of sitting down and writing daily. Today’s poem was inspired by this prompt by Sam Gordon plus an experience I had the other day. I was in Target browsing the book section, which is always one of my favorite things to do. I was looking at all the different books enjoying how wide the variety was until I got to the “African American” section. All the books were ridiculous, with titles like Pastor Needs a Boo and Project Chick. It got me to thinking about the lack of flexibility within African American books available to the mainstream.

With Our Teeth

Who sets the standards?

Says your dark is why.
Your night sky skin is the only reason.

Yesterday I spent time with the shelves
and the books they keep,

spines standing up straight
and proud of their bodies—

adventure, action, romance, coming
of age, I reveled in all those choices.

The black books slouched,
heavy with the burden of being token,

of being cliche, a heart of ghettos
a calloused mouth,

the black books had black titles
like Honor Thy Thug and black

women in lingerie and black men
in sagging pants and isn’t that

exactly what being black has become?
Playing into a role, digging

rivers into our tongues with
our teeth, swimming in stereotypes

to avoid drowning. Isn’t that
what they expect, those standard

setters? Those cage architects,
they say here, take this and be grateful,

look at all the space we’ve given you,
you have your very own shelf in our world.

And we buy it because it is ours, it is
all we’ve been given, we invest in it,

take note of what they expect us to be
and we do better, be more, set our

own standards, let them think they
have won, while we build our own

shelves, fill them with the truths too
honest for their world. Say to them,

look at all the space we’ve let you
think was yours. Be grateful.

Happy NaPoWriMo!

Hi guys! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted one of my poems here. That’s because I’ve been working hard on finishing my poetry book. It’s almost done so I figured I’d take a small break and participate in NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month, for those outside of the loop). I’ll try my best to post daily but being an adult means life gets hectic sometimes, you know how it is!

This poem was inspired from a quote by Assata Shakur I came across on tumblr, “We’re taught at such an early age to be against the communists, yet most of us don’t have the faintest idea what communism is. Only a fool lets somebody else tell him who his enemy is.” The poem in general has nothing to do with communism but more-so the idea of the things I don’t know. The things that have yet to be discovered by me and the urge to change that in all aspects. I think it’s easy to listen to other people’s view of the world and all it contains but it’s better to experience and learn for yourself. So without further ado:

Wider than a Big Bang

This world is filled with gifts,
much granite unturned,
many undiscovered roads.

I want to cross bridges,
duck under low hanging branches,
slosh through rivers bare knee’d,

unafraid of the little things,
or the big ones,
or of anything in between.

To glimpse a turnoff and take it
not caring where it leads,
as long as it goes.

Lounging at the edge of any shore as the waves kiss me,
sprawled among prickly blades of grass while the stars kiss me,
to be in his arms or hers kissing them back when they kiss me.

To go… To do… To to.

Breathing carefree and exuberant,
following whim,
leading with moxy.

Not giving a fuck,
not being afraid to say fuck,
not fucking caring about fucking offending any-fucking-one.

Being over the moon,
with a laugh brighter than venus,
smiling unapologetically wider than a big bang.

For me
to live
a life that has loved living.

For me
to love
a life that is lived loving me.

Thanks for stopping by! If you are participating in NaPoWriMo as well feel free to leave your link when you comment so I can check your work out!

Follow me on twitter @talichaj

I’m published online!

Hey! I’m really excited to share that one of my newest poems, Reasons Why Loving You Was More Entertaining than Watching Prime Time Television, was published by GERM Magazine and is currently on their home page!

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One of my goals for the year was to have a poem published and I am so happy to have accomplished it! I hope that you guys will head over to GERM and read this poem, leave some love and then check out some of the other content they have!

Read: Reasons Why Loving You Was More Entertaining than Watching Prime Time Television

FWF! And my 300th post!

So I’ve been absent from Free Write Friday for a while now but I’m glad I had a few minutes today to sit down and write! This is also my 300th post oFWF! And my 300th post!n this blog (whoo hoo)! Anyway, the prompt was:

My attempt:

Some days it just doesn’t make sense.
Not any of it.
How we threaten with palms tight around unlit matches
And eyes falling in love with gasoline canisters
Without hesitation

We forget that we are forests
We are branch limbed
And wildflower tongued
We are all too willing start something we cannot contain.

 

So that was my contribution to the prompt, hope you enjoyed! 

Against the clock

To help you guys get through this hump day I’m sharing my latest song “Against the clock”. I hope you enjoy!

Let’s keep in touch!

Twitter: @talichaj
Facebook: Talicha J.
Soundcloud: Talicha J.

New Video! (Monster)

Hi there!

I’m really excited to share my official video of the poem “Monster”! I shot this video to accompany my debut poetry album, In the making, which was released May 1st. I hope you guys enjoy the poem!

A lot of people have said that they can relate to the content of this piece. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. How does this piece make you feel? Have you ever experienced something similar or witnessed the aftermath of someone else’s experience? What do you think we can do to lessen the frequency of this situation? Can we even dream of lessening the frequency of this situation? Tell me what you think.

I’d love for you to connect with me on twitter @talichaj
I’m also on Facebook 

 

FWF/NaPoWriMo! “Life, love…”

 

Happy Monday! As always, the awesome/talented/creative Kellie Elmore gave an interesting prompt with Free Write Friday which you can read here. I hope you guys enjoy my take on it!

Make up your mind
I can not take your push and pull
Your hot then cold
You are an ever-swinging pendulum with all the back and forth

You are a Rubik’s cube
A high level sudoku
Not impossible to solve
But so much work to figure out

I am tired
Trying to make sense of everything you put me through
Never making sense of anything
My lids are so heavy

I used to understand.
I thought I understood
But now I am finding myself too often
In rooms that have just barely enough air in them to survive

But you want me to survive
Count on my will to stay with you
I feel rooted in your living room
And I just want to feel like I’m really home when I’m there

Tell me that I am home
Wrap me up, pull me close
Fill my nostrils with the scent of you
Until all I am is full of you

You are life
You are why I feel anything at all
And I just want to feel good with you again
I only want to be good with you

Make up your mind
Make up your mind to stick with me
Watch me love you even when I do not understand
Love me even when you do not think you have been understood.

 

Thanks for reading/listening! I hope you enjoyed my attempt at the prompt, if so, let me know in the comments below! You can also chat with me on twitter @talichaj or on my facebook page facebook.com/talichaj. And of course, be sure to follow the amazing Kellie Elmore as well @kellie_elmore!