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!

 

 

Poetry album launch!

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I’m super excited to release my very first album on the same night that I will be doing my very first feature! I hope that those of you in Atlanta will come out and support this night of new endeavors with me! Don’t worry if you’re not in the area (or even in this country) the album will be available for sale online on May 1st as well!

More details will be coming soon! For now, be sure you are following me on twitter @talichaj to make keep up with all the updates!

NaPoWriMo #4

Today, I used a prompt I found on the blog of POETRYisEVERYTHING!

Bus stop

Have you ever waited at a bus stop?
I’m not talking about 10 or 15 minutes either.
I’m talking about waiting.
I’m talking about regretting not wearing ear muffs
Or the gloves that fit better
Or the boots that don’t let the cold or wet in
Or the coat that does more than fail at keeping the wind out.
Waiting.
30, 45, 60 minutes past the time it was due
Blasting music in your ears to keep the strange old guys
With whiskey spit and starving eyes away
Shifting impatiently from one freezing foot to the other
Watching the steam from your breath float away from you as you sigh with disdain, with boredom, with resignation.
Evil eyeing the cars that speed by bringing puffs of cold wind to slap you in the face as if they are teasing you
Rubbing it in that there is a quicker, warmer way to your destination that you can not afford, can not attain, can not.
Have you ever waited at a bus stop?

image by Cindel Oh 

Free Write Friday! “You Called Me Love”

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The Prompt: Ponder This

Love was just a word
Just a flick of a tongue
A quick exhale
It only meant fleeting

And then you happened
And you’d call me ‘love’
And it made me feel like
I was burning under my skin

No one had ever gotten beneath the surface
Until you, your love, you nestled inside me
Wriggled your way through the cracks
I thought I’d kept well hidden

You planted your lips as seeds against the
Soil of my fluttering field heart and blossomed
A brilliantly beautiful thing you were,
And you’d call me “love”

My favorite past-time was running the
naked skin of my palms along the bared
Flesh of your back, kneading my fingers into
The softness that camouflaged the sinewy strength against your spine

No, it was looking into those eyes,
The ones that always drank me in as if I were the only thing to behold,
the way they turned my pulse into an impulsively pulsating rhythm uncontrollable.

Or maybe it was just loving you back.
Yes, loving you back as hard as I was capable
Until my knuckles ached from holding on
And my throat was raw from the strain of saying the words so much they became my exhale

Love never felt like butterflies to me
It was only just a word, fleeting
And then you happened
And you’d call me ‘love’

I swear there were wings inside
Beating gently against my ribcage
Eager to find their way to you
every time you called me ‘love’.

So it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted for #FWF it feels good to be back! I actually started a story for last weeks prompt but I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet, keep an eye out for a really creepy story though 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed this, it was random as always. I look forward to reading what everyone else posted in response to this prompt as well! 

Be sure to check out Kellie on twitter @kellie_elmore and you can follow me there as well @talichaj 

In The Making album update!

Update #1

Thanks for your interest and support in my upcoming album “In the making”! I’m very excited about this debut project and am working diligently to make it a great experience for you. Recording wrapped at the end of January at P3 Productions with Peter Z. I’m currently doing all the “fun” post production things that you don’t think about when you first decide to produce and sell an album. It’s a lot of work and this is my first huge project so I am especially picky about every detail. The release is scheduled for March of 2014. I’ll also have pre-orders and promotions going on closer to March so definitely keep an eye out! Again, thank you for your support!

If you’d like to financially back this project and be a huge part of its creation you can do so by donating whatever you can. Every little bit counts!

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Free Write Friday! Falling

The prompt:

“We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.” — Louise Erdrich, Tracks

The attempt:

Falling

We are burning bridges
And sinking ships
And fallen towers

We are crashing cars
And trains derailing
And branches breaking

We are slipping knots
And broken doorknobs
And leaky faucets

Everything we do is wrong
Even what is right
We are never blending

Always shifting
Always changing
Minds and directions

We are a map
Torn in half
Only missing the piece we need

We are missing the peace we need
Fighting in the name of freedom
What is freedom?

We fall
Like snowflakes
Hoping we don’t melt before we hit the ground

Hoping we don’t melt once we’ve hit the ground
We are falling
We are all falling.

Free Write Friday! Already

The prompt:

The attempt:

So what if I should have?
I didn’t.
It’s done.

Time is not patient
Life is not forgiving
And both are always running out too soon

I won’t waste my worries on the past
Or at least I’ll say I won’t
And I’ll try but if I don’t, who cares?

What-if’s and should-have’s
Are only pre-requisites for regret
And I don’t want too many of those to look back on

We are all our own hourglass
With tiny grains of sand for seconds
That still fall through even when we aren’t watching

We are not allowed to pick any of those pieces up
And move them back to the side that gives
We can only let them go, watch them settle but not change them

That, that is what life is right?
Decisions; sand grains that are heavy if you could hold them
Actions and thoughts that may be right or wrong but are still ours

Every moment in life is a potential what if
A should have.
A could of.
A maybe.

Every moment in life lived is also an already.

Hey guys! I hope you are all having a fantastic Friday! This is the last FWF of the year, can you believe it!??! A huge thank you goes to the talented Kellie Elmore for giving us such awesome content to use for inspiration. I hope next year is full of tons more motivation for us all! Thanks for reading/listening. I can’t wait to see what comes next for us all! 

Like you mean it

Touch me like you mean it,
Like you don’t believe I am barbed wire skin
Or electric fence flesh.
Do it like you want to,
Better yet, just want to.

Press your palms against the softness of my hips,
Allow your fingers to sink into the way I curve
And do not be afraid of losing yourself within me.
Why do you always seem so afraid of losing yourself within me?

Your eyes fleet, hands swift,
You move so tentatively
Your touch could be a fallen eyelash on my cheek
It could be a whisper in my ear after I’ve already drifted to sleep.

Touch me like you want to set my insides on fire,
Like your fingertips are shots of whiskey,
Warm me until all I feel is good

Do not be afraid, I am not fragile
I will not break, I am built to bear your weight,
I crave the pressure of you pressing
So do not be hesitant

Touch me like you mean it
Like you want to
Like you want me
Or don’t touch me at all…

Not sure if this poem is finished yet but I wanted to share what I wrote the other day. Hope you guys enjoy!

Free Write Friday! “Figure it out”

The prompt:

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The attempt:

There are three envelopes.
One for what I say to make things easy
One for what I say to purposely make things hard.
And one for all the things I was never able to say to you because I’d have to say them to myself first.

I only placed one in the mail today,
And now I’m afraid it may have been the wrong one.
If it gets to you, don’t read it.
Burn it. Rip it into as many tiny pieces as you can and then set it on fire.

Or don’t.
Maybe it’s best this way.
Maybe the choice I made will save us both,
Will heal our sore hearts
Maybe it will be what sets us free.

You are a steel door most days
And I have lived my life trying to be a hinge connected to you
Allowing you the ability to move in the right direction
But I’m backwards and you, you take advantage of the freedom I’ve given

You wear me like an excuse, and I let you so maybe
I should be the one waiting by the mailbox instead.
But I know I’ll never get what I’m waiting for.
You know you will never give me what I’m waiting for.

Maybe I’ll mail the other two as well,
Throw you off my trail a little bit,
Stir things up and give myself a bit of wiggle room to work with eh?
I’ll let you process what every word of every letter means, on your own.

There are three envelopes.
One for what I say to make things easy
One for what I say to purposely make things hard.
And one for all the things I was never able to say to you because I’d have to say them to myself first.

I placed them all in the mail today
I doubted myself, and I doubted you.
I hope you’ll figure out which one I meant to send
I hope you know me well enough to figure it out…

I swear I gush every time I do a FWF about how much I love the free writing style of writing. I never would have written anything like this otherwise. Thanks to the wonderful Kellie Elmore  for always providing interesting prompts! Make sure you go support her today as her new book Candy from strangers is now available for purchase!!!