The Woman I Am

thewomaniam

 

I am not the woman,
who once ruled,
the Nile.

I am not the woman,
who led others to freedom
on the Underground Railroad.

I am not the woman,
whom they crowned
Ms. America.

I am not the Woman,
whose beauty they are marketing
like art nouveau & Coca-Cola

I am not the Woman
Named: Eve/Evita/Anita/Delilah
a capitalist tool,
hammering at your champions
Seducing & castrating the brothers
Sending them to their corporate lynching
Vietnam
Kabul
Riker’s Island.

I am not the Woman
to be marginalized by Iconism.
To be infantalized by ghettocentrism.
To be dreadlocked by Afrocentrism.

I am not the woman,
to sing others hymns
and praise others Gods.

I am not the woman
to be defined/defamed,
under a Madonna-whore complex.

I am not:
A Bootylicious/Bad Bitch/Bottom Bitch/Top Bitch/Island Bitch
Baby Mama/Basketball Wife.
Nor
Matriarch/Jezebel/Respectable Lady/Welfare Queen.

I am not the Woman
to hide the secrets of the Diaspora
in my throat
under my skirts
up my rectum.

I did not arrive here
on the Banana Boat/Quota Boat.
I am not sitting here
digesting,
Black-eyed peas, pig feet, plantains
& semen.
Excreting,
a dozen illegitimate children.

When you discover
the woman I am,
it will be as if you have,
drunk the Wine of Astonishment.

THAT MAN

black man

 

 

 

 

 

That man thinks
he is cool
that the breeze
from his lashes fluttering
is what keeps my nipples erect.

That man thinks
he is an ordained musician
that the shake of my hips
is a response to his drum beat
the snapping of my fingers
tapping of my toes,
raising of my arms,
is heed to the gospel
of his tongued-fiddled violin
and his ivory tickle.

That man acts
like he was sired by
Jesus Christ
and delivered from Cleopatra’s womb.
He thinks he is Moses
having parted many black thighs
with the raising of his rod.

That man wears his black skin
like 24-Carat gold
as he flashes his white teeth
his brown eyes mimic jewels.

He colonizes American jeans
on African hips
and converts Italian suits
into ghetto-fabulous statements
slipping easily from baseball-cap, top-hat, Kangol
as day slips into night.

That man proclaims
he is a linguist & student of philosophy
fluent in Brooklyneese
the dozens
Hip-Hop Slang
pillow talk
and the Queen’s English.

He quotes all the Greats
like Malcolm & Mandela
Du Bois & Fanon
Che & Mao
Barry White & Babyface.

That man shouts
from a gypsy cab
across Flatbush
“I Love You!”
and passes love notes
in the collection plate.

That man is Cool
that man is Mine.

Copyright 2013.

Black Girl’s Sonnet

blackgirl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why was there no plan for
My hand not betrothed,
My path not paved?
The future is not mine to see
Despite all, love I still crave
Bride price cannot be promised
I make haste and do not arrive
The elders demand homage
Dreams have been endowed, and thrive
The withdrawal is rhetoric
Cleopatra, Sheba buried with the crown
I am becoming historic
My brow creased with a frown
Bareheaded, barefoot and prancing
I am devising while dancing.

Quilted Soul

quilt

 

 

 

 

 

On Happy Days
my hair is not nappy
I have more than I owe
and tomorrow I know
I will be building pyramids

On sad days,
I remember
that my place in Heaven is rented
and the currency demanded
is not the yen or dollar,
But my essence.

This will be
the prologue to my death
unless I find the missing fabrics
Of my soul
and weave them into a quilt
of my own design.

This poem appears in the anthology Quiet Storm: Voices of Young Black Poets (Hyperion Books 1999).

REQUIEM FOR AN AFRICAN PATRIOT

Nelson-Mandela-bw

REQUIEM FOR AN AFRICAN PATRIOT

“I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African Patriot.”
Nelson Mandela, April 20, 1964

(Umkhonto we Sizwe—the Spear of the Nation)
…we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the law.”
Nelson Mandela, April 20, 1964

Thank you,
For choosing to defy the law,
Rather than accept a permanent state of inferiority
Thank you, for enduring 27 years of imprisonment

Now they come from their Babylonian nation-states,
to sing songs of praise,
while conducting covert wars in brown and black lands,
their drones drop bombs to drown out the sorrows of motherless children

they judge you for being a friend of Fidel,
Fidel was a friend to you when their congresses and parliaments
were condemning you as a terrorist,
Cuba’s soldiers willingly shed their blood in Angola
while they tried to pacify the continent with Coca-Cola

What did Europe care of the killing of Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu…
they are all “niggers” to us; bring us the diamonds, minerals and metals

White Supremacy is Europe’s child,
and Thatcher defended it till dementia took her mind
Apartheid is not a crime
Its communism, communism, communism
Its terrorism, terrorism, terrorism

Reagan’s America was of the same mind

They will try to mummify you as a gentle pacifist,
to suit their revisionist history, but you will always remain a revolutionary
they redact the CIA delivering you to your oppressors,
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand”

J’accuse Europe
J’accuse USA

They fail to understand how “the last shall be first, and the first last.”