Query


Have you a poem for my wounded spirit? I went to bed a hopeful child and woke up an adult with a broken dream.

Have you a poem for my sullen ego? 

Sun rose with my smile 

and set on my inadequacies 

Have you a poem for days motivational messages fill my face with rage?

Have you a poem for the days you feel like a little carefree kid trapped in an adult’s body?

Have you a poem for the days 

the city tries to kill me in the middle

of a poorly ventilated dark room, 

sorting through emails, 

hoping to squeeze currencies 

out of words? 

Have you a poem for the continuous lows?

Have you a poem for when 

there are no poems? 

  
Photo by Serge Attukwei 

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Love that, god dammit! doesn’t give up on you


I hope you find a love that makes you better
I hope you find love that fuels your dreams
I hope you find love that lightens you up
I hope you find a love you’re happy to go home to. 
I hope you find forgiving love,
‘I’m mad at you but I still love you’ love
‘Too angry to smile at you but still sends a sleep well text’ love
‘You okay?’ love
Love that wants better for you than you want for yourself
Love that stays up waiting for you to get home before they sleep
Love that understands when you fall asleep 
whiles waiting for you to get home
Love that sings your demons to sleep
Love that makes your dreams thirst for realization
Love that knows how to make your toes curl
Love that knows all the positions kama sutra is yet to invent
Love that is dedicated to knowing your body so well that 
it can teach your atoms to reconstruct itself 
should your body ever fail
Love that knows when to leave you alone
Love that overwhelms you
Love that renews your faith in the world every day 
Love that, god dammit! doesn’t give up on you
Love that’s more honest than perfect
Love that stays 
A perfect sustenance of imperfection
Love and light.
Light and love

γυναίκα


ano (59 of 74)

Last Saturday I exhibited “Hey woman” at Cantonments.Thanks to Paul for allowing me to use the space, and thank you to everybody who passed through. I appreciate you immensely.

For those who couldn’t make it, here’s the “thesis” we passed around during the exhibition. And some of the comments people wrote down after seeing the installation.

Feminism

Feminism is a subject people walk on eggshells around, women. Feminism isn’t a badge of honour women will proudly wear, much less men. A woman will want to be called anything but a feminist. The popular perceptions or misconceptions are; feminists are first, “anti-man” before “pro-woman”. Feminists are women who have over exaggerated the plight of inequality in gender. Feminists are women whose response to any sentence that has a man in it is “That is oppression. Don’t let him oppress you.” Feminists are women who believe that women are the superior species and thus deserve more than men. The one that baffles me the most is when people say they believe in gender equality but they’re not in favour of the “feminism noisemaking”

So what is feminism? There are several definitions of feminism flying around, I won’t bore you with variations of it. But the basic definition of feminism is: Feminism is the belief that all people are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties and can be intellectual equals regardless of gender. 

There are some very smart people who argue that if women want so badly to be equal with men they should be able to hold doors for themselves and physically do what men can do. If all mothers asked their husbands to breastfeed their babies in the name of what they perceive equality to be, maybe this argument would be nonexistent.

You don’t need a scholar to tell you that men and women aren’t or can’t be equal in the complete sense. Our make is such that there will always be things both parties can do that the other can’t. Every Dick, Tom and Agatha knows that.

There will not have been a need for feminism if decades ago equality was a myth. Perhaps if a decade ago men were the oppressed sex, it would be the “meninist” cause we would be rooting for. But it hasn’t been so, and it completely isn’t so even in the present.

I hope in the future the concept of feminism is so clear and embracing that it is no longer a concept, but a natural phenomenon. But as it is now, identifying yourself as a feminist means someone is going to see you either as a loud or disgruntled or unreasonable or promiscuous woman who wants an excuse to be an ass and get away with it

The media is so hostile about feminism that some women feel compelled to not identify as feminists.

Feminism is the equality of women & men. The term itself and the movement behind it have NOTHING to do with hating men. Yes, there are women who hate men and yes, most of them say they are feminists. But they aren’t feminists, they are assholes misandrists. And you have to learn the difference between that.

Aziz Ansari describes effortlessly what a no-brainer is in his interview with David Letterman. “If you look up feminist in the dictionary, it just means someone who believes men and women have equal rights,” he says, after asking fellow feminists in the audience for a round of applause. “But I think the reason people don’t clap is that the word is so weirdly used in our culture. Now, people think feminist means, like, some woman is gonna start yelling at them.”

He continues to add his signature humor to the topic, which is clearly important to him. “I feel like if you do believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re a feminist, you have to say yes, because that is how words work,” he quips, adding a metaphor about a doctor who treats diseases of the skin but deems the word dermatologist “too aggressive.”

So in “Hey woman” saying “you love pussy but you don’t get feminism?” is me sincerely wondering how you can love pussy (which can only be found on the female body) but not understand the oh-so-simple concept of women wanting equality.

“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side” – Maya Angelou

Being a woman

It’s only a scandal when a woman is sexually active.

But it ain’t a thing when a man is body jumping

 

“Boys will be boys, that’s what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to display. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves – this way those who do succumb to sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. Girls demand a covenant because if one gives in, others will be expected to do the same. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. Or we are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars.” – Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)

It’s so hard being a woman. Everybody and their father has an opinion on how you should look, what you should wear, what colour of lipstick makes you look less of a slut, why you should gain weight, why you shouldn’t. Being a woman can be so damn hard. My generation is so entrenched in social media; the opinions of online buddies and complete strangers. Everybody has got a say on a woman’s body

Society says “skinny girls are bae”.

Society says “thick girls all day”.

Society says “inner beauty we go chop?”

Society says “your face dey bore but your body pap”.

Fuck society, stay awesome, stay you.

Be true to yourself. Be comfortable in your skin. Be skinny, be slender, be thick, be fat, be cute, be happy. Be you.

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The Crucifixion


There is a rotting of a soul
I’m the people’s King yet to be enstooled.
I tried to crucify my own soul,
But nailing the unseen is for the confused.
Friends think it will be a fraud for me not to make heaven,
Mama thinks if God doesn’t deliver me soon
the devil will have my name tattooed on the lining of his tongue.
My mind is in every dumpster across the city,
In the pit of the soot used in making darkness,
And in the bright light that blinds your vision.
I want to unlearn this world and start anew.
I keep finding fresh wounds in places I thought had healed
And bruises in places I didn’t know existed.
You said “I love you” as compensation
for all the ways you failed to love me.
I said “I love you” as an antidote to raise the almost dead.
I have been forgetting names of everything;
Names of old school mates and new faces,
Names of places no matter how many times I visit,
Names of drugs that take 40 days to complete.
But I cannot seem to forget the name
of that which is yet to exist.
My sanity is in knowing I too am mad.
When I stare at myself in the mirror,
It is the brutal truth of my nakedness that stares back at me
I have started looking for warmth outside of myself;
I wave at strangers just to see if they will smile.
I tried to crucify my own soul,
Nailing the unseen could only be done by the confused.

Tired Jesus


If Christ was alive,
fleshed out right before your eyes
Will he be black?
Will he be committed to perfecting his swag?
Will he judge?
Smile in your face and behind your back paint you black like a hypocrite?
Will he condemn? Will he ostracize the gays?
Will he shove the word down your throat? Or in a subtle nuanced way press you to join the boat?
Will he equate Facebook likes to your chances of making heaven?
Or will his refusal to share Christian posts make him a heathen?
Will he carry an std?
Or do I blaspheme daring to put Christ and sex in the same scene?
Will he finally have pictures of himself captured saying cheese?
Or will he precede his every word with a please?

Christ on a billboard
Christ on the bare streets
Christ sang in hiphop
Christ in your every deed
Christ on a big stage
Christ on a dope car
Christ remembered only on sabbath days
Christ on the lips of boys in between thighs on a sofa
Which one of him are you?

Will he groove with the hommies
Or will he disapprove and call them unholy?
Will he teach them how to pray
Or will his rod be the way through which we can see his face?
Will he speak in tongues on the regular?
Chanting down Babylon in any random space?
Will he still be a carpenter’s son, sawing wood in the hood?
Will he wake up daily staring down at morning wood?
Will he be a humorless boy with no time to play
Dedicating his whole life to the ministry and chastising everything you say?

Christ on a billboard
Christ on the bare streets
Christ sang in hiphop
Christ in your every deed
Christ on a big stage
Christ on a dope car
Christ remembered only on sabbath days
Christ on the lips of boys in between thighs on a sofa
Which one of him are you?

Getting God back on Public Transport


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Dear Uncle Sam,
I met God last Thursday.
She sat in the front seat of the yellow bus heading south in a borrowed blouse;
Smelling faintly of stolen perfume and renewed hope.
God sat beside me on a hot afternoon, in a little too tight grey suit,
Soaking the Monday blues off his sweaty forehead with a dirty green towel.
I saw God shift uncomfortably in her seat, punching furiously at her phone
as the man behind haggled her for a number to call.

Sometimes, God would jump into the bus through the back window,
Brush dirt off his sleeve and smoothen the crease down his pants with a smile.
Pleased at himself for avoiding having to pay two and a half times the price of the bus for the taxi that was rusted anyway
And sometimes, I would see God tucking old notes in a crumpled handkerchief under her left breast; smelling like fresh fish and happiness.
God sat two seats away from me today in a well pressed uniform,
And refused to pay a 20 pesewa increase on the bus fare.
The day before he put his head out the back seat window as the bus sped away, but not before I saw a lone tear travel down his cheek.

Today, God didn’t take public transport.
He was too broke
He called in to work sick because pay day is two days away
And his last note can only go a day.
Dear Uncle Sam,
Bring God back.

Growing woman


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I love plain texturized walls;
How they bruise your knuckles when you forget to caress them
How they don’t judge you when your sobs sound like something between a bleating goat and a muffled choke.
How they pretend like they don’t notice that last night’s lover had softer skin than the one before
I love how ex’s enquire about you from the bottom of their guiltless souls.
“How are you?” “Are you okay?”
Fuck you and your questions.
Leave me and my twitter account alone.
I am fine and fabulous.
Breaking up is not a short distance trip from which you arrive from
Today I’m a growing woman; whose waist is sharing joint custody with the folds in her stomach, the newly sprouted hips, and the knots in her back.
I’m prouder of the way my name sounds like on the lower lip of a foreigner
I’m much older than the last man I kissed.
I woke up this morning and realized I’m god of this breathing land.
This is my love story.
This is my heartbreak