Narrative poem: I got me a new friend

I’m still new to narrative poems and I still hope to get to write longer than this, but I did like this one.

Crouched against the wall,
His arms rubbed against the inside of his legs
His back stretched against his muscles
I returned one day from work and there he was
Whimpering, growling, clenching his sharp teeth
Keeping his face hidden to the corner of the wall
As if it was going to open up at some point

I hoped it did and this would confirm that I was dreaming
That I didn’t have This in my living room
I decided to flush some alcohol down my system to think more clearly
And with a broom in hand I was going to ask It to reveal itself
I poked him a couple of times with my broom
A low growl sent me a warning
His body shivered once in a while
The clock on the wall ticked slowly
Sleep was pulling me out of reality
My feeble will grasped at the slippery moment

With my eyes fixated on it
I backed into my armchair
And put the broom on my lap
Sleep slapped the lights out of me
Before I could protest and argue
I can’t tell how long I was suspended between Dream and Reality
I woke up to a heavy breathing and oversized eyes covered by oily hair.

He had a small nose and thin lips
His yellow complexion was spaced by bruises.
I knew a threat when I saw one
My broom was broken in half
We eyed each other looking inside one another
Seeking the anomaly in the other
I coughed a little and extended my hand toward him:
“My name is Lucien de Maison and you?”
This civility left no impression on my new friend

I was paper white, he was pencil dark

I needed for this incident to have never occurred

I needed for IT or him to rise and vanish

Outside, there was no sight of Superman or a Messiah

This Human Thing was here to stay and I wasn’t consulted

And to think this was going to be my last evening

It was not proper to depart from this world without a proper supper

I closed the door and made a feast for the two of us

We both forgot our manners and shared a pot of meat on the floor

I saw a glint of pleasure in my eyes flash by his eyes

I went to my bathroom and dumped my pills

I returned to find him curled up in my couch

I covered him up and then I saw myself smiling in the mirror.

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Long time no see

It’s been at least 14 days since I posted something on this blog. Life got in the way. Kony 2012 got in the way. School assignments got in my way. My love didn’t get in my way. My family didn’t either. Trayvon Martin didn’t either. I will spare us both with links to the Kony 2012 and Trayvon Martin because this post isn’t about them and yet they hover over and around me and you as we go through our usual routines.

Another news  that isn’t tragic as those ones, I finally got my Masters In English. Yes, I am a Master and English is my servant, but I don’t know if I speak English or English speaks me. I could say the same thing about Swahili, French and Lingala. Where does my identity starts and language ends? I’m sure it helps to have an expressive face and use gestures when we speak but what if instead of air as a way to make sound travel, we used water or ground or stone?

I have been feeling light lately and you must know it’s not that easy with my weight. It seems like every educational achievement I make has been defining my growth as a person. I have read somewhere that school is a brainwashing institution that helps create docile citizens who will continue to uphold the system in place that keeps the few happy and the rest of us miserable. I’m paraphrasing. Well, I think they have done an amazing job with me because I enjoyed school or is it the camaraderie and the intellectual challenges that I actually enjoyed? If it’s the latter ones, I would gladly go through the same brainwashing again. Something else I have read is that there’s no outside of the matrix or the system (But hey, that’s exactly what THEY would want you to believe! ). You can argue, fight or bleed for a different system, but you will always end up with another set of flaws or problems.

There’s a reason why I started off by talking about those tragic events because I have been thinking about what shape or form my agency in this world should take. I have had my share of pains and joys over the few number of years I have lived on this Earth and there’s no greater change that’s ever been than the one that happens inside of me. If I am good to someone, I think my purpose on this Earth has been achieved. I still don’t know how to be good to anyone, but I don’t stop trying. News are what they are news. At the end of this year, the LRA victims would still need to eat, to go to school, to find jobs like any one of us. Trayvon Martin’s family will find a way to come to terms with their loss ( the conviction of Zimmerman and/or financial remuneration will never replace it, but they help) and the rest of us will keep on doing what we been doing.

Nothing new under the Sun. Read the pages of History (however misinformed it could be), and remember you are not the first or the last or the only one facing what you are facing so strap on your boots and just do it.

Photo credit: Daily struggle

Lucky Lucke is faster than his shadow

Lucky Luck est plus rapide que son ombre (Lucky luck is faster than his shadow)

I remember the first time I stood up

And looked at myself straight in the eyes

I stared and glared at that shape

I waved and shook my fist at him

My moves were seen a mile away

His instincts were in tune with mine

But only one of us had substance

And this world had only space for one of us

I was thrifty like that

My knife in hand

One slice was all I needed

But I counted the scars and stars all over him

His hair was curly, black and short

His arms bulged with promises

His short legs stood apart and strong like an hippopotamus

His gaze was familiar

But I knew a threat when I saw one

This day has always been waiting around the corner

You dance with Death too long

She’s bound to take you home one of these days

My fingers reached for his face and pushed

He fell backward and broke in little pieces

I looked straight in his eyes

As light bounced off him and sent him away

I stood where he was and a tear fell to the ground.

Review of Ego Trippin by Nikki Giovanni

 

Nikki Giovanni is one of my favorite poets and you could see why in this poem I like it. I am going to break it down in the end the elements in this poem that make it stand out.

EGO TRIPPIN by NIKKI GIOVANNI

I was born in the Congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built the Sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
that glows every one hundred years falls into
the center giving divine perfect light

I AM BAD

I sat on the throne
drinking nectar with Allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to Europe
to cool my thirst.
My oldest daughter is Nefferttiti
the tears from my birth pains created the Nile

I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on a forest and burned out the
Sahara Desert
With a packet of goat’s meat
and a change of clothes –
I crossed it in two hours

I am a gazelle so swift –
so swift – you can’t catch me

For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son Hannibal an elephant –
He gave me Rome for Mother’s Day

My strength flows ever on
My son Noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm
as we sailed on a soft summer day

I turned myself into myself –
and was Jesus!
men intone my loving name
All praises – All praises
I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my backyard
My bowels deliver uranium
the filings from my fingernails
are semi-precious jewels

On a trip north I caught a cold and blew my nose
giving oil to the Arab world

I am so hip – even my errors are correct

I sailed east to reach west – and had to round off the
earth as I went
The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
across three continents

I am so perfect, so divine, so ethereal, so surreal
I cannot be comprehended
except by my permission

I mean … I … can fly
like a bird in the sky …

Now I am going to try dissect this poem and why it works for me:

I was born in the Congo/ I walked to the fertile crescent and built the Sphinx/ I designed a pyramid so tough that a star/ that glows every one hundred years falls into /the center giving divine perfect light: In this first stanza, we get geographical location ( Shout out to my homecountry Congo!!), historical references, and finally the claim that the narrator is ancient and should get in consequence given respect because of it.

I AM BAD: Now go watch Michael Jackson says it to get it.

I sat on the throne/ drinking nectar with Allah/ I got hot and sent an ice age to Europe/ to cool my thirst./My oldest daughter is Nefferttiti/ the tears from my birth pains created the Nile:Once again, we have the historical references and the geopraphical references but more importantly we see how powerful she is in the actions she performs.

I am a beautiful woman: Just what she says.

For the following stanzas, she sticks to the same theme of power and the way she yields that power in such effective and indisputable ways. She is almost saying that if you know your Bible and your history, you will find evidences of her power.

And to end this analysis, I would say that these two lines: “I am so perfect, so divine, so ethereal, so surreal/ I cannot be comprehend/ except by my permission” and ” I mean … I … can fly/ like a bird in the sky …” capture very well all the themes she has explored in her poem. This is as empowering as it can get without getting cheesy because her imagination is backed by facts.