Still I Rise (My rendition)

(My poor attempt at a rendition of the great and legendary Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise)

 

Uprooted from a muddy

and limited mindset of a child

cherishing fairytale Disney films

Still I rise

to a purpose I know not of just yet.

 

Even with doubt and struggle

pushing out of relatives’

tongues, slithering to a consensus

of poverty’s parallel to my interest

in English still

I rise again.

 

And though I am blind,

myself, to my future,

knowing I could plummet

from the summit of something

not-so-great to begin with,

I have faith in my sight and mind

and they will find

that I will rise.

They would be wise

to stop underestimating Me.

 

I’ve already discovered

a terrifying wrath underneath the

cool, hushed current of blood

snaking through weak veins

that with patience rises to

the occasion.

 

I rise above

ignorance, bold diligence

from enemies

I never asked for.

 

I rise above the fear

of being thrown into

the unknown.

 

I rise like the ivy

up from crumbling gray soil

into a pumping green fist,

failing to wilt.

 

And into the gold rays

my spirit floats upwards,

ripping the raking fingers

trying to pull me further down.

 

I climb until I reach that unattainable

Goal I’m sure I will touch

in due time, even if this means crawling

across blazing sands of time, knees and

palms black and burnt

tongue swollen

voice withered and dry

Still I rise.

Colored Glass Bottles: A Non-Epic

FullMoonBlueBeach

 

My tanned toes sink into soft sand I track through.
I glide to the familiar beach shack.
Constructed of green-tinged wood, torn
and rot left by rough rain and solemn
winds.

The wooden floor creaks and cracks
underneath my steps as I browse
the selection of gizmos and gadgets
I imagine Ariel’s blue veined palms
cradled and moved through terra-cotta strands.
Strewn along rows of shelves, I
spot a copper ship’s steering wheel.
Slightly concealed behind shark tooth
necklaces on a shelf I see a cluster
of colored glass bottles.
Blue. Green. Yellow. Red.
I scoop them up and carry them
to the counter
where an aged man raises his specks
and flashes a gummy grin.
I pay the price sketched on each bottle
except for the dark blue absent of a visible
scratch.
Priceless.

Shopkeeper insists I have it for no fee.
Upon my exit, an open net of
glass bottles in tow,
strong gusts rip the net from my fingers
scattering the bottles to the shore.
I run to them, tears beginning to fall.
Two have gone to the water. Maybe to
waiting hands, nimble fingers
on the other side of the vast sea.
and I am left with the red and blue.
I lift them up.
The sunlight bursts through them.
My hands shake with heavy sobs.
The red glass reflects a sunset.
Not as gorgeous as I originally envisioned.
The glass breaks under my tight grip.

The red glass
has branded me with a small gash
among several others
that have healed.
I feel pain again.
The fragments slip away
into the sand. I can’t say
I am torn by this.
My other trembling hand raises the blue bottle
to the receding sun.
It reveals my reflection in a color…
The ocean under a black sky.
Not somber, but peaceful, inspirational.
It reveals my expression it has
recognized from time ago. This treasure
must have survived the sands of time.
It reveals my potential, what I know
I am under layers of clothes, skin, feeling.
Its intact frame is smooth against my
hand’s silhouette. It entices my every
sense.
I wonder if I will keep it or if it will keep
me.

I could smash it to pieces and
tuck a shard between worn pages
in a diary.
I could carry it in my tattered
denim shorts pockets and pray
it will not be lost.
I could swallow a piece and
Let it slice my throat and tongue
with smooth intention and sharp aftertaste
until it tears into my belly and cuts me deeper
than I want.
I’d rather keep it in its entirety. Whole.
Protect its beautiful blue hue
Keep it on my nightstand
or under my pillow.
Keep it there for as long as
humanly possible.
Let it soak up my tears through
its mouth
Let it absorb every energy I can emit.
Let it be as it is, not perfect.
Perfectly priceless.
Possibly it will reflect that in me.
If it hasn’t already.

Liquor Mixer

It’s what I do

Mix dark and light

Sweet and deadly

fluid with fluidity

resulting in

always a buzz

sometimes a headache

hopefully good dance moves

 

I’ve become so great

at it, in fact,

my mixology skills seep into

Reality and it’s hard to

distinguish between the two

 

Do I want

Hard or soft?

Light or dark?

Beer?

Anything but beer.

Should I sip slowly,

take back a shot or two?

stick to what I know?

try something new?

 

This back and forth

tends to induce a hangover-sized

headache

So I’ll keep mixing in the meantime

until inspiration hits me harder

than the stiffest drink I can make.

No chasers, please :)

 

 

Au Naturale

I used to be extremely skeptical about Vegans, Pescatarians, etc. Honestly, I used to think they were wealthy people above normality. By normal I mean fast food and anything cheap. Organic produce seems hard to find and expensive. As a college student, I was worried about the cost of most item. As a server, I was  annoyed with customers asking for gluten free items. I didn’t even know what gluten was, why it was so scary, and I had no desire in hell to look it up. It’s really weird to think about my skepticism now because I have only just recently embraced my natural and wild curly hair and I want to keep going with this natural life style. I finally went cold turkey on meat (hehe) and I have just become a Pescatarian (mainly due to Vegucated, an amazing documentary).

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Now, I have been on the lookout for natural products and brands. Why? Well, because they are healthier for my general well-being, they are healthier for the environment, and they advocate for the protection of certain animals under unethical treatment, whether in factories, farms, etc. Sorry for the seafood out there. I can’t exactly say, “Fish are friends, not food.” quite yet and who knows if I will or won’t in the future.

However, because going natural has become somewhat of a trend these days, I can’t say I believe all brands and items claiming to be organic, safe, without parabens, etc. Yet, the overall health benefits are something I want and that I think will continue to positively affect me as well as others in the future. BurtsBees is a very gentle and super effective skincare line and even certain oils and foods contain natural ingredients that can serve as brightener, anti-wrinkle, and everything else under the sun.

Another great thing about natural products is their versatility! For instance, you can cook with natural oils and use them on your skin and hair. Many organic foods are good for you inside and out. I can gladly say, since I’ve avoided meat and fast food I feel much lighter, not weight-wise, but body-wise—I feel more energetic, more focused, and balanced! Hopefully I can continue to expand on the natural road and adopt an even healthier lifestyle, from increasing my workout routines to avoiding most things unhealthy (I don’t think I can bear to part with Ben&Jerry just yet!). I would never push anything on anyone but I will say going healthy at your own pace with your own unique regimen is worth a try :)

Lie to Me.

Secrecy…

like “secretion” it sounds

dirty, mysterious to a white wearing

virgin.

How inexperienced and unaware

and unprepared.

Who will glimpse her

black bra strap resting off of

her slender brown

flesh as she slips the

white gown on again?

Surely,

No one will witness her

glorious iridescent tears

that will dry

on the white pillow overnight.

Secrecy slips on my tongue

like a song sung

long ago.

A familiar tune I’d like

to think my ancestors sung.

I hate that I keep them

swept under dusty rugs,

tightly crossed pinkies and instinctual

stitched lips to protect—to save face.

But it’s necessary, right? I mean,

everyone has them.

The stitches are piling up, concealing my lips

struggling to rip from their dried blood bonds.

It hurts to keep some

more than others.

And the ugly scars may never heal.

When will I be able to wear that

pretty red lipstick again?

When will I be able to gossip or whisper

in an eager ear. You know

there are more secrets I have been keeping.

Don’t you?

When can I taste that bitter red wine, that

sweet temporary pain killer?

Secrets.

How many are kept from you?

How many will you never hear?

Will you want to hear them?

Is anyone ever really ready for the truth?

Indulge me.

Lie to me.

2014: The Year for the Taking

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2013 was an interesting year for most of us. For me, it was more troublesome than most….probably because I started things I couldn’t finish, I procrastinated, I worried about all of the wrong things, I turned 21 and turn up a LOT, I jumped on the Instagram train a bit late, etc. However, I left with a bang–I went to the Drake Concert (yes, lawd!) and I celebrated the New Year with my lovely sisters at Metro ( a 21 and up New Orleans nightclub that I had never been to before until yesterday). Not to mention, a minute before the countdown I met a tall Jude Law look-alike, who I was unfortunately unable to communicate with due to the loud music, but who cares?! Jude Law look-alike! Need I say more?!

After the sinking feeling in my stomach ceased when the number one hit and I was surrounded by kissing people at the bar–actually I was ordering a drink because of this fact–I realized that the new year is for the taking. 2014 can be my year if I make realistic resolutions and follow them with no excuses prior to. Sure, there will be same days, same BS, and whatnot but I have a new perspective…optimism! Cheers, to amazing things to come this year!

The Stages of Finals

You already know when Finals comes around it’s a serious matter. It’s a battle, often lost but you give yourself hope that next year you can get through it with Spartan-like rage.

coloring book

Stage One consists of the week or two before your Finals exam week. You tell yourself you have so much time to study for all of your exams and you are pretty high in spirits, that is, until Stage Two hits. Stage Two results in you being surrounded by all of your books and papers you need to check the day or two before the exam. Not only did your teacher give you so much homework over the last week and a half that you were unable to study for the final exam—the most important exam of all!—you now realize Sh*t, I have to pull All Nighters for the entire week. It shouldn’t even be called an All Nighter, but rather, an All Weeker. It’s that bad. Stage Three…After battling through only one or two of several exams and going through 20 cups of coffee your body is drained, you look drained, and you consider pajama and sweats as acceptable attire to wear to your exams. This is the stage where you find yourself passed out by yourself in front of a computer in the library with some form of caffeine to your side and a book or binder is open with your face planted in it. You’re not sure if it’s morning or night and yes, it is possible that someone snapped an embarrassing picture of you on the way out. You’re probably hash tagged, #Finals, or  #Whatfinalsdoestoyou. You’re not sure when was the last time you took a shower, eaten, or gone out on the weekend. During this stage, Finals are the Grinch that stole your Christmas, the Grinch that also stole the time to buy Christmas presents, and The Grinch that stole your soul and spirit.

Stage Four…You made it through the mind f**k that Finals is! You may have come out with a cramped hand or heavy eye lids but it’s only a few casualties this year so good for you! All of your exams are over, but unfortunately, the game isn’t over, my friend. There is still that eating suspense of your final posted grades. You check over your notes, remembering some questions on the exam to see if you got it right. Hell yea, I got that one right! you think as you dance around in the inside. Then your heart drops. Suddenly you notice one was wrong…and then another. You question whether any of your answers were right at all and you fall back into Where Did I Go Wrong Land. That night, you find yourself having a strong drink next to your friends or classmates, asking each other what you answered for question A, B, etc.  Eventually you can barely ask who got what right because you’re drinking so much that your speech is slurred as hell. You dance, you cry, you are hostile towards your professors and students who are confident in their exam success. That is Stage Five—arguably, the best Stage of all. Because you find that you’re not the only one who hates finals with a burning passion. Until next year, Finals…Until next year.