Category Archives: Black History Month

Ego Tripping

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And no celebration of Black women would be complete without a little bit of…

Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)
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 only 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 nefertiti
.      the tears from my birth pains
.      created the nile
I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the 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 back yard
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 west to reach east 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…

the end

Homage to My Hips

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I am not nearly this bold, but maybe I’ll take some inspiration.

Homage To My Hips
By Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

She Wears Red

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I do like to wear me some red…

She Wears Red
by Jackie Warren-Moore

She bangs hard on the door
just outside my consciousness
this wild woman I am becoming
“Let me in, open up!” she screams
wearing a long blue dress
of dreams I discarded.

I try to ignore her
go about everyday duties
a list that must be followed
she keeps showing me new ways
.   to be me
lessons I forgot
she wears red and says
she is staking a claim to be beautiful
drops people like bad habits
cutting hurt from her body
carving a new switch to her step
“More bounce to the ounce” she says
“More cushin’ for the pushin’”
she is a vulgar girl
knows just what she wants
throws her head back
and laughs out loud
She is something
this new girl I almost was
“Open up” she says
“Be me again
be the girl you were afraid of
wear red again
wear your hair down
black and grey hair you earned
with all the passion you stored inside,
Open up” she says
this wild woman
I am becoming
“Open up
and welcome
this woman
we are”

Yes the body remembers
when the brain wishes to forget
this snatch of song hummed up
from the back of your past

the ‘times they are a changin’
or a certain whir in the atmosphere
the way the air hits the shin
a certain jig in the walk
a step that reminds us
of all we lost to time
sickness and ignorance
the body remembers, all the way to the bone
pain
pleasure
etched into the marrow

slick glide of time over lives
connected by threads
we are too blind to see
too sophisticated to acknowledge

the body remembers
quick flash of tingle
in the back to synapse
tiny pause-between conscious thought
feeling surface
the body asserts
come back, come back, come back
to the feeling
let the body remember
feel again
all she has forgotten
all she continues
to hold on to
yes, she remembers