Tag Archives: Nikki Giovanni

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

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Mothers

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So, that’s a full week of love poems. To close things out, a love poem to my mommy.

by Nikki Giovanni

the last time i was home
to see my mother we kissed
exchanged pleasantries
and unpleasantries pulled a warm
comforting silence around
us and read separate books

i remember the first time
i consciously saw her
we were living in a three room
apartment on burns avenue

mommy always sat in the dark
i don’t know how i knew that but she did

that night i stumbled into the kitchen
maybe because i’ve always been
a night person or perhaps because i had wet
the bed
she was sitting on a chair
the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through
tiny window panes
she may have been smoking but maybe not
her hair was three-quarters her height
which made me a strong believer in the samson myth
and very black

i’m sure i just hung there by the door
i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady
she was very deliberately waiting
perhaps for my father to come home
from his night job or maybe for a dream
that had promised to come by
“come here” she said “i’ll teach you
a poem: i see the moon
                the moon sees me
                god bless the moon
                and god bless me
i taught it to my son
who recited it for her
just to say we must learn
to bear the pleasures
as we have borne the pains

 

Beautiful Black Men

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…And this is a poem for the brothers. Who are not ALL ALWAYS revolutionaries. I love you anyway.

(with compliments and apologies to all not mentioned by name)

Nikki Giovanni

i wanta say just gotta say something
bout those beautiful beautiful beautiful outasight
black men
with they afros
walking down the street
is the same ol danger
but a brand new pleasure

sitting on stoops, in bars, going to offices
running numbers, watching for their whores
preaching in churches, driving their hogs
walking their dogs, winking at me
in their fire red, lime green, burnt orange
royal blue tight tight pants that hug
what i like to hug

jerry butler, wilson pickett, the impressions
temptations, mighty mighty sly
don’t have to do anything but walk
on stage
and i scream and stamp and shout
see new breed men in breed alls
dashiki suits with shirts that match
the lining that compliments the ties
that smile at the sandals
where dirty toes peek at me
and i scream and stamp and shout
for more beautiful beautiful beautiful
black men with outasight afros

circa 1968