tonite i was really fed up…i have a feeling about writing…and the feeling is, i take it seriously…i feel privileged that i actually have a venue to express the things i feel and i have seen…and to talk about folks who will never tell their stories…to write how it feels to see little children in homeless shelters with their school uniforms on or to go into a prison at high noon and see all the dark spaces, or the teenage girl hustling on a chicago street who once gave my son a dollar for candy when he was four…and then there are the beautiful times…singing hymns to my grandmama the day before she transitioned…sunset at the beach when you’re in the water and the light makes a path directly to you…white butterflies in the morning in jamaica and women in white in brooklyn dancing barefoot to drums that are ancient…the world is such a wide place and there is so much to actually write…but some of these folks at my mfa program…they have the mic and no stories to tell…i have to listen to pieces about balloons and cereal…there are pieces that are abstract for the sake of being abstract…poems of words printed on top of numbers that are unreadable and sounds and images that mean nothing…i’m all for fun and experimentation in art but goddamn gimme some soul…some meaning…gimme a reason to be open to your work, a place to enter where we can have dialogue…if i think you are even attempting to say something i will listen…but i have no patience for nonsense…i am an indigenous, alternative, spiritually seeking, sometimes traveling, financially challenged mama and grandaughter of sharecroppers and for folks like me, many times art is a luxury…i have so much other things i could be doing…like helping my son with homework, writing a poem, digging in the garden, making a new recipe with tomatoes, and here i am with some people who don’t even care about their own work and will interrupt my groove to hear about them eating cereal…my brooklyn was about to come out today so i had to keep quiet for i cuss up the place…here is the opportunity to learn, to write and create, to speak on your world- and you waste it…slide to the side please and let me come to do the work i sacrificed so much to do…cuz i definitely have something to say…and it ain’t about no captain crunch either!
©Radhiyah Ayobami 2013. All Rights Reserved.
A Poet’s Response
Dear Radhiyah Ayobami,
You have shared a wonderfully written piece of literature. A piece filled with love, passion, frustration, raw human imagery and colors. Your writing is fresh and always honest. You have a wonderful gift. Your words are strengthening and affirming.
I shared with you before that you are an old soul. Perhaps, they are seeking, experimenting and attempting to find their way and their voice. You are blessed to possess gratitude, wisdom and insight. I would say focus on your work, learn everything and most importantly remain true to the authentic voice and gift you have been given.
Yes, it can be frustrating to witness missed opportunity. However, you have the wisdom of experience, discernment and strong ancestral spirits living within. Prayerfully they will find their authentic voices. Prayerfully they will one day embrace and discover the depth and breathing essence in stories, poems, paintings, drawings, photos, dance etc. waiting to be conceived and born.
©Lorraine Currelley 2013. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author is strictly prohibited.