Poetic Justice is one of my all-time favourite movies. I really identified with Janet Jackson in that movie. I see my friends rolling their eyes and laughing already because I always found a creative way to identify with her…braids and all. In my rebellious days, I considered getting a Coptic orthodox cross tattooed on the inside of my wrist because I was inspired by Janet’s inner wrist tattoo and thought, mischeviously, that I could justify it to my mother by referring to all of the pious Orthodox women who tattoo crosses on their foreheads and necks, following the Queen of Sheba.
I remember in high school when I wasn’t allowed to go out late, I’d make my friends laugh by singing Control by Janet Jackson down the hallway near our lockers close to the cafeteria:
“…when I was seventeen, I did what people told me…
did what my father said, and let my mother mold me…
but now I’m all grown up, im in CONTROL.”
yeah, I was about 14 at that time.
Here are some of the poems (?) I’ve written in the past, there are many new ones but I need to feel a sort of detachment before I can post them. It’s poetic justice to acknowledge your inner conflicts and contradictions. I’ve seen some people do it on their own blogs and admire the courage it takes. I will also post some of my all-time favourite poems here, just need some time.
The best poems to me make a subtle point even subtler. Sometimes what comes to mind isn’t subtle but a fierce, passionate insight.
In my teens I literally fell in love – no pun intended – with Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz and Kahlil Gibran. They are my classic go-to poets. I’ve added to this over the years, but I always seem to go back to these three because they feel like home. When I need some poetic justice I go to them.
the old souls.
where are the naturals
where are the dignified
where are the beautiful
not preoccupied with how they look
but how they are
not obsessed with how they seem
the virtueless others,
who worry about others still.
nothing remains still in this real world as we call it
everything’s moving too fast for too long
but where are those thoughtful dignitaries,
reminding us to keep still, our own pace;
among us where are those with grace –
who know that beauty
means having a conscience?
where are those poetic souls,
wreaking a slow and steady havoc,
with spirit alone?
(the reality)* (2003)
shameless fiction intruding upon my unknowing heart.
entering boldy only to create an unparalleled physical expression of your wrath, the penetration was gentle.
shame on you fictitious man.
creating the illusion of mutual dependence
so that in reality I was the colonized.
making a pretense of our desire.
so that in reality you were adored.
shameless fiction imposing yourself upon my otherwise sturdy soul.
you entered sleekly only to create an irriversible change of values.
shame on you fictitious man, you became my lexicon
so that versions of me were separated,
never relating to one another.
fractures intensified by your absence.
a silent lexicon of words you created
so that through you I was defined.
as if you were the sole path to happiness
your fictitious nature is naive.
you were forgiven long ago.
you are the mirage that was once corporeal.
the fading past that was once real.
*Because reality is based so much upon our peceptions, and because we create so much of what we think is real, “reality” requires a parenthetical reference, a qualifier, most of the time.
do I smell another form of control?
need I seek another creative liberation,
just to keep you near.
you are my politicide.
calling into question all that I work for,
all that I pride.
the rumbling in my gut tells me to let you go
yet I remain chained to you, imprisoned.
despite your willingness to let me fly.
the same spot we left it awhile back
the identical feeling:
me always questioning…
you always wondering…
so let us leave it.
let it be.
all that comes to pass without our hand,
all that is will and grace is natural.
to let it be is most calming and natural.
it is the antifeminist who exists in the calm,
it is the antifeminist who believes it is natural.
back of the bus. (2001)
sitting on the bus
waiting to realize some hopes and dreams.
then I glance over to an impediment.
the white man adjusting the buttons on his
favourite army green jacket.
he looks up at me; our eyes meet.
he nods and smiles from the front seat,
thinking he’s doing me a favour.
musing the question. (2001)
I guess the thrill of wide-eyed question asking -of credulity-
diminishes when one realizes the necessity of decisions and making choices.
but where has all the fun gone?!?
there are very little answers, that is one thing for sure.
at least there are none that satisfy for too long.
knowing this how do you choose to ask relevant questions
without feeling like a puppet-student of life?
In desolate environments I stand
surrounded with robotic multitudes
of human beings.
Many rush through busy streets
Anticipating their soon-to-be
I stand and I watch as they whiz
by me; automobiles on a turnpike.
Blank stares have become warm greetings.
Shoves and pushes are now handshakes.
But I stand in my friendly,
welcoming solitude and hope
that one day a stranger will
stop and smile.
Pray that humanity has been
covered under the blanket of
Isn’t that exactly what we live to do?
exist in solitude.
you are too muggy for me
not quite transparent enough
wonder if its your history
with loops and crevices
you have yet to figure out.
rendering you unable to speak
with your heart.
and while your heart stays silent
mine exists in purgatory
loving and not loved.
you’ve situated this heart
without saying a word;
with no recognition of its sacrifices.
you are too muggy.
not quite transparent enough
but now I see you clearly
from my view between
heaven and hell.
the asian boy in togo. (2001)
diligently he works on the Equation
which puts his identity into question:
“who am I?” he asks,
when solving the left side
of the Equation.
yet he continues to press on.
never stopping for more than a millisecond.
he is pragmatic. his capital awaits.
it waits for the Equation’s solution,
with his own eternally unsolved.
the world embraces such unfinished Equations.
we are dominated by a Man who has never solved
the right side.
fallacious equality, superficial rewards.
the cost of unfinished Equations.
the asian boy here in togo is pragmatic.
he learns early how to solve the left,
leaving the right side for fools.
the place where things burn. (2001)
So I am back to my old tactics.
The only place to be silent is among
a hundred conversations.
Among a hundred blurred, indistiguishable
conversations. each of moderate intensity.
I am no longer in awe of existentialist writing.
I no longer seek to translate myself to myself by
“an unexamined life is not worth living”?
so you say socrates.
sometimes examination is trite and foul.
sometimes it is useless.
perhaps it is better to live and let things burn,
allowing my originality to be expressed
rather than pondering its sincerity, inspiration, utility.
eavesdropping here is a burden.
nothing is hot yet everything burns.
and I believe that it will continue to do so
until new inspiration and creativity rears its
it awaits manifestation…something waits.
maybe it is in the fire?
ode to someone funny and smart. (2001)
there is something awfully sad about the individual.
it is unnnatural to wash one dirty plate
and to laugh alone at british comedies.
a better life: ian pooley remix ( 2002)
is there such thing?
better begets itself
we always want better.
How about best?
what do we need to do to obtain the best
change, personalities, clothes, homes, scenery, interests?
yes, I will change clothes tomorrow.
and my life will be better than today.
when I reach to the end of betters with
the best clothes that fit just right
then I will be in the midst of living the best life.
but hopefully I won’t get hit by a car.
then I’d have to start all over.
when I write this. (2001)
when I write this you are sleeping or talking or both
and while I write this you are planning your future.
perhaps your ink is more effective than mine.
because here I lay upon fabrics of the bourgeois
candles of the religious
and scents of unknown essences
thinking of you.
and still while I write someone dies
as I finish my thought.
in the few seconds before pen meets paper
and my self-indulgence,
another woman is raped.
but still I write in vanity longing to
understand rather than know
how to stop thinking of you only.
when I write this you are sleeping or talking or both.
yet here I betray the world when I think of you.
some things I simply cannot say to you.
trust me when I write because
when I speak,
we will both wish I hadn’t.
the details of language compare
not to the feeling of your touch
or the sound of your voice.
my slight appreciation:
silent laughter, rolling eyes
should indicate the intensity of my
feelings for you.
I am not desensitized
just limited with language.
I am not bored of you
only tired of linguistics.
(It is just that I love you
and do not know how to say it.)
the first night. (2004)
this first night alone is a poetic moment
at home with the silence of my thoughts
unbearable sounds of streetcars seem melodious
Beeping taxi’s are the sound of a healthy night.
my first night alone would be better, though,
if you were here to share these sounds of
solitudes with me.
If you could be my second ear, my companion.
adventures of ideas. (2001)
novelty sustains human life.
in any form it comes- whether the novel object is another human being, a book, a mathematical equation. There are questions that arise with each novel thing and from second to second the question incarnates into another novel object.
there is a continuum that is consistent with the questions that arise, and with the question, with the continuum, the problem is resoved bit by little bit. Second by second.
the differences in people are not in the absence or presence of novelty but the passion with which they accept it.
Maybe acknowledgement of it is a slow self-destruction. The faster we are capable to answer our own questions, the closer we are to death? Perhaps it is not just the old who are wise but also those who die slowly in their youth.
Here is a quote by Gilles Deleuze (1925-95) and Felix Guattari (1930-92) that pretty much sums up my peice above:
“Thought proceeds via problems, but problems are not chosen; they impinge on thought, inducing involuntary movements of disequilibrium. Both thought and the thinker emerge in a field of unfolding, self-differentiating differences, the problem that instigates thought being one with a specific configuration of multiple discursive and nondiscursive circuits of activity. […] In short, the thinker does not select the thought so much as the problem-world selects the thinker and the thought.”
Brilliant! I am so excited to have found this connection. Novelty is the “problem-world” for Deleuze and Guattari. Ahhh…(for now)
some battles are unending
yet with sleep comes pretending
and so we continue with words.
with one eye open -just a token-
of resistance, we witness.
some battles are real and what can we feel
with a scholars tongue?
Borrowed words never answer
instead, like a cancer, they spread.
(Disguising lies and diatribes)
some battles are unending
yet with sleep comes pretending.
so with one eye open we continue
to bear witness.
sometimes the centre breaks, unravels
and then all things resist harmony
tending rather toward confusion, disunity and strife
and in vain, with my duct tape, a worn-out adhesive
I try and I try to put the centre back together
the part I fix seems only a minor detail in all of the rubble.
It is always in vanity, all of it.
Now, when the centre breaks, I just let it.
I watch from afar, like a bemused spectator
who smiles with the better answer,
although it is nowhere to be found.
letting the centre break shifts my perspective;
a new centre, that is not the same, has not yet been broken.
my role has changed from putting the pieces together
to breaking them all apart.
It is simply simpler to deconstruct.
however, I do miss the consistency, steadfastness
and arrogance of the centre.
herein lies the postmodern paradox:
to create or deconstruct? appollonia, dionysus?
how is it we choose one yet remember to resist the view
that they are all the same?