Been workin' you fool.
So now I'm done. Please rejoice with me.
Dern. Submit. Reject.
(this is actually 99 words)
M E R C Y
Even if that fault was never mine, I still hold black rage against me. I pound my temples, I want to jump, my throat still burns from screaming.
It takes hard work to NOT kill you.
It takes hard work to NOT feel shame.
It takes hard work to write this story, and I aim only to inform you that I am burning, rabid, and awake. I am every child that you re-birthed. I am every bitch whose lust you cursed.
The thick tight spot above my navel has finally burst and I am the beginning of the world.
I had an interesting revelation today, that's probably obvious to most seasoned writers:
When people know you, face to face, when they look into your eyes, when they are closer to you than your species or your pride, they read your writing differently. Of course. They're kinder in some ways. Might not tell you when you suck.
But, they also don't want to know too much.
They already know you. They might not need to know the rest.
What was left unsaid, was maybe silenced for a reason.
So if you know me, and don't want to know, then don't read this.
But I am proud to share that I've been published as part of a blog post of mini-essays on the blog TRUE at Proximity Magazine.
true stories of silenced women
My intro when I performed this poem live went like this:
"I wrote this as a children's story, but it's not appropriate for children. It's a gangster story called Crown and Cheek."
Never the less, I had my son read it for you too.
I swear to god, I didn't coach Paco at all. He's a fricking natural storyteller at 5 years old.
I'm a big fan of Dubai Poetics. They do more than just the magazine. They have readings, events, promote arts here in Dubai. Hats off.
I'm also a big fan of Farah Chamma, a poet and spoken word artist. I've linked to her stuff before (see below). She's pretty well known in these parts. She's beautiful and awesome.
Well, recently Dubai Poetics organized a 2-day workshop on with Farah about performing poetry. Of course I had to go. And it was super fun!
What I learned: I am not really a performer. Poetry to be spoken can be/should be/must be much be simpler that that for reading.
See you June 9th for my debut as a storyteller. I would say storyteller. The piece I chose is a story, with some rhymes, but it's a story.
I wrote this in Kenya, near the Somali boarder. Driving in the desert during a storm.
Dubai Poetics - Edition XVI
There's this thing. We all have something to say. But some people are listened to more than others. Why is Iggy Pop famous? Why does it matter what book Oprah likes?
Dubai Poetics - Edition XV
I'm first, as I ruminate on this question.
This poem actually is 101 words long. It started out as a 99, but it didn't fit.
So back in 2011, when I lived in Cairo I embarked upon a writing "adventrue" whereby I entered 10 writing contests of any sort. I "won" 1 out of 10. I thought that was pretty good.
I put that out there because rejections abound: I currently have 5 flash pieces that I have deemed worthy of submittle (2 of them are series of 99s). I've submitted each to 2-5 magazines. Pure rejection, though I admit I have not heard back from quite a few.
Writing is a process, it's supposed to be deep and liberating like a swim in a dark pond.
But sometimes I just want everyone to love what I've written.
Went to the Dubai Poetry Slam.
Maybe sometime I'll get the nerve to read. I wouldn't be the worst (if only because my work is short so I wouldn't be painful for long), but far from the best.