Summer Highlights: Going on Radio

Is anyone familiar with Poetry Nite with the Rainmakers? Well, you should be. It happens on the first Saturday of every month at Café des Amis, and it is simply an open mic night. I attended the July function of Rainmakers, and I performed this piece called My Fate Is My Fault. It was near the very end of the show, and honestly, I was surprised at the positive reaction I got, because it wasn’t exactly a…conventional poem. (I have a rant about that, but it may come in a different form, in another post.)

After the show, I was approached by Rhyme Sonny, and he invited me to featured on the poetry section of Y fm’s Monday evening show. I accepted. So, two days after Chalewote, I went on Radio and performed two pieces. The experience was fun, I got to meet Bentino, another poet I had only observed but never actually spoken to, and I met Caroline (as in Caroline4Real. LOL.)

The first poem I performed was Jealousy. The second was, again, My Fate Is My Fault. Someone requested that I post what I performed on my blog, so here it is. Many people say the didn’t understand the first poem so I’ll add a brief explanation below the poem itself.

Jealousy is not green.
Jealousy is as black as my own skin, but darker.
She has a forest of hair kinkier than mine will ever be.
Her eyes are wider, just as inaccurate, more alluring, commanding as much attention as
Her voice, properly enunciating the Queen’s English, louder than my own voice with a bullhorn
Drawing eyes to her entity; her body – significantly more African
Drawing art to represent words that I couldn’t think of, much less form
A form of confidence alone and confidence surrounded, whereas I am shy and loud and boldly bashful.

 Jealousy is not an abstract notion.
Jealousy is a boy, as physical as I am, but taller.
He jumps and he soars higher than his height, both physically and mentally.
He plays the piano and it sounds like music, inviting you to admire, and turn oblivious to all the world and feel only him: Jealousy
Is amiable, hilarious and sarcastic; the most mutually liked around the globe.
He’s first to be picked, last to let go.
And of course, he’s cryptic. About what? We’ll never know.

 Jealousy and Jealousy are both the shape of the letter A, with an asterisk as an appendix.
Jealousy is the definition of success, and jealousy is the embodiment of fame.
Jealousy is the girl I will never be, and jealousy is the boy I never was.
Jealousy and Jealousy are the meaning of talent.
Jealousy is my personal demon.
Signed, My Jealous Self.

 Jealousy is not a part of me and therefore
Doesn’t deserve to have a hold on me.
When Jealousy was born,
I was neither a before, a present, nor an afterthought
So I can’t understand why I have never fought
Against it, when, against all odds,
We were craftily designed
To remain mutually exclusive.
I have long since accepted
That I can never be Jealousy
And now it’s time to accept
That Jealousy can never be me.
Signed, My Actual Self.
What I did here is that instead of talking about my jealousy directly, I took the two people I am jealous of most in the world, one male and one female, and I personified Jealousy as two people, who have the same qualities of both people I am jealous of, with the same name. Do you see? I said in the poem that Jealousy is neither green nor an abstract notion. That is because both Jealousies are actual people. Comprenez? I swear there’s an Oscar Wilde quote that says that when you explain art, you take away the mysteries of life. Let me look for it.

“Why should those who cannot create take upon themselves to estimate the value of creative work?  What can they know about it?  If a man’s work is easy to understand, an explanation is unnecessary. . . .

And if his work is incomprehensible, an explanation is wicked.” -Oscar Wilde

Excerpt From: Wilde, Oscar. “Intentions.” iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

My Fate Is My Fault
When I was a zygote in my mother’s womb, 
And God was taking orders for forehead, nose and butt-sizes on His celestially sophisticated tablet of menus,
My as yet unformed index finger accidentally pressed the extra-large button for each of them,
The result is what you see before you today.
That’s right.
My fate is my fault.

“Why is your butt so big?”
The one question I’ve been asked more frequently in my lifetime than “What is your name?”
But obviously, it’s natural for me to take the blame 
For something I can easily explain,
And I would tell them the zygote story, 
But once they hear what I’m saying, 
They’ll think I’m insane. 
But the joke’s on them…

“Your forehead is large,” he says with conviction. 
I try to restrain myself from bashing his face in. 
It is?! 
Why didn’t I know this?
Because after being alive for sixteen years, 
Not once has this sentence ever touched my ears,
So thank you, Einstein, 
For this amazing conversation. 
Maybe next time, you’ll be discovering that human beings breathe oxygen!

What do you gain
From repeating the same things 
Time and time and time again?
It’s like a CD that got stuck when a nasty song was playing
And it keeps repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating
And defeating you while you’re fighting a battle with your mind,
Telling your body to stop hiding and stand erect with pride
But they can’t see what their comments have caused, 
That you are tormented by your bodily flaws.
These stupid ego-thieves
Have caused you to believe
To let your mind revolt, 
And make you resort
To thinking your fate is your fault.

I was walking down the street 
And an unknown woman yelled at me,
“Ei! 3to nie!”
Translated as, “Damn, that ass though!”
And I was ready or blow, 
But I know
That God does not condone murder.
So I continued on my way,
Swallowed all the words I didn’t say,
Went home, went to eat, and cried myself to sleep.

But why submit to all the bitterness and salt?
If misery was my fate then my fate was my fault.
Since sorries said for an action intended
Mean that the committer has not fully repented,
I refuse to apologise if my body leaves you offended,
But if anything at all, it is Oga you must consult,
Because we both know it’s a lie
That my fate is my fault.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Yeah.
So, the radio experience was fun.

-Akotowaa =)

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