Spoken Word

Spoken Word

Saturday, August 5, 2017

For One

Passport picture1999 when I first got locks

I fried dyed
Committed suicide
Laid you to the side
Cloning my dome,
After the ladies of Rome, I'm sorry,
Imitation is the sincerest form of harikari
I greased teased
But could not appease you,
Disguised you with weaves
Bordering on the brink
Between bone straight and curly kink,
Each time you had to juggle,
You rebelled, my wave
A symbol I think of strength and struggle,
Of ancestors too proud to live as slaves,
I termed you unruly, my beauty,
Tackled you, like Jacob at war with the Angel
Declared war against my natural tangle
Shackled you, in hair rollers and curling irons
Deployed anthrax spills of blonde and really red
To defeat my crown, you shifted
but would not be lifted
Ignoring my insistence upon inclusion
Amongst the living dead
You kept going back
Growing back, staying black
Defying that illusion,
And now I have reached the conclusion
That you are the true permanent
The God sent, the advertisement
That I love myself
Define myself
Allow myself to be
I place my hair on lock down
With my locked crown
I surrender do or die
Extract the cataract
From my third eye
And now I truly see
That without those chains of inferiority
I am truly F R E E!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Between Sisters (For Gypsy Rose)

A bond exist between sisters,
It exist between brothers and sisters too,
But where a sister may be fine,
To resign, to just crying it through,
A brother may be quick,
To come to the rescue with fist,
And reduce a nuisance with violence,
Where a sister will play it cool,
And violence eschew,
She'll duel in her mind, like a science,
With a defiant DNA shared,
Between sisters.

A science that only a woman knows,
A strength that grows in cycles,
That recycles every new moon, it shows,
Like a perennial flower,
that returns each June,
She wears this strength on her shoulders,
Like a coat against rain,
And elbows through the pain,
She pushes past boulders,
But smiles anyway,
Determined to get to that one day older,
Because she knows,
That to make it to tomorrow,
She has to get through today.
This is a patience that persist
Between sisters.

And to speak of compassion,
We knew each other from the womb,
Like a psychic contraction,
Even after being surrounded by brothers,
I knew, I'd meet my sister soon,
Could there ever have been,
a beginning for this?
This my sis,
has been a life of laughter,
Of turns and twist,
of whispered secrets,
Of late night banter,
The one true happily-ever-after,
The love that exist,
Between sisters.

I remember the path she set,
An entrepreneurial spirit,
When others sisters wouldn't hear it,
And shunned all knowledge,
Too busy painting their nails,
Or buying Sasoons,
She was building her nest,
selling purple balloons,
Pursuiing her quest,
To work her way through college,
Setting an example to
The best and brightest,
And anyone willing to gamble,
That there is no rest, for the righteous,
Between sisters.

She taught us how to go get it,
And maintain our dignity,
Let the chips fall where they may,
But maintain our integrity,
And don't fall with it,
Because it doesn't matter
where you come from,
but where you begin,
And from there it only matters,
Where you go,
And where you end.
No itinerary,
No apologies,
No mysteries,
Or reasons to pretend,
Between sisters.
Victori ©

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Griot Soul

It was the griot soul

who wrote our history
on walls in graffiti,
and scribbled our scriptures,
in graphic mystery,
painting our likeness in cerulean mixtures,
undeniable hieroglyphic pictures,
of who we were meant to be.

It was the griot soul

Who cared about the young, 
who'd come after us,
who wrote their story in dung
on papyrus,
to let them know, 
they were not a curse,
but let truth show,
that they were Africa's
children first.

Have you ever heard the spirits speak,
encourage caution, and whisper warnings?
Have you ever been who the spirits seek,
in the early dawn of the morning?

 It was the griot soul

who composed our spirituals,
chanting litanies of our past,
in dance and song,
and to our own selves held true,
we strummed our misery, 
from the bowels of jazz,
and from that labor pain, 
gave birth to the blues,

It was the griot soul

Who carved our memories,
into monuments of Olmec collosal stone,
then left them by the sea,
and like any document ever known,
these heads speak volumes for all the world to see, 

On the West bank of the Nile at Aswan,
sleeps the governor whose beautiful mind,
caused a griot to inscribe his autobiography down,
and another to sculpt his head onto the body of a lion.
and place him in the desert for time reknown,
a guardian of time and truth,
some mistake him for Khafren,
but he is the Governor Harkhuf.

Have you ever heard the spirits speak,
encourage caution, and whisper warnings?
Have you ever been who the spirits seek,
in the early dawn of the morning?

We once communicated in talking drum,
We who the Dynasties built,
We don't know anymore where we're from,
And some don't even ask it,
We who once stitched our stories in quilts,
And wove our secrets in baskets,
don't know from whence we've come,
Or even question if the story we're told is true,
You should never let the enemy hold the pen,
because when your story is through,
The only person who will remember you when,
Is the griot soul in you!

Have you ever heard the spirits speak,
encourage caution, and whisper warnings?
Have you ever been who the spirits seek,
in the early dawn of the morning?

I have...

Victori Bass  ©
The Griot Soul

Sunday, March 19, 2017

23 Jazz Riff

23 Jazz Riff

Nimble fingers pace,

across 23 bars,

like Emanon on base,

plucking jazz from the mitochondrial dust,

of nameless stars,

half identical by descent, in  F sharp,

swung in recombinant syncopation,

groove to an ancestral tune,

played in residual replication,

This DNA gyrase two step,

jibes because of a dance,

down the big boss line of generations,

glides across our mother tongue

dips and slides,

as Afro-rican as

Johnny Blas

as mambo as

latin jazz,

survives, like Irish trad,

gyrates the hips,

like a congo drum,

its heart beats, so give it some,

what beautiful music made are we,

composed of a genome,

mixed and sampled on a keyboard of 23,

segments of a chromosome,

in perfect harmony ~victori

For Eric Garner...

My heart is broken,
Its time to grieve,
fight back the tears,   I'm choking,
I can't breathe,
I can't believe,
this been going down,
since Emmett Till,
whether it was Georgia's Sam Hose
or Los Angeles's Latasha Harlins,

Will it ever end?
every black mother knows,
Lady Justice ain't no friend,
She's lynching still.

July 13, 2013 Victori ©

Sun Loving

Being photo bombed by the sun,
No strength to spurn it's advances,
Every California girls dream to be the one,
It's radiant beam romances,
ravages, then remisses,
sends a flower to in its ray,
warmly caresses, and sun kisses,
makes me feel it's Valentine's Day,
Left in the radiance of euphoric bliss,
romanced and de-flowered,
feeling the exuberance in this,
joy, makes me strong and empowered.

Victori ©

Sunday, March 5, 2017

All Be Free! (The poem)

We left there on the run,
in the moonlight,
as his body swung,
from a tree,
in plain sight,
his skin hung,
like bark from a hickory,
charred now into unfamiliarity,
We left there on the run,
We didn't look behind us,
We avoided the sun,
We didn't have a compass,
We left there on the run,
Not a second to kill,
Only ourselves to save,
with hounds at our heels,
An escaping slave,
On the run,
We saw their intention,
in the way that he hung,
meant to scare us into retention,
but without the effect,
for which they'd longed,
hoping they wouldn't detect,
that we had gone,
We left there on the run,
between thicket to thicket,
from the swamp, where we'd begun,
No sound only crickets,
with just rags, and welps on our back,

No tickets,

No tags,

No gun,

No time to wonder what we'd become,
freedom was on the horizon,
concepts we could only fathom,
until we left there on the run,
We moved swiftly from slavery to War,
To Reconstruction,
Like returning through the No return door,
into the Great Migration,
We left there on the run,
Fleeing into self-determination,
leaving the shared Southern crop,
on the Plantation,
Letting the hoe, the plow, and sickle drop,
And running to Northern discrimination,
And mass incarcerations,
We left there on the run,
Singing, we shall overcome,
S o m e d a y,
With either a pencil, a pen, or a gun,
Until they killed our leaders,

One by one,

Gone our eloquent speakers,

Our chosen sons,

Our chiefs,

We wanted to run,

We stopped for grief,

and dropped our gunny sack,
Only once, to nap
and fill our lungs with crack,
Our chosen exile,
Government subsidized,
And ready to sell,
Government supplied,
cash crop needing slaves to bale,
We waxed foul,
They caught us trapped,
in Public housing,
and herded to jail,
by the dozens, 
Labeled criminal element,
Even when we wasn't.
Patter roller come,
Kill our sons without flinching,
Claim they had a gun,
Just another lynching,
We left there on the run,
Degree in hand,
We moved from intern,
to self made man,
to doctorate, to resident,
from uneducated to learned,

To President,

And now we've come,

To where we'll be,

We'll march, but we won't run,

No more until every man

Is free