Spoken Word

Spoken Word

Monday, June 18, 2018

Desolate Place




How did I get to this place?
How did I come to this desolate place,
where nobody seems to be,
where there's no love anywhere,
and everyone hides behind lying eyes,
because nobody really cares,
because nobody seems to see.

How did I get to this place?
How did I come to this desolate place,
This wasn't where I was going
when I started out,
This wasn't the itinerary intended,
This wasn't my expected arrival when I departed out,
This wasn't my desired ending,
This isn't how I'd planned it,
in the beginning.

When I began this journey,
filled with good intentions,
ALL high on life, saving the world, and yearning,
but something occurred,
at the intersection of Youth and Learning,
where the two roads converged,
I procrastinated too long in doubt,
then got swept away by the crowd,
I wasted too much time on Youth
before I was able to figure it out,
and ended up somewhere between 
Intellectual and Girls gone wild,
for anyone to take me seriously.
The road to freedom, ain't free,
There's a toll to be faced,
Here I land in the Valley of Now,
No smile on my face, and wondering
How did I get to this place?

How did I get to this place?
I studied too long,
So much time did I waste,
I wandered off wrong,
Now I'm way off the map
with no way to get back,
How did I come to this desolate place?
where nobody seems to be,
where everyone hides 
behind lying eyes,
because nobody seems to see,
That the road to Love has closed,
and there's hot lava flowing in the streets, 
The Leader of the free world is the hate we chose,
and the relief that comes to Puerto Rico,
is thrown toilet sheets,
And once I felt we overcame,
Now we're back to where we used to be,
where everywhere the world stays the same
without any changes from me.

~victori~ ©


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Always Our Roots

ALWAYS...


Our roots 

Dug deep in American soil cling
only to the surface crawl
across ungiving ground pulled
hybrid tubules, sprout
in all directions now
From Cameroon waters plucked,
From our own waters, placed
in to the tears, our mother's shed
in to the mouth of a vase, clipped,
rerooted in new waters, planted,
rare flowers yearning for the forest ripped
from and carelessly scanted,
in to fields of ungiving day,

By ungiving day thrived,
from sunrise to sunset worked
On neglect survived,
Up from the sandy loam, we arise,
We weren't meant to stay,
Perennial flowers in a field alive
Meant to work and die,
We return each May,
We sprout anyway,
Like chaparral on a hill aflame
baptized by fire and futility,
We seek our given name,
Out of the murk and mire,
We sprout a new beauty 
Not anyone to bear the blame
for those millions gone,
No right, no wrong, no shame, hush
we live for them,
They died for US!

©victori May 8, 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Response to a Fool


In response to Joyner Lucas...
"I'm not racist," you say?

seems to be the code word,
'word up' of the day,
because if you really wasn't,
you wouldn't have shit to say,
In the sixties,
We use to change negatives
into superlatives too,
in order to make the best of
a bad situation,
so when something was good
we'd say "That's bad!"
although it was the best we ever had.
The opposite of what you're trying to do,
Make a positive phrase,
Suit your negative ways,
because we know who you are,
When you show up,
You rappin' that trap,
thinkin' it's spit,
It's just throw up
R E G U R G I T A T I O N !🤮
of over six-hundred years,
of discrimination!
In what era do you want us to show up?
The Montgomery of 1955,
was still alive in Ferguson 2005,
And is still prevalent today,
We don't have to go back to slavery days,
We can start with Jim Crow,
That wasn't that long ago,
The peonage and the lynchings,
replete with photographs, that remain,
Of the assailants standing in a fog,
surrounding, smiling unflinching,
and the culprit's stilled laugh,
uttering a silent refrain,
Lest we forget,
That "what is past is prologue,"
Then take a seat,
Or better yet stay asleep,
"Those who forget the past,
Are doomed to repeat."
It's as many whites as there are blacks,
who rely on welfare to eat,
Let's deal with the facts,
And I gotta' job!
JUST LIKE YOU!
without regret,
But there are those, let's be brief
who may have a felony beef,
trying to make a hustle selling cigarettes,
On a city street, to feed their families,
who deserve to breathe too.
LIKE ME AND YOU!
Instead, what do they get,
slaughtered for the world to see,
like in those old pictures, yet
Their murderers walk free.
Don't think you can halt,
How long I choose to morn,
My grief is what your forefathers bought,
coupled with my scorn,
As long as there's no statute
of limitations on, grief
So you best believe I will
Continue to pour out libations for Eric Garner,
Latasha Harlins, and Emmitt Till,
As you continue to imitate our flow,
Like a thief.
Instead of joining the alt-right,
You need to exit stage left, and join us,
White man,
because you're deluded
if you feel you're included,
in the rich man's plan!

Victori ©

Monday, February 5, 2018

It's all I ask?





What was his name?

That man, that man,

Of African birth who came,

So many generations past,

So very long ago,

So many questions asked,

And none who really know,

What was his name?

That man, that man,

If he were Akan,

He would have been named in order of his birth,

His name could have been any given Sunday,

He would have been given a soul name first,

 A name chose by Nyamewaa or Nyame

with another name to determine his life's worth,

But what if he were born in Burundi,

Nzikobanyanka, ("I know they hate us.")

Or if he were Yoruban,

He could have been born at time of festival

Abiodun, or the son of Royalty, Abioye,

What was his name?

That man, that man,

Who carried my DNA,

From sight unseen past,

into this present day,

What was his name?

Is all I ask?

Was he Igbo?

He was human first,

Before he was slave,

And the destruction of his identity,

which was the worst,

that ever became of us,

What was his name?

 Before that ship depart,

Was his name Chimaobi?

Did God know his heart?




victori7 ©

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Unbroken Reed

Written in answer to A Musical Instrument by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What was he doing the great god Pan?
Do you really want to know?
Down by the River Oyan,
Where the Nigerian reeds grow,
provoking greed and creating a riot,
between the Yoruba, Dahomey, and Igbo
instigating wars and spreading blight.

He separated the reed from the rush, the Great God Pan
to divide and conquer the brush,
and took the reeds to a faraway land,
to labor like dogs to the mush,
from sun up to sun wan, fueling his greed,
He beat the blues from the reeds,

High on the deck of his ship, the Great God Pan
crowded the reed in the hull,
filled with disease, infection, and mayhem
kept them in line with a gun and a whip,
reducing their complaints to null,
and begrudging their Gods be damned.
He conquered their spirits in full.

He laughed at their pain, did the great God Pan
and drew their blood with the lash,
but music their groans became,
even on the hole of the asp.
like instruments, these reeds rang,
like the flute, the horn, and the sax,
though they inhaled pain,
They blew out jazz.
Negro spirituals in the fields of cane.

He stole them away from the River's edge,
to never again see their home,
but like the poet said,
in the Browning poem,
"He hacked and hewed as a great god can,
with his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
til there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
to prove it fresh from the river."

A taker, not a giver, was the great God Pan,
so destined to live his manifest plan,
more a beast and less of a man,
he deforested the forest from the rain,
and caused the climate to change,
He never replenished the seed,
He drew the pith from the heart of a man,
and has never amended the deed.


These reeds grow now on a different plain, despite the Great God Pan,
bruised but unbroken, but then,
still a metaphor of a man,
The loss of roots is the cost of pain,
and of ancestors whose lives not lived in vain,
For the reed which grows nevermore again,
As a reed with the reeds of the River Oyan.


By Victori Bass ©


Browning's Poem


Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806–1861
  
687. A Musical Instrument
  
WHAT was he doing, the great god Pan,
  Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat         5
  With the dragon-fly on the river.
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
  From the deep cool bed of the river;
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,  10
And the dragon-fly had fled away,
  Ere he brought it out of the river.
High on the shore sat the great god Pan,
  While turbidly flow'd the river;
And hack'd and hew'd as a great god can  15
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
  To prove it fresh from the river.
He cut it short, did the great god Pan
  (How tall it stood in the river!),  20
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notch'd the poor dry empty thing
  In holes, as he sat by the river.
'This is the way,' laugh'd the great god Pan  25
  (Laugh'd while he sat by the river),
'The only way, since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed.'
Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
  He blew in power by the river.  30
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
  Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, O great god Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly  35
  Came back to dream on the river.
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
  To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain—  40
For the reed which grows nevermore again
  As a reed with the reeds of the river.






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!

Victori-04/01/99

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 ©