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


That One

I am that one,
The one who will love you til the end,
I am that one,
The one who remains your one true friend,
I am that one,
The one with courage under fire,
I am that one,
The one with the resolve of McGuyver,
I am that one.
The one who will still be going strong,
Yes, I am that one 
The one who is a survivor,
I won't beg you to stay,
I'm not that one,
I won't cry you a song,
If you got to go away,
Then just hang up the phone,
I am not being mean,
We just weren't meant to be,
And it remains to be seen,
What's heaven sent for me,
I am not that one,
To make your life a living hell,
But I am that one,
The one who will watch you go,
And wish you well.
And when all is said and done,
At the end of the day,
I am always that one, 
The one who got away.

victori-- © Mar 2, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2017

U M O J A (U N I T E D)

Could it be you've heard of me,

though we've never chanced to meet?

or maybe, we shared a common ancestor,

amid the Saharan heat?

My ancestors were Fulani,

Yoruba and Oyo,

Our cousins were Ashanti,

Hausa and Sokoto,

I am the Mansa's daughter,

The Griot from Segu, 

Could it be we've met before,

somewhere in Timbuctoo?

My mother? An Angolan warrior,

fighting the Portuguese,

In Queen Nzingha's army,

bringing white men to their knees,

My brothers? all noblemen,

scholars at Jenne´

before the transatlantic voyage,

seized them from Goree´

We were the language people,

fluent in Bantu and in Boor,

before they suppressed our languages,

our customs, and our mores,

They churched us with Jesus,

in the belly of 'The Whale'

before they sold us into slavery,

and delivered us straight to hell,

divided us by dozens,

and separated us by lots,

branded each of my cousins,

to be sold, bartered, bought,

Could be that you know me,

think you've seen my face before?

because they separated my family,

as soon as we reached the shore,

Sold my brother to a rural planter,

Sold my mother to an urban store,

kept my sister in the big house,

and forced her to become massa's whore,

Could be that you've seen Tom?

can you tell me which way he run?

Got tired of working from dawn,

To the setting of the sun,

He plotted insurrection.

the day he broke his chains,

can you tell me in which direction,

He ran off in the rain?

Could be he followed a northern star,

on an underground train,

He is my grandpa,

bound by a DNA chain,

and what a story he could tell,

if only he had a name to claim

and a "free" paper trail.

Could it be you know me now?

Don't I look the same?

Could it be you seen me,

just a little while ago?

fighting to be free,

from Jim Crow

You think I should turn the page?

You tell me to get over it,

say the pain will subside with age,

but until you've ever lost a loved one,

then you can't understand my rage,

I thought slavery had ended

in the year of jubilee,

instead I found my love offended,

tarred and feathered,

strung from a tree,

even after two Civil Rights bills,

we still ain't free,

I know now you know me,

I know now that you do,

Allow me to introduce myself,

For brother I am you!

Victori © written 1992 second revision



Roosevelt Bass 10/1/1932-12/9/2016

To hear him laugh.
Or feel his joy,
Was to watch the man,
Unchain the boy,
Inside his heart,
Seldom did wrath,
Distemper deploy,
Or ever his rages run wild,
He chained the man
Inside the boy,
And freed his inner child,
To know his science,
Or figure his math,
Meant you confirm compliance
With his laugh,
To make us delirious,
Was the sum of his reason,
'Cause we never knew when he was serious,
Or just teasing.

Victori ©


FaceBook Posts

On Vacay'
Feels good to be away
From the grind,
On safari through peace,
In a State of mind,
Good to be the observer,
With camera in hand
Instead of "May I be of service?"
Ready to lend a hand.
Just to sit back and watch,
The sights free of stress,
Or to pan in for the shots,
And be the annoying tourist.
victori ©—8/13/12
This House
Enjoy the peace in this house.
Away from the franctic world outside these walls,
The battles fought in shopping malls,
Or the stress of City streets
folks too hell bent on maliciousness,
Lurk round my door,
But inside these walls away from their viciousness,
I have a fortress from the war.
Just three doors,
Ten windows,
One thousand-three hundred nineteen square foot of floor.
Three hearts beat
One walks upright on two feet
The others down on four,
Relaxing to the sound of a fire roar,
As one head rest upon my lap,
And another on the floor.
Victori © Jan 7, 2012
Good Heavens
This year has been a roller coaster ride,
Of ups and Downs and turns,
And just when I think it will let me slide
Is when I feel the Burns,
Of not braking when I should,
And hitting curves, either too narrow or too broad,
And while I'm in a swerve,
Recalling All things work together for good,
FOR those who are in love with GOD!    Victori © October 4, 2011
Life should be lived in the sunshine, always in the sunshine,
Never in the shade,
Life's journey should be walked on the incline, always on the incline,
Never on the grade,
And when they see you moving, always keep on moving.
Never falling into the potholes that they've laid.
September 14, 2011
Before you pray, believe. Before you criticize, encourage. Before you speak, listen. before you spend, earn. Before you take , give. Before you write, think. Before you quit, try and before you die, LIVE!!!!            September 1, 2011 
<3 <3 <3

Saturday, February 18, 2017

To a "Nigga" on 8th and H Street

He staggers and stumbles,

relating these words he mumbles,

before he tumbles down,

I can't understand it,

it should be reprimanded,

that a nigga' be f--d around.

I listen in wonder,

as I begin to ponder,

the words He has avowed,

although, I can comprehend it,

it should be amended,

and those words never spoken aloud.

He has become so disgusted,

and his self-hood so rusted,

that he labels himself this way,

Man find strength in your sinew,

To discover the power within you,

And edit those words you say.

In a bottle you place hope,

The Lord is not in the dope,

surging through your veins,

the bottle holds you bound,

enslaved and beaten down,

and a slave you'll remain.

'Less you learn that nigga's are nonexistent,

a name the race was christened,

on a slave ship long ago,

surely we have outgrown it,

for never truly did we own it,

but were chained to it by a mocking foe.

You find it nonessential,

to rediscover your stolen potential,

and replace what was taken away,

For once we were Kings,

building empires for our Queens,

and it's time to recover the day.

So don't mumble, speak louder,

You are black be prouder,

and get up off the ground,

If you want respect demand it,

You're not a nigga' don't be branded,

then you won't ever be f--d around.

Victori © 1982

This Reality Show

This is just another rerun
of that ole' 70's Show
You know the one,
That silent film
Where they break into
a Hotel and nobody knows nothin',
remember they all plead the fifth?
then they all claimed they hadn't seen,
We've watched too many episodes, of this,
for nobody to know a thing,
Y'know that movie starring Haldeman, 
Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean?
'Bout Time we turn the channel,
or better yet unplug the set,
I'd rather be watching Scandal,
but this scandal is better yet.
And I can recall my favorite one liner
from that ole' silent flick,
"The American people don't believe,
anything unless they see it on television."
Means they practiced to deceive us,
Like a rehearsed derision,
And we keep falling for this shit.

What was that ole' actors game?
with his best supporting actor,
Who was the precursor of this,
Whose first four letters of his lastname 
referenced the prefix, of the inger-y {injury]
to which he wanted us to Kiss...
and what is this, the 45th?
And what of that drug lord,
who traded weapons for drugs?
and starred in an internal War,
against imposed thugs,
who didn't exist.
We've gone from the silent film era
to a B Movie with a twist,
to a blackploitation flick
And now we're living a reality show
This is the season of remakes
Seems we can't write anything original
We live for retakes, and sequels.

And they keep doing this to us
screwing us,
convincing us that the worst actors,
are a gift from God,
insisting that the worst actors,
get the Oscar nod,
and win by a landslide,
We have already had two cowboys,
a Bonnie and Clyde,
and John Wick,
and don't remiss the porn, 
with the sex toys,
or ole' Tricky Dick.
so grab your popcorn.
cause the plot is about to get thick.

We have already seen this,
On an episode of "The Apprentice,"
I don't want to see it again,
They can't mute the Menace
So instead they fire Flynn.
Then they can continue to decieve
because nobody claims to see,
As he strokes the ego of Putin,
but we can see with our own eyes,
which they tell us not to believe,
but there is no refuting,
We see through his lies,
And his press conferences are 
loaded with cries, of foul,
and social media deferences,
who voted for this child?
Those insane few,
Who dare say to me,  "I know he's racist but..."
What's the basis of knowing,
Unless YOU are racist TOO?
NOW that's your reality showing!

Victori ©