Thursday, August 22, 2013

In Complete Disregard of the power of Love (Spoken Word)

The words I speak are unpopular, unwanted and uninvited
Oh Lawd, pray I not be misunderstood
But then if I am, that too is okay
For I speak not in the vulgarity of this regime
This regiment armed with phallic extensions calling me a renegade
To insinuate that I am dangerous because my body speaks from a position of anarchy
As though anyone was what they looked like
But then again, I am dangerous, deliberate and afraid of nothing
Praise the Lorde, the Audrey Lorde!

Fuck what I look like!
I don’t care that I look like I was hit by a speed train at the bend
I don’t care that my hair sits on my head uncombed and unruly as though it owns me
Because then if I do I will let you fuck me over again, did I say again?
But if you can’t figure me out here please accept my apology for not being obvious
Take from my hand words for your Language Acquisition Device
And devise for your ilk ways of seeing, new ways of seeing me
This is the end of normal, arm yourself
Here an extra pair of eyes

Now drop the pretense and straighten the frown on your face
To act like ‘fuck’ is too sensitive a word to your senseless sensibilities is hypocrisy
The problem is, I said it and I ain’t no Rick Ross or Lil’ Wayne or some other brother
Whose ‘fuck’ comes to you as an endorsement to objectify women
To call her everything: a bitch, a cunt, a slut, a whore
To call a woman everything, but her name

And when you call a woman by name you mean to shame her
Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Wangari Maathai, Martha Karua
Kingwa Kamencu, , Audrey Mbugua, Wambui Otieno-Mbugua, Sojourner Truth
And this is the truth, black women have not even began to be resentful
of the rise to power of black men but there is a problem
A certain school of thought crafted by Slave masters on the colony
Teaches Black men that for them to be strong black women must be weak
Fallacious reasoning! This here is a product of gross miseducation

And Black men have not even began to unravel their role in the empire
Their counter-revolutionary exertion of a "manhood" that tells women to step back
As though to break off from our colonial oppression, never meant the total involvement
of every man, woman, and child, every-fucking-body
As though for us to get here didn’t take the breaking of a woman’s back
Women whose labour terms in developing political consciousness were cast in stone
A time ranging from I-can't-see in the morning until I-can't-see at night
O Lawd bless Malcolm X

So this is your to do list for every man
Every man who acknowledges Wangu wa Makeri and Bi Mswafari
in the same sentence with no sense of irony
Every woman who joins in the patriarchal laughter of our television
making fun of the nameless woman in Budalangi begging sirikal to help
As though her pain wasn’t real and the state hadn’t ignored her, three floods later
Please do yourself a favour, stop laughing 
and teach yourself something on capitalist oppression
Stop laughing at the propaganda being pushed around as the truth
About men having sex with cows and hens because it will not be marked in history
 that in two thousand and thirteen Kenyan men became intimate
with their food, pets and cocks

And stop wearing Christianity as a beautiful coat that covers  your hatred
Because I don’t care how many verses you have memorized to make your hatred effective
For you have a verse to pull out of your pile of cards to justify the way you treat women and gays and muslims and atheists and people
You see the truth is if Jesus came back to the world, you are the type that would still kill him
Because Jesus was a rogue, a rebel, and a revolutionary who refused to conform to any laws
Your hatred, judgement and self-righteousness must disgust him
because you are the worst thing that ever happened to my poetry

Stop condemning women for abortion and teenage pregnancy
as though there weren’t rapists and pedophile priests who still oppose the use of contraceptives
Stop passing down your hatred to your children and other people’s children in the name of Jesus
So look yourself in the mirror and imagine what would happen
Imagine what would happen if we were to be honest in this conversation
and for a minute tried to speak about love as though we invented it
Take off your prejudices as though they hang on your shirt and again,
again and again ask yourself  ‘Who am I?’

And when you take to the streets before you tweet jokes that humiliate real people
Please stop, instead, try to talk of the revolution of love
Like our mothers did, and their mothers before them
And when you raise your hand to hit a woman STOP!
She has been beaten before and your hand shouldn’t touch her the same way
Keep your hand mid air and in that breathe fucking thank a woman

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

of wits and guts

wits is
when a woman walks out on a screaming man
did you just tell me that it's guts when a woman screams at a man?

just maybe

may be i would tell you all this
may be i would not even bother
what is it to you?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Internally Displaced

The memory of you has become that pastness in our present
But  we've learnt to move on without you because living in the past would be too costly
 for a developing country

And we forgave our leaders at the last National Prayer Breakfast
Because they were very sincere in seeking the Lord
So this poem is for the internally displaced in this country

This poem is for every child who cant sleep listening to daddy telling mama that she made him beat her
Because society teaches men that women can never be people
and that love is best expressed in small doses of violent acts

This poem is for every lesbian woman drowning in nightmares every night
Because the head of the gang that raped her said she needed a real dick
and everyone turned a blind eye because she brought it to herself

This poem is for every elderly man and woman in Mosocho and Keroka awaiting a possible lynching
Because we've learnt to blame others for our misfortunes and being suspected of anything in this country should get you killed and that includes witchcraft

This poem is for every single person in Turkana to whom news of oil on their grazing land
Speaks more of a threat than the success story that the government wants them to believe in
Because capitalism teaches us that development and business matters more  than people

This poem is for every Maasai soul sleeping in a tent over their grandfather's graves
still wondering about how the police could oversee their violent eviction
Because we are a country where only certain ethnicities can hold title deeds 

This poem is for every Kenyan Christian who is fundamentalist
about women's submissiveness and everything else in the benefit of domination
Because "love your neighbour" is too much a threat to abide by

This poem is for every woman opening her legs to make way for a manhood she hates
Because society teaches us that forceful sex in marriage is not rape
And Kiraitu can get away with "raping a woman who is already too willing"

This poem is for the spirits of the five suspected gangsters gunned down in cold blood
Because Loresho is too safe a place for young Black males to look unsafe in
And scaring Kenya's middle class is too bad for the economy

This poem is for the young boy in rural Nyahururu  tying a rope over his hand-me-down shirt
Because he wishes it were a dress so that he could tuck it in his Y-front's elastic hemming
Wishing to stop all the noise about men being men and women being women as though she weren't trans*

This poem is for every Kenyan queer living in secret because coming out is too risky an act
in a country where the only way anyone can be is 'straight' which means being a self-appointed vice-God
Because in the last 2000 years White Jesus has not spoken a word and we can only imagine what he wants

This poem is for my friend Kathy who died in an accident
Because the police in this country have become too reluctant to curb road carnage
And it has become okay to drink and drive if you can bribe the cops

This poem is for every street family sitting behind Wakulima Market not sure if the stench is theirs or the city's with their rags packed in sacks because City Council askaris have deemed them unfit for a space that needs gentrification for the sake of revenue coming from poverty tourism

This poem is for every third generation Somali refugee locked up in Dadaab
Stripped of any dignity by the Kenyan government with the much needed help of the UN
As though their integration into society would dilute any sense of Kenyanness
Because we don't even have enough raids in Eastleigh to curb the Somali menace

This poem is for every Kenyan transman breaking his back with a binder
Because going into town with a beard and boobs makes you a freak
And you never know when you might be asked to strip in public interest

This poem is for the innocent child who still calls mama
in the midst of society's murmurs of how she died
Because this big secret has slowly become dangerous

This poem is for the internally displaced Kenyan
This poem is for you
For all of us


This poem I refuse to write
this poem that refuses to be silent
no, this poem, I shall not write

if I write this poem, they shall say I’m gross
if I write this poem, it will be called graphic
if I write this poem, a woman's poem it will become

but I want to write this gross poem
I want to leave out no details this time
I want to describe this rhythm in rhyme

the rhythm of blood and fluids
the blood and fluids of childbirth
but no, that is just taboo.

I shall not write about blood
for blood is better spoken of in war
and vaginal blood disgusts you

but I want to speak of the cut flesh
the flesh of my vagina cut into my ass
but this maternity talk irritates the male ear

and I refuse to write this poem 
because to you that is trivial
and not good enough for a poetry anthology

this poem I refuse to write
because it's time women writers got serious
and wrote about things that matter

this poem I shall not write
for men need protection, protection from such ugly flesh
the flesh they want fit for the next fuck

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear Kenyan woman

I have six things to tell you about yourself
No, seven that I think you should know
These seven things that the system has not
And will not tell you
About you

Dear Kenyan Woman
The system will not tell you
That it has figured you out
Not to understand who you really are
But what you should be

The system is not going to tell you
That when it calls you a queen
What it calls for is chivalry
That every lady needs some decency
And needn't be a nuisance

What the system wont tell you
Is that you, Kenyan woman
Have been made by the male gods
Not to live as a being
But only to be that which
is required to be desired

Now, dear Kenyan woman
The system is never gonna tell you
That your body will be a metaphor
So lightly used for the noble purpose
of nation-building

And these metaphors will be thrown around
on your face, in the streets, in seminars
As though your pain was a national trauma
That successsfully  erases the fact that
his manhood forced open your thighs

And seriously the system
Dear Kenyan woman
Will put motions in parliament
To debate how you could better serve mankind
by regulating your vagina, uterus and what you wear

But if you choose to not avail yourself
The system will declare you useless
And pass a number of motions
That will ban who you can or not love
And that will be
the end.