1. You know what time it is… #FreeSpeechProject Season 3 coming soon! #poetry

    You know what time it is… #FreeSpeechProject Season 3 coming soon! #poetry

  2. Credibility is when 
    a comedy website doesn’t challenge 
    your political views. 
    It’s when only the people 
    who don’t talk about race 
    grace the cover of your digital news 
    or get mad likes on the front page of YouTube; 
    it’s when at least 
    the people who disagree with you 
    don’t comment as often on your 
    misguided attempts to be a forward-thinking man 
    as you do on theirs. 
    Credibility is when 
    your echo chamber’s walls 
    grow thick, 
    when your ego engorges 
    and wraps around you, 
    when your foetal state of emotional weakness 
    is insulated by the weight 
    of how many names for rhetorical devices 
    you can misuse 
    or which memes you can source as 
    faux-contexts. 
    Credibility is 
    blood; you’ve slit Cracked’s neck, 
    you’ve slit Polygon’s neck, 
    why on earth would you have to hear another woman? 
    Even the nice ones, 
    especially the often-wrong ones, 
    why on earth would you have to hear 
    a sinner say they still deserve a fairer trial
    than a cinderblock to the ankle and
    God’s love on the way down if they deserve it?
    Only witches get back up. 
    That means 
    you’re right. Incredible. 
    Credibility is 
    an echo chamber with 
    teeth around its walls, 
    no counterpoint climbs here, 
    no way, 
    trespassers shall be shot on sight, 
    the smell of new opinion 
    makes you clutch your belly button, 
    makes you retch for your friends to LOL 
    quickly beneath you in solidarity, 
    it must be 
    incredible, 
    whatever just jumped the fence. 
    When the rest of us ask 
    why it is a comedy website 
    has to be the one to get it right, 
    you’ll fume. You’ll say comedy 
    is proof of an opinion’s tomb - 
    all the serious folks agree, 
    there must be less to your ideology, 
    right? I must have done won this fight. 
    Let’s get more bullet points out of this capitalist conservative magazine, 
    unload this YouTube clip, 
    there must be less to your ideology. 
    Credibility is when 
    you can feel the veins in your 
    echo chamber’s neck pulsing at the 
    very thought of dissent somewhere, 
    Commissioner Nimrod shines the Not All Men beacon 
    high past the moon, then comes the credits page, 
    Issue One of Three, 
    I have an issue, 
    I have an issue, 
    I have a copy of Atwood’s selected poems 
    open on ‘A Woman’s Issue’, I 
    must be one of the bad guys here, 
    it’s incredible. 
    Credibility is when 
    you can only be civil to 
    the walls around you. 
    Credibility is when 
    the walls of your skull grow thick, 
    veins pulsing. 

  3. I thought if I just walked a little slower, 
    took my time, asked a couple friends 
    to hold my hand, hold me down 
    as I tried to get back into the business 
    of walking, I’d feel the ground this time 
    beneath my toes. No dice. I want to 
    call someone and say ‘the ground isn’t 
    here, and what is here feels like death’. 
    All the people that come to mind are 
    bad ideas I deleted the numbers of 
    long ago. I don’t know what to say, 
    I need a couple friends to hold my 
    hand, I’m warmer than usual but 
    I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, 
    my own bed feels like a trap, 
    this was the mattress that taught me 
    how to cry the first time, and I don’t want 
    to find the plot of Port of Spain that would 
    give me the refresher course, I need 
    a couple friends to hold my hand. 
    I am bad at grief. I am bad at 
    a lot of feeling nouns. My mind 
    is a tachyon and everything is a 
    wall worth bouncing off of, you’ll 
    be lucky to get an internally consistent 
    sentence out of me, I haven’t touched 
    the ground yet. The ground isn’t here. 
    What is here feels like the sod of my 
    own future plot, and I’m afraid of what 
    I’d do to myself if I touched that instead. 
    Someone find me a soft place to land 
    before I just get taken by my worry. 
    Tie love to my ankle, or hook my shirt 
    with the future. Don’t let go. 
    I don’t know what’s taking me, 
    I don’t know what’s taking me over, 
    I don’t know what’s taking me so long, 
    but I’m afraid of not coming back. 
    I need to remain grounded.

  4. ah wish ah could’a learn mehself 
    how to dance 
    so when ah tired ah could fin’ God in de movement 
    so when ah hurt ah could fin’ med’cine in de movement 
    so when ah lonely ah could fin’ mehself in de movement
    so when ah want tuh forget you 

    ah could dance 
    an’ dance 
    an’ dance til ah too longed for
    o’ too loved 
    o’ jus’ too damn dizzy 
    to care ‘bout you an’ yuh trifles. 

    ah cyah dance. 

    but it have flavoured rum 
    an’ dark ‘ours o’ de night 
    an’ frien’s who trus’ meh
    even though dey shouldn’, 
    ah will learn.

  5. We got 
    yellow carnations. 

    We asked if there 
    were any white, 
    and all across the Main Road 
    no one had any simple 
    affection or good health in stock,
    not even a little bit of loss; 
    you could get a lot of 
    eros, or abandonment, 
    but we tried to get white carnations and 

    we could only get 
    disdain. 

    Can we throw it 
    at your other children, then? 
    Can I show up 
    the very colour of disdain in my 
    cream shirt and three-hundred-dollar switchblade shoes 
    and start a fight with insincerity? 
    Can I stab your other daughter in the eye 
    above your casket? 
    Can I let go of the bottom of you 
    while your head or heel is 
    on the shoulders of one of their husbands, 
    watching their hands fall off? 
    Can they carry their weight now? 
    Can I walk off from the show of 
    their faux-family? 
    Why people only wear Sunday best 
    for four days a year - 
    to say ‘good day’ and put on airs for a Jesus that sees through them, 
    to say ‘good day’ to a year they’ll waste in beer and shouting, 
    to say ‘good luck’ to the next bad couple, 
    to say ‘farewell’ and put Visine in their eyes over your body - 
    when my mother is crying about money 
    and then answering the phone in a stern tone, 
    and I’m trying not to cry too much 
    so people don’t say I have drama queen in me, 
    so I’m not crying at all 
    so people say I have fearsome carelessness in me; 

    I don’t want these 
    yellow carnations 
    to go to waste. 

    I want to drink something sharp and sweet 
    and spit in someone’s eye. 
    I want to tell whoever’s words 
    taste bad in my ear 
    that they could catch one of these carnations 
    as if it’s another ceremony. 
    I want to go back to Tuesday 
    and ask you why you went for a walk 
    in the first place1

    I want to walk into church 
    with my headphones in 
    and all twelve carnations 
    in my hand 
    to sweep sinners cocoyea-broom-style 
    til each petal has said its word in colour 

    and I’ll have 
    white ones to give you now.


    I know: 
    the only reason you ever travel to Port of Spain 
    is to turn right and stare out the window
    into St. Joseph Cemetery 
    at an old love 
    and sigh so hard she doesn’t see you back. 
    I do the same. 
    Tell her I miss her.

  6. The truth is
    I’ll be here tomorrow for who needs me
    but after that
    I need myself
    or a hole
    or hot water
    or acid magic
    or a star going down my throat

    I need a hole in my head like
    I need a hole in my head

    I will give you my shoulder til five.
    I will answer the phone til nine.
    At ten I will be bleeding on something
    with something iron and barricading
    blaring through my ears
    I will crawl down into obscurity
    and take all my prickly feelings down with me
    If there are any questions
    you’ll leave them with
    whoever’s left.

    The truth is
    I’m far too afraid for this folly to fly
    so I’ll put my shards away in my journal
    and put my journal away in the
    spaces where the shards were

    You’ll not really recall it.
    It’d be easier for us all, in fact.
    I know.

  7. What I want to do 
    is sit in his bedroom couch 
    with today’s Newsday, 
    try to solve the sudoku puzzle - 
    blue ballpoint pen, 
    what you write down is 
    what you’re stuck with, 
    no second chances - 
    behind the din of 
    some ESPN football game 
    between teams I don’t care about, 
    windows closed and 
    warm to stifling, 
    untouched food on the bedside table 
    beside pictures of loved ones, 
    some since gone beyond. 
    I want to do this 

    so the bedroom doesn’t notice 
    that downtown Port of Spain 
    housed some stilling chest pain 

    that made a void 
    that my thin fingers cannot begin 
    to fill, 
    but I’ll distract it anyway.

  8. Can we go back, 
    this is the moment, 
    tonight is the night, 
    we’ll fight when it’s over, 
    so we put our-

    hands up 
    don’t shoot 

    I want to say it’s
    as easy as a song lyric 
    but people carved like me
    have sung darker songs 
    have pointed out what grows on these trees
    ex fructibus cognoscetis eons
    of broken backs and broken homes

    and breaking free

    this has not been our moment for a while 
    I can feel the screams from over the seas 

    I have scraped the skin off the bones 
    of their lies 
    and held them within calipers 
    this is the thickness of racism 

    I have measured their law books 
    from end to end 
    have taken note of the weight of their pages 
    this is the thickness of racism 

    I’ve heard lanky white college boys ask about fucking 
    over African sound 
    or African-sounding 
    and don Jamaican accents beside half-Trini trap beat 
    this is the thick drawl of racism

    they want us to stay calm 
    not get overwhelmed 
    emotions destroy the cause of 
    not being destroyed by other people’s emotions 

    those who are hunted 
    only do not look like animals 
    when they remain tame enough to be shot 

    you are given nothing 
    you are getting hunted 

    fuck bein’ on some chill shit 
    we go zero-to-a-hunned, nigga, real quick

    we have rocks 
    and our hands 
    and godly light 
    and our voices 

    only half of these things can free us 
    but the other half just makes sense 
    to keep moving 

    I can’t tell the difference 

    the ceiling has been holding us 
    before we could remember 
    once we sailed with the ceiling 
    as your footpath 
    and once we worked with the ceiling 
    as your foot 

    now we live 
    with the ceiling 
    as the bottom of your expectations 

    the ceiling has been holding us 
    before we could remember 

    we can’t ever put our hands up 
    in celebration 

    only for God to comfort us 
    and to you 
    to feel comfortable

  9. Sometimes I feel detached. Like space is turning around me and leaving me behind. I’ve become untouchable, I say aloud then, no one can feel me. I can walk right through responsibilities, plates stay stained on tables, my pencil rolls away, anything tangled or dusty remains. I’ve become untouchable. It’s a dark observance, and sometimes it calls sharp sounds around me, things to wake me up. Maybe I’m asleep, I ask aloud. Maybe I need this. Sharp. Maybe. Because it would make no sense besides if I asked this question to those I know are alive although I’ve become untouchable, and yet I’ve become untouchable. Now, no one answers my calls. I don’t think I’m here, because otherwise I’d be angry all through this moment. And yet. I’ve become untouchable.

  10. Takin’ een mehself on #CupOfJoeTT this morning in the hospital and an old man taps me on the shoulder and says, “Da’is you? Yuh lookin’ better dere dan yuh lookin’ here!” I know, ent? For which I must thank @facesofbellarouge! And much blessings to @abeoaisha for the chance to share on the show! #poetry #spokenword Don’t forget to get the shirt! #BCPL

    Takin’ een mehself on #CupOfJoeTT this morning in the hospital and an old man taps me on the shoulder and says, “Da’is you? Yuh lookin’ better dere dan yuh lookin’ here!” I know, ent? For which I must thank @facesofbellarouge! And much blessings to @abeoaisha for the chance to share on the show! #poetry #spokenword Don’t forget to get the shirt! #BCPL

  11. to whom it may concern, 
    the owner of the knuckle-shaped stamp 
    that placed ‘property of [redacted]’ on my 
    cheek one day, indelible, 
    daunting, tragic: 

    I see you got yourself 
    something new to wear. 

    I see you got yourself 
    some new ensign of the kind of care 
    I wish you gave yourself when I 
    put sheets of paper listing my sixteen loves 
    all about your sixteen losses of blood 
    in wounded lovelessness 

    here’s hoping 
    when you keep those things on your chest 
    you keep those things close to your chest. 

    I keep asking myself 
    if it’s forgiving you 
    if I want you to shake the speckles of 
    hate off you. 
    It isn’t. 
    Your name still makes the furthest edges of me 
    stand at attention 
    and beg the wind to lift me up 
    and drop me so far from you 
    that my memories have to ask for directions back. 

    I probably just fear you enough 
    to want whoever someone finds in your skin worth loving 
    to be so much different than the you I address right now. 
    That way they’ll never wake up on rainy February night 
    feeling like they added two numbers 
    and settled for half a decade with
    the wrong sum
    when they needed that final answer for themselves. 

    I see you got yourself 
    something new to wear. 
    Maybe if it were small and tight 
    and perfect enough for just the wrist 
    you could keep its ink there 
    so you never forget what you 
    owe yourself and others 
    because damn if one morning 
    something holds you close and 
    you just didn’t happen to take your self-care 
    out of the wardrobe 
    that would be a fucking tragedy. 

    So maybe 
    wear it to bed 
    whisper its cotton wishes onto your flesh 
    every cold night you can 
    til it can’t come off again 
    til its will becomes still 
    til its will becomes flesh 
    takes rest upon your weary fearfulness 
    and won’t let go 
    take it on and in you like a prayer 
    maybe then you’ll be different 
    a mantra with a you inside it 
    maybe then I would even see 
    you walk past me in the street and wave. 

    at the shirt. 

    I don’t care if we’re matching next time 
    hell, the size you’re in may even have for two days been mine 
    it doesn’t matter to me once the 
    shirt starts stretching 
    into something that swallows the worst of you whole 
    and makes all your glistening sharp 
    turn down. 
    leave home looking 
    like something gentle. 

    leave home looking like 
    the shirt means something.

  12. About to go ROCK THE MIC on #SynergyTV! Come take in the #Emancipation #poetry vibes tonight at 8! Check us out live!

    About to go ROCK THE MIC on #SynergyTV! Come take in the #Emancipation #poetry vibes tonight at 8! Check us out live!

  13. (‘loss’, suggested by amy—li)

    It’s hard to not see 
    letting go as surrender. 
    As a mark of failure, as 
    white-flag forfeit of all your truths, 
    as dropping. When you let go, it 
    falls out of your hands to the floor; if it’s 
    fragile, you’re never getting it back. 
    What you pick up is sharper than what 
    hit the ground. 

    I long sometimes for the soft edges 
    of the fine thing I released before it turned 
    brittle, before it lost little chips at 
    the side and tried to take off my finger once. 
    It feels like I turned my back on something 
    that could have loved me if I stuck it out. 

    But then there’s that finger. 

    I let go. It made sense. Not 
    the clatter and the shards, although I’d be 
    lying if I said the noise wasn’t cathartic, 
    to know it was so scattered for a moment, 
    inconsolable, vibrating. Like I was 
    when I had to wrap up my hands from it. 
    Sometimes I think to myself that it’s 
    a shame I had to give up my favourite plate, 
    the thing I had all my bitterest or most 
    savoury secrets from. 

    But then I remember 
    it’d be worse if I had to miss a part of myself. 
    I can eat off anything. Plastic, in fact, 
    has never bitten since. 
    But I can’t fill a hole 
    whole if something tears me. 

    It was her or 
    the finger. It takes a while to remember.

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