Hair Crisis

Fluff up the frizz,
pull down the coils—
I’m torn.
The song tells me
I am not my hair,
but my reflection glares
back, demanding an
explanation—
Why do I think this
…Lion’s Mane…
is appropriate for
the corporate office;
for walking on sidewalks
behind white women
clutching expensive purses;
for PTA meetings about
strict dress codes—bans
against colors red, blue,
bandannas in back pockets,
tank tops whose namesake
promotes domestic violence,
“distracting” hairstyles.
My afro enters the room
before I do; everyone
turns, stares, mouths agape,
the atmosphere freezes;
I float in limbo while
they decide what to call
my hair—
It’s like a hat,
like a firework,
an overgrown bush,
chop it down with shears
with weed whackers,
it’s unkempt, nappy.
It is defiant toward gravity,
stiff under patting hands
molding it into a shape
more tolerable. It is
the fear of militant Negros
fist fighting the Klansmen
buried in their backyards.
It is the severed limbs
of my enslaved ancestors
rising from my scalp,
reaching up, out, catching
freedom in the wind, in
low hanging branches, in
lost Bobby pins that
cannot tame my
ROAR!

—Nortina


wp-1460120669780.jpgIt’s been a while since I’ve written a poem other than a haiku. Since April is NaPoWriMo, I thought I’d work off the rust, draw some inspiration from BlaPoWriMo  (and the almost hair identity crisis I had standing in front of the mirror this morning before work), and write this poem.

Dankeschön – Thank You; English #frapalymo

Dankeschön.
That’s the only German I know.
Dankeschön.
Grandpa used to say it all the time.
I don’t know where he learned German.
He fought in Korea—
or was it ‘Nam?
Well, he didn’t actually fight;
He cooked for the troops,
but maybe there were a few
West German soldiers in the battalion
who said Dankeschön as he ladled the
goulash into their bowls.

Dankeschön, duspreka.
I don’t know what duspreka means.
Grandpa thinks he’s saying Thank you, miss.
But I don’t have a German to English dictionary
to fact check him, only Google Translate.
For all I know, this whole time, he’s been speaking
four-letter words or gibberish.

And why is any of this important?
Well, I imagine violins playing softly in the background
as I recount some of my fondest memories of my grandpa.
But don’t shed a mournful tear for me—
he’s still alive;
just a silly, old man
who speaks gibberish in German.

—Nortina


frapalymoSo, I wasn’t able to participate in National Poetry Month in April because I was too busy with the A to Z Challenge, which you can read here. And although I did my own version of NaPoWriMo earlier this year, I’ve decided, for the month of May, to join Germany’s version, Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates to Mrs Paulchens Poetry Month. Thank you, Bee, for inviting us English speakers; or should I say, Dankeschön! 😉

Today’s prompt is “everything goes better with music.” So if you’re interested, head on over to Fooling around with Bee to see what #frapalymo is all about!

SoCS: Decomposed

I awake with feces on my hand.
A decomposed lover lies next to me.

Eyes no life—sliding down
the sides of his face—
stare at me as his bottom
lip juts out and lavender gums
drop canines onto the
excrement-soaked sheets.
His skin clings to the bed
as I roll his body over the edge.

He was alive last night, clamping
his teeth onto my inner thighs,
circling his tongue around my navel,
and lower, lapping me up
until I burst. When he mounted me,
his eyes turned bright green.
Now, they’re gray, falling
from the sockets.

I wipe his sweat from my breasts.
I can’t peel the decayed foreskin inside me.

—Nortina


This is in response to Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Staying in line with the A to Z Challenge, our prompt had to be a word with the prefix “de–.” Extra points for me since my word ended in “–ed”!

Since it’s NaPoWriMo, I decided to give you guys this creepy ass poem. It’s a continuation of a theme I started with another poem that was published in FishFood Magazine earlier this year. I’m thinking about writing a chapbook using this Necro-Lovers theme. What do you think? By the way, I had my 30 days of poetry writing back in January/February with my No Holds Barred Poetry Writing Challenge, so I’m gonna stick to the A to Z Challenge this April. I don’t want to overwhelm myself! 🙂