Poem: A Tribute to Princess Leia

Note: This was a draft from 2015 when I was preparing for a Nerd Slam at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational at Virginia Commonwealth University. I never I got to perform it, and it’s been in my laptop since then. One of my friend’s convinced me to watch Star Wars after I started college, and Princess Leia has been my favorite since then. When I saw Episode VII in theaters for my birthday in December 2015, I shouted “Nobody has love for Leia?” Because Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker all got their cheers and shouts, but I was the ONLY one cheering for General Leia! What the heck? I’ve watched movies with Carrie Fisher in it before watching Star Wars, and I liked her characters, but Princess Leia touched me the most.

A woman in modest garb and high buns that show your face,

Your presence on Star Wars has humbled men and women everywhere,

Your highness.

Princess Leia Organa,

I thank you.

You gave orders on a space ship full of men

With such affirmation and confidence,

Instead of a TV screen,

Little girls hoped it would be a mirror.

You made that reflection possible

When Hollywood still had trial and error of

Straying from the stay at home mom,

Or glamour girl,

Facades of how women were “supposed to be.”

In Episode VI,

I wept for you when you were enslaved to the hideous creature, Jabba the Hut.

Stripping you of your dignity into half nakedness,

Villains interpreted it as sexy,

But I knew the truth.

Strangling in your chains you portrayed the honesty

Of the chains by men labeled “virgin,” and “slut,”

“Model” and “Housewife.”

Yes you did look beautiful,

But beauty isn’t always safe or right.

And then you used those same chains to choke Jabba to death

That alien man who tried to weigh you down in insecurities

And Constructs

It was glorious!

It would not surprise me if you were the inspiration for Merida,

A princess of messy hair that flowed as a windy river to represent

Unorthodox beauty.

Peggy Carter,

A woman ahead of her time fighting along fellow supermen and mortal men.

Princess Elsa,

The first Disney princess that didn’t have to rule a kingdom with a man!

Your Highness,

You changed film history in the moment of fear and anxiety

Hammering through you to crush you flat upon being captured,

Instead of playing a maiden,

You are pure royalty as you give Darth Vader a glassy stare

Of readiness and courage.

You didn’t say it,

But I’m pretty sure you thought,

“Go screw yourself.”

Yours truly,

A fan.

Poem: Spirituality

**a workshop piece

Speaking from the mountain tops from my mind,

I know it can be hard at times.

Is that truly fine?

I don’t want to become stagnant.

I don’t want to be okay with not pursuing

A greater good in the constant ripple effects of my life.

It’s okay not to be okay,

But it’s not okay to continue perpetuating the idea

Of nothingness.

Prayers are good.

But prayers without legs willing to run,

Or hands willing to climb

In order to reach for the hands that

Pray the most while receiving the least

Is the definition of nothingness.

A black hole of inactivity tempting you by

By blaming the chaos in this world we live in

To tie your hands behind your back

As your source of comfort.

Being a masochist for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, it can be hard to remember

That there is still good in the world to strive for,

Just please don’t forget on purpose.

Don’t fall into the rhythm of a meaningless routine

Because this world fails you.

All you need to know at the end of the day,

It’s going to be 11:59 pm.

Just a minute away for something new

Each day to appear.

Poem: Questions

Note: Sorry it’s been a while. I wrote this for my world religions course last semester. This poem is a mix of the questions I’ve had and questions others may have too.

If He has the whole world in His hands,

And His hands are big and we are small,

Why did He decide to take the time to create something,

Yes, I said some thing,

So small?

Isn’t pointless for Him to hear all of the

Simultaneous white noise we call prayer?

And does it ever cause a buzzing in His ears to hear such moans

And few cheers of thanks, friendship,

Hope, or joy,

Amongst the majority of threats, complaints,

Anger, sadness?

Why create the outer space people refuse to explore

Since they’re not living there?

With all of this omnipotence,

Why is it confusing to differentiate

Between free will and predestination?

As if they play enough tennis as much as

Angels and demons?

If we have the choice of whether or not to choose Him,

Why are we so pressured to please Him?

Religious texts says He weeps,

He smiles,

He has eyebrows that furrow in frustration,

But does He ever…sh••?

P••?

Has He ever fallen in love romantically,

As many people proclaim platonic love,

Yet use bridal metaphors to explain His existence.

Has He ever wanted to run away from us,

Due to our ends having no future?

If He is too big for us to understand,

Why do people believe in Him in the first place?

Why aren’t they angry being compared to ant-like children

Since they find Him “too big to understand”?

Do they not find it insulting, depressing,

To be so miniscule compared to

The one gigantic being labeled at the tippity top

Of the food chain?

Why is it that others believe they’re entitled to answer these questions best,

And not Him?

Poem: Alternative Music

Thumping through my earbuds

Are the musical notes that paraphrase

My state of mind.

They clutch to my eardrums

To hang and play upon,

Hoping to reach low enough

To play my heartstrings…

And they do.

Awakening me in awkward, nerdy, slightly emo

Middle school,

I learned all of the lyrics to a new Paramore song

Each day.

While questioning the concept of prayer,

Their Hallelujah was my meditation.

When questioning afterlives,

Coldplay was my Paradise.

They got me.

So why did friends and family say they weren’t

For me?

Was it because bands were bringing me out of

Certain depths

And not the people in front of me?

No.

The fall was deeper when someone explained how

Strange it was,

Me liking white music.

For music that was a mosaic

Of my emotions,

They did have a point.

Those musicians weren’t exactly the

Same shade as me.

But when I attempt to defend my tastes

Through history of blacks giving birth to

Rock & Roll,

No one wants to hear it.

It’s still seen as white.

Hozier couldn’t Take Me to Church

But he could take everyone else

In this particular context.

I don’t appreciate the oreo complex

In explaining why I should like more

Hip hop or

R&B ,

And I do like a few of those genres

In my playlist,

But it did make me ask:

Where were the sisters?

Where were my mocha to chocolate covered Muses

To soothe me

Through my adolescent sorrows?

If rap could welcome Eminem

And Macklemore,

Why couldn’t alternative

Invite anyone to the brand?

Where was the proof of people of color

Being able to sing about

Depression and exclusivity?

Because it does exist for us.

A lot more than people

Make it out to be.

Where was my proof that not every

Black singer sounded like

Jennifer Hudson?

To my white people, I’m sorry,

I’m not very skilled in gospel singing.

Lyrical storytelling and strong production

Still gets me weak in the knees,

And I still have yet to purchase

A Paramore t-shirt,

But I would love to see more of

My face somewhere.

It shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Poem: Enough

Dear conservative media,

I understand you guys get a bad rap at times,

But this time,

You went too far.

Tired of hearing from angry minorities?

Then you shouldn’t be hurting our own.

You’re the reason why kids like me felt

The obligation of choosing one facet of myself

Over another.

A game of Connect Four on the concept of

Race if you will.

“Which color goes through which slot?”

When did you choose Shaun King

As your new target?

Apparently your outlets are knowledgeable enough

To talk about people of color well.

Apparently you’re validated in comparing

Shaun King to Rachel Dolezal.

Weren’t you just defending her last week?

You’re part of the reason why mixed people

Don’t feel welcome to the table to stand up

For black lives.

You’re the whole reason why the One Drop Rule

Is still a thing.

A rule ingrained in unwritten social textbooks that

People forget need to be closed.

Shaun King’s voice is needed in this movement

You try so hard to be rid of.

He can speak on why majority and minority

Must collaborate in order to live in the free world

You attempt to call “post racial.”

Conservative media,

What the heck is “post racial”?

In terms of Team Color Blind,

Just because you see no evil,

It doesn’t mean there is no evil.

It regurgitates the need to compartmentalize

Our identity by saying we’re not enough.

Black enough, White enough,

Mixed enough, This enough,

Enough is enough, dear outlets.

Enough!

Dear Shaun King,

Your blog on growing mixed

Moved me to tears.

And you’re amazing for fighting against

Police brutality after false accusations

Tell you not to.

Thank you for pushing people like me to join

The conversation.

Thank you for not excluding anyone from this

Great roundtable of knights people only hear about

In fairytales.

Social justice can soon no longer be a fairytale.

So, dear conservative media…

Nice try.

Poem: Tips on Dating a Biracial Woman

Tip One:

Know that every biracial experience is

Different.

Various people

With various cultures

In this melting pot of a world that

Many refuse

To have a taste of.

This is only an experience of one

With black, white, and native descent.

Tip Two:

Let it be know that you are the only designated person

Allowed to touch my hair.

It took a while to let these roots grow proudly

After many either wanting them

To be straight,

Or wanting to invade them

With their non-gardening fingers.

Moreover,

I prefer you touch my hair while we’re intimate.

Tip Three:

We will not be discussing

“Which race I prefer dating.”

It equates the discussion

“Which race I am the closest to,”

As if to show one form of pure commitment.

I can’t just flip the coin

When both sides are better than one.

Tip Four:

Don’t expect me not to question our relationship

If you turn our attraction into a fetish.

A speculation of “exotic beauty”

To take advantage of.

I am more than conspicuous ambiguity.

Tip Five:

Letting your tongue trip into

“I’m not racist, but…”

Proves you’re not worth my time.

You’re supposed to be proof of the clock

Moving forward.

Not backward.

Tip Six:

Yes, my family is very colorful.

Mm hmm…

Now stop staring.

Tip Seven:

Talk to me.

Tip Eight:

Talk to me.

Tip Nine:

Talk to me!

Ask me what growing up was like.

Ask me how

Baltimore and Charleston

Affects me.

Ask me about

Privileges

And lack of privileges

Running through my veins to be

Poured out

Into my every day life.

Ask me about the other things that

Make me different

Besides my racial background.

Tip Ten:

Know that I know

That you are not perfect.

Know that I know

That no man is perfect.

But lack of perfection

Doesn’t excuse you from the act of

Trying.

You should figure out that

I am worth more than lack of effort.