If It Stops: Audio Poem In Collaboration With Tanaka Mhishi

 

Recently Rhymes With Orange poetry collective, of which I am part of, had an eighth birthday party. I had a five minute slot in it and really wanted to write something to acknowledge Black Lives Matter movement. I teamed up with Tanaka Mhishi, an incredible poet, but the poem we wrote was quite long; while you can view the abridged performance here, the video above is the full version. The theme of the night, which we kept to, was “memory”.

Sitting With Discomfort: How To Be An Activist

Before I say anything else at all: SILENCE IS VIOLENCE. White allies, we must support the Black Community. Here is a petition to include Black British history in the school curriculum. There is, in fact, an existing social enterprise that aims to do just that – support The Black Curriculum here. There will be more resources at the end.

Now, about me… My name is Rita. I am white and Polish. I come from a country that is racist, sexist, homo- bi- and transphobic and ableist and I, despite efforts, am all of these things, too. I have now lived in London for eight years – eight years of looking at a society very different to the one I grew up in with an outsider’s eye, reading, learning, processing. I will never be done learning – but I am ready to speak and add my voice to support.

Continue reading “Sitting With Discomfort: How To Be An Activist”

Things That Need To Be Said

Hello again. I’ve been gone. And now I’m back. And this is about the kind of blog this is going to be.

I know that some of you originally followed me for poetry and mental health content. There will still be some of that. However, I’m about to try and change my platforms to activist ones. I have always been politically involved (cursory look at my Twitter would prove that), but I now want to write longish pieces. I now want to write essays. So let’s get into this.

I am a feminist. I am part of LGBTIA+ community (the meditation on my allyship/bisexuality can wait for another day, plus genderfuck and drag). I am an anti-racist and am learning how to be more of an anti-racist. I have been galvanised. Enough is enough.

I am massively annoyed, struck, grieving, terrified and all of the things. You name it. I’m ready to do some work. Hope you’re with me.

Day 27 of NaPoWriMo: About Age

Apples and Snakes prompted on Twitter to talk about my age and this happened:

33. I don’t know how
to birthday. 30th was
kind of perfection. Solo show
first. In later years, I took
bull by the horns and threw
brunches, cooking up a storm, to listen to
friends from different zones of life
try hard. I don’t even know. I
tried hard. 33. Jesus age,
apparently. In the first 3 months
of it. Used to rush in
now I drag my feet. Trying
to get better. The end can come in
weeks, days. It was always so,
but now you can bring death home
from grocery store. I’m sat in sunshine
do not pass go. Billionaires will
get out of jail free. Never thought I’d see
a day just like this. Me,
33. Not very
good at it. who is

Day 26 is Care Blanchett, Wearing A Suit, Doing Her Own Damn Thing

Is Twitter real life
or is it fantasy

I don’t know, but I
found meaning today
in a thread of Cate Blanchett
wearing a suit.

dove gray, chequered
loose or tailored
hair slicked back, spike-gelled
collars, décolletage
serious-faced, grinning
parted lips, spinning
posed, relaxed
open jacket, buttoned-up

all I ever want
is a library of suits

so I too
can move
like Blanchett.

#NaPoWriMo Day 24: Climb Up My Spine

climb up my spine like dread

but with your tongue, melt it up

my chest, a spiral staircase

take me on a journey of myself as

you glide around and

around like you’re swirling ice cream, a shot of

mocha in vanilla, you smile, I feel

a jolt inside. I think I

ripped something. A part of me that thought

I cannot be loved

is currently bleeding relief.

.

and I don’t want you to see, I try

to wipe myself immediately, eyes

dry on command, bleeding now contained, internal

turmoil but you read it with your mouth, pull back

to frown at me

are you okay, you say

beautifully confused. I don’t always have

words, (for someone who has

all the words), when it cuts,

tears mostly tell the story. I tell you

I tell you, I tell you all of it.

You don’t leave.

Day 23 of #NaPoWriMo: How This Goes

I know how this goes

Social media – a slippery slope

Lots of information, keeps you on your toes

I know how this goes

I know how this goes

Someone trusted has once laughed at Snopes

And your friends are smarter than your foes

And you’re smarter than average Joe

I know how this goes

Bill Gates’ name will surely be invoked

When I question, an offended moue

A suggestion to read up – no more

You have research on YouTube to show

All the while my disengagement grows

I say “science” and you say “I know”

scary times, under a microscope

this is how, it’s such a human trope

tell a villain story and then stoke

all the feelings, reel them in, how broke

information, media system, go

try and fix it, fail, it’s too big, low-

key give up, pray we stop this – hope…..

do you know, do you also know

do y’all know how this goes

Day 22 of #NaPoWriMo: Tiredness Echoes

I’m tired. Have started several (so many!) poetry pieces that I can’t finish today. So here’s my poem and I’m going to switch creative media and go bake focaccia.

my head echoed, so
I had a look inside
there was nothing to find

Day 21 of #NaPoWriMo – Today I’m Writing

today I’m writing a thing. I’m asking noone, today, I’m writing, my thing, noone allowed me – today, I asked zero people’s permission to write – and capitalism also didn’t bite – just me myself and I.

remember childhood. Heroines who wrote on stolen paper. Little girls who read books on hiding. My own sneaky ways reading books when I should’ve been in piano practice.

writing journals that would then get stolen or lost. How luxurious is this. I am here. No Margaret Atwood visions interfere with my holding of this pen. I’m writing in purple although that’s “not serious”, I’m writing longhand though it’s less “productive”, producing nothing, earning nothing, except my own, my own precariously held

peace of mind.

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