Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Victory Threads

Enlarge poem

I heard her friends laugh at her
that laugh which is square
that stops at points
never to wonder
only to breathe in
base expulsions of uncurious air

she had proclaimed
in a combined fit
of wistfulness and swaggering insolence
she had had combs in Abidjan
with names
-Akissi, Ahou, Abla, Ama , Adjoua-
who understood the temperament
of each day’s hair story
who could dress your head
while weaving choruses of victory threads in your brain
preparing you to meet the day
haughty and wholly armored.

Octavia McBride-Ahebee

Featured Poem:

Raise Your Head and Try Again

Enlarge poem

the way you enter me
from the cellar of your imagination
presenting me to the world
as a singular vision of ripped vulvas
cut opened by plundering jungle penises in camouflage and flip-flops
is your construction
now come on, I say,
standing on two feet with womb wide open
and It hauling its own memories

I will raise another narrative
and its antagonist is you
here are my handless limbs
hacksawed by your henchman
the pope, leopold, mobutu, ike
even the brown messiah
here is my plowed vagina
held hostage for rubber quotas and ivory tusks

raise from the dead with your memory and mouth
my grandmothers’ heads pitched on crosses of blood bars
hair coiffed and stunned –prepared to receive a returning lover

you-who created Little Boy and Fat Man from my estate,
to drop on the heads of my two, little sisters
you-who erase our leaders in acid, keeping only their teeth to prove who’s the man

when you raise yourself
from the malaise of your first-world existence
to take a ride through my vagina to claim your outrage and celebrity
take a dive-feet first-into the history of the Lindi River
listen to its gurgling odes to Koprowski
and the trials he inflicted here
shooting up our bodies and our gods
leaving us no protection
so you could walk upright and slide so easily into your indignation

you are greedy for what does not sustain
a cell phone, a race to the moon, the obliteration of light
your gluttony is a weapon of war just a eviscerating as my brothers’ penises

raise you head and try again

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Octavia’s work has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Damazine; A Literary Journal of the Muslim World, Fingernails Across The Chalkboard: Poetry And Prose on HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora, Under Our Skin: Literature of Breast Cancer, Sea Breeze- A Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writing, The Journal of the National Medical Association, Art in Medicine Section and the Beloit Poetry Journal. Assuming Voices, a poetry collection, was published in 2003 by Lit Pot Press. Her newest collection of poetry, Where My Birthmark Dances, was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press.

Octavia McBride-Ahebee

Biography

Octavia’s work has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Damazine; A Literary Journal of the Muslim World, Fingernails Across The Chalkboard: Poetry And Prose on HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora, Under Our Skin: Literature of Breast Cancer, Sea Breeze- A Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writing, The Journal of the National Medical Association, Art in Medicine Section and the Beloit Poetry Journal. Assuming Voices, a poetry collection, was published in 2003 by Lit Pot Press. Her newest collection of poetry, Where My Birthmark Dances, was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press.

Victory Threads

Enlarge poem

I heard her friends laugh at her
that laugh which is square
that stops at points
never to wonder
only to breathe in
base expulsions of uncurious air

she had proclaimed
in a combined fit
of wistfulness and swaggering insolence
she had had combs in Abidjan
with names
-Akissi, Ahou, Abla, Ama , Adjoua-
who understood the temperament
of each day’s hair story
who could dress your head
while weaving choruses of victory threads in your brain
preparing you to meet the day
haughty and wholly armored.

Featured Poem:

Raise Your Head and Try Again

Enlarge poem

the way you enter me
from the cellar of your imagination
presenting me to the world
as a singular vision of ripped vulvas
cut opened by plundering jungle penises in camouflage and flip-flops
is your construction
now come on, I say,
standing on two feet with womb wide open
and It hauling its own memories

I will raise another narrative
and its antagonist is you
here are my handless limbs
hacksawed by your henchman
the pope, leopold, mobutu, ike
even the brown messiah
here is my plowed vagina
held hostage for rubber quotas and ivory tusks

raise from the dead with your memory and mouth
my grandmothers’ heads pitched on crosses of blood bars
hair coiffed and stunned –prepared to receive a returning lover

you-who created Little Boy and Fat Man from my estate,
to drop on the heads of my two, little sisters
you-who erase our leaders in acid, keeping only their teeth to prove who’s the man

when you raise yourself
from the malaise of your first-world existence
to take a ride through my vagina to claim your outrage and celebrity
take a dive-feet first-into the history of the Lindi River
listen to its gurgling odes to Koprowski
and the trials he inflicted here
shooting up our bodies and our gods
leaving us no protection
so you could walk upright and slide so easily into your indignation

you are greedy for what does not sustain
a cell phone, a race to the moon, the obliteration of light
your gluttony is a weapon of war just a eviscerating as my brothers’ penises

raise you head and try again

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Victory Threads

Enlarge poem

I heard her friends laugh at her
that laugh which is square
that stops at points
never to wonder
only to breathe in
base expulsions of uncurious air

she had proclaimed
in a combined fit
of wistfulness and swaggering insolence
she had had combs in Abidjan
with names
-Akissi, Ahou, Abla, Ama , Adjoua-
who understood the temperament
of each day’s hair story
who could dress your head
while weaving choruses of victory threads in your brain
preparing you to meet the day
haughty and wholly armored.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.