Posts from the “Pretty Poetry” Category

Five Things We Learned About Solange From Her Interview With Beyonce

SOLANGE by Beyonce  

  (via Interview Magazine)

Five things we learned about Solange from her interview with Beyonce 

1. Master P Inspires Solange

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Solange talks about inspiration with Beyonce in her new interview with Interview Magazine.

While discussing the inspiration behind creating her album  “A Seat at the Table” Solange mentions a few familiar names such as Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, and Minnie Rippleton.

It wasn’t until Beyonce asked Solange about the vocal samples used throughout her album that we found out Master P is her biggest inspiration.

Solange explains that growing up Master P reminded her of her father.

 Master P is an empowering figure in the community because of his loyalty and commitment to uplifting the community and investing in black people.

She talks about how he never lost sight of his goals, investments, and what he built.

Master P was a good example of someone who didn’t turn his back on his community when he got famous, and to her that represented empowerment.

“You and I were raised being told not to take the first thing that came our way, to build our own platforms, our own spaces, if they weren’t available to us. And I think that he is such a powerful example of that.” – Solange

2. Cranes In the Sky Was Written Eight Years Ago

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Solange wrote Cranes in the Sky 8 years ago, and it is the only song written independently of “A Seat At The Table.”

Solo wrote this song when she was going through a break up from her junior high school sweetheart and child’s father.

She explains that she was trying to view herself for the first time (aside from being a mother and a wife) and she was in transition.

“And I think every woman in her twenties has been there—where it feels like no matter what you are doing to fight through the thing that is holding you back, nothing can fill that void.” – Solange

Solange wrote Cranes 8 years go in Miami, a peaceful place to record music she initially thought.

All of the construction she would see prompted this analogy and ultimately became the title of her hit song.

“I remember thinking of it as an analogy for my transition—this idea of building up, up, up that was going on in our country at the time, all of this excessive building, and not dealing with what was in front of us.” – Solange

She talks about her transition, using the analogy for the inspiration, and describes how cranes in the sky were constantly building upward and ignoring the work in plain sight.

3. “A Seat At The Table” Took Three Years to Create

Solange took her time, producing vocals, co producing tracks, working on visuals, and writing all of the lyrics for A Seat At The Table; ultimately creating a masterpiece.

While brainstorming various ideas, Solo was initially unsure about mixing business and pleasure when considering working with her husband Alan.

Out of fear of jeopardizing the solid relationship the two built, Solange was unsure about working together on her album.

With a little of encouragement from Beyonce, Solange finally decided that Alan would be the best person to help with the visual aspect of her album due to the great friendship, bond, and love they shared.

“I swear, you guys are going to be just fine and will probably make the best work that you have ever made because of the way that you love and respect one another and each other’s vision” – Beyonce

Husband and wife, Solange and Alan went on to shooting 21 scenes in one week.

This included climbing water falls, risky mountain tops, and traveling across country with very expensive camera equipment. That’s love.

Solo and her team traveled from New Orleans to New Mexico making at least ten stops along the way making sure the video production was relevant to her vocals.

4. Solange loves the Real Housewives of Atlanta

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Bloop!

Solange loves watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

“I love that show and think it’s so brilliant because it’s the woman that was represented in my childhood in Houston. It makes me feel so at home.”

She talks about how much it makes her laugh. “I watch it religiously, and I am in stitches the whole time.”

5. Nas is Solange’s hero (mine too)

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“One of my proudest moments as a sister was when I was able to introduce you to your hero, Nas, and you cried and acted a fool. I was so surprised that Mrs. Too-cool-for-everything was acting a fool…”– Beyonce

Read the entire interview here

 

 

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Philly Poet Appreciation Post

Soledad Alfaro-Allah: reads “Fencing Poem” at the Philly Youth Poetry Movement Grand Slam

Perry ‘Vision’ DiVirgillio: Philly spoken word poet “Vision” performs “Thirsty.” 

Joshua Bennett “Say It, Sing it as the Spirit Leads” (After Vievee Francis)

TS Hawkins: performs “Momma’s Worry” at the “Girls Will Rock Philly” benefit concert in 2015

Trapeta Mayson: performs at Blue Banana on South Street.

‘A Love Letter to Philadelphia’ by Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher

‘A Love Letter to Philadelphia’ by Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher

Poet Laureate po·et lau·re·ate /ˌpōət ˈlôrēət/ noun

 a poet appointed to, or regarded unofficially as holding, an honorary representative position in a particular country, region, or group.

“Dear Philly,

Sonia always puts the words a place called before your name. Girl, you’ve been called so many names. Been called out of your name, too. Philly. Illadelph. 215. Killadelphia. You are corner stores and cranes, murals and museums, litter and Love Park.

I used to be a girl poet from the suburbs in the backseat of my stepfather Doug’s army-green sedan, yearning for you to look my way with your tragic smile. Doug knew you like the back of his hand; I memorized all your street names: Indian Queen Lane. Rising Sun Avenue. Minerva Street. Venango was a poisonous fruit of a word, cassava-sweet:

o’ city lights,
bless the crimson-eyed junkies praying over vents,
guide the urine of canker-sored bums to the sewer grates, help the comic-stripped hookers push back poverty tears.
o’ city lights,
the eyes of a lame flute player on 52nd need your attention—
shame on you, for forgetting.

Riding the R5 down to Market East Station to promenade in the Gallery in a tennis dress with my hair wrapped tight and smooth like Halle Berry’s in Boomerang, I acted grown so you’d notice me. I would drive myself into you one day:

malona is cruisin with the girls
Mischief, a satin kerchief easin out her back pocket
it’s gonna rain young, full-hipped malonas wearin the city on the shelves of their…

And then I started to really hear you, came to love you beyond pity and promiscuity. Fed you black beans and Jean Toomer’s “Georgia Dusk” at Toviah’s Thrift Store out West. Sat straight-backed in a plastic chair—room M18 in the Bonnell Building of CCP—while you coaxed a soprano out of me, and I sang—yeah, I sang—“Thank You, Lord” with your sinners and your savers. I caught your spirit.

You’re always in season, blooming with another renaissance. Artists all up in your first forests, heathens all up under your churches and mosques. We come to you as atheists and leave as preachers. Railroads run through your gut. Harriet’s tribe raced through here on their way to Canada. Archaeological shards vibrating with black-bottomed beats.

Sometimes I hear heels outside my window and mistake a woman for a horse from a neighborhood stable. Once I saw a young woman, like a petulant-shouldered Ntozake Shange with black and blonde braids, red lipstick, and tight blue jeans, riding a stallion down the middle of modern-day Morris Street like she’d been doing it for centuries. I think these women are you. No offense, I see you in the stray cats on the block, too. I can’t name all of the dangers or kindnesses in the broken glass of their eyes.

Walking up Schoolhouse Lane makes me think about old black schoolhouses in the woods of Northern Neck, Virginia, where my people are really from. Proud teachers in crinolines. Children dusty, but hungry for knowledge. When I taught at the Quaker School four blocks up, your kids would walk alongside me in the morning with bags of red-hot pork rinds, hungry for knowledge. Eleven-year-old Cheryl would be on her way to Pickett Middle School where the hard rock (she said bad) kids didn’t let her learn. Could you take me to your school?

I’m still thinking about how to take Cheryl (and a couple of the hard rock kids) with me. And here I am, walking my daily, grown woman sojourn through you. Someone’s planted irises and tiger lilies in a bed á la feng shui next to the train overpass. Past the Mactavish home, huge, with its big guard dog that has learned to like smooth rocks like me. The droopy branches of their heirloom trees form a canopy over the pavement. [

When I get to Pulaski, I reminisce over Jackie-turned-Sis-Het-Heru who years ago saw my husband Mark on the street and said, “Here, take these books to your woman. I know she is a bibliophile.” Hundreds of books from her personal library, a Ph.D at Temple University. She had forsaken the academic gods up North for your Egyptian ones along Germantown Avenue, rocking a bald head and a tunic in December. We wheeled her Baldwins and Emechetas home in a little red shopping cart. And so, as I stroll through your Green Society Hill streets, I say a simple prayer to/for Jackie-turned-Sis-Het-Heru, which is also a prayer to/for you.

And I get to singing something out loud, maybe one of my own songs or some jazz standard I’m practicing for a gig, and it’s when I’m walking up Schoolhouse like this, or any of your streets whose names I’ve made romantic, that I feel like I’m on stage—a real chanteuse—and I’m perfectly pitched as I get to Wayne Avenue, not before I nod towards your brothers on the halfway house porch and to the banana tree in front of the Sawyer house. I got married in the Sawyers’ backyard, beyond that banana tree.

Born to you and not from you. Bound for you and bound to you. I find pieces of you on each block and gather them up. You give me love. Like the brother walking up the street in a funk and a daze. Like the kids smoking an L in the brash light of morning. Like the sister on a corner prowl. The part of you I love best is darker than Poe.

I was searching for a pyramid in you, Philly. But pyramids don’t grow here, and that’s alright. Poems do.

Love,

Yolanda

Yolanda Wisher – Sincerely, Philadelphia: A Letter to Our New President

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them” Maya Angelou’s Quotes To Live By

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you…”

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” I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

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“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”

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“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

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“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”

tumblr_n6afo44l0q1s3nuv7o9_500.jpg“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.”

“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.”

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“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

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“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

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“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

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“…you will recognize me for I shall be the tall Black lady smiling.”

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“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”

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My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

-Maya Angelou

“I tried to make a home outta you. But doors lead to trapdoors.”

“Lemonade” poetry bits

Intuition

I tried to make a home outta you.
But doors lead to trapdoors. A stairway leads to nothing.
Unknown women wander the hallways at night.
Where do you go when you go quiet?
You remind me of my father, a magician. Able to exist in two places at once.
In the tradition of men in my blood you come home at 3AM and lie to me.
What are you hiding? The past, and the future merge to meet us here.
What luck. What a fucking curse.

Denial

I tried to change.
Closed my mouth more.
Tried to be soft, prettier.
Less…awake.

Fasted for 60 days.
Wore white.
Abstained from mirrors.
Abstained from sex.
Slowly did not speak another word.

In that time my hair grew past my ankles.
I slept on a mat on the floor.
I swallowed a sword.
I levitated… into the basement, I confessed my sins and was baptized in a river.
Got on my knees and said, “Amen.” And said I mean. I whipped my own back and asked for dominion at your feet.
I threw myself into a volcano.
I drank the blood and drank the wine.
I sat alone and begged and bent at the waist for God.
I crossed myself and thought… I saw the devil.
I grew thickened skin on my feet.
I bathed…in bleach and plugged my menses with pages from the Holy Book.
But still inside me coiled deep was the need to know.
Are you cheating? Are you cheating on me?

Anger

If this what you truly want.
I can wear her skin…over mine.
Her hair, over mine.
Her hands as gloves.
Her teeth as confetti.
Her scalp, a cap.
Her sternum, my bedazzled cane.
We can pose for a photograph.
All three of us, immortalized.
You and your perfect girl.

I don’t know when love became elusive.
What I know is no one I know has it.
My father’s arms around my mother’s neck.
Fruit too ripe to eat.

I think of lovers as trees…
…growing to and from one another.
Searching for the same light.
Why can’t you see me? Why can’t you see me? (Why can’t you) Why can’t you see me? Everyone else can.

Apathy

So what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me?

Here lies the body of the love of my life, whose heart I broke without a gun to my head. Here lies the mother of my children both living and dead. Rest in peace, my true love, who I took for granted, most bomb pussy, who because of me, sleep evaded. Her shroud is loneliness.

Her God was listening.
Her heaven would be a love without betrayal.
Ashes to ashes…dust to side chicks.

Emptiness

She sleeps all day…dreams of you in both worlds.

Tills the blood in and out of uterus. Wakes up smelling of zinc.
Grief, sedated by orgasm.
Orgasm heightened by grief.
God was in the room when the man said to the woman, “I love you so much. Wrap your legs around me and pull me in, pull me in, pull me in.”
Sometimes when he’d have her nipple in his mouth, she’d whisper, “Oh my God.” That, too, is a form of worship.
Her hips grind pestle and mortar, cinnamon and cloves, whenever he pulls out.

Loss.
Dear moon, we blame you for floods…for the flush of blood…for men who are also wolves. We blame you for the night, for the dark, for the ghosts.

Every fear…
Every nightmare…anyone has ever had.

Accountability

You find the black tube inside her beauty case.
Where she keeps your father’s old prison letters.
You desperately want to look like her.
You look nothing like your mother.
You look everything like your mother.
Film star, beauty.
How to wear your mother’s lipstick.
You go to the bathroom to apply the lipstick.
Somewhere no one can find you.
You must wear it like she wears disappointment on her face.
Your mother is a woman.
And women like her can not be contained.

Mother dearest, let me inherit the Earth.
Teach me how to make him beg.
Let me make up for the years he made you wait.
Did he bend your reflection?
Did he make you forget your own name?
Did he convince you he was a God?
Did you get on your knees daily?
Do his eyes close like doors?
Are you a slave to the back of his head?
Am I talking about your husband or your father?

Reformation

He bathes me…
…until I forget their names…and faces.
I ask him to look me in the eye when I come…home.
Why do you deny yourself heaven?
Why do you consider yourself undeserving?
Why are you afraid of love? You think it’s not possible for someone like you.
But you are the love of my life…love of my life…the love of my life…the love of my life.

Forgiveness

Baptize me…
…now that reconciliation is possible.
If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious.
One thousand girls raise their arms.

Do you remember being born?

Are you thankful?
Are the hips that cracked…
…the deep velvet of your mother…
…and her mother…
…and her mother?
There is a curse that will be broken.

Resurrection

You are terrifying…
…and strange…
…and beautiful.

Hope

The nail technician pushes my cuticles back…
…turns my hand over, stretches the skin on my palm and says:
“I see your daughters, and their daughters.”
That night in a dream the first girl emerges from a slit in my stomach.
The scar heals into a smile.
The man I love pulls the stitches out with his fingernails.
We leave black sutures curling on the side of the bath.
I wake as the second girl crawls headfirst up my throat.
A flower blossoming out of the hole in my face.

Redemption

Take one pint of water, add a half pound of sugar, the juice of eight lemons…
…the zest of half lemon.
Pour the water from one jug, then into the other, several times.
Strain through a clean napkin.

Grandmother, the alchemist.
You spun gold out of this hard life.
Conjured beauty from the things left behind.
Found healing where it did not live.
Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen.
Broke the curse with your own two hands.
You passed these instructions down to your daughter.
Who then passed it down to her daughter.

My grandma said, nothing real can be threatened.
True love brought salvation back into me.
With every tear came redemption.
And my torturer became my remedy.

So we’re gonna heal, we’re gonna start again.
You’ve brought the orchestra.
Synchronized swimmers, you are the magician.
Pull me back together again the way you cut me in half.
Make the woman in doubt disappear.
Pull the sorrow from between my legs like silk, knot after knot after knot.
The audience applauds…
…but we can’t hear them.

Source

Come and see me

Doesn’t make sense now
Shit just got real, things are getting intense now
I hear you talkin’ ’bout we a lot, oh, you speak French now?
Giving me the signs so I gotta take a hint now
I hit you up like “Do you wanna hang right now?”
On the East Side and you know I’m with the gang right now
You say do I own a watch, do I know what time it is right now
It’s after 2AM and that’s asking a lot of you right now

All she talkin’ bout is come and see me for once
Come and see me for once
You don’t ever come to me, you don’t ever come to me
All she ever say is come and see me for once
Come and see me for once
You don’t ever come to me, you don’t ever come to me

I been up for two whole days thinking what I did to keep you going
Thumbing through the voicemails that you left me telling me where I went wrong
I’ll admit I’m sorry when I feel I’m truly sorry
Things change, people change, feelings change too
Never thought the circumstances woulda changed you
You said you never traded no, (Yeah you said that)
And I believed you when they told me don’t, (Yeah thought you meant that)
But either way you’re still invited and I can’t even lie to you

Swear these days all you say is come and see me for once
Come and see me for once
You don’t ever come to me, you don’t ever come to me
All she hit me with is come and see me for once
Come and see me for once
You don’t ever come to me, you don’t ever come to me

Why you gotta start girl, why you gotta start?
I know we make time for the things that we want
I know you got another nigga tryna play the part
Just ’cause he got a heart don’t mean he got heart
Could be standing in a field, and he still ain’t in the field
If anything should change then I thought we had a deal
Lately you keep questioning what you get out the deal
Doing things to make me feel the way I make you feel
How hard is it to let you know when I’m coming home
That way you could be prepared, maybe take a couple sick days and not miss pay
I don’t even know what things are looking like inside of your place and how it’s decorated
This thing is getting one-sided, I can’t even lie to you right now

All she talkin’ bout is come and see me for once
Come and see me for once
You don’t ever come to me, you don’t ever come to me
All she hit me with is come and see me for once
Come and see me for once
You don’t ever come to me, you don’t ever come to me

@partynextdoor my new favorite song.

-Maya

Solange- A Seat at the Table: The Writing Process

“A Seat at the Table” Solange

Check out the writing process for A Seat At The Table. Solange shares part of her journery in creating this awesome album!! Yassss Solo

Currently my favorite songs 💕

“Cranes In The Sky”

I tried to drink it away

I tried to put one in the air

I tried to dance it away
I tried to change it with my hair I ran my credit card bill up
Thought a new dress would make it better
I tried to work it away
But that just made me even sadder I tried to keep myself busy
I ran around in circles
Think I made myself dizzy
I slept it away, I sexed it away
I read it away Away, away, away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away, away

Well it’s like cranes in the sky
Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds
Yeah it’s like cranes in the sky
Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds

I tried to run it away
Thought then my head be feeling clearer
I traveled 70 states
Thought moving around make me feel better

I tried to let go my lover
Thought if I was alone then maybe I could recover
To write it away or cry it away (don’t you cry it baby)

Away, away, away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away, away

But it’s like cranes in the sky
Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds
Yeah it’s like cranes in the sky
Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds

Away, away, away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away, away

“Don’t Touch My Hair”

(feat. Sampha)

Don’t touch my hair

When it’s the feelings I wear
Don’t touch my soul
When it’s the rhythm I know
Don’t touch my crown
They say the vision I’ve found
Don’t touch what’s there
When it’s the feelings I wear They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know
They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know You know this hair is my shit,
rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine
You know this hair is my shit,
rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine

[Solange & Sampha:]
What you say, oh
What you say to me [x8]

Don’t touch my pride
They say the glory’s all mine
Don’t test my mouth
They say the truth is my sound

They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know
They don’t understand
What it means to me
Where we chose to go
Where we’ve been to know

You know this hair is my shit,
rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine
You know this hair is my shit,
rode the ride, I gave it time
But this here is mine

#SoGone

You make me feel so unreal

These sad days wont last forever

(said that I need ya)

I didn’t mean it when I said I wish you’d stay forever

(I don’t really need ya)

Is it everyone else or is it me? A good title for a biography

Ain’t too proud to beg, just so tired of crying

Tired of thinking of how better things could be if you would just start trying

No matter how much time goes by

Or how much space you neglect to fill or how many moments I have to question if what I feel is really real

Ill always love you as Whitney proclaimed and wait for my heart to heal.

I’ll never forget how you made me feel. So unreal. 

 So gone

It’s Me

“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.” -unknown

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