What is her name?
Elizabeth Zandile Tshele
ah, by the way what is her name?
she must have a name, that African woman,
the one who has cried torrents, opened
her legs, made the fire with her tears, dug
dungeons with cracked heels on her
way to the dried-up river, ran on rocks,
carried these children, nursed them, loved them,
cried for them, bargained with the Gods for them,
she has tilled this land, fed this nation,
fed the world, eaten last, after everybody else,
she been beaten black and red and raped and
then forgotten in her own biography,
just what is her name damnit, what is her name?
Cause I’ma Heal Me
And you think you know ME…
cause you saw a girl like ME… In a book
by an anti-ME, who sniffed MY shit
when he was in school.
Don’t get it twisted…
Anthropology don’t mean you know ME
My badd to the anthropology degree
And you think you can heal ME…
cause you know the man who killed ME,
riddled MY life with “what if “ hypothesis.
His DNA charging you with scrutiny,
performing your duties well…
Serving up invisibility… you smother ME in
flowery blankets of multi-cultural
Selling pre-fabricated images in 9th St. shops
Sowing hollow seed to deplete
You spread mad cow diseased shit over ME
and kill fertile soil… tip-toeing between ME and
You don’t know nuthin bout ME
And My SIRvival names your destiny
CAUSE when dawn breaks I am Sun kissed Sankofa
Snug hugged, sista loved Head nestled in napped
necks bathed in hints of Peacefire oil.
I’m plotting revolution with six forks in a five dollar
piece of sweet cream pie, and meeting Audre
as Zach pumps Sweet
as Zach pumps Sweet
Honey through my veins
I am strong now I am fed
nourished through poets writers and song
Booty windin Hips grindin to Lauryn cause
Hell yeah “ You just lost one”
And Aiden and ME…
We pick steel door dead bolt locks for Patty Sue
Cause we know
Freedom Looks like squirrels mating on rooftops,
and mama birds nesting in second story dryer ducts
Creating home despite your destruction.
Outside the big box, where Ubuntu grows.
I got ME
So if you think you know ME cause you saw a girl like ME in a book
On the Auction Block
Hear ye Hear Ye! Come one, come all!
There’s a big sale going on. They are selling fast.
Everybody’s putting in their bids.
There are vaginas on the auction block
And yes they belong to us, we, you and me.
Can you believe it! I never thought I would see the day,
When the very essence of life would be stripped away.
The auction block is sturdy, will last for years.
Yet our heads are hung low, soaking the block with our tears.
We stand with our hearts full of shame.
We don’t belong to us, we don’t have a name.
Our vaginas are on the auction block
And yes, they belong to us, we, you and me.
Going once, going twice, sold…sold…sold…sold
SOLD to the slave master who bartered our vaginas
for a bushel of sugar cane.
SOLD to the brother who claimed to be all about the revolution
but was really looking for another vagina to maim.
SOLD to the pimp who strolls up and down Hollywood Lane
SOLD to the trick who pays with money from slangin cane
SOLD to the executive from BET, yeah, same game, different name
SOLD to the guy we met last night at homecoming
went to the room to talk and the rest is history.
History for him but not for we.
It stays in our memory bank forever.
The scars of the auction are FOREVER.
Now forever is forever, but it’s a new day.
That’s right, the auction block hasn’t gone away.
It has been remolded, refurbished, renewed.
The block comes equipped with a pole
ready for us to take a swing
or maybe a lap dance for the spectators.
We are standing on the block with confidence,
swaying and dancing to auction block music
like “Laffy Taffy” and “Candy Shop”.