Liberty

It’s so easy to fall in love with her, every whim becomes an idea worth fighting for.

Every strand of her consciousness beckons to herself

Like an embrace for a daughter so eager to be a son.

She whispers,

“Womanhood is a privilege bestowed only on some.”

Be lioness in a thorn-bush corner,

Be a she-wolf at your lover’s throat under attack.

Make a vow to an impossible dream,

Your lover’s arms…

and becoming, becoming, becoming…

I. G. Didova (B. Levskey)

For My People

Margaret Walker – 1915-1998

For my people everywhere singing their slave songs 
     repeatedly: their dirges and their ditties and their blues
     and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an 
     unknown god, bending their knees humbly to an 
     unseen power;

For my people lending their strength to the years, to the 
    gone years and the now years and the maybe years, 
    washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending 
    hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching
    dragging along never gaining never reaping never 
    knowing and never understanding;

For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama
    backyards playing baptizing and preaching and doctor 
    and jail and soldier and school and mama and cooking 
    and playhouse and concert and store and hair and Miss
    Choomby and company;

For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn 
    to know the reasons why and the answers to and the 
    people who and the places where and the days when, in 
    memory of the bitter hours when we discovered we 
    were black and poor and small and different and nobody 
    cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood;

For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to 
    be man and woman, to laugh and dance and sing and 
    play and drink their wine and religion and success, to 
    marry their playmates and bear children and then die
    of consumption and anemia and lynching;

For my people thronging 47th Street in Chicago and Lenox 
    Avenue in New York and Rampart Street in New 
    Orleans, lost disinherited dispossessed and happy 
    people filling the cabarets and taverns and other 
    people’s pockets needing bread and shoes and milk and
    land and money and something—something all our own;

For my people walking blindly spreading joy, losing time 
     being lazy, sleeping when hungry, shouting when 
     burdened, drinking when hopeless, tied, and shackled 
     and tangled among ourselves by the unseen creatures 
     who tower over us omnisciently and laugh;

For my people blundering and groping and floundering in 
     the dark of churches and schools and clubs and
     societies, associations and councils and committees and 
     conventions, distressed and disturbed and deceived and 
     devoured by money-hungry glory-craving leeches, 
     preyed on by facile force of state and fad and novelty, by 
     false prophet and holy believer;

For my people standing staring trying to fashion a better way
    from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding, 
    trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people, 
    all the faces, all the adams and eves and their countless
    generations;

Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a 
    bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second 
    generation full of courage issue forth; let a people 
    loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of 
    healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing 
    in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs 
    be written, let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men now 
    rise and take control.

Play “Boy”

I had to talk myself out of making voodoo dolls from your curls.

This morning as I held the golden thread between my fingers,

I kept trying to figure out a less psychotic reasoning for

wanting to wear you around my neck, or my wrist or…

as a costume.

Not your body of course

I’d never bend you like that.

I would never want to hurt you for my own pleasure

or paint you pretty as though you weren’t already delicate.

And yet

I let you shape me,

Shame me

Throw shade at me.

“What if this is just a phase?”

Your robotic question meddles up my software and

I struggle not to pop-up error reports out loud.

But I am cornered and so afraid of being here

In this space between male and female…

Lingering, awaiting arrest for the crime of being alive.

Am I just a fluke?

I mean, forgetting all the women who treated me like one.

4380 days of trying every possible escape route before accepting that I was born in the wrong skin.

A body that bulges for breasts and curves for childbirth,

But leaves no room for the boy with an insatiable hunger to live.

I can no longer remember a time when

I didn’t need to be sedated to feel peace.

When bathing wasn’t synonymous with panic attacks.

When a glimpse of my own chest didn’t make me feel like a fake.

I promised the new sun to walk up to you and say,

“I just want to soap-scrub myself with my eyes open for a change.

I am tired of trying not to faint when I accidentally bound my chest too tight just to keep it from showing.”

You walked into my morning, overshadowed the sun…

and I, again, had to talk myself out of making voodoo dolls from your curls just to get you to understand.

That it hurt…

It hurt every time you decided that I am only a ‘he’ during play scenes.

My Body, As A Cage (Excerpt)

“What if this is just a phase?”

Your robotic question meddles up my software and

I struggle not to pop-up error reports out loud.

But I am cornered and so afraid of being here

In this space between male and female…

Lingering, awaiting arrest for the crime of being alive.

How can I be just a phase?

I mean, forgetting all the women who treated me like one.

It’s been twelve years since I saw you close the bars on my trapped soul with your golden keys of expectation.

Twelve years of trying every possible escape route before accepting that I was born in the wrong skin.

Skin that bulges for breasts and curves for childbirth,

But leaves no room for the boy with an insatiable hunger to live.

I can no longer remember a time when

I didn’t need to be sedated to feel easy… at peace.

The Pessimist’s Obituary

At exactly 22:35 on a cold March evening, the pessimist surmised their own death.

Being only 29 years of age, with a new home, a challenging yet rewarding new job – the pessimist could no longer survive the sudden onset of kindness and love toward their fellow humans. Their understanding of basic generosity and goodness was so limited that the mere air of it was enough to send them to hell.

My name is Elio Perlman, AKA B. Levskey, but more commonly referred to as Moaning Myrtle or just – Iva. The relationship I had with the deceased was arduous and definitely the longest that they had with any living being. It almost destroyed me and in turn almost immortalized the pessimist. Though I couldn’t have killed the deceased on my own – I alone, knew them well enough to summarize their almost pointless existence.

There were never enough kind deeds for our dear departed. When they set their mind on feeling hated, excluded or just generally disliked, a furrowed brow would hang over their face like a bad fringe-cut. Their intentions were always clouded by their inability to see the good in others, let alone trust them, and no happiness ever lasted long enough for them to hide their true nature.

Last night they had a mirror encounter with themself which, I dare say caused such an unpleasant rot in their mouth they all but dissipated into thin air. Maybe, we all aught to learn that most pessimistic genius beings, only need a good dose of themselves before kicking the bucket, to an untimely, drooling slumber.

I realize that so far, these paragraphs do not correlate to a typical obituary but because the one who is no longer with us has been such a nightmare, I am afraid to raise them from the dead or speak their name or of their deeds (much like Voldemort to magical folk).

For a brief period of time I fell in love with them. So much so, that I assimilated and became this pessimist and though I am still breathing, I hope to be a kinder, less moany and more productive version of my former lover and self.

Lest by some miracle, the universe loses the plot and makes me famous.

Written by:

I. G. Didova for the People’s Progress Press In Muizenberg , Cape Town.

30 Things before 30 #2

The endless pit of will-power. I’d like to find it within myself to be as strong as my mom and if possible maybe even more so.

Right now I’m in bed after working 2weeks straight. If I wasn’t at the bar I was working anyway. Here and there I had some rest but never a full day. Honestly even the current rest period will be short-lived. I want to learn to get through it without getting ill or burning out.

Ideally I’d feel the strain and know it is dangerous, but because of my infinite love for the life I want to bring into the world – I’d like to learn to care for myself while stretching myself way past my own limits.

Why?

Because my mom as a hero, always knew how to stretch herself while still a know her own weaknesses.

And if she ever failed she never showed it… and for that I am eternally thankful.

Moms really are underrated.

For more on these 30 part themed posts – please start at the first one titled : 30 things I’d like to do for my mom before I’m 30.

30 Things I’d Like to do for my Mom before I’m 30

Number 1 : Learn The Meaning Of True Sacrifice

30 is a big year. For me (as for many others out there) it is the year where one stops being a child in certain ways. 

Before I get into this post any further I would just like to say that each ‘thing’ on my list will be made public. I made this decision because generally, I keep my life in the public eye as a point of honour, I like to be called out on my own hypocrisy when it does happen (I am only human after all). Mainly though… I realise that I am not the only person out there who has had a very rocky relationship with their mother and with this I hope to give us all a different perspective and a chance to fix and change all that we can while we still are capable.

So without dragging this out any further – here’s number one.

  1. The Meaning Of True Sacrifice

I was born 3 months premature. I weighed a little over 1.1kg and the doctors as well as my gran had very little to no hope that I’d ever live to be a full human. I know that in the first few months my mom didn’t get to hold me or see me as often as she may have wanted. I also know that she visited me every chance she could. I know that I was a very sickly infant/toddler/teen in the years that followed. There were times she had to sacrifice sleep (not just because babies will do that to you) when I would stop breathing randomly in the middle of a road trip or in the middle of the night when we were 40 – 50km away from a hospital. Imagine the stress and trauma that must have caused. Imagine, not knowing if your child would make it through the next few minutes never mind to 30 years.

I know that my mom (like every other mom) was and still is an imperfect human. I know that I am still angry about some things and that my mom has given up absolutely everything in order to help both me and my sister grow into the strong, resilient, loving people that we are today. 

I’ve been saving up for when she comes to visit me in March. Some days I manage to put away all of my wages and on other days – my greed gets to the best of me. Today it dawned on me that she never gave into her own greed (everyone is greedy to an extent), but as a mom she has always given first to my sister and me and only after has she allowed herself some level of comfort or splurging. 

I thought about what I’ve sacrificed for my mom.

What have I given up for her sake? 

Have I ever considered her feelings before speaking?

Have I ever given up my own comfort to aid hers?

Have I ever stepped out of my pride and ego in order to see things from her perspective? 

How have I ever helped my mom?

Is the worst memory of my mom bigger than the fact that she gave me life and also sustained my life when I couldn’t (even as a grown person)?

NO, no, aaaaand – NO AGAIN. 

So my first task is  – whatever sacrifice necessary in order to give my mom a decent, homey vacation this March. It’s a small start, but I bet there will be some important lessons in the next few weeks.

 

Because Crushes Happen But I Love You

Dear Oli,

This is a letter. It will not have any metaphors or structure- no fancy words and definitely no exaggerations.

That’s huge for me – I exaggerate pretty much everything.

You already know that.

You already know that I’m overly dramatic, sometimes dishonest without reason and often impulsive, negative and generally unpleasant.

The last few months have been both amazing and not so much so.

I find myself incapable of not hoping to have a home with you some day… I lose myself every time I have a crush and realize that no matter what – my heart is yours.

Yes, just yours.

Of course, I am hoping you read this but I know you probably won’t allow yourself to do so because of how that may make you feel about your current journey.

But, in case you do – Please pardon my bad punctuation and or grammar.

Sometimes I find myself working harder than I need to just to keep my mind from wondering about you… to keep from missing you, your voice – my butterflies.

I still get them every time I accidentally call you baby while humming our song when clearing tables or washing dishes or falling asleep.

I don’t want to believe that we’re done.

I don’t …

Now that I know what home feels like, what a community is… I can’t forget how your heart became my first real home.

I called you my rebound once… what a loser I am. No, really!

I mean, I have no idea when exactly I became this self-destructive, but man I wish I could turn back time OR move it forward.

You once told me you believe we’d end up together in the end, and I hope that’s still the case. I hope you still believe that. I do.

I know you’re confused because of what you want out of life right now and I can only hope that at some point you will remember who you want, I can only pray that the person is me.

I have started building a home for us. I am living in a place on my own now. I don’t cook much because it reminds me of us when I do.

I have a couple of crushes.

I’m proud of them in a way. They’re both wonderful people. I get shy when I see them, and last night they were both at the pub and it was mostly awkward for me though I didn’t show it (I don’t think).

Oli.

I worry about you. Your love for spicy food and how bad that is for your sensitive tummy. Your stubborn resilience which almost outweighs your softness… I worry that you will allow yourself to harden just to “make it”. If that ever happened I would have a funeral for all the glitter in your eyes that the world will never get to see again.

There’s so much love in my veins. So much hope, almost faith.

Please come home at some point:

Please love me again.

Please let me show you that I love you.

I try to convince myself that my love for you is only insatiable because I know you don’t want me right now.

It’s not.

After all…

I have loved you all my lives.

I wish I could share the beauty of life with you. I think you’d be proud of me.

I am proud of me.

I am proud of my love for you, and how each day that love seeps through and I begin to love myself.

Finally!

I’m going places…

But I think I will stay here for now. Just in case you decide to come to the pub one day and give me the greatest gift anyone could ever give me – your eyes.

Be safe no matter what Millo,

And if your heart learns to love someone else; I will celebrate for you.

Love always🏖:

Elio

To The Lover In Me

Hey lover,

I know our tornado times outweigh our volcano chest.

Tonight I lay in a bed full of purple daffodils printed on my second-hand sheets and they reminded me a bit of who we were together a few years back when naivety and innocence still outweighed our impatience and instability.

I know that most days you lock yourself away from me…

I know that each time I see a beautiful being your cold shoulder bars my heart up and I just wanted to ask why you’re so adamant about staying mad at me?

How many battles have you not helped me fight even to defeat?

How many hearts have we not loved beyond logical thought?

How much longer will we suffer the loss of someone who loved us way less than she professed?

Oh, lover…

What happened to us?

To the nights we spent praising the moon for all the femininity she shines upon this world…

To the tips of my fingers caressing the air hoping they’d reach that one face , just once – how your unshaken faith in all that is love brought both ocean and rudder to our shuddering limbs.

Lover…

I’ve stopped seeking gods for council,

But if her eyes are your steeple, I would spend each second learning her doctrine, praising her every curl, curve and cliff.

Let us throw all the earthly pleasures back into that presumably bad darkness until the sun reflects off her hair and reminds us:

No lovers are meant to die apart.

Ode, to my next KISS

The next time Intimacy stands bare, baring floral gifts on my doorstep,

I want to be threatened by fainting like a teen all over again.

I’d like to be beat up from the inside with gloves made of nerves and

clenched fists entirely built of desire.

 

It’s been too long since I’ve felt someone’s skin with my soul

or heard someone’s heart with my own.

 

The next time I accept a kiss, I hope to feel its life playing out on my lips.

To be woken by the same pair of cushioned comfort and be moved

beyond tears by my partner’s stride…her gaze – her scent

enveloping even those otherwise money related spaces.

 

To be allowed to wear her hoodie

Permitted to be woman, man and human.

 

SO TO ALL UNFINISHED FLIRTATIONS

I refuse to apologise for working towards something worth my forever.

I refuse to go back to society’s dictations on how modern love should work.

 

And to my next kiss.

Please take your time.

Let’s play hide and seek before our hands finally meet.

Goodnight for now and…

I hope your dreams are sweet.