Tag Archives: Poet

Moving on the Wires: Happy New Year ! + Exceptional Scribble

Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2018 will be a year full of blessings for everyone and thank you for staying with me on this journey!

I’m looking forward to a year filled with magic and to start, next Tuesday at 8pm, I will be on the radio show Exceptional Scribble with Francine Elizabeth Natal (Sage the Poet). The topic will be: “Fiction Poetry with an infusion of Ancient African relics; celebrating culture to promote self-esteem.” You can listen to the show and call in to ask questions here. I hope you are able to join us!

Episode 197, The Exceptional Scribble Show

Theme song for 2018: “Black Girl Magic” (song by Dale Novella and video directed by Briannah Hagger) Enjoy!


Rewind: My Interview with Jane Odartey

A while ago I interview my friend Jane Odartey on this blog, and since then her accessory and clothing shop, Mawusi, has grown a lot, so here is an updated version of the interview I did with her:

Jane Odartey is one of my friends from college. She is also a photographer, poet, and funny, too. Here is my interview I did with her:

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks so much for featuring me on your wonderful blog, Reese!

Home used to be Ghana, then I moved to NY because my Ma had made it her new home. I value simple things, like strong laughter, good friends who would tell you about the spinach between your teeth, and people who would laugh with you even when the crowd around you look down their noses at your “lack of civilization.” I love life only because of the people I love. I also find that icecreams and tall glasses of milkshakes are a necessity.

2) When and why did you become interested in poetry and photography?

I used to write poetry when I was bad. I wrote it as an apology to my mother. It felt proper because I came to know poetry in a sandwich of fear; my sixth
grade teacher made sure of that. In my junior year of college I met Prof. Grace Schulman. She convinced me that I ought to give poetry a chance.

Growing up, we took pictures, like, once a year. There was always a need to look perfect for the pictures. It was a real fuss. When I got my very first camera in high school, I wanted to take pictures of things that didn’t matter. I wanted them as they were without any preening. It was, however, in college that I realized my love for the art. I was working on majoring in Business Management and all that calculus was weighing me down so I thought a semester of Basic Photography, would be some sort of therapy; it proved to me more than that.

Read the rest here!

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Sekou Sundiata

Starting this month until October, there will be several events celebrating poet, playwright, educator and activist Sekou Sundiata, all part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a New York City-wide retrospective. There have been a few events this month already, including one with Tracie Morris, and during next two weeks will be events at The Apollo Theater and The Poets House. All the events will include a wide variety of artists and creatives, including Amiri Baraka, Nona Hendryx , Vernon Reid, and Greg Tate. Below are a few of his memorable poems (I love the musicality and cultural awareness of his poetry), and you can read more on his website:

Philosophy of the Kool

a blues for poets

I been swimming since water,

learning to sing like the songs.

The oldest one I know goes like this:

Some people came from the trees,

I remember coming out of the undertow: the ocean

of seas: the electricity the explosions

billlions of us crashing with the waves,

then blown away into memory.

You can still hear us in the piece of a beat

or in that music made from scratch.

The first words still had roots,

like a James Brown syllable.

It was a single cell one minute, a slam dunk the next.

Speed was our need.

_ Continue reading Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Sekou Sundiata

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Audre Lorde’s “A Woman Speaks”

In honor of Audre Lorde’s birthday, which was yesterday, here is her poem, “A Woman Speaks.” I read comments about this poem and that it is about women in general, but I disagree. If it is read carefully, especially the last few lines, it is clear that it is about black women whose voices are silenced and whose magical strangeness and power that does not fit into western boxes is feared.
Moon marked and touched by sun
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus
where the restless oceans pound.
I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities
who am ageless and half-grown
and still seeking
my sisters
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths
as our mother did
I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures
I am
and not white.

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Audre Lorde’s “Recreation”

Thanks to Melanated Writers Collective for quoting the poem today. As a writer, I love the sensuality of this poem; how the two are creating themselves and the world around them in writing. Like two deities writing themselves into existence.


Coming together
it is easier to work
after our bodies
paper and pen
neither care nor profit
whether we write or not
but as your body moves
under my hands
charged and waiting
we cut the leash
you create me against your thighs
hilly with images
moving through our word countries
my body
writes into your flesh
the poem
you make of me.
Touching you I catch midnight
as moon fires set in my throat
I love you flesh into blossom
I made you
and take you made
into me.

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Nathaniel Mackey’s “Sound and Sentience”

I wrote before about how limbo is a tangible dance recovery of the phantom limb or broken connection (a tangible made into an intangible) produced by the Atlantic between Africa and the Americas. Poet and writer Nathaniel Mackey also has written about it in his poems and essays, like “Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbol,” which I recently read in Postmodern American Poetry: The Norton Anthology.  In the essay, Mackey explains that sound and music are proof of the invisible worlds, outside of the physical, tangible world. Essentially, they are ghostly and godly, symbolizing something missing, something broken, or something desired to be expressed (“music encourages us to see that the symbolic is the Orphic, that the symbolic realm is the realm of the orphan” – 665). He relates it to the myth of the muni bird in the Kalui culture of Papa New Guinea. Reading it, I thought of Sionne R. Neely’s essay “Something’s Got a Hold on Me: ‘Lingering Whispers’ of the Atlantic Slave Trade in Ghana” and the notion that these “lingering whispers” are recorded in our bodies (maybe even our DNA) or that we feel them even if they are not physically there. These tie together music, dance, memory, spirit possession rituals and the effect of the transatlantic slave trade. Read Mackey’s poem below:

Continue reading Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Nathaniel Mackey’s “Sound and Sentience”