Guest Feature – “Alla my stuff”

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somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
not my poems or a dance I give up in the street
but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin
this is mine / this ain’t yr stuff /
now why don’t you put me back & let me hang out in my own self
somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
& didn’t care enuf to send a note home sayin
I waz late for my solo conversation
or two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts
what can I do wit something of no value on
a open market / did you getta dime for my things
hey man / where are you goin wid alla my stuff
I see ya hidin my laugh
I want my stuff back
my rhythms & my voice
this is some delicate leg & whimsical kiss / I gotta have to give to my choice
now you can’t have me less I give me away

– Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls

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Guest Feature – Exerpt from Ntozake Shange

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For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf Copyright © 1975, 1976, 1977 by Ntozake Shange

i can’t hear anythin

but maddening screams

& the soft strains of death

& you promised me

you promised me…

somebody/anybody

sing a black girl’s song

bring her out to know herself

to know you

but sing her rhythms

carin/struggle/hard times

sing her song of life

she’s been dead so long

closed in silence so long

she doesn’t know the sound

of her own voice

her infinite beauty

she’s half-notes scattered

without rhythm/no tune

sing her sighs

sing the song of her possibilities

sing a righteous gospel

let her be born

let her be born

and handled warmly.