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Friday, June 29, 2012

SILENCE

My ears were perked, head cocked at an angle,
Fingers twisting tight ringlets of locks in a disbelieving tangle,
Listening, waiting, but not hearing,
Suspecting that what he didn’t say was even louder than what he did.
Excuses about a kid,
And busy schedules, and renovations,
Nothing but intentional slights and silent delineations.
Echoes in ghost-speak,
Excuses lame and weak,
Why had I never noticed my friends were so meek??
It’s said that silence is defined as “the avoidance of mentioning or discussing”
But shit, wouldn’t you rather have someone in your face, ranting and cussing?
Or hitting you with blunt force trauma with their words,
Instead of coaxing your ears with pretty silences unheard?


Serena
June 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Encroaching

My mind is stimulated,

Synapses firing while my body is debating:
Wakefulness or sleep?
To hell with counting sheep,
I’d rather explode into dawn, while my covers lie in a messy heap
Piled high on the floor,
My body hungrily yearning for more.
More time. More time.
I wanna sit under a hot, filthy globe light,
Straddling my creativity,
Intently discovering my passions, 
Lamenting, “Hell, he don’t want me…”
Speckled in latex—now THAT’s a statement in fashion.
Chucking restful hours,
Each minute merely devoured,
by the night.
This shit ain’t right.
Passion put on hold from 9 to 5,
Squelching foggy dreams just to eat and stay alive—it’s hard to describe.
But tomorrow is quickly encroaching,
Now just take a deep breath, sleep, then dive.

Serena
June 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

CHOICES

Those chains on your wrists??
--They're invisible. 
Divisible only by your desire and bravery,
Unless you simply like to be miserable. 
Maybe.
Now choose.

--Serena Appiah, 3/15/12

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sliding Fences

Why can’t we see through to the other side?
This mythical fa├žade that we create in our minds,
That incessantly suggests that our life is not good enough on the inside.
What is it going to take for you to feel like you “made it,”
So that instead of waking up, rolling your eyes at this life, lamenting about how much you hate it,
Burning passion sets your soul on fire and you can’t wait to get up and taste it?
How long are you going to simply lie there and waste it,
Salivating over everyone else’s life,
Ignoring your own true wealth, constantly mulling over your strife?
This picket fence freshly painted American white,
With its stakes wedged so closely, chokingly tight,
An indelible fault line between the haves and have-nots, forever haunting,
With a sign deeply embossed high up on its ledge, taunting,
“Ha ha, I made it. You didn’t. Kiss my ass.”
Unaware that their happiness is superficial and will never last.
Look at how their lawn spans the horizon, green and lush,
You imagine the soft blades tickling your toes, thick and plush,
Yet, unbeknownst to you, it’s actually freshly installed sod,
Covering up bare, decaying, weed-infested earth, surrounded by fencing laden with dry rot.
But you’d never know it, ‘cause envy glazes your eyes,
Wake up! The other side, too, is riddled with unpretty and lies.
Many times, it’s the fantasy that plays throughout your mind,
This fairy tale of what could be, and should be, and what you wish you could simply leave behind.
It’s the lonely single woman who fantasizes of monotonous married life with a soul mate,
It’s the bored married woman who yearns to once again be free to explore and casually date.
It’s the desperate childless whose heart breaks each time her cycle begins,
It’s the frazzled mother of three young kids who secretly regrets having children.
It’s the crowded apartment renter who wishes for a mortgage and more space,
It’s the overwhelmed homeowner who yearns for simple apartment living because he can’t afford repairs, and his mortgage is 3 months late.
It’s the frustrated high school graduate that can’t earn more than minimum wage,
It’s the weary MBA supervisor that comes homes every night after the kids are in bed because they always have to work late.
Why do we devote so much time daydreaming that our lives would be so much more enriched “if only…..”?
Not realizing that the idea of “the other side” is nothing but a mirage, a phony.
Yes, life is defined by dreams, and goals, and things you want to have, and things you want to achieve,
But the key to happiness is realizing and appreciating that right here, right now, you’ve got everything you need.
And understanding that that other lawn is full of insects and weeds,
Just like your lawn,
This masterful fantasy of how much better your life will be on the other side, it’s not all what you believe.
The truth is that there will be hardships, downfalls, and frayed endings that will unweave.
Accept these truths, achieve what you want to achieve, but appreciate the beauty of your life, and don’t be consumed by this jealousy disease.
Lead your life to its own beat and set your own tone.
Because their life is not a ruler upon which to measure your own.

Serena
May 2011

YOUTUBE: "A Woman's Perspective"

Performed at Busboys and Poets, May 11, 2011. I gotta LOL at the baby bump........

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Regret

When the sun is uninhibitedly glaring down from a cloudless sky,
And the tinkling of laughter dances off of my ears like butterfly wings,
My regret fades as quickly as the most iridescent of bubbles.
Easily forgotten, and in its place, a warm syrupy mixture of content and satisfaction.
Yet, on a precipice, my life balances,
Haphazardly dangling between happy and unhappy, and, right and wrong,
At any moment, the tide seemingly turns,
And the clear horizon is held hostage by thick, choking, ominous clouds.
And regret and false steps come rushing by like overflowing river banks.
Washing away all that is good,
Leaving only the remnants of sediment and afterthoughts.
Yet I stand by and wait for the return of sun-filled skies, clear horizons, laughter, and smiles,
Because there is no time to sleep with regret.
April 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Divide

Your beautiful heart, under no direct command from anything but God’s imprint,
Began to beat so soon after you inhabited her womb,
The two unmistakable, indelible pink lines still fresh and wet with disbelief,
Your cells, and your sheer will to thrive, was apparent, intent on a path to divide and bloom

Yet, dear child, you cannot select and choose your womb,
For this mother, who’s life is full of despair, self-centeredness, or uncertainty,
Or a father she knows will habitually be absent, and never care--
I’m sorry--for you, there is no space or room.

(Maybe next time).

If you should be so blessed, maybe next time, you’ll receive a mother that loves you immediately, unlike another, 
And who’d know from the precious moment of your miraculous conception
That your life would yield the utmost joyful reception.

Or that you’d bestow the gift of life 
for one of the millions of women,
That spend every sleepy morning 
with a thermometer in her mouth, faithfully temping,

Charting monthly,
and counting all of her fertility signs,
Only to be crushed by her Reproductive Endocrinologist’s diagnosis
That she may never hear the sweet melody of her own baby’s coos and cries.

Little embryo, I grant you the fortitude to thrive,
To implant your loving parasitic being on the inside of a warm, inviting uterus that welcomes you,
And then the ability to continually divide and survive.
Divide......Divide.....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Woman's Perspective

Here you come, home
After a long day gone,
Breaking your back to support our family,
But why don’t you see what's mortally wrong?
You walk in with barely a grin,
Bitching and complaining about how the world’s done you in,
But you can’t see you’ve got your strongest champion
by your side
--and your kids, too.
Yet, you cast us aside, failing to see my smile falter,
Then slide,
Into a frown so deep,
I start slamming cabinet doors,
Barely uttering a peep
--and all you askin’ it to fucking watch TV??
Where’s my kiss??
My hug?
I remember when it was important to you to show me love
when you came home.
But those days have been long gone.
You claim you go the extra mile to make me smile….
What extra mile?
Because you installed some brand new kitchen tile??
Or took out the trash?
Where are the roses you used to bring me “just because”….?
Now, if I ask for them, you say, “We don’t need that fuss.
Baby, you should already know I love you……”

So the rage inside burns hot,
And I start mentally tallying all the things you are not…
And all the things I’ll never have,
And how you no longer try to make me laugh.
I feel like I’m just a live-in piece of ass.
You want sex two or three times a week??
You expect brain?!
You must be insane!
You expect me to “get in the mood” when, sadly
I’ve grown to dislike you??

But okay--tomorrow is a new day,
And I will begin to relish in the apologies that I need to say,
Because you are a good man.
And I need to pretend that our distant souls can easily be on the mend.
So I smile sweetly into your face,
And to appease the situation,
I throw you a shallow excuse.
My innocent face is now an instigation,
And you vow not to be subjected to my “abuse.”

Look….I don’t mean to shoot you down, or crowd your space.
But look at my face!
Don’t you see how my superficial smile doesn’t reach my eyes?
Don’t you hear me in the bathroom, long after everyone’s gone to bed, secretly crying??
You see…..I’ve become invisible.
I’ve lost myself in you….for you….because of you.
I need for you to see me….
To see that my sensual womanly essence needs nurturing--lovingly and carefully,
I need for you to take me in your arms,
And ever so gently push my hair away from my pleading, child-like eyes.
I need for you to see past this masculine disguise.
I’m a woman, not a man.
And I need the stroke of your hand when you come home,
Just so I don’t feel so fucking alone.
This is a woman’s perspective
On life, on love,
Reflective of what WE go through on a daily basis.
This mask of anger and hostility that we sometimes wear on our faces.
It’s a fa├žade.
We’re really delicate beings on the inside,
Aching for your appreciation,
Relishing in your praise and admiration.
We know that you need space, and time to be a man.
But gaze into our face, slowly caress our hands,
And make sweet, passionate love to us,
Hell--spank that ass, talk dirty, and cuss.
Shit--that’s good, too!
But look deep inside of us to the core,
Say “I love you, baby, and thank you for being here,”
And you’d be surprised how quickly we’ll strive to give you less or more:
More space,
more time,
No fingers in your face,
More sex,
Less whine.
So let’s press Rewind, and start over:
“Hi, honey, I’m home. It’s so good to see you and the kids.
Sorry I had to be gone for so long.
But it’s great coming home to my family.”
Now that is a fairy tale that ends happily.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Serena on da mic

Yeah, you heard correct: Serena was on da mic! A pretty successful Open Mic. But of course, once I saw the video, I wish I had done "this" or "that." No worries, though....This is only the second time at Open Mic. I plan for much more, as I write more poetry. I'm looking forward to seeing how I grow, as an artist, and writer.

"Turning Tables" by Adele

Goosebumps are the perfect phenomenon that occurs when your soul is touched. And this song gives me goosebumps. It doesn't get much more perfect than this:



LYRICS

Close enough to start a war,
All that I have is on the floor,
God only knows what we're fighting for,
All that I say, you always say more,

I can't keep up with your turning tables,
Under your thumb, I can't breathe,

So I won't let you close enough to hurt me,
No, I won't ask you, you to just desert me,
I can't give you the heart you think you gave me,
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables,
To turning tables,

Under haunted skies I see, ooh,
Where love is lost, your ghost is found,
I braved a hundred storms to leave you,
As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down,
I can't keep up with your turning tables,
Under your thumb, I can't breathe,

So I won't let you close enough to hurt me, No, I won't ask you, you to just desert me,
I can't give you what you think you gave me,
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables,
Turning tables,

Next time I'll be braver,
I'll be my own savior,
When the thunder calls for me,
Next time I'll be braver,
I'll be my own savior,
Standing on my own two feet,

I won't let you close enough to hurt me,
No, I won't ask you, you to just desert me,
I can't give you what you think you gave me,
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables,
To turning tables,
Turning tables, yeah,
Turning, oh.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Session

I'm addicted to Open Mic Night. I'm going again tomorrow night. I'll be reading Release. And my buddy is coming with me (the one that STOOD ME UP last week--yeah, I'm putting you on blast, man!). Should be a fun night! Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Release

Grab me and squeeze, till your faded knuckles ache and seize,
from sheer exhaustion and fear.
Death grip unyielding, afraid I'll disappear
into the past of your rearview mirror.
Your arms snake around my middle,
While you gaze at me expectantly, secretly praying for an abrupt giggle,
Or some indication that your talons aren't puncturing my lungs.
But I give you none.
I stare blankly, through empty air, my hair hiding the truth of my shame.
That I crave to hear the pop and fizzle of your passionate chant of my name: "Serena.....Serena."
Even though I don't feel the same. 
But hindsight is 20/20,
and very soon you'll realize you never loved me.
I was simply a diversion to this excursion called your life;
an exotic art to unfold.....a beautiful release--
fuck your daily strife.
(Or maybe just a pretty piece of ass that made your dick hard).
Although, time will only tell just how much your soul is scarred.
Now release me,
and move on.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Open Mic Night

Last night I did it-- I actually got on stage at this cool spot here in D.C. called Busboys & Poets......and performed one of my favorite poems, Intertwined, in front of a live audience.

Exhilirating!

As I sat there, about to be called up (I was #6 in a line of about 21 poets), I started feeling the pounding in my chest; that sensation that you know is your Fight or Flight response.

Hell no I wasn't going to flee. I was going to fight!

I had several things going against me-- the fact that I was a newbie to the scene...........the fact that I had no supporters there (my friends bailed on me at the last minute, however, a nice poet named Maurice, AKA MoPoDC befriended me, and went so far as to record my performance, which was sweet as hell)..........and simply nerves.......All these things were going against me.

But up there I went, paper in hand (since most people were reading instead of reciting, so shit, I can read, too--don't want to look like an ass forgetting my poem). The minute I started reading, and partially reciting, I felt totally comfortable and at ease.

And I loved it!!

You know why I feel so proud?? Because it was just last week that I got this crazy idea in my head to write poems, and --gasp!-- to actually perform live. Not many people I know just decide  to do something somewhat crazy, totally unexpected, and then actually carry it out. And for my crew to cancel on me, as well as unsuccessfully scrambling to last-minute to find more company to go, I could have just canceled and said, "Shit, I'll just go some other time."

But no-- if I said I was going to do this, then fuck everyone else; I am going to do this.

And I did.

And I always do.

What was really nice was getting positive feedback from another poet that I ran into afterwards at a local pizza joint.

I can do this. I did. And I will. Again. Sometime soon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Transparency






I see you.
Standing there with your back pressed firmly against the wall,
With nowhere to turn.
But even if you could, you’d rather stand there and burn.
To let the kerosene soak through your shoe soles,
Shriveling your toes.
It hurts you more if no one knows,
Or sees,
I must watch you until your skins begins to bubble and bleed.
Until that time, no matter how trapped, you won’t be free.
Until I give you the gift of transparency.

I must see through you, all planes and sides of your inner core,
Pimping yourself to me like a low-paid whore,
Hoping that if I see your suffering and how you melt,
I’ll rescind any pain and agony that you may have felt.
You need for me to care, to hear the beginning, middle and end,
To extinguish the burn, and be the one to mend
All your wounds.

Listen, I’m not God. So why do you act as if I am?
I’m human flesh and blood, also in search of being a transparent man.
As well, I need for you to see me,
Begging, pleading, resolutely needing,
Transparency.

February 19, 2011


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cove


Come away with me
Let’s hide – hurry!—right here, inside
this thicket of bush and trees.
Our secret world, hidden discreetly among the roses,
Right up underneath unsuspecting noses,
Unbeknownst to the world outside.

Is this place even real?
This secret paradise we’ve discovered?
A shelter upon which we’re free to be lovers?
Your hand drifting up my thigh,
Your fingers thirstily searching for a drink inside.
Damn, babe, are we really here??

Gently pressing your finger to my lips,
“Shhhh….”, whispering hoarsely,
Warm, sweet breath tickling my neck and ear,
Your fresh stubble brushing my cheek coarsely.
Moments stolen,
Cheeks glowing,
Excited and flushed,
Voices hushed,
Lips waiting, parting,
Inhibitions melting away, quickly departing.

This is our cove.

Balancing on twigs and unsteady rocks,
Mosquito-bitten, hearts beating expectantly,
as our bodies lock.
Tight, claustrophobic,
Your air is my air.
And your strong, impatient fingers twist and grab
thick ringlets of my hair.

Yes, this is our cove.

Here, we’re free,
Free to explore,
to hungrily experience even more,
Relishing in first moments of pleasures and sighs,
Embracing whatever fate decides,
Staring down a dark future of uncertainty,
But come…..come away with me.
To the cove.
February 17, 2011