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Stewing in the skin of my inward eye
probable and prone to tunnel vision
I satisfy
the perversity of repetition

When impulse takes me by the hand
we give substance to silhouettes
We do what we must
to quiet the fuss

Out to seek
what is seeking me
Hunting for a higher Truth

People hand the best they can
not the way
you want them to

When I say, I have no words
I’m not trying hard enough
When I say, I have no choice
my mind’s been made up

We do what we must
to quiet the fuss

With my voice, I collapse
I’ve never had my heart broken
only an ego scratched
and my desire requires many reminders

Harmonious woman, you deliver life
everything else passes or purely assists
Don’t try to make love
it already exists

And excuse
my imposition
but consider the privilege
it is to consider the position

you’re in

Forgiveness
isn’t as much as what you leave
as it is
to where you return

When will you learn you have so much to learn?

Oh, we do what
we
must

Britta B.

Can’t swim
but love to study the waves

My favourite part of the day
is when it’s raining
Ah, blue o’clock
I take my time coming home

Trouble
you’re in trouble…

I sing to myself when I catch him
in my breath

His eyes:
two liquid capsules full of transparent blur
red-rimmed and open ocean blue
He
was barely there

When asked what’s up
his head hangs like a crooked frame on a wall
and the little yellow and red Lego pieces of me
instantly connect
to the ton of bricks on his shoulders
I know, I know
You shouldn’t play with road kill.
But it’s like holding a camera in your hands with no flash
and you must make light of the situation
I guess the best way to explain it
is that
wherever he is, I’ve been there

I get it

Despite surviving a semi-detached house full of split personality
part of me believes
I deserve to be forgotten, left alone unwanted
Sometimes I feel like a rescue dog, you know?
Scared
and hungry
for something other than what could be held in my mouth
or sometimes I feel like an ex-jock
who can’t help but be loud and drag around a stupid Letterman jacket
I might run ahead a few blocks
but I always look back
and it’s complicated to fall
for someone who doesn’t want to be who they are
It’s counterproductive to react (it doesn’t do any good to feel bad)
The hardest part of being there is knowing when to step back

I step back, out of the way

His eyes, two tidal waves
of Come At Me
or Get Out of My Face

I can tell he’s been chasing shadows and leaving dead people
all over town
Not that he’s in any danger per se
but he’s desperate to escape from living out the corner of his eye
so I make him a bed he can’t refuse
circle around it a few times
before laying down
and joining in

We reach for our slingshots and fold into each other’s laughter
pointing at those who scurry by with their newspapers and umbrellas
because we love the rain
we love the water and
would kill to have something we’re made of
destroy us
Using my arms for scaffolding, I build myself up into a seated position and…
He’s a copycat!
Mocks the way I study the waves
and I’m… flattered

Because it doesn’t matter
if you’re looking through trash or looking through
glass,
you always find what you’re looking for

Britta B.

Here’s a short documentary put together by some Humber College students (2013) Special Thanks to Julia Rogers.

Check out this interview with Britta B. and Ryan B. Patrick from Canada Arts Connect Magazine:
URBAN/Intersection: Spoken Word Poet Britta B.

I recently read, “Old stories are like old friends, you must revisit them every now and then…” or something like that. Coincidentally, two days ago, I came across the journal I was writing in while I was in Kenya. I opened to this page and felt everything I felt then all over again. Reminders, man. Enjoy. 

July 11, 2010
It’s beginning to get harder to get out of bed now. I’m not quite homesick, however, I feel as though I’ve lost purpose on being on this trip.

I keep thinking about Toronto and all of the feelings I’ll have and the commitments I’ll try to keep. Like spending less time in the shower, turning taps off while washing/brushing, unplugging unused electronics, buying food I need opposed to greed, being more inviting to strangers, being more available to friends, spending more time in Kingston with family, letting frustrations pass with a convenient ease and smile, being more conscious of where the products I buy are coming from, sleeping earlier and long before it’s time to get up. Consume carefully. Write more often. Say Thank You. Take breaks but work hard. Save $$…

All of these things and more.

I’m ready to go home – I feel very confused here. I definitely don’t belong, it’s not my place and it’s all quite disappointing.

Even though I have such negative feelings about all of this, there is one very special thing (person) that keeps me alive here in Kenya. Janat.

The top of her head reaches no higher than my shoulders and her cheerfulness expands eons. She has wide eyes with big black dots in the middle and the most straight, clean teeth out of any child here. I sink into her lanky arms each time we meet. She loves playing hide-and-go-seek, chewing grass, talking about what different words mean in Swahili, asking questions like Where were you?, saying Yes, throwing her handmade ball of rags to play catch, and of course, laughing. A lot of laughing is a must around her.

Every time I see this girl I am instantly happy and calm. All is well with Janat. She is in Standard 5 (or grade 5) and looks like a young Lauryn Hill with a shaved head. She has an older sister and two older brothers but acts as if she’s roamed the ends of the earth and back all on her own. There is a wise soul inside of her that I only hope gives her strength to be everything dreams of and more. More than me.

She is so smart, appreciative, and smiley! While collecting water with a plastic container that once held cooking oil, walking back and forth from a river 20mins away – she did it all with a smile. As if happiness was a state of mind unconditioned, as if smiles could be smacked on faces like lipstick for special occasions and this right here, the moment of now, was a very special occasion. I can’t get over her.

Britta B.

With my impatience
I can build a Ruin in a day
and let it ruin my whole week

Britta B.

Ever since I was born I can remember
I both hated myself and wanted
to make people’s lives better.
I learned very slowly
that these two energies don’t
work together, they work against each other.

Sometimes, I still hate myself
but I know this is a passing feeling or thought
that I am stronger than. That I am loved despite this.

But what will always be a part of me is my
undying urge to make a difference.
                                              To change somebody.
                                              To inspire and encourage.

Britta B.

It’s not true, you’re just crazy
’bout

lips and tips,
                      garment rips
hot tea sips and flips a table
turn tables; Gladys Knight and the Pips
under a lunar eclipse
saw a rock climber with identity grips
paper clips
you, me and all these ex relationships
first class trips into
                         vanilla
                                 dips
Bloods & Crypts
Goons, tunes and hips
swinging half moons and heavenly
hash chocolate chips
rocky
mountains
and smooth sailing ships
you, me and all these Jump Rope for Heart beat skips…

You wanted a little more, didn’t you?

Britta B.

Standing
Posing
Looking out, perched on the corner
of Shuter and Parliament… above Queen Street
looking for somewhere to go

I’m on a quest for
something
but I can’t tell you what I’m looking for

***

Sometimes big puffs of black smoke will
come along,
I always think my first heartache is the driver;
it takes me a sea of molten lava constructed in under 36 seconds by the
holding of my breath to not run
out into the street, bang on the hood of that car
screaming, “It’s me!! I found you!”

Britta B.

I cry a lot
More often than I exercise
But this crying is exercise, a release
A good hustle to the top of the bottom of something
a hill or hole
depending on the day and how much strength I have in
confronting my weakness

Although, I am not weak just because I cry
I am most certainly alive
For I can feel the two furthest bits of me, kiss
Pain kissing Peace
Peace killing Pain

Britta B.

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