St. Lawrence Center for the Arts, January 26th, 2013
Special Thanks to: Paul Janicki, producer/editor
Special Thanks to: Paul Janicki, producer/editor
For pictures from the shoot and more eye candies, check out Andy’s blog: http://andyjuma.blogspot.ca/
A white truck, delivering expensive gardens, swings
around the corner of the house where
two twenty-something year old females glowing
from foreign backgrounds, kneel over
They pull over-grown weeds from dry
feels like a good scrub
One of the glowing ethnic empresses
pricks her thumb on something sharp
and goes inside to wash it off
as I watch it all, sitting
in the soon-to-be
i’ve created delight. pulling my hair.
pretending it’s you.
i can pinch and know it’s me pinching
i can scratch and know it’s me scratching
i can bite and know it’s my mouth
i can lick and kiss and rub and frisk my whole body
and not be able to trick myself
but pulling my hair. i’m convinced it could be you.
i twirl. and twist.
a handful of waves // damp
never sees the sun // i pull.
as hard as i want to.
as hard as you would
if i told you to. (hey, a little harder next time)
i’ve created delight.
pretending it’s you, pulling my hair.
I feel dangerously gentle and usually,
my heart’s hard to soften
I don’t feel like being on my best behaviour tonight
So, let me get right to it:
I want to wrap my tongue around your head like a scarf…
It ain’t a bad thing baby, if it makes you feel good
C’mere and listen to what I say
when I stop talking
Look at where I run off to the moment it gets quiet
and let me take my time coming back
Rub your temperature all over me
C’mon baby, light my fire
your cries into the backside
of my temples,
and be as sentimental as you like
Just don’t –
don’t tell me your name
It’ll fuck up my hindsight
It’ll let me get too use to getting to where I am
just to look back –some things don’t know how to heal
I’d rather be
hurt physically than mentally because
you can’t put band-aids on memories.
You can’t just get stitches
every time somebody wants to leave you.
These things don’t know how to heal
But now that we’re here, it’d be a real shame
not to –
to not touch you
It’d be a shame to not amaze you
Everybody’s got some hidden need for approval
You want me to want you, don’t you?
I got something for you
All you have to do is survive our first kiss.
*This is just a story
about a little black spider I noticed clinging to the corner of my bedroom wall
the moment I thought I was all alone
I imagined what the little black spider would have to say
if she could say anything at all
(I imagined we’d have a lot in common)
Britta B. performing “The Girl I Wanted To Be” for the 1st time at Trane Studio,
downtown Toronto on Sunday, October 16th, 2011
I used to be so lonely and lonesome
I used to get confused
in the fuse box of my emotions;
I’d blow a fuse
each time I was confused by the profuse amount of
that would click like a switch between the cracks
of sidewalk-splitting moments
Click. Click. Click.
I used to feel so lonely
but now I recognize the liberty of being
I can identify the blueprint of me
without nobody’s help
Sometimes, I still have doubts
but I know I never want to be defined by anybody else
I used to unbutton daydreams in the middle of the night
Aloof to moonlight crossing the intersection of my eyes, I’d trace
fantasies of who I’d rather be
One morning, sunshine broke into my house and
robbed me of my insecurities
I figure it’d be a waste of time filing a police report
‘cause being a pessimist just wasn’t for me
Besides, greatness occurs despite the sceptics
They say, “Nothing lasts forever” but we’ve got elastics for hearts
Even after bombs explode, time still tick-tick-tocks
Whoever said the road less travelled is the unbeaten path must have lied ’cause ooh, I’ve been beaten bad
Yes, I’ve been beaten bad into the girl I wanted to be
Sittin’ on public transit reaping the benefits of
conversational therapy with close friends
I sound like the girl I wanted to be
Fingernails and ambitions painted red –targets for compliments
I look like the girl I wanted to be
Stilettos strut across my smiles
I feel like the girl I wanted to be
I try to high-five every kid that
crosses paths with me, hoping to connect to
the ones who have separation anxiety attacks
every time a person leaves the room –I’ve felt the feeling
And still, I became the girl I wanted to be
My voice has spoken in at least
five different languages and I’ve said the most significant things
just by being aware of my actions
I am the girl I’ve chosen to be
Last night, my body moved like a slow motion replay of Billie Holiday
little Miss “Lady Sings the Blues” in the swing of some hips
The sweet residue of love’s morning dew slips from my lips
I am the girl she wanted to be
I have given more than I have taken and
because of that I have received
I am the girl everybody should try to be
My definition of vulnerability is when beauty
confronts the beast; lying twisted between the sheets
of nostalgia, dangling from a ceiling half-aware of the dented
mattress at the bottom of the drop
hanging onto that one last knot
in the pit of your stomach
and letting go
There ain’t nobody like
the girl I got to know…
And now this girl gets to grow into the woman I want her to be, and she will be
Is the cocoa butter not as moisturizing as promised? Want to know how to capture that “fresh out of a steam room” glisten? Try Johnson’s Baby Oil!
I love looking like I just stepped off an R&B music video set, especially when I’m dressing to impress. Regular lotions and moisturizers just don’t do the trick and can often smell funky. Baby oil promises that sunkissed shimmer and I always get compliments on how smooth my skin is.
I did some research on the side effects of using this product because I actually use it religiously (like a prayer, everyday!). It’s completely made of mineral oil and is known to clog pores, cause acne, skin irritations, and even premature aging of the skin. Wow, I didn’t know it was that detrimental.
The site highly recommends to never use baby oil, especially on a baby. Instead, it suggests trying organic baby oil (which costs ~$20 a bottle) or Aloe Vera gel. I’ve used Aloe Vera gel before in my hair, mistaking it for hair gel, and it left my hair looking ultra sheen. (But that’s not today’s tip!)
Back to the baby oil -I love it, and rate it 5 glass slippers (out of five). It’s cheap and works or me. Use it now for that greasy glow!
Nine years ago today, I was sitting at home with my first boyfriend, Nesta. My parents were separated at the time but they were both out together at my brother’s basketball practice. I was never allowed to have a boyfriend, let alone have any friends come over to hang at my house. If my parents ever agreed on anything, it was their grand idea to keep me locked up in my bedroom until I turned 30.
Surprised to hear voices, I sprinted from my room like a Candace Bergen phone-line commercial to the back door and realized who was home. I remember telling Nesta to find a place to hide before I left my room but as soon as I saw my father’s face I knew we were both done for. It must have been those militant instincts that kicked into high gear because he didn’t even acknowledge the fact that he nearly knocked me down as he B-lined to my room. Ma started shouting, “Who’s upstairs?!” but I didn’t even get a chance to respond because before I knew it, my dad was dragging Nesta by the neck of his shirt down the stairway. Dad demanded us to join him in the living room for what seemed like hours of interrogation, but not even an hour later, Nesta slipped out the door as dad boldly exclaimed, “Get out. I better not see you again.”
That night, my father filed a restraining order against the only person that told me they loved me up to that point, when I couldn’t think of a single reason to love myself. The next three years were very difficult for me. My parents solemnly neglected to pay attention to me unless it was to remind me how much of a whore or slut I was for having a boyfriend behind their back. I remember spending most of my class time in the Guidance Counsellor’s office crying over how embarrassed, lonely, and unloved I felt and can distinctly remember expressing concern for my ability to ever be optimistic about my life again.
A lot has changed since that time… plenty remains the same. My brother now plays for his university’s varsity basketball team and just this past weekend, both my parents were in attendance. Ma couldn’t make it through the game without crying over the fact that my father brought his new girlfriend to the game when they ain’t even divorced yet. Luckily, I live comfortably in a bigger city that’s a safe distance away from the hole in the wall I’m supposed to call ‘home’. I’ve grown up a lot since then; I love myself more and forgive myself for everything that once was. I could go on about my accomplishments but I’m most proud of the fact that I don’t have to ask anyone for anything, save for a compliment every now and again (wink). Point is, the struggle made me stronger.
Nesta spent the next three years writing to me every day in a couple of black journals that I now keep next to my own. He has inspired a lot of my writing and I owe him a lot for the woman I’ve become.
Nesta, I hope all is fair in love n’ ball.
I opened my eyes to the buzzing of my
mobile phone and saw a call coming in with
a name “Unknown”
I let it ring.
Told myself it was more important to sleep.
But in the nick of time, I answered the call
thinking maybe somebody was in some
desperate need to tell me
how much they’ve been loving me
and they had to borrow a stranger’s phone.
(It’s kind of embarrassing to look back and accept the fact
that that was the only reason I answered the phone.)
-Yeah, do you know who this?
No, sorry. Your number…
-Yeah, well it’s *****’s girlfriend, what’s going on between the both of you? I see texts here back and forth, calls made early in the morn. And what’s my man doing calling you “babe” and “baby baby”? Don’t you know how hard it’s been for me to be with him lately?
Uhh… I honestly thought that was the way he talked to everyone. I’m sorry you’re upset and I understand where you’re coming from but can’t you see there’s no reason for you to be so sad? I never gave him reason to say those things, I never said them back.
-I don’t want you to ever talk to him again.
If that’s what you want, I’m fine with that.
-Ok, well I gotta go. Bye.
Click. Just like that.
Not even a chance to wish her better days,
for all of those fallen tears to dry away
or to help get her mind off of all the assumptions she made.
But I understand.
Sometimes we get more caught up in trying to control
the people we love rather than
researching ourselves to figure out
why we’re insecure enough to provide reasonable doubt.
If I could say one last thing, I’d scream,
Babygirl, stop doubting yourself!
If only you concentrate your time on how to make ‘em stay
what will you think of yourself when they try to walk away?
I’m just saying, you’ll do all the dirty work just to try
to protect your man but
go searching through trash cans and I bet you’ll find trash.
Maybe you should take a look at your family tree
and see who’s been a part of your past,
forgive yourself for whatever didn’t go as planned
and accept the fact that you are lovable
despite your mistakes and flaws.
Learn to love yourself down to the bruises on your heart.
You deserve it.