Wednesday, December 31, 2008

say my name

people ask me, as we as humans do, what's your name? and i tell them:

my name is fly.

this is inevitably followed by a compliment, a smile and/or a question. one of the usual questions is:

is that your REAL name?

and i think to myself: didn't i just tell you it was my name?

i say: yes.

apparently unconvinced, they persist with: REALLY?

and i say: yeah, that's my name.

it seems some people would feel more comfortable if i told them: fly is some shit i made up but my REAL NAME, my GOVERNMENT is keisha. or jessica. or monica. or something else, something common, average, "normal", but don't worry, my REAL NAME is most certainly NOT FLY. what kind of world are we living in when someone's REAL NAME is FLY!?!?!?? the entire moral fabric of society would CRUMBLE INTO ITSELF if my name was REALLY fly.

when folks change their name--to reflect a new spiritual consciousness, a new gender identity, or just because they never liked their name, i often hear this lack of respect for their new chosen name amongst some of the people around them via mumblings like "well, she calls herself Phoenix but whatever, her real name is Bernadette." and i wonder: what sense does it make to spend your whole life being called a name your parents gave you before you or they even knew who you were when you can just pick one yourself as a grown ass person that you like and that means something to you? i mean, it takes some guts to make folks who been calling you one thing for years, call you something else. why is that looked down upon or scoffed at, ridiculed or demeaned?

in conclusion, please just call me what i say call me and stop stressing about my "REAL" whatever. i doubt your ancestors REAL LAST NAME was jackson. so chill the fuck out.

one more thing: my name is yvonne fly onakeme etaghene. it's actually longer than that but those 4 i use most often. there are no quotation marks around "fly" and no it is not a nickname. it is in fact my name. some people in my life get to call me yvonne. sometimes people call me by multiple names like "have you ever seen fly perform? shit there was this one summer yvonne had a show on a rooftop..." and i like that shit. but those are folks who been in my world for a minute so they get to do that. one day i might just start goin by onakeme. it all depends on what my spirit say do, we'll see. but for right now, just call me fly.

Monday, December 15, 2008


i'm letting go and letting you. however you will it, i submit to it.

"we cannot ask thee (GODDESS) for naught,
for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us."
--kahlil gibran, the prophet

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

letter to my ego

"If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up." --Deepak Chopra

e·go (ē'gō, ěg'ō) [ee-goh, eg-oh] noun

1. the self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.
2. an exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
3. egotism; conceit; self-importance: (i.e.: Her ego becomes more unbearable each day.)
4. appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem or self-image; feelings: (i.e.: Your criticism wounded his ego.)
5. scholasticism. the complete person comprising both body and soul.
6. an inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others
7. your consciousness of your own identity [syn: self]
8. (psychoanalysis) the conscious mind
9. ego is Latin for "I"

[source: abridged from]

dear ego,

diva. queen. the one bowed to, the mu-fucka who always gets recognized. i recognize. hi. i've noticed you all up in my business lately. sitting there between my lover and i in bed, in my pocket, on my shoulder, swelling up my heart, eating up my selflessness. don't get me wrong--you have definitely held me down something serious over the years. without you, i wouldn't have left abusive situations, demanded what i was worth, had the audacity to go on tour across this country with a little bit of money, faith and you, my fuckin ego, that was so sure we could do it. and we fuckin did.

these days tho, i've let you take over. sometimes when you need to fall back, i've let you rise up. i have done this because ego, you are so easy while vulnerability sometimes is just too much for me--all that feeling and emotional availability--yikes! sometimes i'd just rather hide behind you, lie and let the world think you are me. you're not my whole, just a part. a part apart from my heart/heart that sometimes goes on hiatus and lets you take all my calls, stand in for me at important meetings, events and functions. only i didn't tell you to let those you encounter know that my heart will be back soon, she just needed a break from the world. so people be thinking my ego is me. not so. so ego, i say to you: FALL THE FUCK BACK! do not block my bliss with your braggadocio and dramatic exits and that tone you be taking when you're pissed. and know your place. i will not run to you to stand in for me when honesty, compassion and vulnerability are called for and if i do, you best tell me to turn my ass around and go deal with it, whatever it is, without you. do that shit for me. i say this hard & with an attitude cuz i know you can take it--after all you got a hell of an ego ;) and after everything i say, you just gonna brush your shoulders off and keep it moving.

and of course, you know when i need you, i'ma call on you. and i expect you'll hold me down proper, right?...thanks baby.;)

with love:
my heart, my vulnerability, my selflessness

"Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss."--Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Thursday, December 4, 2008

cuz i feel like it

i feel like fuckin writing tonite so i'ma write. i ain't never been the needy type. okay so i lied--i have always been the needy type, but somehow i manage to be independent too like: "i love you baby don't leave me" & "fuck you, i don't need you" living in the same body.

this has most definitely made for some interesting dinner conversation.

i don't exactly know where i am now or what i want. and then again: i know exactly what i want. i always seem to think that i can figure my life out, like i truly have control of shit. i always want answers and promises--i wanna know the outcome now so i can prepare and then i somehow wonder why i'm having trouble living in the fuckin moment. even when shit is good, i just wait on some fucked up shit to pop off. you know cuz i'm used to drama but happiness--what the fuck am i supposed to do with that?

there was a time i thought i'd have babies and a husband, a husband with a penis he was born with, not one we copped at toys in babeland or pleasure chest or wherever. now, clearly, i've moved on, or rather, blissfully ascended into my dyke destiny and know that that breeder shit ain't for me. (time changes so much.)

is this rambling? perchance, perhaps, maybe, most likely...okay yes it is. i guess i just wanted to say that...i don't know anything about how my life is gonna go. all i can do is do what makes me happy and pray for sunshine. i feel like a fuckin fortune cookie but...once in awhile those fortune cookies bring the wisdom unexpectedly.

anyway, should i even post this? alright, here you go.

[photo: me. summer 2008. prospect park. devouring a wendy's chocolate frosty. cuz i felt like it. that shit was GOOD AS HEAVEN.]


i love being a performer. talking to my boi today i told him that i used to leave my political on the stage and then return to my fucked up personal life.

fucked up right?

fucked up when the way you livin and the way you spittin don't match. been reading my older poems tonight. gonna post some later. i wanna be proud enough of how i live to be able to say that shit on stage to strangers and friends. and today, i'm alright with sharing that shit with the whole world. so i'm thankful. thankful i match.


i used to wear anger like a mask,
like the only garment that fit in my emotional wardrobe.
you knew it was me comin
cuz my rage preceded me,
let you know who was in the fuckin building
and i bet you assumed that i was a bitch
or hella hard
or too political (whatever the fuck that means)
or just really really REALLY FUCKIN ANGRY.
and maybe you never stepped to my ass
cuz you couldn't see the person
beneath the fine-tuned machine of my hetero-patriarchy,-white-supremacy,-colonization-deconstructing verbal acrobatics.
i don't know exactly what you were thinking
but i know what i was: i thought you were stupid or didn't care or didn't understand me
and woe was me:
misunderstood with my nirvana, ani difranco, tupac shakur fuck the world blasting in my headphones/
a dyke like me
done outgrown those garments--
but don't get it twisted
my ass can still rock that anger like fury from the core of the earth raging with the intensity of mamaland ancestral lyrical libations like WHAT?!
i can still move a crowd
like my tongue can move my lover
but sometimes
i just wanna be easy and shit--
converse with
instead of talk at/
i was never as hard as i seemed
i just used my words to let you know
how much i cared/
the anger in me surpassed by nothing
except my love for humanity

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

sweet {torture}

(yes this is for you)


sweet {torture}

watching you in the morning

and I do so love to watch you in the morning

getting ready for work

baby you fine

and although you are leaving

I love to watch you

as I lay naked

in the bed you fucked me in

loved me in

held me in

you: sultry and so unintentional with it.

layer after layer of you

getting put onto you

clothing cologne deodorant…

and I want to peel those clothes off

before they have the chance to be warmed by your body heat

it’s maddening

peeking into your morning rituals

from this bed

knowin I so want you to return

to this bed,

want you to just be getting up for a cup of water

or whatever

and coming back to me

to come with me

I know we got jobs and shit

responsibilities and shit

bills and shit

so I don’t protest

too hard

I just watch you from this bed

this bed you kissed me in

we told each other we love each other in

I drink you in

in gazes

& I taste the taste and feel of you

hours later

at my desk

unable to concentrate

on the task at hand

imagining you and us and we and yes…yes…yes

I know you gotta go to work baby,

I do too

just one more kiss baby

just one more…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

front street, puttin my business on it

i pretend to be mature
calm, respectable even
but i want you closer than my skin
i want you to drive your
neat, manicured butch fingers
into me with loving ferocity
to make me scream and grind up on you
i want to feel the pressure of your weight on top of me
i want you
to take control of me
to completely take me over
and make me your woman in that bed
i want that to be our bed
and i want you to hear the moans you make me moan
i want you to know how wet you make me
with just the thought of you.
i want you to make it feel so good i can't think or control the pleasure
until i stutter your name
forget my own
wrap my legs around you
to pull you in as deep as you can go
i want to feel you feel the inside of me
i want to feel that slow building explosion
and i want you to hold me after
to make me feel safe and perfect and beautiful
can you do that?
can you do that?
cuz i want it like that
just like that
but better.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

fuckin beautiful

i went to the doctor tuesday. i do not have fibroids--i am completely healthy. i am so so thankful!

my friend was drinking tea the other day, one of those tea bags at the end of which is some hella deep quote that i guess you're supposed to ponder as you sip. this one read "the moment you love, you are unlimited." i think that's fuckin beautiful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

learned behavior & gardens

i don't know how to act in response to a woman who just wants to hold me. i don't know how to lay down and be held. shit is deep. i grew used to being the one who always had to have her shit together, always had to be the strong one, always had to hold shit down, could never break down, never just got to lay down and get taken care of. didn't know what it felt like to just lay the fuck down and not have to take care of some emergency or clean up some mess or finish off a fight still lingering in the air from this morning or last night or last month or 5 minutes ago.

i don't know how to act with a woman who says i'm sorry when i say that hurt me, then kisses me and opens doors for me and looks at me softly without saying anything and that's saying something i ain't heard in a long fuckin time. and i don't know how to act when we just fuckin get along. so...this armor i have on isn't necessary? is that what you're telling me? i've been waiting for you to hurt me, that's why i still got it on.

learned behavior has my guard so far up, so wide, so deep that i can barely see the garden in front of me. but i see you, i do.

Friday, October 10, 2008


{eulogy for the unborn?}

i don't feel like being sentimental. i don't feel like being soft.

i have a womb i don't use.
the doctor said i might have fibroids
as easily if she were saying good morning
as if fibroids doesn't sometimes cause cancer
as if women with fibroids aren't sometimes given hysterectomies as treatment/
a woman having to part ways with an organ she was born with--this is the best western medicine has to offer?

i never imagined myself having an ultrasound
especially not one where the doctor is takin pictures of the inside of me
to tell me
if i'm okay
to tell me
if they're benign
or malignant

i don't want kids
so i'm not feeling fucked up today
because i'm scared i'll never have the kids i don't want
i'm feeling fucked up today
because this is my womb
and i want to keep her

{test results pending}

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

why i love the word "apropos", freedom day & related musings

it's wednesday, september 24th. nothing particularly special about this wednesday except that it's my sister's 29th. other than that, you know i gotta peel my ass out of bed and go to work like any other day. after work, i rushed to clinton hill, brooklyn for a last minute appointment with my barber who keeps my frohawk lookin so tight! i'm sitting in the chair, talkin about a lil bit of nothing and tiny bits of something and who walks in? guess. go ahead, i'll wait while you suppose and ponder perchance who the fuck walked in the shop.

yes, my ex (i jest you not) strolls in and says "hi." mind you, 2 seasons have passed since last we saw each other. i don't even blink and i'm like "hi" right back. she says "you look good." i say "thanks". maybe social graces or bullshit pleasantries or ex etiquette would have me say some shit like "you too", but i don't think so and i ain't a liar so i don't say shit. after having been in an emotionally abusive, controlling and manipulative relationship with this person, i kinda stopped being attracted to her like FOREVER AGO. there was silence. maybe it was awkward for her so she says see you later, i say bye. and that was that. last time i saw her she was between my legs. last time i spoke to her we were fighting. i've had many visions of what that moment of seeing the ex post-break up would be like--i hoped i'd be wearing my fiercest outfit, stilettos too sexy for words, lip gloss popping, with the finest butch on my arm, looking blissful and loved. there was no stilettos or lip gloss, just me, chillin, in the barber chair on a wednesday night. i didn't then (in the barber shop) and don't now (sittin on the couch typing this) feel a thing towards her--not anger, not the desire to tell her off one last time, no missing her, not one single feeling of hoping we'd worked out, not wanting to fuck again. i didn't feel a damn thang. i am finally fuckin indifferent, nonchalant, aloof! i am finally fuckin free.

allllllllll of this happened on allisonjoy's borndae. how fuckin apropos. i declare this my fuckin freedom day. happy borndae girl and happy freedom day to me and to everyone who ever got free of some shit that had their soul on lock down. celebrate with me!


[photography by]

Sunday, September 14, 2008

i know you have a girlfriend

look, i know you have a girlfriend. i know you love her: you've been together for years, you live together, share:
a bed
a home
your heart.

i don't do that mistress shit. period. so no i ain't gonna try to holla when you're so in love.

despite this:
damn, you make me laugh,
you make me laugh hard like my stomach is still sore and we hung out hours ago.
you look at me like that, you blush when i dance and can't complete thoughts or sentences around me sometimes.
i laugh at you, at me, with you
cuz we're obviously attracted to each other but neither of us is gonna do shit about it.

you're sweet,
sweet in the details of things, of remembering what i say, checkin in with me, making sure i'm okay and lookin at me softly with everything in your eyes. when you look at me, i wonder:
was it necessary for you to look at me that tenderly?
was it necessary for me to look at you that tenderly? i don't know but damn i had to give you my eyes like that right then. it felt necessary

i wonder if you
*didn't* share:
a bed
a home
your heart

with her

if--if--if. where would that "if" go if i let it? somewhere not real, a fantasy of possibility full of "and then we would", "and we could", "and--and--and" many ifs,
so many ifs

there's something between us
close enough to know it would be delicious
we have to keep our distance
cuz we cannot let ourselves taste...

being your friend feeds me in a slightly sensual, completely platonic way that absolutely respects your relationship with your girlfriend

ain't shit gonna happen between us
but more laughter

so i play "perfect" by doria roberts tonite at 5 in the morning
and tonite, this morning
you're the one i'm dreaming of

Friday, September 5, 2008

soft & sensitive

i wanted to bless you with my words, shower them on you
(incase you didn't know
when this poet gives words
it's an act of love)
so i started telling you you're sweet and kind--but before i could finish, you talked over me, told me i was callin you soft

you made the word soft sound like horse shit

are you seriously gonna hide beneath that gruff, emotionless exterior all day, all night?
you told me i'm so sensitive. i affirmed that conclusion but held back the instinctive apology i felt rise in me
since when is sensitivity a bad thing?
ralph tresvant thought it was alright. now it's a liability. something apology-worthy. i wonder if i was "sensitive" enough to "sense" you were stressed, give you a massage and make you your favorite meal if my "sensitivity" to your needs would then be something you criticized?

you're right i don't understand you. you take your time getting to know a woman before loving her or maybe the journey is loving, i dunno.

i do know:
you ain't soft/
if you was

even a lil bit
you would say sweet things back to me
or at least let my sugar roll out my mouth
uninterrupted & unjudged/
if you was

you'd let yourself have a feeling once in awhile
besides sarcasm, anger or happiness.
and maybe you'd share that once-in-awhile-feeling with this oversensitive dyke.
i'm not one of your boys,
not one of them butches you roll with,
not someone you give daps to.

i don't know who we are to each other, but i know we ain't that. there are intimate tender things brewing beneath the taciturn surface of us that you ignore and i search for. and i'm tired of looking--i'm putting my flashlight and map away.

congratulations on being Hard Butch of the Year.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

i never said i love you, Professor Saaka. i love you

i'm procrastinating writing this. like i've been procrastinating living my life to the fullest. but my thoughts return to you so i am writing. i heard you passed today. immediately tears crawled out of me and i screamed. ran to my bed, lay there, cried. i cried mostly because i never told you how much you touched me. and that ain't right. you taught me ME. you taught me about me, you taught me about Africa, about West Africa, about Pan Africanism, about Kwame Nkrumah, taught me about our politics, history, spirituality. you taught me what cosmology means. and it has nothing to do with make up. it's how a people see the world. i still remember that, you had this way of making the complex so easy to understand.

i apologize so deeply for hoarding my words of love for you in my heart, they belonged to you, not me. and so now, inadequate though it may be, i hope it means something to say i love you. i thank you for dedicating your life to teaching people like me, for spending many more years than i've even been alive teaching. i thank you for being so open to speaking at that commemoration of Kwame Ture's life i organized my first year at Oberlin--you were phenomenal. honestly, you always kind of scared me. mostly because i felt like you could see right through me, i had no defenses or quick answers with you, just the truth of my thoughts. i know you have touched and moved thousands and thousands of people. and i hope i do you proud.

i don't think you're online in the after life reading my blog, but i do so strongly pray that you get these words somehow, that some angel delivers these words to you and you know they're from me and you know that for every word written here, there's so many others who feel the same.

Professor Yakubu Saaka, Rest In Power. i, and so so many others, love you and thank you, honor you and are honored to have known you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

tender by nature

there's got to be another way to love.

i am used to anger and defenses springing up hard and with fuck-you attitude. i am used to needing defenses, excuses, protection and rage. i am used to the fight in me being just as strong as the love in me. i think i must love you cuz i care enough to fight but really i just love being right. and that passion ain't got shit to do with who's in front of me. we could be talking about u.s. foreign policy, doing the laundry or how you strap on me. i just want to be right.

this is what i am used to: evidence and exhibits to prove my thesis and my conclusion. and there's bloodshed. there's cemeteries where our kindness and tenderness with each other is buried in unmarked graves this desecration of love we call a relationship pisses on. i am used to battlefield type love where we scream. and it hurts. and there are treaties we make and tear up. truces we grudgingly half-honor and then completely dishonor. and i say to myself--it wouldn't hurt if it wasn't hurts because it's love, real love. but that's bullshit, love doesn't hurt, people do.

there's got to be other ways to love. i know because i have loved sweetly before, with kisses placed onto the sides of bellies, fingers sliding inside pussy as loving as a prayer, loving so deep i want to be vulnerable. i have loved like sharing secrets nobody but you knows, loved like traveling far to see you because i've got to see you. i have loved like love wants to be loved, loved holy like no words come close to describing this beauty, loved like when we can feel Goddess in the room.

i can be hard. walls so high, so thick, so dense, so fuckin serious. and it's work--it takes work to maintain the barbed wire all around me keepin whosoever might piss me off at a safe fuckin distance. i know i am tender by nature. so naturally all this hard is hard on me, hardly my favorite position. i miss the sultry of me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

my frankie

if you know me then you know men don't get to touch or kiss me, hold or love me unless they're special. this is just the way it is. most of the people in my life are women. the few that are men are trans or gay and the few that are straight really have their shit together--i just don't have any space, time or energy to put up with any sexist, heterosexist, homophobic nonsense. frankie is my very gay, very much beloved dear dear friend. he is one of those elusive spirits, always on the go, hard to get a hold of but when he's beside you, when you're beside me, frankie your spirit holds me. it's been hard for me to trust biological men because when i have, they've fucked me over, lied to me, tried to oppress me or control me etc etc. and furthermore as for my day to day quality of life, it's rare that i walk down the street without a biological male saying some nasty, completely degrading shit to me or just leering at me in that icky, sleezy way that makes me want to bash an asshole over the head. so usually i have my guard up, way waaaay up with men. loving frank has given me hope in men--like it's fuckin possible to have a man in my life and love him and trust him and feel safe with him. wow. for real, it's epiphany type wonder that rushes through me whenever i spend time with you.

and i miss you these days, so so much, more than words can convey. i love you and i miss you and i know you are taking care of you, breathing and praying and healing. i just wanted you to know you're constantly on my mind and heart and i hold you in a space touched by no one.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

KA-BOOM cobbler

of course there's a woman, i made fuckin cobbler didn't i? (peach blueberry to be exact, yes ma'am.) her name is...unimportant. i find myself coming to thoughts of her over and over. and i know she ain't worth my time. it's not about being conceited, cuz i do like her, but just because i like her as a person doesn't mean i need to be giving her my sensual attention. it's not worth it especially since i'm not getting what i want from her--i don't feel any passion. she's cute? yes. sweet? i guess KA-BOOM chemistry. recently when i told a friend of mine that i don't have a crush right now and i want to have that irresistible attraction to someone before i step to them, she asked "how many romance novels have you read?" i said "a lot." but i don't think that's got shit to do with this. okay, maybe it has something to do with it but i don't think my high consumption of romance novels as a teenager (harlequin, arabesque, silhouette, etc) cancels out the intelligence of a woman like me who wants KA-BOOM factor. yes i am a very romantic fierce ass hard ass femme who still believes in that beautiful, wide, alive love that you feel in you just at the sound of the voice of the person you love or want to love. i want chemistry and that's not an unrealistic desire that i need to let go of cuz life ain't a romance novel. life don't need to be a tragic satire either. especially since i know what KA-BOOM fuckin feels like, i'm not giving up on it.

(why settle?)

i want arms: around me,
heat on top of me,
breath breathing beside me.

i didn't call her tonite. i called her last night and the night before. i think she one of them butches used to getting attention from women, used to women comin at her so she just leeeeeeeans back and waits. and i been comin at her these past few days. i don't want to no more. i want to be met half way. i want KA-BOOM and a list of 36 things and counting. i'd just fuckin rather make cobbler than tumble down into something with no KA-BOOM. what's the point?

did i tell you my ex called me today? fuck no i didn't pick up the phone! please. that KA-BOOM spells disaster. and i am so done with disaster.

p.s.: this is the type of shit i do for myself when i'm single--take care of myself in decadent ways like making cobbler for my fly ass. making beautiful dinners for myself. oh and the cobbler was yummy! of course i had it with pineapple coconut ice cream, i love the crust. next time i'll try mango raspberry coconut cobbler. can you spell "love of self"? i can ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

a loss of wisdom?

i had a wisdom tooth removed on tuesday. procedure took 60 seconds, seriously. i was in a lot of pain. am on codeine and antibiotics.

today i feel like woooooow, for the first time in a long time, i am not pressed to have a woman on top of my body making love to me and proving to me i'm valuable and worthy of love. when i want a woman, when i care about her, i want to learn all the curves and angles and crevices of her--i want to know what her favorite music and movies are, what her favorite foods are, her favorite brand of tea, where she grew up, her dreams, etc. i want to know these things so i can give her the best of her favorites and let her know, of course i remember and of course i listen and yes i made you your favorite meal better than your mama or as close as i could get to it because i care enough to try and succeed at taking good ass care of you.

but right now, i just don't care. not in an embittered, tupac shakur-fuck-the-world way, i just don't feel like directing my energy into someone else. i already know all my favorites. and so i give them to me. i'm taking it easy after my wisdom tooth removal and breathing. i took days off work and tried not to feel guilty and reminded myself that i had fuckin surgery and need to rest and the world will keep spinnin even if i stay home from work, eat mushy foods and watch law & order: criminal intent on netflix.

i feel like i gained more than i lost. i wanna give me what i've been so hungry to give away. i'ma keep some me for me and hug me close. it's about time i really really learned this lesson.

jill (shaking my head and sighing)

we love jill. i mean, her music is practically a fuckin religion to some folks. i respect that. can't nobody come between me and some aaliyah, mariah, chaka. we all have our music. i went to see jill for free mon, august 11th because, shit, IT'S JILL FUCKIN SCOTT AND IT'S A FREE CONCERT IN BROOKLYN AND IT'S SUMMERTIME. my attendance was required reading for me to renew my membership to Blackness.

concert scheduled for 7:30, i got there about 5:45. line down the block. my friends were way up front. i skipped some people in line, hopped a fence, got me a seat with my friends who'd been camping out since 4:00.

concert started. jill is heterosexual. did you know that? in case there was any doubt, allllllll doubt was erased from alllllllll our minds with comments that critiqued Black women in relationships as nagging, whiny bitches. did she say those words? NO. but she did say that it's important for the man and the woman (yeah, only heteros have relationships) to continue doing the same sweet things that they did in the beginning all throughout the relationship to maintain it. she gave an example of a woman asking her man "how are you daddy?" after work and with her head motions, she imitated the motions of fellatio while continuing to--very sweetly--ask her man how he is and what it is she could do to make him happy. then she fasts forward to 7 years later and the same man walks thru the same door and the same woman says something to the effect of "damn, can't you see i'm on the phone, could you be quiet?" she's rude, she's the stereotypical rude, mean, Black woman with a bad attitude. this is her critique of why men and women break up. there is no parallel critique of whatever dumb shit men may do to have that woman that pissed off or even what mean, asshole-ish ways they may have developed over that 7 year period that could be contributing to a non-functional relationship. i say "wow", i guess the almighty Black man can do no wrong in jill's eyes.

i'm just saying, if you gonna critique the women, please critique the men too. it takes 2 you know and in the case of polyamorous or open relationships, it takes many more. :) the concert felt like what homophobic churches make me feel like--judged, excluded and annoyed. don't get me wrong--there were definitely some songs that had me out my seat and dancing, especially the house version of "he loves me". of course all our gay asses switched the pronouns to suit our orientation. ;)

the assumption that i give a fuck about YET ANOTHER straightie love song and that everyone in the audience is a breeder is so damn oppressive. as much as some love dick, i don't--not unless it's made of plastic or silicone and strapped to a sexy butch. so PLEASE DO NOT ASSUME EVERYONE IS HETERO. it's stupid and just plain...STUPID.

i like to feel like in a crowd, i exist, all of me, not just my rhythm, my Blackness, but my Nigerian dyke self. in that crowd, i felt like her commentary in between songs was spraying invisible aerosole cans on me and my crew.

but still, we queer. living our lives like they're golden, living it like i'm a golden dyke who eats pussy. it's cool if jill ain't writing a dyke love song that sounds like the inside of my heart. i'll do it. i'll tell my story and dance it. that's fuckin golden.

Friday, August 15, 2008

texting etiquette

maybe everyone didn't get the memo--so i'm letting you know now. this whole texting thing is the shit. i have to admit when texting first got big--maybe in 2004--i was so not a fan. having to hit a key three times for every fuckin letter of every fuckin word was maddening. and i tried to do that automatic shit where the fone automatically suggests the word it guesses you're trying to type to save time, but my fone always guessed the wrong word. (i'm trying to type "pussy" and the suggestion is "punishment". whatever.)

so once i got a QWERTY keypad and could type just as easliy on my fone as a laptop, i was and continue to be, alllllll about texting. we've gotten to the point tho, that we, or at least i, need to set some ground rules.

1. texting is NOT a replacement for real conversation and human contact. it is a supplement to be used when one has a.) no time to talk, b.) is unavailable (i.e.: at work, in a meeting, at a movie, etc) or c.) only has a simple yes or no question that does not require a conversation (i.e.: "i'll be there at 6:30" or "can i bring a friend?")

2. PLEASE don't be face to face with someone and start texting SOMEONE ELSE like they ain't there. if you gotta text someone, say so and let who you're actually with in person know you'll be done in a minute. treat their time and presence as valuably as you want yours to be.

3. when crushing on a woman, i so love the flirtateous texts that get sent back and forth with butterflies in tummy and smile all over face and heart BUT those texts are not sufficient foreplay or flirtation. an actual fone conversation is necessary during which both parties choose whether they're interested enough to venture out on a date.

4. we are still people, my people. let's not let technology replace hugs, hearing our friends laughter in our ears, taking walks, cooking for each other and having the guts to say what you fuckin mean with your voice instead in a tersely worded, yet deliberately ambiguous fuck you text or a lukewarm come on. if you wanna holla at someone, HOLLA. jump in. get wet. if you don't like the temperature of the pool, you can always get out.

feel me?

just some suggestions. ;)


"holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
--christian troy/nip/tuck


Saturday, August 2, 2008

my self-love mango cobbler

it started during pride. the sadness. I was so angry cuz I saw very few butches of color. their presence was painfully absent, like they were all protesting pride. there was no one I saw—between Brooklyn pride, Manhattan’s pride, parade and parties that made me go, “well, damn baby, hello to you.” that shit knocked sadness into me so hard.

today. I made myself some self-love mango cobbler. from scratch. I figure hey, hearts break daily. this pain is real. I’m not denying or muffling it. at the same time, I want to give myself sweet, loving things, like a mango cobbler on a Saturday afternoon. from me to me. on Thursday I crocheted myself a beautiful set of earrings. from me to me.

I’ve been speaking with my girls, sharing my heart and listening to their stories. today Connie, my incredibly wise and deeply hilarious friend of about 5 years told me she said to her partner recently, “I’m the cake, you’re the icing. I am already sweet, you make life sweeter. and that icing can be replaced—strawberry, chocolate, whatever.” she had me cracking up. she don’t take no shit. she’s this fierce woman who knows exactly what she wants and who she is and always says what she means.

somewhere, somehow I let myself believe that fucking and dating make life better. but when I’m dating, my life is not better, just full of someone else’s shit. sometimes I want someone else’s shit—when it’s their love, their arms, their kindness, their humor. but sometimes I don’t, not when that shit is jealousy, insecurity, careless choices and fucked up behavior. I see people in relationships—some are strangers, some I know personally—and a lot of them ain’t fuckin happy, just stuck in some shit they’re used to and tired of but scared to let go of. or they’re scared they won’t be able to find someone else. or they want someone, even if they know that someone isn’t who they truly love. or they’re in love with the idea of being loved, even if the person loving them annoys the shit out of them. I know what that’s like. it sucks.

I actually feel better. for the first time in several weeks, the inside of my chest feels like something has been cleared from it.

I should probably eat something more substantial for lunch. but trust, I will be eating more cobbler later. did I tell you I had it with pineapple coconut ice cream melting on top? I love myself hard. the way I was meant to. can I get an amen?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

beautiful; fuck you

your best friend is Nigerian. and Igbo. or maybe it was your bus driver? your neighbor? your high school teacher? so you assume I’m Igbo too when you find out I’m Nigerian. no honey, I’m one of the other hundreds of ethnicities you didn’t take the time to learn about.

I’m listening to guns n roses (“november rain”), jagged edge ("gotta be") and boys II men…like “please don’t go away from me” and “it’s so hard to say goodbye.” yeah I’m feelin like that.

this last one fucked me up something serious.

I don’t wanna talk to nobody.

an evil melody of past pain is haunting me. broken hearts screaming at each other about the dissonance of the sound of the pain neither of us created, but continue to exacerbate with all our shouting.

fuck you is the easiest thing for me to say these days.

at the club last night, she said: I hope at least 5 people have told you you’re beautiful tonite.
no, I said
15? she asked
I smiled, said no.

thinking: naw baby, I hear I’m intimidating. beautiful. and intimidating. flying a rocket ship with no formal training is intimidating.. me? I’m just a person (wounded).

me being beautiful is cold comfort to me tonight.

cold comfort on a warm summer night.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

stevie & ejeris

my dear friend ejeris called me to sing stevie wonder

("i just called to say i loooove you,
i just called to say how much i care,
i just called to say i love you
and i mean it from the bottom of my heart")

so sweet. my eyes got a lil moist, lol. i've been thinking a lot about my last post (The List, (dear aggressive)), wondering if it was too harsh, wondering if people who read it will just think that i'm this hella hard woman with a list of demands. wondering if people can see my soft beneath my hard. i told ejeris i feel like a hard bitch sometimes cuz i done been thru some serious hurting and am jaded. i feel like a lot of what i wrote about in my last blog is in reaction to some of the bullshit i've been thru and don't ever ever want to go thru again.

she told me to let myself heal, to let myself feel however the fuck i wanna feel. and yes, i am hard and fierce, and i am also kind and generous and loving and sweet.

she said, “I want to see you date someone as spectacular as you...
you’re not a bitch love, you’re incredible. and if you are, you’re my favorite kind."

thanks sugah. i needed that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The List (dear aggressive)

dear aggressive,

I’m 28 now. I know what I like. In the interest of time, I’ve prepared this list of what I love and can’t stand. after completion, proceed or recede.

welcome to my list.

  1. I want a feminist colored sensitive thoughtful sexy funny intelligent sweet attentive hard butch lover
  2. Understand a little jealousy is cute, too much is oppressive. I don’t cheat so don’t worry, if I ain’t happy, I’ma leave you.
  3. I want a butch, full time, all the time, all day, everyday so please do not wear my clothes, shoes or makeup. If you’re femmey on Tuesdays and Thursdays, let me know upfront so I’m not all shocked and shit at your lip gloss poppin all of a sudden. I welcome gender fluidity in my friends, not so much in lovers.
  4. Be forewarned: sometimes I “feel a certain kind of way” and when I “feel a certain kind of way”, I dress butch. Usually I’m going thru something and need to feel protected so I retreat behind baggy clothes. I dress butch, still act femme. I’d say I “feel a certain kind of way” about once a month. You gotta be ai’ight with that.
  5. Not over your exes? Peace.
  6. Street and grimy, I love sooo so so much.
  7. Timbaland laces undone, jeans baggy, saggin a little low, sports bra, white tee, chiseled muscles. Yesyesyes.
  8. I am loud. I am outspoken. Please do not be intimidated. Know how to handle me without making me feel handled. Feel me? Let me rephrase so it’s clear cuz this can be a little sticky: I like a butch who knows how to hold me down, take care of me, who takes the time to learn me. Know that I like it grimy. Also know there’s a fine line between grimy and comin out your face. Learn that line and stay on the right side.
  9. Be easy. I need you to be chill and respect that I am a diva. There’s no point in me denying that shit—it’s the truth. Love and nurture the goddess I be. Know that I will always love the queen/king you be.
  10. I do not expect gifts or for you to pay my bills. I can and do take very good care of myself. I want sensuality, kindness, deep politicking, hand holding, to be listened to, to be held, laughter, dancing all night, soft kisses. These are the currencies I care most about. If you wanna spend money on me, go right ahead. It will not make me love you more. But I will say thank you.
  11. Have your shit together. If you’re still upset about shit that happened 16 years ago, please consider therapy. (Seriously.) I am not here to be your therapist. Work your shit out so we can actually have time to have fun instead of spending every waking moment processing thru every fucked up something that ever happened to you.
  12. Be clear about your issues. Commitment issues? A serial cheater? Lay your cards on the table.
  13. Speak your fuckin mind. Speak your fuckin heart. Share your fuckin soul. This is not about pulling teeth. I will not chase you. I will not play games, I will not say one thing then do another, keep you waiting, intentionally make you jealous, “test” you to see how much you care or use you. I will keep it real for real and want the same.
  14. I’m not gonna change for you. Don’t change for me.
  15. I am eclectic in my tastes—I love Fela, New Kids On The Block, Mary J. Bilge, Frente, Whitesnake, Pebbles, Fleetwood Mac, Tupac, Lil Wayne, Bonnie Raitt, The Supremes, Nirvana, Chaka Khan, Kenny Rogers, Ginuwine, Prince, Rihanna, Ani Difranco, Jay Z, the Village People, Peter Tosh, Wilson Phillips, Teddy Pendergrass. Appreciate that in me.
  16. I don’t wanna move in together. Keep your apartment and I’ll keep mine. Give me a minute to miss how your body feels. Please do not constantly be up under me, blowing up my phone, emailing and texting! We both had lives before we met, let’s not forget that just cuz the sex is so good.
  17. Know how to cook. I will not eat out of a can. (Yes I know how to cook. Well.)
  18. I’m African, specifically I am Nigerian. Respect my culture. No I’m not Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa. Get on google and learn something about where I’m from so we can have a real conversation about my culture and your culture.
  19. Do not post up on the wall at the club being the bad-ass,-don’t-give-a-fuck butch poster child. Come into the middle of the dance floor and shake it fast, slow, sexy and wild with me.
  20. Do not fight other butches to try to prove something. Your butchness should be natural and undeniable and not require violence to validate its depth or intensity. I want a hard butch, not a can’t-communicate-feelings-and-breaks-shit-when-angry butch. Butch does not mean emotionally stunted and spastically violent. As my dear friend K. said, “I can be masculine without being a patriarchal fuck.”
  21. Don’t be scurred. I’m cute. Folks is gonna holla. Be secure enough to realize…(see #2)
  22. Motorcycles are great. I love dykes on bikes and in trucks. LOL.
  23. I don’t want kids and I don’t wanna raise yours. Don’t try and convince me otherwise. So if you got some, I am not Mommy #2 waiting to pack kids’ lunches and attend PTA* meetings wearing sensible shoes and baking cookies. That just ain’t me. I like other people’s kids so yes I’m down for mentoring kids at a local community center. Raise them? Nope.
  24. I am not a fuckin trophie femme. I’m not a piece of ass you walk around with to prove how bad you are. These labels of ours do not define us, we define them.
  25. Age. This is a funny one. If you never heard of or watched YO! MTV Raps, you’re too young for me. If you were in middle school during the Watergate scandal, you’re too old for me.
  26. Do know how to work a strap, your tongue and fingers. (I can.) Do know how to make me wet with your breath on my neck, no words. (I definitely can.)
  27. Do read books, magazines, comics, newspapers, the nutritional facts of the foods you eat.
  28. Do smell good.
  29. Do call when you say you will.
  30. Do let me know your soul and heart. Do share your stories with me.
  31. Do let me hold you sometimes.
  32. Do know that I love your masculinity and love the woman you be.
  33. No smoking, no drinking, (social drinking okay.)
  34. Do keep a clean house.
  35. Do not define your masculinity according to sexist, straight male culture as men do not own the copyright on masculinity and we/you/I can create it ourselves.
  36. Do know that I know you got a list of your own and do know I’m waiting to read it.

*Parent Teacher Association

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hard Femmes Stand Up

yvonne fly onakeme etaghene

It’s Sunday afternoon, the first in March. Listening to the Onliest on myspace getting lifted. Went dancing last night with my peoples. Cut up a rug for real. Been meditating on lots of things: these ideas up in me double dutch with each other, play tag, run relay races. My mind be runnin on roller skates in the rain: faaaaasst. Here are some thoughts…

I identify as a hard femme, a femme aggressive, a fierce femme. This means I am fire, sometimes I wear stilettos and always I don’t take shit. I like my lip gloss poppin, my lip gloss cooool. Sometimes I rock boxers, baggy jeans and kicks if I’m feelin that way, but mostly my clothes and body language/mannerisms are femme. When I dated men (oh wait, there was just that one guy), I always wanted him to be a woman—I wanted him to kiss me, hold me, listen to me like a woman…I’m sure you can see how this was an exercise in futility for all parties involved (lol.) My first sexual experience was with a woman, my first and second and third and fourth (and so on and so on) relationships were with women. I kissed boys, tried to make it work but it didn’t and it wouldn’t. I eventually realized I was not the bisexual dyke I thought I was but just a dyke. Old school butches have at times challenged me identifying as a “dyke” because their definition of “dyke” was “butch”, but my definition of dyke was and is “a woman who loves women proudly, fiercely, passionately.” A sista like me loves butches. Now if you know me you know I adore all kinds of gender identifications from hard femmes like me to soft butches, androgynous beings, soft femmes, folks who traverse the gender spectrum with a flow easier than water, trans folks and on and on but for me, as far as what I’m attracted to, nothing beats the flyness of a butch. Hands down, no question, no contest.

Because all my firsts were women (except that first kiss I had with Eugene at our eighth grade dinner dance), when men would try to holla, I just did not fit into their idea of what a woman “should be”. I didn’t have enough experience with boys or men to know what was “expected of me.” I was too independent for their idea of independence and would not allow them to sweep my dykeness under the rug or bed they kept trying to rush me into. I was bored and unsatisfied so I left. It was the masculinity in the men that I liked, not the men themselves. I love how masculinity looks on a woman’s body—how it flows, hangs, its hard edges, soft curves. Even when I’m around or dating butch women, my hard femme fire can become an issue, as the way I am femme is not based on the heterosexual norms some butches (and femmes and queers in general) subscribe to. Straight women are not my role models for how to be a dyke (!) and thus when I’m with a butch women I do not treat her like a man, despite encouragement to the opposite from society and/or the butch I’m dating. It’s tough on us queers sometimes—the media demonizes us, caricatures us or doesn’t represent us at all. We are thirsty for images of our colored, queer, woman-loving selves in the media (the L Word don’t count y’all) so sometimes we may look to the (most likely) straight relationship we grew up watching our parents have, or we look around our heteronormative neighborhood, in the books we read or films we’ve seen for some sort of example of what we do in relationships. And then we impose these straight ideas on ourselves and our partners/lovers/fuck or cuddle buddies/girlfriends. I don’t want a man with a pussy. That’s not what this dykeness is about. Some “educated queers” feel that the whole butch/femme model is always a mimicry of heterosexuality, they look down upon it and formulate complex critiques about the problematic nature of what they assume to be dykes adopting unhealthy straight relationship models. I say life isn’t that fuckin simple people! Butch/femme isn’t just straight in drag just like gender isn’t just boy or girl (check one), you feel me? Choosing to fuck and love and flirt in a butch/femme context can be unhealthy just like any other way of being or having any other “type” when you cruise for a new partner can be unhealthy. We have many, many labels to choose from but so many of us shun labels because we feel them to be confining, restraining, too big or small to hold our spirits, our everyday loving, our quirks, our humanity. True indeed, I understand not wanting a label, but more than that, I embrace the labels I wear, I wear them vibrantly, naming and claiming my peoples, who I am and who I want around me.

I’m a hard femme, through and through, proud and fierce. Holla back y’all.

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