We are reaching the home stretch, coming towards the end of Na Po. It’s the final week which really serves to prove that time moves ridiculously fast because it barely feels like April has begun. Perhaps that’s just me, and this month has been a laborious one that feels like it’s never going to end. Either way we are approaching a month till June, which means we are nearly half way through the year, which equally means we will soon be at the point where we are closer to the next year than we are to the last one. It also means that we are approaching the U.K’s interpretation of summer soon too! I don’t know what the British summer has in store for us but it’s going to be more heat than winter so I’m grateful.
I saw this man at Veranda earlier this month, and knew I had to recommend him at some point during Na Po. Joshua Idehen (@BeninCitizen) poet, musician, and twitter… I don’t even know how to describe his tweets, but I catch plenty a joke following his interactions. Anyways his work… LEVELS. He’s got an energy that he brings that is just mad. I’ve gotten fancy and embedded a video that will start at the correct time. I remember watching this whole thing, and not being familiar with Mr Idehen but his piece had me making bare indiscernible noises all the same, by myself, in my front room, late at night, when I was supposed to be being quiet cos my house was sleeping. The video is below.
At the bank’s edge
I drew a line, thick like choppy waters,
made it so I could not cross.
Now I am standing at the bank,
nudging my feet nearer the edge.
Daring myself to walk,
to find the fire on the other side.
Drowning in the middle
is more scary than burning.
Lukewarm water flooding my lungs
with thorned anchors, filling me up,
tearing me open, carrying me down.
I will drown or I will burn
or I will return from whence I came.
So again I am coming with a late late one. I need to rectify this but apparently today is not that day.
I was on YouTube listening to poems, and thus todays fire poet recommendation is Tshaka Campbell (@pappatshak). I was at the event this video is from (big up BoxediN) and this performance gave me MAD chills. So so cold. Watch it below… embedded of course.
Answering “deep” questions
She says I never talk in straight lines.
I scribble everywhere,
then expect her to find the picture.
I am scared not to waffle.
If I speak my words bare,
their nakedness will bring shame.
I am worried about the danger
this tongue holds for its owner.
It is a knife,
my mouth was not made to spit blood.
I want to talk straight for her,
it is not my way.
It seems I can’t stand still without being incredibly stiff. I really ought to try and do something about that but ho hum. The sun is a peculiar thing, it really does what it wants and doesn’t care whether you need a likkle bit of it or not.
Today’s fire poet is the Liverpudlian powerhouse writer Laurie Ogden @OgdenLaurie. Poet, playwright, actress, her creative artistry knows no bounds. She’s written two plays that will be at the Edinburgh Fringe, some of which you can see in London soon on a double bill, follow @AntonymTheatre for details on that. She probably made you cry when you saw her on the telly this Mother’s Day. She’s also a Barbican Young Poet that I’ve had the privilege of writing with over the past months. She’s one of my favourite people and an incredible poet too. Her rendition of Liver Bird embedded below, oh my, so grateful to have been there in person.
I have started digesting myself
turning my teenage years to soup,
breaking down everything that made me–
solid pillars becoming soluble.
The walls here are thick.
I do not know if what’s left
of me will make strong wings,
ones to unbind me from this cocoon.
I dream of emergence
whilst lamenting the butterfly state.
What can a butterfly do,
other than break down walls?
I should be asleep already. I should have done this earlier. I am neglecting you with my introduction today, sorry friends. Today hasn’t been a super busy or stressful day or anything like that whatsoever but today’s writing process was the most frustrating. I spent all day indoors, and more time than I would usually on my Xbox. I’m going to call these factors in why today was so strenuous to write.
I am going to go left and recommend Noname (@Noname) as in Chicago rapper (poet) Noname (Gypsy?) She’s an enthralling wordsmith, check out her project Telefone on soundcloud. You won’t regret it.
Today you wanted a hug,
your hands were offering poems–
That is not what you want.
They cannot give what’s wanted.
It’s not hugging when
you cling to yourself.
That’s called holding on.
I am writing this introduction with T-Pain wailing in the background because you know… it’s still a banger. So much of a banger, this intro is definitely going to take me longer than it ought to. Hold tight Croydon though. It’s nice to see creative things especially some poetry events popping up in my bits. Shouts out to Reverb by Writerz and Scribez at Boxpark because they’ve been showcasing some exemplary talent on their stage.
I have had the privilege of writing with the woman that is my fire poet recommendation today. Kit Finnie @KitFinnie is a beautiful wordsmith. I am not sure if she’d want me to share the poem of hers that I have, but it’s probably my favourite of hers so I’ve embedded it below because I think it’ll be okay.
I spent too much time vibsing to DJ Khaled orchestrated tracks that I am actually releasing this on the 21st April. Lesson for all you kids that aren’t reading my blog, if it’s not ambient sounds or rain noises it will only serve as a distraction not allowing you to work at your optimum speed. Do not be deceived by those folks that revise to music, they are outliers, it’s not by force. Anyways, rather than rush, I decided to drop some extra wisdom to make the wait worth it… not that any of you are up itching for my latest post, but if you were innit.
In bed I stop fighting
I am at war with sleep–
only during day.
When the sun rolls over,
taking the cover with her
leaving me cold,
I am not so brazen.
I surrender, fatigued from fighting,
humble to the bruises mortality left.
Still to the silent footsteps of bullets
as they pass by my head,
sometimes I hear them make threats.
Will you lie this still for death?
This is to say welcome to my site because I haven’t said welcome before. What you’ll find here is the blogosphere of SugarJ. I am figuring the incarnation that this site will take, but there will be sweet things dissolving into the liquid of your eyes very soon.
Welcome to the SUGARVERSE friend.
Today I was back in a space that has served me so well over the past months. I have mentioned Barbican Young Poets countless times on this blog because the number of fire poets in that community are ridiculous. I am writing against time, so I won’t be able to articulate everything I feel about the programme and the community I’ve been given access to but it is a truly beautiful thing. I am so grateful for the immeasurable amount of things I have learnt from said community. Honour, praise, and appreciation to Jacob Sam La Rose in perpetuity for what he does and manifest in the world of poetry and beyond. Love and appreciation also to Rachel Long, as well as Lauren and Lorna, bare hugs innit.
As I said, I be in a race against the clock, so I shall be recommending to thee a fire poet. This woman does not have any work online that I know of. I spent a weekend away in a place called Hawkwood thanks to the Roundhouse with a bunch of creatives and Koko Brown was one of them. She is an artist whose weaponry of talents includes poetry. I got to see her work, and she’s doing the most with her work, which blends music and the use of a loop pedal with spoken word. Her show, White, the first in a series is on at the Roundhouse at the beginning of June, for more details and tickets click here. Otherwise follow her on le twitter @TheKokoBrown.
These divine bones
The life is in the blood,
so God must live in the marrow
since he is the one that gives it.
My flesh is not much of a temple,
so He made a home in the bones.