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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ital Stew

©K.Omodele 2007  

Ital stew is that book you cannot put down. The flavor excites. You anticipate the climax, and then savor it. You dread the denouement.
Vegetables and ground provisions are colorful characters brought to life in the folds of a good ital stew. Bright, upbeat yams, dutty-tinted sweet potatoes, irate orange pumpkins and simple off-white Irish potatoes conspire to supplant stringy, strenuous cassava- who for me is starboy.
There on the side lurks envious-green Calaloo, sulking, knowing she is only a side character. The whole mix is antagonized by an angry gang of fiery peppers, flagging colors red, yellow and green. Adding even more spice to this intricate plot is scallion and a piece a ginger. And the foil is golden-ripe plantains-sweet and tender. All these characters bubble in an aromatic theme of creamy coconut milk, the essence of Ital stew-the taste so exciting, you dread the impending end.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Longing For?

Copyright 2007 K.Omodele all rights reserved

Longing for...
Though you’re here in my heart night and day,
your scent is elusive, faded like life’s first image
Sometimes I can make out your voice sighing my name
light as a whisper of blossoms-sorrel, mango, guava;
gentle as the moonlight’s touch on a blacked-out night.
Night after night after night I can feel your touch
like a Caribbean breeze’s caress, goosing up my skin,
lifting through me like sap in a ganja plant.
Intoxicating. Stimulating.Yearning
for you to appear
remain as fleeing illusions
to be pursued
but never attained.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Auntie's Ayes

Happy Earthday, Auntie Cee!!!

My Auntie’s Ayes
©K.Omodele Oct 10, 2007

My auntie’s ayes are never ever blue,
but warm glims, they blend green tints hazel-brown;
When down pressed they arise, as phoenix true,
Like gusts of wind, they urge me off the ground.

My aunties’s noes not straight , not cold,
And never isolatingly abrupt.
Round African noes, like a blanket old-
Still somehow comforting- love enwraps

Auntie’s voice beacons like a lighthouse bright
Guiding a lost ship through a dark night sea.
When storms have battered, her words dove-like
sing, “Boy you can be who you want 2 be”
My Aunt, who bestows Divine Oneness wealth,
Believes in me times I’ve doubted my self.
©K.Omodele Oct 10, 2007

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dry Cry

B-Block, Unit 6
Copyright K. Omodele 12-24-04

I share a block with twenty-six convicted felons who shed no tears.
Never. Ever.
The day room where I like to write, when not in-cell, and where I am writing now, is a hard twenty by thirty feet with a solid, concrete-slab floor and frigid brick walls painted in more layers than a geisha. The pale pastels match the monotony of life in the bing. Hanging from a locked, metal frame above, a twenty-four inch JVC lords down upon its faithful subjects.

Basketball is on this boob tube. There is an incessant buzz of anticipation that periodically explodes into cheers for Lebron or Iverson. Even with earplugs, I cannot drown the babbling completely-laughter leaks through. A stifled shout slips into my thoughts here. Covert conversations crease my concentration there.

By the bathroom, Rasheed hangs up the phone. "Man, it's cold as fuck up in Philly right now. What's up with these warm-ass winters down South?"
His voice barely filters through my earplugs. From my table in the back, is like watching a sitcom with the volume way down.
He barks. "Yo, Fronz, grab the horn."
Looking like JJ from Good Times, Fronz leggo the dice and hops on the phone. I'm sure he's dialling Virginia Beach.
'Sheed returns to his table in front of me. He meets my eyes and shakes his head, sighing with the weight of the world before plopping in his chair. I just nod in recognition. Holidays...always rough.

At the table to my left, Wolf and Bass hide hands from each other in a game of casino. Wolf is Grizzly Adams from the Mountains in West Virginia and Bass is this ever-cool, surfer dude. Whenever Wolf opens his mouth, he sounds like a Harley, idling. Smells like one too, exhaust fumes like stale Camels. Last week we made him take a fresh. He's due for another shower any day now.

The Uptown Saturday Night hip-hop mix on Power 98 must be on because the younger Brothers have their headphones locked on while they catch the game or throw the dice or strategize over chessboards. From what I can suss out, Jay-Z and that new one...wha his name?...Young Jeezy must be on the airwaves. Anyhow, doo-rags bounce and heads bop. And, wha de fuck, I might as well pick up back smoking because the air is a mish-mash of Newport, Camels, and Tops smoke. My lungs vex, vex, vex. In a few minutes, I'll have to suck some relief from my inhaler.
Against a wall a microwave hums. Holiday packages ordered by families and loved ones arrived last week and I hear the chow hall-AKA Vomitville- is a ghost town with tumbleweeds right about now. The microwave might rebel soon. Every couple minutes the bell DINGS and somebody yells, "Next." Popcorn, salmon, garlic, jalapenos, sausage fight a losing battle against the overpowering tobacco stench.
The holiday spirit is a hollow barrel in B-Block. Beneath masks resides a longing only revealed in sunken eyes. Under a fragile facade of contentment, draped in nonchalance, lurks an angst- disconnection, seperation from the world-that is only communicated in raised eyebrows, grudging grunts, and even gnashing teeth.
Anything...everything...but no tears.
And early tomorrow morning, in the absence of the distraction of the JVC lord and radio shows and bedlam, we'll rise from our bunks. Methodically wash faces and routinely brush teeth. And one by one we'll bleat, "Next" for the phone. Then, when finally our turn comes up, we'll pull up a chair, burrow into the phone partition and carry on tender, covert conversations with our weeping families and children.
But always, with determination, we refuse to shed tears.
Never. Ever. Shed no tears.
Copyright K.Omodele 12-24-04

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Induction of My Past

I heard, "No man is an island," many times in my life, but only processed the words from one perspective- that as human beings, we all need other people in our lives; i.e., we aren't seperate entities totally independent of others. This is true, of course, but I found out first hand that this guinnep is a "twinnie"-there's more than one seed here. It is bigger than the small i and, through experience, I found a Universal truth that transcends the statement's surface meaning.

Our actions affect those around us. That's it. Every single thing we do in life, in some way, no matter how small, affects someone. Simple; but I never used to really study that. As a result of my oversight, I unintentionally caused a lot of pain and hurt and confusion amongst the people closest to me...innocent people. The results of the choices I've made in life have strained some of my relationships. That's the price...Regret. Jay-Z said you gotta learn to live with them. I have to tek lil time and rebuild bridges and tear down couple fence.  Jah know, I hope its not too late.

Induction of My Past
©K.Omodele 11-07

Society's exiled outcasts
Numbered sheeple, penned to the side
Chattel once more, bounded self-pride
Dignity waves but at half-mast
Can we escape a haunting past
which sew the seeds- our souls' demise?
Pine box, cell blox, our grace denied?
Induction of our ruff neck past.

Is there redemption for sordid souls?
Confined by our pasts, perdition nothing more
Striped with contrition, confusion, neglect
Will bloodstained hands ever grow cold?
Find peace in the robe the Emperor wore
summation of our past-live with regret.
©K.Omodele 11-07

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