autotuned trauma .

"no one can lie to you like you can lie to yourself ", they say .

im walking on egg shells in my own mind - about as uncomfortable as Velcro-laced panties .

my safe haven of warm ink & thought has been wired and tapped by you . see, i know your watching . i know you're listening into my life . we watch each other from a distance & it's actually teetering the borderline of sick lol .

and that presence makes me crazy . it fills paranoia into my stomach, overflowing and seeping out of the ducts of eyes . it RUNS WILD in my imagination . it glues my spontaneity to a 'what if' painted floor . it fogs my car windows and beats on my soul like ike . you are my venus flytrap lover; intriguing and ugly - beautiful and deadly - sweet but sticky . mouth . never . closed . always open with the hopes of reeling something in . always open with the intent of pushing nonsense out .

the most brilliant chefs conjure up T H I N G S by reflex . im hoping you wont write down your recipe for disaster . i'm still trying to chew from last time .


dirty dancing with the devil .

ethical motive: motivation based on ideas of right and wrong .

i had a discussion with my friend last night about ethics .
he said, "i do some bad sh*t ... but it's not like i don't know my right from wrong . the people who get the two confused are the f*cked up ones ."

i got to thinking . why do our ethics become more difficult to stick to with older age ? somehow the lines of morale and ethics become more faded with time . we justify actions that we know are wrong & often times try to find loopholes out of doing the right thing . hmm . i don't have as much of a problem with people who do wrong and admit it than with people who pretend like what they do isnt messed up . personally, i have some really bad habits and things that i need to change about myself... but i cant lie to myself and say that it's all good . i gotta hold myself accountable .

when we were younger, the rules to ethics were simply 'play nice' . i wish we could live by the same ethical handbook . we were expected to share our recess snacks . we knew it was wrong to "tell tales" . we knew it was wrong to hurt other people's feelings . although it sounds juvenile, it's actually the most mature life guideline to live by . people rationalize their foul by finger pointing & people have become so accustomed to the triflin' ways of the world that they have no hope in bettering themselves . it seems like we just see so much lying, dying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, selfishness, deceit, and greed that it has become acceptable to society . IT'S NOT .

recent things have just made me appreciate people who know who they are, stray from the norm, and stand strong in their beliefs . shout out to those folks (:

pharrell = ♥


HBD to me indeed .

20 years , whoa . God is good .


by the grace of God .

in art class 101, my professor told me, "never erase . just keep going ." whenever i drew a line too long, or made my curves too wide, my professor was right over my shoulder to yank the eraser from my fingers . "no erasing.. the picture will come together ."

who knew i would use that same blueprint for my life . after all, aren't lives just canvases ? when we're born, we all have white surfaces on which to make our mark . i like to think we add color to a huge white surface of nothingness . no mistakes yet made, no lessons yet learned, no love yet had, no kisses yet sunken into , no loss, no joy, no waves of anxiety, no ecstasy, no guilt, no redemption ... no inevitable marks made .

some people finger paint through life, smearing colors until they like what they see . some people sketch lines on their canvas for a more structured, disciplined style . some people embrace Van Gogh's style, swirling and throwing color & recklessness until they reach some unattainable high [mind you he cut off his ear & sent it to his lover as a sign of his affection] . but i digress ...

as i approach my twentieth birthday tomorrow, i reflected on what my professor taught me . i reflected on my style of canvas collision . when i was younger, i was a charcoal artist . i made BOLD, strong lines that stood sturdy in a foundation of my parents . charcoal is known to smear; however, if you know what lines you want to make ahead of time ...you don't have to worry . i never did . for the past couple of years, i went through a watercolor phase . color and water are so hard to control . everything running around my canvas . adversity, emotion, drama run'eth over : it was like trying to catch air . Oh but NOW , i'm doing my acrylic paint thing . don't quite understand ? just watch ;]

regardless of the artistic medium applied to your life, just remember what my professor told me, "never erase, just keep going ."
[RIP khalifah muhammad, you painted brilliantly .]


steam that self-esteem (:

what an ironic term: "self-esteem" .
whenever i hear that word used, i think of Kat Williams who so eloquently put it, "it's the esteem of yo' muthaf*ckin self ."

isn't it weird how "SELF"-esteem is so heavily influenced by everyone but ourselves ? we claim that we're SO confident and independent in life . the truth of the matter is, from the age of an infant, we relied on the encouragement and positivity of our parents and guardians to do well in life . when we reach middle school and high school, things that people say cut like a knife . someone can tell us a thousand awesome things about ourselves and the one negative thing always seems to stick out . we let people make fun of our beliefs and passions in life . people treat us like dirt and we think it's our fault . we let people tear us apart by the things they say and do to us .

for what ? who knows you better than you ? what person is perfect enough to make yo feel like you are incompetent or incapable of pursuing your goals in life ? who is soooo much better than you, that they can make you feel like you don't deserve the best ? please tell me . your "self-esteem" is just that . it's in your hands and in your control . it's good to have people around who tell you about yourself, but you have to know when it's strictly out of love [trust me, you'll know] . take control of your confidence and never let anyone bring it down . that's a lot of power to give to someone, and i promise they're not worthy enough to hold on to it .

something to think about .


hot wind .

in the corner of my room is a box, filled with
the things i never said . the things i didn't ask . the things i didn't have to ask . things of livid taste .
things that would rip off my much needed emotional stitches , leaving my naked soul bleeding on a stack of meaningless perplexity .
things that would spread the gates of hades like thighs and devour the sun .
eat your heart out Pandora .

so you can only imagine
that this box would be buried under a pile of clothes , intentionally .
it's wrapped up in duck tape & quacks at me from time to time . but Zora said that God made us "DUCK BY DUCK", so i assume that there will be more boxes in life ...

but today .
under God and a fair witness in myself , i will throw the box onto the side of the road . you see, storage is just that-storage . i have run out of room and the contents of that box will be donated to a fertile heart in need of a testimony .

amen .

famous for a reason . ♥

"HABITS" by Nikki Giovanni

i haven't written a poem in so long
i may have forgotten how
unless writing a poem
is like riding a bike
or swimming upstream
or loving you
it may be a habit that once aquired
is never lost

but you say i'm foolish
of course you love me
but being loved of course
is not the same as being loved because
or being loved despite
or being loved

if you love me why
do i feel so lonely
and why do i always wake up alone
and why am i practicing
not having you to love
i never loved you that way


39 candles .

"i may not change the world, but i guarantee i will spark the mind that changes the world" - 2pac .

2pac said we weren't ready to see a Black President . if only he could see how far we have come . i respect pac for unknowingly being an advocate for an oppressed demographic . beyond being one of the best rappers of all time, he had a complex spirit about him . he had a poetic flow, crazy charisma , and basically ... he was the man :)

happy (39th) birthday to tupac shakur .


for my sister .

"God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.” - Reggie White

high school . ooooh high school . we bathed each other in tears of simultaneous heartbreak . i sent my outreached palms to pull you out of his trap that had you trembling in anguish . you held on tight to my hands as condensation streamed down your cheeks . you placed one hand over another atop my heart and pushed down as hard as you could . you revived my heart when it stopped . when i dealt with heartbreak for the very first time . when my premature heart tried to lift more than the maximum . you finger painted greys in the sky ... at a time when my naive eyes were only acquainted to black & white . we made proclamations into our sky together- that we would never take that disrespect again .

who knew we would bend those play-dough proclamations in college . we fell hard into quicksand love & like a merry-go-round, we went in circles ...too fast to focus . we were so dizzy that we flew off the edge -but hand in hand, we walked away, dusting off our forgotten promise .

two winters ago, i shriveled like the trees outside my dorm window . i called you, hysterical . with frantic fears rising in my throat, i couldn't even choke the words up . "i-felt-a-lump" crashed into the receiver of my cellphone as i hid beneath my bed comforter , shaking . you brought me down to earth and calmed me . 'up north' and 'down south' decomposed because i couldn't even feel the miles of separation . i don't know why i called you first, but i know i don't regret it . you helped to heal .

now it's my turn . statistics of mortality splashed into your head lastnight ; the beeping of monitors and the cold hospital floors poured themselves into the equation . you're my sister, and to me ... you're medicine's exception . i pray for you . with spiritual drums and fog horns i temper tantrum my way into the ears of God . he has to hear me . im throwing my prayers as high as i can & that's all the science i need . we are construction workers -me and you- hardhat wearers that build each other up when life tears us down . well i clocked in last week & i'm working: brick by brick .

- SRD .

learn : http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/about_scd/


F*&^%$% !!

all i wanted to do on tuesday was see Thea Monyee at the Poetry Lounge [that's all] . but the electricity went out at the venue and i went home . --> they moved the location and she performed . lol she performed while i stormed ... off to Dona Rosa's taco Tuesday night . siggggh , but here's her performance :)

lowered eyes .

"What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God”
- Monica Baldwin .

i hung out with this guy . all he did the entire night was talk about how 'real' he was and how he 'doesn't give a fxck' about anything . i felt extremely uncomfortable because his insecurity was flashing in the air like a bat signal . it reminded me of times when someone has a booger in their nose and you're too afraid to say anything . yuuup, it was just like that ...except more annoying . you see, i didn't need convincing that he was "real" . clearly he felt the need to tell me like i was some authority on fake ? honestly, i just wanted him to shut up .

the same thing applies to our generation as a whole . we walk around like we're so gorgeous, hood, popular, artsy and/or glamorous . we walk around trying to prove it to ourselves ... through the validation of others . i still laugh at my AOL instant messenger name because it's seriously ridiculous [but i was in high school & i thought it was cool lol ] . we pump ourselves up so much & hope that no one gets the bright idea to pop us . don't misunderstand me, i think it is vital to have confidence because people are so ready to tear you down in the world .people hate . people sabotage . it may sound extreme, but some people watch you & plot against your happiness -sad but true . nevertheless, i think humility is the ultimate sign of confidence .

bringing your nose out of the air and yourself down to earth is something that a lot of people have trouble doing . being humble does three things: 1, it makes you vulnerable . people are afraid to acknowledge their faults because they're afraid that others will attack . that's silly . no one is perfect and if someone thinks that they are, then they're opinion is worth nothing . 2, humility strips you of ' the facade '. if you level your head and mind, you can see how foolish other people are around you . you realize that putting on a mask of 'excessive narcissism' everyday can become a bit tiring . 3, it brings you closer to God . how can you truly worship a higher power if you are subconsciously worshiping yourself ? think about it .


wine kisses .

he said he isn't ready for me yet . he told me that he knows what i deserve and that he is not quite who he wants to be for me . he said i give him so much ... but he has some improvements to make . he told me that if he ever hurt me, it would make him sick . that's just what he said .

and appreciation filled me to the tip of my forehead . i was thankful for his honesty, and you learn to cherish what you don't get much of . so, i sat in the corner of my imagination with that honesty and licked the edges ...i savored every taste and held it close . you see, this prophetic protector read the palms of my hands and stated facts . he told me that i had the power to make him hurt . he told me that he hated my past & he declared what i needed, what he thought i deserved .

like a clear champagne flute, he tipped me over to his nose and analyzed me, strictly from aroma . i felt naked, like my soul was bare in form . i used some laughs to clothe myself and sarcasm to drape my nudity, but he stopped laughing and said, "I'm serious ." that juxtaposed second mangled my mind from circumstance and i got lost in the mix . my destiny's map read 'heart, you are here' and 'disaster, two miles ahead' . i guess he couldn't see that smudge on the glass .

whoever said, "you cant handle the truth" ... was just too coward to spill it out .



if this were yesterday,
i would want to drink your laughs .
i imagine a taste that would make me grin a thousand sins . i would win
just listening of your triumphs over troubles . your strength . your courage . your story .
if this were yesterday, i would have taken the time to peel through the pages .

if this were tomorrow,
our eyes could have introduced themselves .
i could have tapped my feet to the tune of our pulses ... flirting & fleeting . beating
hearts pressed in each other and looking for the rhythm .
if this were tomorrow, i would have cared about our 'almost song' .

but it's today .
today-the piping leather in my car stuck to my back & made me feel unattractive .
today i sipped too much cherry coke-zero and it never quenched my thirst . even worse,
i looked into the eyes of Venice beach 'weirdos' & saw love ...beyond romance & typical .
today my hair didn't wanna act right .
my gas tank shrank my pockets tight .
i wanna skip this day & drown in the night .

sad to say, it's today ... we'll have to go our separate ways .


"fruit punch on your proclub" lol !

da poetry lounge - every tuesday night on fairfax & melrose . this month is their 10 yr anniversary (i think) & they have some of the realest people on that stage this June. ahh, im in heaven this month, i swear ! =D ...oh, this guy was really coo, check him out :

subscribe to 'da poetry lounge' on youtube . you won't regret it :) [or maybe you will, but i dont know why you would? lol]


'yellow mango tears' by stevi renee

"yellow mango tears"

the sun kissed the nape of my neck
as it cracked the horizon .
i gazed at my service-void cell:
i wish i had verizon .

'cause you probably called in the crevice of night
& i subconsciously ignored the ring
i'd rather ignore the melody of fated plight
"la dee dah dee dah ... not quite right," it sings .

i tighten my legs & twist my waist -
it's routine to stretch my ligaments .
& then you clog my cerebral space;
such a religious sentiment .

i try to shake the mural of misgiving off like glitter .
but they say glitter's the herpes of arts & crafts ...
in the meantime, i'm my own babysitter;
i'll tip toe in your smile, squints & laughs .


miss me, shift me, kiss me .

I'm so tired of being swept off my feet with baseball bats .
they often times break my ankles and lack the tenderness of brooms .
instead, I'm left kneeling in submission & out of things to give .

I'm so tired of falling in love and landing on my face .
I'd rather face the possibility that 'he' would catch me before i slam into the concrete .
it's not like i fall intentionally .
nope .
they pull the magic carpet from beneath my feet when things get a little dusty .
but what love is orderly ...always ? I don't need OCD love . things inevitably get messy .

I'm so tired of the line, "girls mature faster than boys" . maturity is only a pinch of intelligence & a cup of accountability . should i pour these ingredients in his morning coffee ?
i mean, his sippy cup ?

I'm so tired of lending my ears to vent to, my shoulder to cry on, and my hand to help up and if that isn't enough ... being expected to give my vagina too .
I'd give away my embraces like Halloween candy . I'd share my undying support like recess snacks . I'd lend my loyalty as freely as a borrowed pencil ... if it meant that i would simply get it in return .

my mother told me, "Stevi, don't get discouraged by being a good girl . Guys like the fast girls now ... but they'll marry girls like you ."
can you repeat that ?
marriage is the only time when i can expect honesty, love & respect ?
should i anticipate lying, selfishness, insincerity and disrespect in the meantime ?
I'm no ones damn floor mat . I'm no ones 'trial run' . they can keep the 'game' that insults my intelligence . they can keep the half-assed, lazy attempts at dating me . they can keep the 'Tug-O-Stevi', i want you when it's convenient. . .

they can keep their bullshit .

I'M NINETEEN. i dont need a husband; i need real .



"Smart" by Shel Silverstein

My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then i took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes-i guess he don't know
that three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And i took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
and the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then i went and showed my dad,
and he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head-
Too proud of me to speak!