JANUARY FEATURE POET: TE' V. SMITH


 

WINE & GLORY

Dear mother,
Tell me once more
About your magnificent Jesus
Who soars into synagogues
And refreshes parties.

Was he present
In the basement
When I left your mind
And entered your body?

Oh, sweet Mary
Childhood detached
And wholly.

Was he in the wine
Or in the story?

Late-divine
Or in the glory?

Tell me once more.


THE COVENANT

Give me the ones
Full of faults and
Flowers.

Those exposed to bloom
Into their sun and
Grace.

Give me the recovering
Whores and liars.

Those studied in
Hiding in the hearts
Of others.

These are the ripe folk,
Those rooted in enough dirt
To become a forest of earnest
Breathing

Give me the
Cool-budding
Daughters & Sons
Of Gun.

Give me the
Muddied mad minority
Those who wake
In the middle of
The night.

Those who pray
Out loud, eye-opened
To one day be greater
Than all that haunts
them.

Leave the
Clean people
To the covering
Of concrete.

We will
Take the dirt
And the sky.


HEAVENLY HOURS

Some day’s
I can’t wait to
Die.

So
I know what livin’
Really s’possed to
Be like.

Some nights,
Most of em’ like
Tonight.

I imagine
A great big ole’
Fat God.

Rollin’ dice

And the dots
are religions.

Him,
White folk,
And the Chinese
Families that feed us
In the hood are all
Playing for our
Souls.

The fat God screams,

“Come on! Niggahs need
A new pair of woes!”

So,

I can’t wait
To die.

Cause’
I can’t wait
To roll.


THE WOMAN WHO WAS ALL OF US

I saw her
And thought

“What a gorgeous
Way to mend”

They called
Her witch

Because she
Knew how to heal herself.

And now

This vacuum of her

And before
And always

An ordained haunting
Short, slender syllables
that lender me
Page-less.


URBAN PLANES

He said,

“I’m a flyyy nigga...”

This, because
He’s never known
The importance of
Being grounded in
Something.

Doesn’t
Appear rational
At times.

Doesn’t
Always garner praise
And support from the
Majority.

Doesn’t
present itself
Friendly or moreover far
To those in your life before
It.

Isn’t
Accommodating
Of your best laid
Plans.

Isn’t
comforting at times
When those who
Loved (or hated) who
You were find it difficult to
Release you to your
Future.

Isn’t
As comfortable or gentle
As you’d like.

Doesn’t
happen to you,
But for you.

Doesn’t.

Doesn’t
Come in peace,
But for peace.

Of course, growth will meet opposition. It is not in the decision to be more, but in the climb to it that we are strengthened. Growth is existing in the courage of confronting the deserter behind your smile to free your soul. This is what it must mean to love with an entire breath. This is the challenge. No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth. Know that you will lose people. You will lose things, and if you are sincere, if your will to change proves greater than your fear...you will lose yourself and that is when growth turns into expansion & elevation.


TE’ V. SMITH: Let’s be honest. I could tell you about awards and other accolades, but that doesn’t really matter, not for real anyway. If it does, then I’d dare say that you’re missing the point. It’s simple. I believe that we all stumble & soar as we grow into the best versions of ourselves. I believe that, on that journey, we experience & share much insight & injury. I believe that everyone is fragile (even the ones who made you fragile). I believe that everyone, who wants to be, is redeemable. I believe that some things aren't meant to be redeemed. Some things are just the spice for everything you're made of.

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CREDITS: in this issue
Author: Te’ V. Smith
Editor: N.L. Shompole
Original Image: Wiktor Karkocha
Graphic Design: Shompole, N.L. 

2019 JANUARY LOGO 2.jpg

TÉ V. SMITH: IN CONVERSATION

I spent years like the person who sees the forming of unhealthy habits but can’t muster the strength to mend themselves, even though they know the very thing that will allow for easier breathing.

READ FULL CONVERSATION HERE