My penultimate month
In university
And I’ve finally found the courage to face you

We met last year
I had been avoiding you for some time

Refusing to work with you
Asking colleagues to deal with you

Over time we were introduced
I was in awe of your capacity
But always at fault

Months later people were asking me about you
Making requests I did not want to complete
I didn’t know how to begin

The stress pulsed at my temples
I resented you

But I knew that it was not me that broke you
It was the person before me
And the person before them
Who brought you in with no knowledge
Of how you work

I had to sit down and tear you apart
I saw how you were put together
But more than that
I saw the gaps in you that nobody noticed

And felt anger that you were corrupted

Deep down, there was no order or reason
To how they treated you
I hope I can fix you before I leave

A portrait of the artist as a young woman

My advice to any young poet
Is Own It

People will tell you you’re not good
Or worthy

They’ll list bards and beauties

There is always someone they’ll measure you against
And you’ll come up short

Your anger will be coarse
Your sadness will be seen as weakness or self-indulgence
Your joy shallow

Any emotion you lay claim to with be labeled naïve

But this is how the world works

Youth is mistrusted and mocked
Age is respected

Look around at everyone who has power
You’ll see a pattern
Like a rhyming couplet

Don’t follow suit
Be you


How can I begin
To enjoy a piece of writing
That requires such a high level of concentration
That my brow is beseiged by this din?
Why have we bequest such reverence
To someone whom
Centuries hence
Is the still the ultimate dead white dude?
What Western canon
So violent past prime
Hath made a muse of the national curriculum
Please can I read a woman of colour next time?
Remix a sonnet?
I’m on it like a car bonnet