Tag Archives: joi miner

“I Can Love You Better” by Joi Miner

This is by one of my favorite poets, Joi Miner. Приятного аппетита!

I love you hard and deep
Like pains kneaded from shoulders after manual labor
Like chops through wood in preparation for Winter’s chill
That penetrating kind of love
That blisters hands and leaves hearts pusting just beneath skin’s surface.

I love you with no expectation
Openly like a flower welcoming the Summer sun though it may soon be beaten by the same beams that warmed it.
Innocently as an infant loves the mother nursing it, though the toxins from chain smoking will certainly poison her
That trusting kind of love
That asks not what should be given, only tries to meet the invisible quota set at its creation.

I love you tirelessly
Like the quarks in a watch strive to accurately record each moment in time
Like the cycle of hydration, evaporation, and precipitation course from earth to heaven to earth once again
That repetitive kind of love
That can come to be expected causing chaos in its change.

I love you passionately
Like a succubus draining the life through kisses
Like a lizard wrapping tongue around meal that squirms hopelessly rather than accept its demise
That smothering kind of love
That smolders a flame in its youth, killing its warmth and promise with my ambition.

I loved you angrily last night
Suffering from the exhaustion that weighs on a body following overexertion
Swallowing saliva to silence stomach pangs from a hunger not satisfied
That single-sided love that forces one’s hand in Poker play
Your Poker Face had me taking faith in your bluff because you loved me with a love that was never enough.

I loved you stubbornly today
Continually giving you everything you never asked for
Wishing to meet needs before knowledge of them arose
Deafly thinking my knowledge of your desires far surpassed your own.
That dehydrating kind of love
That offers sand in place of fluid, and then gets frustrated with suffocation.

I have loved you ignorantly.
Like dying roses in a vase littering the floor with withered petals
Like sparkling diamonds sitting upon satin bust in museum chambers
That useless love
That disguises its lack of attention with moments of grandeur.

My love a feast spread here to yonder
Like plastic décor fruit dusting on grandmother’s table
Like Christmas dinner lain out before homeless orphan just beyond window pane
That taunting kind of love
That could be enough with a bit more effort.

-Joi Miner, “I Can Love You Better”

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“I See Your Revolution and Raise You the Future” by Joi Miner

This poem was written by a dear friend of mine. She’s an amazing poet. She’s from Montgomery, Alabama. And yes, Forrest Gump is the first thing that comes to my mind, too… don’t feel bad (the “I think you should go back to Greenbow, ALABAMA!” scene is more specifically what comes to mind.

I won’t say too much about her and violate my “let the poem/art speak for itself” rule, but you can learn more about her on her blog: www.joiminer.wordpress.com

So without further ado, here’s one of her pieces she was kind and generous enough to allow me to share here on Soul Gourmet. Enjoy:

I am not a revolutionary…
not a veganterian declaring my disdain for pork
I do not take a stand against the MAN for sport and this nappy head is not an outward defiance of conformity.

In the 50’s I probably would’ve taken my seat at the back of the bus as not to cause a fuss and just studied on a way to paper trail lead us into freedom because you can’t serve nobody if you serving time and bringing the limelight to your cause also brings a scrutinizing eye.

Ritmatic, Writing, and Reading, proven formulas to succeeding.
I teach the inner workings of manifest destiny alongside multiplication tables in elementary school classrooms.
Degradation times emasculation= the current state of the nation
Say it with me, children.
Degradation times emasculation= the current state of the nation

Big Brother don’t tap into schoolbooks, long as my lesson plan fits the formula, cause he suspect that niggers don’t read. We’d rather grace the stage, spitting our latest dope shit from memory. Claim Griot decendancy, securing prophesies within mental lockbox for safekeeping.

I prefer back of the house work, serving rich white folk in their country clubs while listening in on their trade secrets.
Prepare a meal from the ingredients and serve them in inner city school cafeterias.
Keep the recipes, a family heirloom, in a box on kitchen counter. Hide my militancy in batter for fried chicken in Southern Style Cookbooks.

Ain’t no glory for the dead. That shit you got up in your head leaves room for missed meanings. No opportunities to study for self, ingest, digest, regurgitate, and digest again. Share with a friend and get a fresh perspective. Words heard result in stomach churn and heartburn; morsels passed whole pieces in stool feces. While words read allow retention.

What are you gonna do when your cds stop spinnin? When word of mouth is silenced and all you have are four walls and a pen. Cause revolutionaries meet one of two ends: Death or Dishonor. And only those taught to read and write will have the proper advantage.

Griots spat because they could not write. Revolutionaries clicked up cause they could not stand alone. Can’t go nowhere if you don’t know where you’ve been, won’t get there if you don’t know where you’re going. Maps can be multiplied and followed to a like destination. Directions given word-of-mouth oft lead to wrong turns and stagnation.

Freedom is a choice, not a soliloquy. I’d rather leave the instruction manual on how to light a flame, than ashes as my legacy.

-Joi Miner

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