I’m moving, follow me to otherandelse.wordpress.com

Dear readers/followers,

You probably noticed changes on my blog. I’ve changed the focus of my writing over the last few years and I’m changing my site to reflect this. Rhymesbythereams is moving to otherandelse.wordpress.com. Feel free to follow me there as I continue to explore and share what I find or make along the way.

I will also try to share the opportunities I come across that will be helpful for other writers, especially Ugandan writers.

See you on the other side.

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The Woman Who Couldn’t Cook

I am African. I am Ugandan. This is what it says on my passport.

I am a woman. This is what it says on my birth certificate.

But no one buys it.

I am buying vegetables outside a supermarket in Mukono, central Uganda, and a woman from my clan, the Bazigaba, finds me choosing green peppers. You can cook? She asks. I have been back in Uganda for 7 years and two weeks. I still cannot cook, but I can feed myself. I have learned that these are two different things.

Read the whole piece at The Forager 

The pain of introspection and the joy of self-knowledge

I felt this process was parallel to the internal destruction of identity and beliefs that accompanies true introspection. With every question, you draw back to another more basic, more devastating question. From “who do I want to be?” to “who am I anyway?” This kind of questioning leaves you at the edge of a very dangerous precipice and you know it will be a painful fall, but you do it anyway.

Read more…

Safe spaces in stanzas

Everything must belong somewhere.

Was there anything ever made

that belonged nowhere?

 

There is what we found

and there is

what we made of it…

 

There was rhythm

long before drums,

cacophony, unsound, too.

 

We tightened skins

over drums and beat out

sound already there

just because we needed

our hands to affirm

what our hearts already knew.

 

That in a demonstration

the freedom is demonstrated

in the hands holding hands.

 

That bodies

are containers keeping

safe space for each other.

 

And I have found safe spaces draped

over sunlit shoulders, waiting

for me to rest my head.

 

Others I found

in the hands that hugged mine,

keeping me from grasping misery.

 

How many revolutions were born from verse?

Perhaps if we cried in stanzas

people would listen harder.

 

We beat drums to affirm our rhythm,

speak to affirm our voices,

and hope this music will drown out non-belonging.

 

(This poem first appeared on Sooo Many Stories.)

Poetry In Session Presents

I try to perform or read my work in front of an audience as often as I can, both for the practice and because its good to share this work after I have written it. Here is a piece titled “Kampala” that I did at Poetry in Session in October, 2014.

 

“Kampala”