Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

collectmoments

Blackboards rinse chalk dust
Into my eyes, and there’s
a Fante song stuck in my throat
with nowhere to go, the way
I am always dreaming of being
in five places at once, and of
having things I do not have. All
the borders around my body
dissolve into a haze of lights like
the ones over the hill behind
my grandfather’s farm. See?
My grandfather does not have
a farm, and I do not have
a grandfather.
On Sunday morning, I walk to the nail salon
and try to remember all the house numbers and
their corresponding colors—
I know nothing about this place,
but if I look pretty and smile at the
neighbors, I bet this could be heaven.
My feet nuzzle into pavement and
count the number of bricks
that promise to turn me over to
myself.
Me,
who cannot remember
what it is I have lost
My church—all forms of it,
White Jesus, Post-Colonial Witches—
collapses at my feet,

Everything is too tiring to praise.

 

 

*******

The image in this post is an adapted from an original image by Sara Biljana Gaon (off) via Flickr.

About the Author:

Portrait - FrempongDebbie Frempong is a student of religion and politics in the puzzling metropolis of Boston. She enjoys reading, writing and cooking all her meals with too much pepper.

 

 

Tags: ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “Self Portrait as a former 3rd Grader with Bad Eyesight | by Debbie Frempong | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Bruce Simonds 2017/11/11 at 20:20 #

    Your smile….is like cold lemonade on a hot day in Texas. But I know you might go someday. And then I’d have to consult with my Advisors Examine my options And assemble my weaponry…..I MIGHT EVEN HAVE TO USE MAKEUP! This poem was shown to me by a fellow poet, a black girl with an ipad. I supplied the last line, which she liked…I have no idea of her name, I just thought she was nice, and talented too. Whoever seeks to profiteer from this thrice-cheated girl’s creativity shall surely die a thousand deaths daily forever and a day. then write the nature of their sin on the blackboard until they decide honor is worth its weight in Saturnium. Give to a good charity. Spread the word. I know there aren’t enough hours in the day. “But your sorrow will turn to Joy.” –Jesus.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

“My Friends and Family Know I’m Not a Woman”: Akwaeke Emezi on Figuring Out She Is Transgender

akwaeke emezi

Akwaeke Emezi, most recently photographed for Vogue ahead of the release of her debut novel Freshwater, has come out as […]

Praxis Poetry Chapbook Series: Stanley McDaniels’ “Entrapment” | Foreword by Otosirieze Obi-Young

cover (1)

The Praxis Poetry Chapbook Series, an initiative of Praxis Magazine, publishes poetry chapbooks by new poets. It launched in 2016 with […]

How Egyptian Music Icon Abdel Halim Hafez Became a Centrepiece in Safia Elhillo’s “The January Children”

safia elhillo book

Sudanese poet Safia Elhillo has received the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, with her poem “application for assylum” shortlisted […]

Heaven Is a Place South of Here | Kanyinsola Olorunninsola | Memoir

received_1623695634357425

And because no man is permitted entry into heaven without a sacrifice of his own. . . the story of […]

Lupita Nyong’o Announces New Children’s Book, “Sulwe”

lupita_custom-6131c7d701315f00cf097f4e7cc39578e8758b9c-s900-c85

Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o has announced a new children’s book titled Sulwe. The book, reports The New York Times, […]

14: An Anthology of Queer Art | Vol. 2: The Inward Gaze

IMG-20180113-WA0006

A few days ago, we announced the gorgeous cover for the LGBTQI art collective 14’s second volume, which featured snippets […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.