Porsha Olayiwola – “Notorious”


I was doing a feature
at a college in Boston, and afterwards this guy
with a long shaggy blonde ponytail comes up to me
and he says, “Don’t be offended when I say this,
but you remind me of Biggie Smalls.” And so this is called “Notorious.” If I shouldn’t be offended,
why do you say something you believe has a chance of offending me? Offend, meaning to hit, strike against. When you say offend,
do you mean the Blackness is the strike or the fatness is against me? He says this and I become
who he believes I am. My hands thicken. My fingers plump. My long twist shrivels into a short Afro. My chin, oceans, a shadow. My cheeks, tumor, typhoons. My lips are fat and pink. Each word drags itself out my mouth
like a guarded hearse. Each line break squeezes a song, a rap,
a dance beat for this boy tonight. Biggie Smalls and I are both Geminis. We are both twins of each other. We both tar, dark, thick–
it’s a wonder how we heave and heave and heave and stand behind a mic at all. We all Black and ugly as ever,
however we spell well. B-I-G, all rhyme and good time. We both love it when you drive by
and call us Big Poppa. Ain’t you ever been popped off? Been shot at?
Been blown up like the World Trade? Don’t you like your meat center medium, brown skin riff, red nectar running
off the curb of the plate. The difference between
a fat Black nigger rapping and a fat Black dyke poeming
is in the cadence of the eulogy spit. Or the difference
between a fat Black nigger rapping and a fat Black dyke poeming
is in the sway of the women who love to love them back. It is September 2016. I’m on a stage in Texas,
reading poems outdoors. Perspiration jogs from tight curls
and finds shelter along my lips. My underarms are literally a swamp, and still I do a rap I wrote. And they laugh. Despite the heat, they sing along. Hands reach up in surrender. I am a secular god, a holy, holy ghost, words jetting out like jamboree, and I worry I look too much
like a concert, like Black joy leaping, like a hip hop song in the ’80s, a house party walled in saturation
like summertime, like somebody everybody want
to be a part of like a sweet jam, sweating, blasting, juicy. (cheers and applause)

10 thoughts on “Porsha Olayiwola – “Notorious”

  1. Hey everyone I hope you would like it 👍

    Writing is difficult for those who are not romantic enough.
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    Then love lives forever It's a beautiful moment. you will understand my point
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