Seize Her by Lerato Lee Mokobe | Brave New Voices


[ music plays ] -Dear God, my sister’s nervous system
is selfish. Her body is a thunderclap
waiting to be unleashed. Her nerves are thunderbolts
with a faulty switch. There was a storm brewing
in her bones that made her neurons rain down, making her jump and jive
involuntary. Her limbs were a weather pattern
that made us curse you, God, for climatology. Her spine
was a daffodil’s last wish before the tornado
engulfed it whole. Seizures aren’t as romanticized
as everyone makes them seem. She is a bullet cap, gunpowder
frothing at the mouth. Her mouth is an explosive, swallowing her tongue
as ammunition enough. Her teeth shatter against
each other as if they, too, are holding on to a secret that
only the dead can understand. I’ve seen her eyes
roll back into they sockets, the amnesia a force
of blindness. I’ve seen her body tremble
and thrash on the ground, her fists balled up — a fist
fight between consciousness and the last grip of integrity. I’ve spent too many times
watching my sister being the target
and the trigger puller. The first time
she had a seizure, her skull greeted
my closed door. She broke the wood and herself
simultaneously. The second it seized her,
onlookers called her “demon”, said her speaking in tongues
made her Satan, made 666 of her emotions. Shamed into believing that
her entire being was birthed in the hands of exorcism, like
her bones weren’t gospel enough, that her shaking was God’s fury
manifesting, that the devil claimed her brain
as a gentrification site, that her breathing
wasn’t heaven enough. Her limp body became an
anthology of unanswered prayers. The cross she has been carrying
is bending her back into bible scriptures
for heretics. I’ve learned it all by heart. Our father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven. Give us this day that doesn’t
make patchwork quilt of my sister’s speech, making her sound like
a broken cassette tape that plays only the parts
we hate the most. Lee, they taking me.
Lee, I see dead people. Lee, make it stop. I am afraid that one day
she will realize that every time
she clocks out early, the hands of her clock tick
half-past rest in peace, that she won’t ask me
what’s wrong, but will tell me to fix it, that she will realize that
when they told me she’s evil, I believed them. To my little sister, I am sorry I treated
your epilepsy as a contagious disease, that I was too afraid to touch
you in case I got cursed, too. Dear God, please stop taking my
sister on excursions to heaven. The people are mistaking
her movements for everything but your work of art. Tell them she is special
before they stone her to death. I beg of you, when you mend her, please mend me, too. Amen. [ Hip-hop music plays ]

50 thoughts on “Seize Her by Lerato Lee Mokobe | Brave New Voices

  1. Simply amazing. I'm at a loss for words. This was so real and so moving. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Amen.

    This reminds me so much of my mother who suffers from schizophrenia at first it scared me and I felt like she was an alien to me now I love her with all my heart but I am still so scared of realizing that I too suffer from a dis-balanced mind and I feel disgusted with myself for thinking such things instead of helping her through life.

  3. Somehow, from all the videos in this playlist so far, Lerato Lee's words shook me the most with their passion, anger, confusion, pain and contrite. Thank you.

  4. Wow, this poem was so real and so passionate. It gave me the shivers. Great work!

  5. It kind of just sounds like a physical explanation of a seizure with a few metaphors.  I'm not one of those, "It doesn't even rhyme."kind of folks, but shouldn't poetry be something more than a paragraph or two of slightly metaphorical explanation?  If not, they why isn't all writing poetry?  If all writing is poetry, why would you insist on displaying your specific rendition over the countless other slightly metaphorical writings on epilepsy?  I'm not saying it shouldn't be written; writing is really helpful to me, but when it comes to communicating my thoughts, there almost certainly is some person or group that has worded it better than I ever could have.  Seems arrogant to presume that you have something worthwhile to say, when what you're saying is just a less compelling version of what someone else has already said.

  6. I pray for the better for people that can't control something that happens to them but you have inspiring words

  7. Wow. That was unbelievably amazing. My heart exploded, thanks Soul Pancake.

  8. Wow, She left me speechless. Her words came out so beautiful yet left me in a state of sadness and shock. It was truly beyond powerful.

  9. Spoken word rarely doesn't make my eyes roll. This. This was beautiful.

  10. My sister was diagnosed with epilepsy this year, the first time she had one was one of the scariest moments of my life, because she has these she has to take pills for 2 years but if she has another seizure they will have to find another treatment, and for the people who don't think that seizures aren't bad they are very scary why don't you watch hear and see your sister just fall to the ground and can't do anything about not remembering what happened within 1-2 hours after she has it. This is a very serious thing I know I don't have it but I have witnessed it.

  11. I've been epileptic for 12 years. I thankfully don't have grand mal seizures (the kind she's talking about) anymore, I take medication. I still have multi-complex seizures though. Grand mal seizures are very painful. The last one I had made my muscles sore for a week or 2, it's the real deal. I wish cannabis was legal because it has been proven to help people that suffer from epilepsy, along with other health problems.

  12. I totally almost cried I loved it sooooo much but at the same time a hated it and I would very much like to meet this kid

  13. Wow. As the daughter of someone with epilepsy, this made me feel so many feelings. Thank you for sharing this <3

  14. You should be a rapper. Being lyrics and technique and flow. Fuck these horrible so called rappers. No musicianship in them at all. You could share stories.

  15. This is truly the most powerful poem I have heard that left me teary-eyed. Her words were so moving, captivating, evoking, saddening. Really, powerful poem.

  16. I usually associate SoulPancake with wisdom, depth, insight, motivation and encouragement.
    This video shock me to the core.  Epilepsy is a horrible condition and I felt ripped to pieces as I heard her speak.  Thank you for sharing this.

  17. Wow… Words can't even describe how powerful that poem was.

  18. As someone with epilepsy this brought me to tears. Does every time I listen to it.

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