I must’ve mistaken breath for clouds /
my purpose for hand grenades
because, if this is not fire
I don’t know what living is.
If my hand isn’t in boiling water
or my thoughts at war
I don’t know a storm.
But somebody turned on the heat
And it’s not my jacket or coat
cause life has a way of
stripping away your fashion and
colorful bouquets of joy.
snatch your seat from under you
and make you stand
face to face with your past
toe to toe with love /
and as much as I want them both to be
they split me in half like mishandled glassware
make my sleep become / scattered marbles.
So I stay woke.
I see the cracks
I see the valleys
I feel the webs wrestle against
the satin of my face
I won’t take your hush money
or accept your violence as water
it doesn’t flow with the sunrise of my blues /
It ignored my SOS when I needed it most
so I will drive I will push
I’m going to create furious thunder for the skies
blow rapids under the waves
I’m going to make you feel this bass pummel from my heart
not some timid toned treble
I heard you speak / I’m woke now,
what else would you expect from a
The poem, Being Woke, by Nikki Skies for Rebel on BET.
Here’s a snippet of the poem, “Being Woke” for the season finale of Rebel on BET. Check your listings to watch the “edge of your seat” finale episode to season 1 and hear the lead actress, Danielle Monet Truitt, recite the entire poem.
Get a poetic recap to the hit drama, “REBEL” before the season 1 finale airs tonight! Make sure you check your local listings and TUNE IN this edge of your seat finale.
Here you can find all things “REBEL” including the four poems I wrote for, “Rebel Yell”:
Almost a Lamentation
You call me angry
But you, have a million ways to hate me
So this isn’t anger / this is my confused face.
these lines on my forehead are
glass ceilings / eulogies / sexism and sermons
these lines are 400 year old collection notices
these lines are me not wanting to compete for every corner of my existence
this isn’t anger.
this is proper placement privilege
this is / been here done that and steady grinding
this is you mistaking me swallowing whole fruit for breasts
this is my lipstick protecting my smile when I kiss the moon at night
it’s not magical all days
sometimes I can’t abracadabra away feeling… “other”
sometimes it’s real survival tactics needed
these lines remind me where I hid bail money
where I’m safe to unbraid my fears and wash my past
this is an emotion you can’t repeat
cause you damn sure duplicate everything else about me
but this isn’t anger.
this is for my pushed back knuckles from
fighting traffic, hunting for low gas prices, scrimmaging through too ripe produce in my local grocery store, you know / regular stuff
this isn’t anger
this is me demanding you stop displaying to the world there are exceptions to me being human
being woman / being protected / be-ing loving / be-ing loved.
this is I don’t want the crime solved 30 years from now when the killer is probably in my breathing space
I’m not supposed to be offended when you call me angry?
But you, -have a million ways to hate me
this isn’t anger.
this is my stay ready face. – by Nikki Skies for “Rebel Yell” on BET.com
Being a woman is not a story, we cannot be placed as non-fiction on your shelf
It is a movement
an expansion of bones.
being a Woman is a lesson in astronomy.
cooking chili is a recipe and then it is done
being a Woman is not a story.
We are not dialogue to be used in moving a plot forward
We are more than fixtures in the home after work and school
We hold more than bedtime consultation sessions
We are not chili to be written as a recipe and then close the book once the dish is done.
And this is what “Rebel” is about
- She is beautiful hairstyles and more
- She has impeccable taste in good looking men and more
- She is fearlessly learning the tango in predominately male environments
- in a home life with a father and brother to the military to the police force
- She is showing the peculiar walk of being African American in America
- the tightrope performance of being a Woman with self determination
- She speaks the language where
“Im ok”, means terrified
“And I’m good”, means I’m paralyzed
but She makes it look like manicured oak trees on an antebellum tour
8. She’s a mixture of Big Mama with a Ph.D. in Street Knowledge
9. demanding that profit in death precedes her brother, not with or after
- /his slain will not be in vain / this can’t be another Emmett Till / another Medgar Evers / another Oscar Grant
- we now know when we refuse to be silent
10. we shut down freeways! block bucks that drench downtown power
we raise bail money for the forgotten
we move our stories from the page to the stage
from minors to the big leagues
we make everyone Say Her Name
We tittie to mouth our babies at the pews on Sunday and at tea time on Monday
- We hold writers accountable to tell our truths / color our beauty, litter her with life
11. And they show Her allowance in letting Her body being pleased
12. Her occasional leisure in blowing trees to the wind
being a Woman is not a story that is non-fiction and simply closed.
- This show insists we talk about
13. care for the elderly
14. the vulnerability of our Veterans
16. when children become the parents
17. when being black is stronger than blue
18. when being black is stronger than making green
when right is stronger than wrong
19. when persistence forces police lieutenants to make night calls
knocking on doors like parental phone calls after 9pm / humbling
20. We love Rebel because she fights like the race of stretch marks across once raised wombs
She fights like lightening stripes, thunder bolts and tiger claws
She is full of mistakes but not abandoned from perfection.
If you haven’t seen “Rebel” you DO WANT TO BINGE WATCH the series before the finale on Tuesday. The finale is an edge of the seat 60 minute ride! Go to BET.com for episode information.
Click to hear the new poem “Scoreboard” from Rebel Yell. Listen as Rebel talks about her childhood and men wanting to settle ‘scores’ with her.
TUNE IN TO an all new “Rebel” Tuesday night at 10pm EST!
TUNE IN TO “REBEL” on BET, Tuesday 10pm EST!
I sure hope you tuned into “Rebel” on BET tonight! I hope you enjoyed the excerpt of my poem, “and you say, Make America Great Again” as well as my acting chops 😉
Here are some shots from my time on set:
w/ lead actress, Danielle Mone Truitt and director, Sheldon Candis
w/ actor Dwight Hicks (also ex-NFL player for 49ers and Colts and Super Champion!)
w/ Danielle and showrunner/executive producer, Randy Huggins