On the 2nd of Feb, Poejazzi tweeted a series of instructions to completing the first draft of a poem. The instructions were loose and created space for personal interpretation resulting, there are some of the poems.
–Your Slick Brush & You: an African Girl’s Guide
to Using a Harder Type of Hairbrush.
By: Bridget Minnamore
Realise the truth: your hair is never gonna look like Sophie or Jessica’s. Your name’s African, your hair is too. Throw away the three pronged, free gift comb you got from Mizz magazine & accept it; you need something stronger to tie up your hair.
Deep breath. Don’t stress. Accept it has to be done & man up. Start walking towards Peckham because Kumasi Market sells slick brushes & you need one – you know why, we discussed this earlier.
Survive the depths of South East London. Get home & take your hair out. Look in the mirror & ignore the fact you think your face is fat, your eyes are small, your lips, your nose, your chin not quite perfect. Focus on your hair. Pick up newly purchased slick brush & brush your big hair back.
It’s still big, you’re not done yet. Pick up the brush, try again. Deep breath. Man up and accept that this time, you’re gonna cry. Be quiet & just do it, Nike style. Aren’t you listening? Battle the tangles and BRUSH IT DOWN BITCH. Imagine your Mum doing it if it hurts too much – you’ll realise that this pain isn’t quite so bad.
Finish up quickly, That Guy is coming to pick you up. That Guy, your guy, well, that kind of guy you want to call yours. Hair back, stomach in, let’s go. Bell rings, open door & run your hand alluringly though your semi-tamed tangle. Smile. Ask if he realises you’ve done something different before realising – from the look in his eyes he hasn’t got a clue. Accept it. Deep breath, man up, & pretend you did this all for you. Think to yourself that next time you decide to do something new, you’ll think the same thing but you won’t be lying to yourself. Smile.
You looked at me as if I did not matter.
Often heard you converse with liars, followers hanging on your every word.
Laughing at every moment as your eyes lusted over what you really desired.
Then, slowly, you glanced at me.
Binded by our families, did I not do my best to please?
What kind of love do you seek?
Stupidly I wept, the tears soaking this ever burden skin that disgusts you.
Ignoring talks of sacrifice to please you,
And so I found a solution.
Bare foot I travelled to Kensington, My love contained in what is called Lightenex Plus, by passing GiGi. This seemed pain free.
The instructions were simple, if only you knew what I went through.
And so I waited till you left the house
Proceeded to wipe my past in order to start a future
A burning sensation sank deeper than my skin for only if you knew how much I sacrificed for you.
I often heard you converse with liars, massaging your ego, not acknowledging that once they go.
I am all you have.
Foolishly I believed this would make a difference, for now you look at me in disgust rather than regret.
Your liars no longer sit in with you, you are embarrassed.
A child disowned.
Peacefully, I seek solace in my own silence for no one understands.
Questioning whether you actually cared.
A dream of my former self waking to face reality.
So we part.
An individual of few words, your silence strikes a chord to your ever present theme.
Skin ravaged due to a flawed dream.
I leave with what I caused, whilst you remain intact.
This is not the love I effortlessly watched, read.
This is pain.
This is the hard knock to the ground
On the floor I lay
–How To Use Contact Lenses by Dean Atta
By Dean Atta
Verse 1: Tried to wash away the stain he left on my vision. Tried to rub away the residue he left in my eyes. Tried to stop his image replaying in my mind. If all I can see is he, I would rather go blind.
Verse 2: My regular optician refuses to stock these lenses and has advised me against using them until they have been more widely tried and tasted. A wide variety of these lenses are available and affordable but reported results seem to vary. There is apparently a much more successful laser alternative to the lenses, the price of which is anything from £50,000 per eye. There is a lot of speculation about which celebrities may have had it done already. Those in the public eye are looking back at us, happier. I can’t wait on the celebrities or rely on the NHS to confirm or deny the effectiveness of the phenomena. This is my last resort. But I can’t afford the laser so the lenses will have to do. I ask around my friends, I post on Facebook and tweet for a reliable supplier, I say that I’m researching for a poem that I have been asked to write and eventually I get a message from the last person I would expect…
Verse 3: With the lenses in my possession, only £50 per eye out of pocket, I wonder if something so affordable can deliver all it promises. I read the label.
Instructions: These lenses provide second sight to those with a jaded outlook. Enabling the wearer to see the true potential of perspective romantic partners. Warning: Vision may become permanently altered if these lenses are worn for any more than 12 consecutive hours.
I don’t know if these are dailies or reusable. Without wanting to take a risk of wasting this opportunity I decide to wait until I can line up a number of dates in one day; coffee, lunch, dinner and a drink at a bar with four eligible bachelors, four firm possibilities. The day arrives and although there hasn’t previously been any magic between these guys and I, I decided to try and see them all with my new eyes.
Verse 4: Four dates in one day and my contact lenses made no difference to my perception of the men in question but I’m not ready to give up on them yet. I decide to break the 12-hour rule and wear my contact lenses to bed. I rest my head on the pillow and wonder if I might see the man of my dreams, in my dreams with the lenses in my eyes. But I still can’t get my ex boyfriend out of my mind. I fail to dream at all that night; I simply replay memories in my mind.
Verse 5: Morning arrives and I decide to call my ex boyfriend to ask him why he of all people recommended these contacts to me, his supplier is obviously selling fakes. He tells me that he was wearing a pair when he met me but from what he can see our potential was never realised. So when he saw me asking about them on Facebook he made the recommendation in the hopes that I would look at us differently. He said if we could both see the potential maybe we could make it a reality.
–The instructions were as follows:
Tweet 1 – 8.30 pm //
There are only a few things to note.
1) Each Verse should be no more than 60 words.
2) You will be given 5 mins to write each verse.
Tweet 2. – 8.30 pm //
Choose a beauty product. You are writing an alternative set of instructions, your title will be e.g. How To Use A Hairbrush.
Tweet 3. 8.35 pm //
Verse 1. Reason. (come up with a need/scenario to use the product)
Tweet 4. 8.40 pm //
Verse 2. Get product. (detail purchasing product, where to go, the market, competitors)
Tweet 5. 8.45 pm //
Verse 3. Find a place and use product. (after the chaos of shopping choose a solitary place)
Tweet 6. 8.50 pm //
Verse 4. Your are dissatisfied with the results. Take it a step further. (go crazy with it)
Tweet 7. 8.55 pm //
Verse 5. End (try and flirt / please someone now.)
Tweet 8. 9.00 pm //
You have 10 minutes to edit.