Friday, October 16, 2009



by Ntozake Shange

one thing i dont need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i dont know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry

i am simply tired
of collectin
i didnt know
i was so important toyou’
i’m gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla sorries
i’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say yr sorry
call somebody
i dont use em anymore
i let sorry/didnt meanta/& how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/i’m gonna soothe mine

you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
i will not call
i’m not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
& i wont be sorry for none of it

i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/low-down/triflin/& no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself

(from For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is enuff)


One of my favorite pieces of literature is this choreopoem play by Ntozake Shange. If you havent read this or seen this production already you MUST. This choreopoem play has meant a lot to me from the moment i was introduced to it in high school. It has ultimately taken a whole new meaning in my life recently. As you experience this life as a woman of color, you learn... I heard that Tyler Perry recently bought the rights to this and I'm a little anxious to see what he plans to do with the play, after much criticism, it seems Perry is hoping to make a move towards developing a bit more range in his productions. I do appreciate his efforts in ALL of his films to in reveal some truth of a black woman's hardship, however we are much more than our pathos and are transformed daily in our colors...

here's another....

somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
not my poems or a dance i gave up in the street
but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin
this is mine/this aint yr stuff/
now why don't you put me back & let me hang out in my own self
somebody almost walked off wit alla my stuff
& didn't care enuf to send a note home sayin
i was late for my solo conversation
or two sizes to small for my own tacky skirts
what can anybody do wit somethin of no value on
a open market/ did you getta dime for my things/
hey man/ where are you goin wid alla my stuff/
to ohh & ahh abt/ daddy/ i gotta mainline number
from my own shit/ now wontcha put me back/ & let
me play this duet/ wit silver ring in my nose/
honest to god/ somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff/
& i didnt bring anythin but the kick & sway of it
the perfect ass for my man & none of it is theirs
this is mine/ ntozake 'her own things'/ that's my name
now give me my stuff/ i see ya hidin my laugh/ & how i
sit wif my legs open sometimes/ to give my crotch
some sunlight/ & there goes my love my toes my chewed
up finger nails/ niggah/ wif the curls in yr hair/
mr. louisiana hot link/ i want my stuff back/
my rhytums & my voice/ open my mouth/ & let me talk ya
outta/ throwin my shit in the sewar/ this is some delicate
leg & whimsical kiss/ i gotta have to give to my choice/
without you runnin off wit alla my shit/
now you cant have me less i give me away/ & i waz
doin all that/ til ya run off on a good thing/
who is this you left me wit/ some simple bitch
widda bad attitude/ i wants my things/
i want my arm wit the hot iron scar/ & my leg wit the
flea bite/ i want my calloused feet & quik language back
in my mouth/ fried plantains/ pineapple pear juice/
sun-ra & joseph & jules/ i want my own things/ how i lived them/
& give me my memories/ how i waz when i waz there/
you cant have them or do nothin wit them/
stealin my shit from me/ dont make it yrs/ makes it stolen/
somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff/ & i waz standin
there/ lookin at myself/ the whole time
& it waznt a spirit took my stuff/ waz a man whose
ego walked round like Rodan's shadow/ waz a man faster
n my innocence/ waz a lover/ i made too much
room for/ almost run off wit alla my stuff/
& i didnt know i'd give it up so quik/ & the one runnin wit it/
don't know he got it/ & i'm shoutin this is mine/ & he dont
know he got it/ my stuff is the anonymous rip[ped off treasure
of the year/ did you know somebody almost got away wit me/
me in a plastic bag under their arm/ me
danglin on a string of personal carelessness/ i'm spattered wit
mud & city rain/ & no i didnt get a chance to take a douche/
hey man/ this is not your perogative/ i gotta have me in my
pocket/ to get round like a good woman shd/ & make the poem
in the pot or the chicken in the dance/ what i got to do/
i gotta get my stuff to do it to/
why dont ya find yr own things/ & leave this package
of me for my destiny/ what ya got to get from me/
i'll give it to ya/ yeh/ i'll give it to ya/
round 5:00 in the winter/ when the sky is blue-red/
& Dew City is gettin pressed/ if it's really my stuff/
ya gotta give it to me/ if ya really want it/ i'm
the only one/ can handle it


  1. In college, I performed the "Lady in Purple" role, but this is one of my favorite pieces from the choreopoem. It's so blunt & witty but also quite open; I love it. I'm in love with every bit of [fcg]--the good, the bad, and the stomach-turning.

    I'm not sure what Tyler Perry's take will be, but I'm interested in seeing what his vision is...taking his previous works into consideration.

    Anywho! I love your blog and your poetry. Just figured I'd stop being such a lurker and actually comment today.

  2. Joshua Seth6:25 AM

    Have you seen the film, or heard the original broadway cast recording? They're both excellent, and I believe the film featured some if not all of the original broadway cast.

  3. I love this play! I've had to read it twice in two different classes at Drew and it just hits me hard everytime. I got all crazy when I saw the poster for it in a scene of the movie "Precious." So many parallels.