SHOEICIDE BY MORENIKE`
You know us black women love our shoes
Next to diamonds, they're like our best friends
Yes, we love our shoes and that's why I loved him
He was a Yankee man and he took this girl out of the dollar store
snatched her right out of the Mississippi River
and moved her to bright light New York
I loved that man dearly; just like us black women love our shoes
I remember my first pair of red bottoms
slingbacks, chic and sexy because that's how he liked me, chic and sexy
Those red bottoms complimented my new Ray Ban sunglasses
and my black eye perfectly
My first black eye
We argued about having kids, I wanted to create life
with my first busted lip, ripped like leather car seats in the summer
I got a jazzy pair of special edition, diamond encrusted leather Keds
and a Fendi Messenger bag
Every girl has to look presentable on the golf course
We women love our shoes
My esteem was highest in a pair of high heels
Thigh high Fall edition Yves Saint Laurent boots
The color of mocha and caramel, covering every bite mark on my calf muscles
But he said I still looked beautiful
The bite marks didn't matter much
A girl's gotta ride horses in style
In style, just like my boots
Cornbread fed, collard greens and pinto beans
I was a Southern girl after all
Size 7, not big on fitness, but big on eating
He bought Pretty in Pink Gucci sneakers
For yoga and physical therapy
My shoe strings were pink and purple, just like my fractured ribs
But you know us girls, we love our shoes
I sat in my walk in closet one day
reading the test results
I didn't shed one tear
He came home with Red Roses and Jessica Simpson clogs
Funny that he had given me flowers
the color of my blood that would no longer clot or clog like those cheap ass shoes
I collected all of my shoe strings
We women love our shoes
But our shoes don't need us as much as we need them
Next to diamonds, they're like our best friends
From the day I had met my Yankee
I knew I had forfeited my way to Heaven
signed sealed delivered my soul to the devil
Living in a material hell
I wanted to go to Heaven
I couldn't believe I owned so many shoe strings
intertwined as my only umbilical cord to this life
all of my shoes, the soles of my sanity
Every pair represented a romantic affair he had
or one I wish I could have had or a baby I never had
I found my first pair of red bottoms
and planted them firmly on my feet
I loved the way my feet looked in my shoes
I needed a mirror, I needed to see this
I'd never jumped so high in the air
The only pair of hands that had ever grasped my neck were his
And now with the intricate rope of shoe strings,
that made another pair
Tightly pulled around my neck
I watched my flesh turn every color of the rainbow
of every pair of shoes I'd ever had
of every bruise I'd ever had
I redeemed myself in a shoe closet
You know we women love our shoes
Next to diamonds, they're our best friend
I wanted to go to Heaven
My shoe-icide was the only way to get there...
About the Poet
Morenike` is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Province High School and graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor's in English. Morenike’ is currently a graduate student at Jackson State University pursuing a Master’s degree in English. Morenike’ has been writing short stories and poems since she was a young girl in elementary school. Her passion for reading and writing stemmed from her early introduction to reading from her parents. She states that, "reading was very important in my home; my parents’ relationship started from the discussion of a book, reading created my family." Her goals are to one day become a world-renowned novelist, focusing on African American fiction, poems, and short stories that reflect the African American community. Her latest work includes the poem and short film, "Shoeicide" and the anticipated release of two novels, Taste of Insanity and Loose Ends from La Femme Fatale Publishing and Pulse Publishing in April and May, respectively.
UBAWA: When did you first realize your attraction to poetry?
Morenike`: My attraction to poetry arrived when I started to keep a diary as a youth. I realized that anyone could find my diary and read it but not everyone could decipher a poem to be conducive to my thoughts and life. Poetry is such an intimate act and everyone is going to interpret it differently; that's what attracted me to poetry.
UBAWA: Tell us about the very first poem you have ever written
Morenike`: I've been writing poetry since maybe middle school but I consider "Shoe-icide" to be my first poem because it reignited my love for poetry and words in general. Shoeicide details the life of a young woman who goes from rags to riches and becomes so enamored by material possessions, most favorably her expensive shoes, provided by her husband, that she excuses his infidelity, mental, physical, and emotional abuse. The cycle continues until she is terminally affected by her husband’s actions and she takes her own life.
UBAWA: Do you have a favorite poet? If so, who is he/she?
Morenike`: The late, American poet, Emily Dickinson is my favorite. Although she was an introvert and lived a reclusive lifestyle, she poured so much of herself into her words. "Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church" is my favorite poem of hers.
UBAWA: When you’re writing poetry, do you think in terms of genre?
Morenike`: I usually don't think in terms of genre because I don't like to hinder myself artistically.
UBAWA: Some people say writing poetry is like writing a rap or love song. Do you agree? Why/why not?
Morenike`: Certainly! Music is poetry. People that disagree may question the validity of the poet/artist but who are we to say their words aren't poetry?
UBAWA: Are there certain styles/techniques/rules of poetry you adhere to in your writing? Tell us about your writing style.
Morenike`: When I was younger, I was always concerned about the rhyme scheme in my poetry but as I grew older I understood how much that limited my work. I now write from the heart and my heart doesn't follow any rules.
UBAWA: What poetry books have you written?
Morenike`: I haven't written any poetry books yet but it is definitely an option in the future. At this time, I'm focusing on novels and my first novel, "Taste of Insanity" is set to release on April 1st.
UBAWA: Have you performed any of your poetry pieces on stage? If so, please share your experience(s) with us.
Morenike`: I turned my poem "Shoe-icide" into a short film and one of the days of taping, one of my girls didn't show up. I had no choice but to step in myself and do a quick cameo. That helped me to later perform my poem "Black Widow" at an event I hosted. It was a very intoxicating and liberating experience for me. It helped me crawl out of a shell I'd let my fear of performing place me in.
UBAWA: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of love?
Morenike`: Love is such a strong emotion and feeling. It makes me think of the fearlessness and passion it evokes in people.
UBAWA: Are you currently dating someone, married, or single?
Morenike`: I'm married to my craft! It consumes all of me!
UBAWA: Do you think success is a matter of chance or a matter of choice?
Morenike`: Success is a matter of choice. No one is going to hand you a golden key in life. "Hard work and consistent efforts are the keys to success." My high school principal said that quote over the intercom every day for four years and I still believe in it to this day.
UBAWA: Inspiration for a new poem can come from the strangest places. What inspired you to write your most recent poem?
Morenike`: My most recent piece, "The Weary Heart," was inspired by this Black History Month.
UBAWA: If you could go back and “right” any past wrong in your life, which one would it be and why?
Morenike`: I try not to think negatively about the past. If it weren't for my wrongs, I'd never have moment of clarity in my life. I'd never be able to conquer the present and face my future.
UBAWA: When you’re not writing, what are you doing?
Morenike`: When I'm not writing, I'm usually trying to map out and organize my thoughts and what my next plan of action will be.
UBAWA: There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a poet’s life, fill us in on what one typical day for you is like.
Morenike`: My day is normal on the surface. I go to work, write, do homework, and then it's on to night class. What people don't see is how hectic my life is mentally. As a writer, throughout the day, there are SO many thoughts and ideas going on in my head!
UBAWA: If you could create the “perfect day,” what would it be like?
Morenike`: The perfect day would include pen, paper, a margarita, and a beach with no interruptions.
UBAWA: What do you do on the weekends?
Morenike`: I usually stay in on the weekends these days. I don't watch much TV during the week so I use the weekend to catch up and write.
UBAWA: Do you hang out or go to clubs?
Morenike`: I go out occasionally. As a graduate student, I've learned everything you did socially in undergrad goes out the window when you enter grad school!
UBAWA: If you could visit any other country in the world and take one other person with you, where would you go and who would you take?
Morenike`: I would visit Brazil with my best friend. The beauty and culture there is so intriguing!
UBAWA: Tell us about one challenge in life that you had to overcome. What was the challenge and how did you get through it?
Morenike`: My biggest challenge has been the fear of the unknown, professionally. My first year of undergrad I was undecided because I didn't know whether I should choose a field that would secure me financially or go with my heart. In the end, I chose to go with my heart and I majored in English.
UBAWA: Before you leave, tell us one thing about yourself that we may not know.
Morenike`: My pen name, Morenike', is my middle name. It's African and it means "good fortune." A lot of people find it hard to pronounce but once they master it they feel quite accomplished. Morenike'=Ma-ren-ah-k
UBAWA: Do you host contests or giveaways?
Morenike`: In March, I will be hosting a contest and giveaway once I reach 400 likes at www.facebook.com/AuthorMorenike
UBAWA: Any upcoming events that we should know about?
Morenike`: The Circle of Color Book Club will be throwing my official book release/signing at the Margaret Walker Alexander Library in Jackson, MS on April 13, 2013. Time to be determined at a later date.
Reach out to Morenike`:
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9ZjOA2Tk8U