by Chioma Okereke

Hopeless in a crisis

Out of touch with my inner Isis


As spinsters at weddings

I anticipate my unravelling

Will be more Santeria-like


Bloodied chicken feathers

And magnolia candles

Than prescriptive

My demise less scripted

Unrehearsed like Oscar speeches

Running over time



As unsolved sex crimes

Overzealous rookies resurface

To cut their teeth

On something more filling-

Book listed bestsellers thrilling

Or Oprah endorsed storylines

Mine will be

Unequivocally mine


Original copy written

And post-dated

Revered yet never imitated


 As Chloe three-quarter sleeve jackets

Off kilter

Resembling the rebel wall brackets

Holding up my Georgia pine shelves


Analysts delving into my psyche

Wonít make it out alive

Zigzagging over all lanes

In a left hand drive society

I reserve the right to act inappropriately

In manners unbefitting a lady

In accordance with my own

Hybrid post-modern western philosophy:
You are not the boss of me-


Have embraced my inner crazy

Wear the labels openly

Cause clothes donít make the woman

The biological makeup of a human

Spliced with alien DNA

If you donít listen

To what I have to say

Iíll just shout louder


Now that Iím older

Than most of my sins

I sit more comfortable

In my own skin

Know my imperfections


Accept that they make me me


Split my personality

More times than an atom

Frequently I donít recognize

My own speech patterns

As if ancestors be talking through me

In a ghetto therapy fashion

And reality

Unhinged its wagon

From the inner recesses

Of my mind


Most days I feel

That thereís only one

Of my kind

And Iím not meant to be


Just pondered over

With trees falling in woods

Whether they make a sound

I am a walking lost and found-


Metamorphisizing and evolving

Through trial and error

Perfect example

Of what composure

Looks like undressed

Measuring my woman ness

By the looseness of my spirit

Secure enough to strut

In a custom-made straight jacket

Carrying all my eggs

In one

Tightly woven basket-

Donít care if they break

I make a mean omelette.


Basketcase by Chioma Okereke

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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