2014 March 13: my love is electric

by Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene
© 2013


my love
is electric
in lightning across charcoal sky

my love
is a flower
forever in bloom
even in the dead of winter
or on pluto

my love is
turquoise breath/
dancing whispers that hold you
when I’m out of town performing my heart
for the world

my love is
back arching,
aching hunger satisfied
wetness so consistent
you’re just gonna have to stop wearing underwear altogether

my love turns tears
into art installations
that perch on top of constellations/
my love melts shrapnel,
honors wounds,
turns battle scars into beauty marks

my love is a song
the extended mix
forever long
with a bridge that feels like ecstasy
and a melody that feels like flying

my love is the illest emcee
the fiercest freestyle
a dope haircut, fresh to life
designs that look like labyrinths
on the side of my frohawk/

my love is a shaved line thru my left eyebrow
cuz I’m gully like that
& that’s how Brooklyn holds me

my love has brunch
w/ frida kahlo
and nina simone
we be talkin
about how spectacular

my love is the prayer
before you make the request
the breakfast made before you wake up
the sunrise in your tea cup

my love is a ripe mango,
making love to your tongue,
flavors orgasming all over you
in just

my love speaks in tongues
is bigger than eternity
turns a gaze into a vow
my love is a time traveler
is a scientist and an artist
makes a lifetime feel too short
of a time
to love
this love

my love loves
and my love loves love

my love stomps
is church
is a praise dance
dreams bliss/makes bliss/is bliss

my love is glass
and steel
delicate and strong
I bend,
I break/
but I don’t disintegrate

the way I love
is cosmic
beyond holy
forever patient
and forgiving
my love loves me
when the world forgets
how to



New York Gully.  Nigerian Soul.  Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, essayist, playwright, actress, video artist and mixed-media visual artist who was born with a mouth full of dynamite and sugarcane.  Etaghene engages a radical vulnerability and candor in her artwork and uses storytelling to build authentic human connection through passionate artistic expression.

Etaghene has rocked stages and melted microphones internationally.  She was interviewed by and was a Contributing Writer to None on Record: Stories of Queer Africa, a digital media project that collects the stories of LGBT Africans from the African Continent and the Diaspora.  She has toured nationally with both of her one-woman shows, Volcano’s Birthright{s} and GUAVA.

Etaghene is a mixed-media visual artist who has produced four solo art exhibitions.  In May 2012, Etaghene founded Sugarcane, an LGBTQ Of Color writing workshop based in the principles of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People.  She designed an eight-week curriculum and syllabus for Sugarcane that centers LGBTQ of color, immigrant and immigrant-descendant literary and performative voices.  She is a cook and organizer with the People’s Kitchen, a sliding-scale, local, organic, community restaurant project that engages, builds and nourishes community through shared-food events and cultural programming.  Etaghene is the founder of Kitchen Poems, where she cooks Nigerian food, African diasporic foods and creates culinary remixes that incorporates Nigerian flavors and cooking aesthetics.

Etaghene has written and directed 2 poem videos (“The First Time” [2010] and “i deserve somebody” [2011]) that marry film, poetry and music.  Etaghene has self-published 3 chapbooks of poetry: afrocrown: fierce poetry (2000), write or die (2004) and tongue twisted transcontinental sista (2006.)  She independently released an album of poetry and music entitled liberty avenue, nigeria, usa (2004.)   She has shared stages with Amina Baraka, Bonfire Madigan, Sharon Bridgforth, Staceyann Chin, Climbing PoeTree, Invincible, Las Krudas, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Lenelle Moïse, DJ Moni, Queen GodIs, Ongina Ryan, Hanifah Walidah, d’bi young & innumerable other brilliant magic-makers.

Her second album of poetry, Nigerian Dyke Realness, drops in 2014.  Etaghene’s first novel, For Sizakele, which addresses Queer African love, identity and inter-partner violence, will be released June 20, 2014.  www.myloveisaverb.com, www.youtube.com/AfrocrownDiva, twitter: @myloveisaverb



Previous by Yvonne

2014 March 12: Loving Us With The Fierceness We Deserve:


2014 March 12: Photos from SF Jazz Center – Artist Talk







This entry was posted in 1981 -, Art Is A Human Right, Art is Queer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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