Ray Jane

Ray Jane is a Brooklyn-born poet raised in Far Rockaway, Queens. She has moderated her own workshops with ¡Oyé Group! Poet’s Corner (2021 and 2022) and runs her own open mics as the host of The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Thursday Night Online Open mic (2022) and for The Word Is Write. Her feature performances include: “MLK Poetry Jam/Slam '' sponsored by Yale Peabody Museum and Citizen’s Bank. She is on several podcasts like Black Siren Radio and Sound Minds Podcast. Ray Jane is published in the literary magazine I Can't Breathe. To hear and read more please visit ItsRayJane.com. 

Ray Jane: Olivia

Ray Jane: Another Word for Poetry

*After Olivia by The Whispers*

"Olivia the slave
Got distracted on her way to grandmother's house
Got distracted on her way to grandmother's house
Got distracted on her way to grandmother's house
A wolf in lamb's clothing came
Blew her mind and changed her ways
And now she's turned out
Lost and turned out, lost and turned out"

This is a trigger warning,
to all those who feel unsafe in their own home,
to the victims of sex crimes,
to the victims of the sex trade,
to those who do not consider sex work an extension of their right to be
to those who when faced with the choice
always choose survival
and for those whom the choice is taken
always choose to fight
even if the supreme refuse to judge in favor of
the being already living
This is for you

There is a girl somewhere,
not older than 8
blooming, against her will

There is a flower,
whose delicacy
falls like petals exchanging themselves,
for concrete

There is a lady,
who sneaks her dreams into her prayers,
while a man tears into her body

There are women, on your street,
powdering their only foundation,
over their bruises
she is your neighbor, she is not

There are females,
trapped in foreign bodies
sacrificed for other's fears, for their power
for their life, is a defiance
that calls too many dimensions
for flat eyes
There are a group of girls,
huddled amongst the sharp of shoulders
traversing oceans, strange tuna
feed for shadow demons

There are women,
perhaps the most dangerous duality,
madams managing brothels of brutality,
a woman, and her forgotten humanity
the product of millennia of maleness
she who forgets she is a principle
those women,
who teach the enemy how to capture a storm
renounce her divine for a chance to conform

Where are the women?
who don't need permission to fight
where      are                      the women?!

who burn down every -archy to make it right
where     are    the               women?!

who know their power closes circuits
that won't stand to see one more human sacrificed
who'll throw down their life?

and all of a sudden, it got real quiet

we all contribute to the carnage
closing our mouths we manage
to crush another voice that went unsaid,
silence ushering into darkness
and with our tongues caked,
in excuses not to don a cape

we make the beds
we pull the sheets back
we bind the skin
we turn it blue
we are responsible
for what society lacks

so again,
before we demand another thing from men
I'm hollerin'

a curious trivia,
shouted in hopes that one day
we wombs
deliver Olivia

----------------------------------------------- // ---------------------------------------------------------

Another Word for Poetry

Another word for salvation is poetry,
cuz damnit if these words don't keep
saving me

I been out on my ledge for centuries
I almost died so many times
I forgot how to live

and just when I was about to give
up my ghost I got so holy
I became a sieve

poured my words over me
and a few of them started to stick
out of my body, my words gave me hips

they protected me in penned premonitions
of a day I'd speak my peace

never needing permission,
make my truth so loud I listen

release, on any place resembling paper
never cease, leave no word for later
poetry provokes me to feast

wants the best for me, never leaves
especially, when I'm in need


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