Let’s Play Pretend 004

Let’s pretend that we’ve mastered the art of conversation

That’s nothing is really lost in the ones that end too soon

Or the ones that change course mid-sentence

Let’s pretend that we care deeply about the smiles in the crowd

Those are the easiest to cheat, no time to linger

Please don’t judge

We are merely moving on to the next best thing

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Let’s Play Pretend 003

Let’s pretend that we didn’t start running to give ourselves a headstart

That we both waited long enough to bolt out

And there was the grace period before we pushed the clock forward into the future

Where even the heart with the best intention has a mind of its own

Hey, I know from somewhere. Have we met before?

The hard swallow as we dust away our memories

There are no ghosts left in my corner

No, you must have me confused with someone else

Let’s Play Pretend 002

ebulani

photo courtesy of http://www.ebulani.com

Let’s pretend that we were all pure when we first met

Those days we fed each other only parts we loved

Putting the price of gold in even the tinniest things

Like the touch of a hand

Such hands are evasive

Such hands know more than they are telling

But they are really useless if they can’t send us to places we’ve never been

Like thriving in the underbelly of a heart

Where it is easy to reach in and squeeze out the air

Is that what you mean when you say you are out of breath?

Let’s play pretend 001

What’s that they always say, make peace with the mirror and smile?

But who’s that on the other side?

Come out, let’s play pretend

Let’s pretend that all liars first met in the streets

and they followed each other home

And behind closed doors, they schemed how to trick us all

Let’s pretend that it’s never really a lie

until you learn to choose the right side

 

 

Solitude

 

When no one else is listening

Let us all make holes in our fortress of solitude,

so that we can hear each others think

Let us build bridges in between the spaces

so we can learn to speak in the code of silence

When all the voices are pleading to get in

Let us all run to the edges and seal all the openings

When the lies are ready to spill

Let us all build a wall

so we can shut out the pain

Let us cover our eyes with pride

so we never have to meet at the kitchen table

 

Closeted lover

It must be such a burden to be a closeted lover

You poor soul, lost in another person’s story

Searching for something you can’t find

Treasuring things that have never been yours

Or those that go away too easily

What has the world done to you?

No you are not self-absorbed, you are just living life on the inside but choosing to smile on the outside.

Could Beasts of No Nation give Idris Elba his first Oscar nom?

beastsofnonation1

Idris Elba cannot play the role of 007, they said. He is too street to play the ever classy – martini drinking James Bond, they said. Pfft…too street to play Bond? Have they seen this Londoner rock a bespoke suit? Meanwhile, I’ll just leave this one here as Exhibit A. Doesn’t he look like a Bond?

Idris-Bond

To all naysayers, if you still have doubts that Idris can pull off a Bond role, I present Exhibit B: Beasts of No Nation.

In this Netflix production, Idris stamps his reputation as a world-class actor when he plays Commandant, a brutal warlord commandeering an army of predominantly child soldiers in a West African country plagued by civil war.

The movie starts out on a really comical tone but builds up to a depressing and gruesome story where little boys are trained to torture, kill and rape.

As Commandant, Idris is so despicable that some of his fans would find it difficult reconcile the man they swoon over from the rebel leader who enjoys molesting the boys in his army just as much as he likes protecting them.

I put my friend up to watching this movie (because why wouldn’t you?), and she came back to me the next morning with her review, “You have ruined Idris Elba for me. I liked the movie but did he really have to be so brutal?”

She is currently scouring the internet looking for anything that might redeem Idris from the monster he was in Beasts. Poor thing. Your suggestions for mending her broken heart are welcome.

Beasts of No Nation works because of a number of reasons but mostly because of Idris. You see, there is something about this actor. It’s not even about his tall, dark and handsome self (not that we mind), it’s about his whole presence, the power he commands when he strolls into a scene. I can’t really describe it without sounding like a stalker. But you all get my point, those who don’t I send you back to exhibit A above.

A powerful presence, isn’t this what is expected of all our James Bonds? Well, other than their obsession to woo women with awkwardly suggestive names (Pussy Galore and Octopussy still kill me to date…SMH).

You all didn’t think I was going to finish this post without mentioning newcomer Abraham Attah as Agu, the little boy through whose eyes Beasts unfold. Agu delivers a poignant performance from his age of innocence to the point he is corrupted by his maniacal commandant.

To act alongside Idris is intimidating because chances you will get swallowed by his magnitude. But not Agu, tiny as he may be, this is a boy who demands attention, whether he is just selling an Imagination TV or going for his first kill with a machete.

As you take in every word, every pause in his present-continuous narration, you realize that this is Agu’s world. The Commandant may be in charge but it is still Agu’s world, if only fate would let him take control of it.

This is a movie that people will remember for years, whether it’s because it dehumanizes little children or because Idris delivers a disturbingly compelling performance. Either way, and taking the Oscar buzz into account, Idris Elba’s powerful presence in Beasts is something the Academy Award cannot ignore. Or would they?

Did I say all this out loud?

I talk better in my head but when the words come out, it’s all jerked up

Too many ers…

But why do you choke when you speak?

Why do you swallow your voice?

That’s not me, that’s not me at all.

I am not that awkward, I don’t stutter that many times

I don’t even halt to think about my next word

Boy, you should meet me when I’m inside my head.

You should hear my words flow, it’s fluid, it’s a harmony

I could bend glass with my words

I am an orator inside my head, I am damn Morgan Freeman

No, scratch that. That’s underselling it, I am Winston Churchill

I’m sorry, did I say all this out loud

Listen to your words

The danger of being a poet,

You are always trying to find the beauty in other people’s words

But where is the rhythm?

Where are the pauses?

Breathe slow, catch your breath

Oh honey, listen to your words

Where is the magic?

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