LitBirthdays September 14, 2010

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September 14

Ayo (Joy Alasunmibo Ogunmakin) (b. 1980) – German-Nigerian singer/songwriter – Joyful (2006) Ayo

Read the Wikipedia article about Ayo

Visit Ayo’s website

Listen to Acoustic Cafe’s interview / podcast of Ayo

“These Days”

I know I should be more grateful
Grateful for everything I have
I know I should be less downful
But unfortunately I am just human
I’m in a big hole surrounded by faith
I’m in a deep dark hole
Deep enough for me to disappear
Where should I go if hurt’s the only place I know
All I know is I don’t want this anymore
Livin’ out life without knowing what it is that I’m searching for

There are days where I would love to be somebody else
Days where I am fighting myself
There are days where I wish I would be a child again
And sometimes days where I wish they wouldn’t last
Days where I wish I would be dead

Step back, stay away from me
Can’t you respect that I only need my peace
These days I’m too weak to see
These days I’m all about me
I don’t want to talk things out
Cause there were certain things we don’t need to talk about
The silence in between … will let you know what I mean
Each time I try to escape
I pray to go not to let me fake
And to take my doubts away

There are days where I would love to be somebody else
Days where I am fighting myself
There are days where I wish I could be a child again
And sometimes days where I wish they wouldn’t last
Days where I wish I would be dead.

Listen to These Days

Watch the “Help Is Coming” music video




Also born on September 14:

Screen Shot 09-13-15 at 03.00 PM

Ekiwah Adler Beléndez (b. 1987) – Mexican poet – The Coyote’s Trace

Read about Ekiwah Adler Beléndez here and here

Read / listen to Ekiwah’s thoughts on his poetry and disability

Watch Ekiwah perform his poem “The Homeopath”

Watch Ekiwah perform “Topography”  “Haiku”  and “Coyote’s Trace”

Ekiwah reads and comments on his work


He knows what I’m going to have for dinner
even before I say it. He is Mexican.
He adds a little chile to my eggs,
making me a vegetable omelet with peppermint,
broccoli and roasted black onions–
he works at Simon’s Rock College.
We can’t find horchata or atole
or tlacayos or requeson
yet he discovers a way to give a twist to each flavor
to remind us of our home.
I ask for hot chocolate
and he prepares it with water instead of milk
so we can feel the euphoric bitterness,
the spirited acquiescent fire of chocolate.

He is a humble warrior
bravely sacrificing his love
for his family
and his country
so his children
can have material luxuries
and a good education.

I chatter away with the others in English
I read The Last Days of Socrates
and even appear to be at ease
in this amber wave of grain
yet in an incognito gesture
we are comrades
exiled by choice
from the place of our birth.
We bear together
the weight of a twin pain–
a private language.

He sees his family in Mexico
every three years
for a couple of months.
His children wait for him.
They want for their papa
to take them riding on a plane.
They want to know what it feels
to be sustained by the air.

When they meet him in the flesh
they are too shy to say hello.
Memories take time to travel to the present
when they are conducted through the thick rubber wires of the past.

He knows them and does not.
The features of his kids
quickly outdate the pictures
inside his head.

Over the phone
his son just turned thirteen.
?Cuando vienes papa?
When are you coming papa?
I imagine being away from them
feels like moving a missing arm
only to find it is
and is not there.

Maybe Eusebio is happy here.
Maybe I’m exaggerating. After all
he listens to pop songs from this country
to try to learn English. I give him a new word every day.
And he rolls each one in his mouth
As if it were a satisfying candy.

His discreet grin reminds me
of the productive silence
that comes the instant after
a heavy rain.

He can’t talk to any of the students
because he was accused of harassing
a heavy blond cook that worked in our kitchen.

He wanted to tell everyone that she was wrong
he wanted to ask: what have I done to indicate that?
but his words were corrupted by translation.

We talk to each other in our flowery tongue now,
we thank the corn maker that has baked our skin
and while the North-American students wait for the food to be displayed
they hear us talking in Spanish
and for a few moments
they experience themselves as foreigners.

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