“Remind her she isn’t created to live with a broken chest…”

Compelling, that’s the first word that came to mind as I watched several of Ramya Ramana’s performances.  She speaks veraciously, with courage, turning everyday scenarios into art.  It’s been a while since I’ve actually vibed to some spoken word.  I tend to get stuck on music, and forget about this element of the culture.  It’s a valuable and vital pillar of hip hop, and today, this young lady reminded me just how influential it is.

Ramya, a young activist, writer, poet, and the current Youth Poet Laureate of New York City, recently took a trip to Guyana with One Billion Rising, which is a women’s empowerment and domestic violence awareness organization founded by Eve Ensler.  While in Guyana, for five days, she headlined at the annual One Billion Rising Gala at the famous Cultural Center.  

She recently also opened the show for Hot 97‘s Women On The Move Conference at New York University.  The panelists included Jessica White, Estelle and Chaka Pilgrim from Roc Nation.  

Ms. Ramana has also graced several notable stages, including:  the Apollo Theatre, Lincoln Center, Tribeca Film Festival, City Hall and many more.  She’s shared stages with Harry Belafonte, Rosario Dawson, K. Michelle, Nina Davuluri, and even President Bill Clinton.  She’s currently pursuing a career as a community organizer and activist; advocating for human rights and social justice are just two of the ways that Ramya gives back to her community.

Check out her poem from her performance in Guyana, and some pics as well.

“A Woman Loves A Man 25 Hours of A Day”

a woman loves a

man 25 hours of a day.

she learns how to make

herself a capsule

of all his routines. she

learns how to breed herself

into pine tree doormat

with her back: a coliseum 

signaling to every room 

inside itself of his desires.

when needed. a woman

has been taught to never

ask a man for love back.

but a woman always

needs love back. watch

her. the way she is a jar of

giving; remind her she has

a cap and a right to un-friend the

green light that pastes a foreclosure

sign in the front yard of her voice.

remind her she isn’t created

to live with a broken chest,

or as a playground of steering

laughter sinking away into

a jigsaw puzzled night. 

remind her she is not an 

outstretched limb nibbling

on the crumbs of isolation.

not an exploitation of a 

vandalized happiness.

a woman always needs love.

love like this has crunched

the furrow bridge.

 

how can you

pray when your sacrifice

is living right next to you?

               – Ramya Ramana
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