hate love
Image: Pixabay.com remixed

10 Things I Hate About U: Poetry by Mugabi Byenkya

10 Things I Hate About U

Last night, my brother Victor walked into my room to check in on me.
He asked me how I was doing.

Ten voices in my head responded.

1
Can

one

will themselves to death?

2
My old name on Twitter used to be: Gabster
Only

two

people in my life have ever called me Gabster.
They both died.
I changed my Twitter name.

3
Why can’t I cry?
(Repeat

three

times)

4
If I Die Bury Me Next To My Father.
(Repeat

four

times)

5
I literally have no idea what I have done with my life over the past

five

days.

6
In the 5th grade, my Danish friend Sune, taught me that the number

six

is pronounced “seks (sex)” in Danish.
It made me blush.

7
I wonder if my muscles atrophy from not walking any further than the bathroom for

seven

days.

8
Victor just split into

eight

kage bunshin before my eyes.
Squint.

9
I suffered from my first stroke at

nine

years old.
Thirteen years later, I wrote about this for the first time.

10

Ten

milligrams was necessary today to numb the pain.
That’s 2.5 milligrams more than last week.
GLOW UP

Last night, my brother Victor walked into my room to check in on me.
He asked me how I was doing.
Ten voices responded
.
Upon not hearing a verbal response, Victor followed up with the simpler yes/no question:
“Do you need food or water?”
I responded with
one
grunt.
Victor understood.

——————

Hi! My name is…

Hi! My name is Mugabi
That’s Luganda for ‘The Giver’. So I guess I’m predisposed to generosity
How one can be predisposed to anything I do not know
But the ancestors a.k.a. my jajja spoke my name into existence so it must be so

Hi! My name is Augustine
That’s Catholic for a philosopher encased in sin
A.k.a. the 2nd most famous man to release his confessions after Usher
A man who famously said “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet”

Hi! My name is Ateenyi
That’s Runyoro for ‘cunning, resourceful and wily’
Also, the name of the mythical sea serpent who lurks in the Muzizi
Only granting safe passage to those named Ateenyi

Hi! My name is Olatokunbo
That’s Yoruba for “wealth and happiness from a foreign land”, just like Kimbo
Slice, I’m homeless in my own home
Rhymes coming off a familiar dome; in an unfamiliar loam
but is it really unfamiliar? Or have I spent too long with the unfamiliar that the familiar feels unfamiliar?

Hi! My name is Byenkya
That’s Runyoro for God is with us
In God we supposedly trust
But does God trust us?

——————

Kodak Black Is My Problematic Fave

“Beware ignorance protects itself”
Beware of Kodak Black, ignorance his self
Unapologetic
Unadulterated
Unabashed
Ignant

That loveable type of ignorance, you know?
That justifiable type of ignorance, you know?

That ignorance you will lay right next to, yet you’ve never felt more distant
Yet you’ve never felt more kismet
Because you love them,
Despite,
In spite
Respite necessary

Respite necessary

Then you go back
You always go back
Because “ignorance protects itself”
…And I lick my wounds

——————

Expletive

“St. John The Bastard”

“Are you serious?!” my Mother replied
“St. John The Bastard” I adamantly answered

St. John The Bastard
My new name upon Confirmation into the Catholic Faith
St. John The Bastard
I loved the way it perforated the air puncturing eardrums but not my soul
For you see: I don’t curse, I don’t swear, I don’t use ‘bad words’

“Never use bad words” my Mother had told me when I was ye high
Looked into her eyes
And saw nothing but unconditional love, care and tender devotion
My Mother never went through the motions
She loved me
She knew what was right
So to her ban on bad words I strictly abide
Except-
For the John The Bastard

Bastard alone, I could never say
But John The Bastard was the name of a Saint
Someone to aspire to
And the fact that I could get away with saying a bad word felt awesome
For you see: I don’t curse, I don’t swear, I don’t use ‘bad words’

Swearing is generic and lazy
I mean really, of all the words in the English language
You are really going to choose the most overplayed
To display, anger, frustration and the intricacies of being stuck in a rut in life’s maze?
F-Bombs and female dogs don’t fully express the gravity of the situation!
Nor the depth and breadth of my emotions!
I want to TITILLATE you!
I want to DEFENESTRATE you!
For you see: I don’t curse, I don’t swear, I don’t use ‘bad words’

In my mind’s eye, ‘bad words’ carry a weight
When this weight is expunged from my oral cavities
It stays shackled to my soul making me droop like bait
On a fishing rod, dangling trapped by the inevitability of the situation like Socrates
To put it succinctly, ‘bad words’ make me feel… bad
They are designed to hurt
To maim
I don’t like hurting others
For you see: I don’t curse, I don’t swear, I don’t use ‘bad words’

I don’t like hurting others which is why I live in the realm of metaphor
For God’s sake my mother tongue is filled with metaphor
Nyama Nya Embuzi is one of the worst insults I heard as a child
And it means Goats meat! Why, is that an insult?
Metaphors
Wrapping themselves around my lyrical barrage and silencing the roar
For you see: I don’t curse, I don’t swear, I don’t use ‘bad words’

Because my Mother told me not to
And I listened.

——————

Pop another pill

Wake up

muscle fibers contract
expand
tense up
relax
parasympathetic
sympathetic
rhythms syncopating
in order to bring heat
involuntarily

pop another pill

Wake up

I’ve been scratching myself in my sleep again,
my arms marked up by the involuntary self-harm

Is it still considered self-harm if you can’t help yourself?
Isn’t the point of self-harm the fact that you can help yourself?
Isn’t self-harm a self-destructive, yet less destructive than hurting others, so in a way constructive way of helping yourself?

Self-harm is a release, a way to squeeze all these emotions inside of me and vindicate them physically
Quell the rising tide of depression and not kill myself tonight
just rend and then mend these emotions inside of me, my personal psychiatry

CBT retracts that statement for psychiatry is psychiatry and referring to other coping mechanisms as psychiatry is a fallacy

pop another pill

——————

It’s Been A While…

It’s been a while, since I wrote some new poetry
It’s been a while, since I channeled my inner Jodeci
It’s been a while, since I cried, over the loss of my faculties
It’s been a while, since I defecated in bed because I lost control of me

Wide eyed and groggy mind-state
Oxymoron, yet description of my state
Of being, as I shuddered awake
To a squelching feeling running down my pants
Faster than Captain Underpants
Pranced around, chasing after Professor Poopy Pants

No doctorate, but my pants are poopy
Did I just poop in my pants? Absolutely!
How did this happen in my sleep? Like a scene in a movie
No fade to black in real life, major oopsies!

You might be chuckling and wondering, how I got to the point where I poop in my pants while asleep
You won’t be chuckling when you discern that this is due to me suffering from three strokes by the time I turned 23
At the time, life was so stressful and depressing that pooping my pants, was honestly a relief
For I went to bed most nights, wishing for death, but that morning woke up to comic relief

It’s been a while, since I wrote some new poetry
It’s been a while, since I channeled my inner Jodeci
It’s been a while, since I cried, over the loss of my faculties
It’s been a while, since I defecated in bed because I lost control of me

——————
Poems © Mugabi Byenkya
Image: Pixabay.com remixed

Written by
Mugabi Byenkya

Mugabi Byenkya was born in Nigeria to Ugandan parents and is currently based between Kampala and Toronto. Mugabi is a writer, poet and rapper who honed his craft through writing workshops, poetry slams, cyphers and open mics across North America and East Africa. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015, has been featured on Brittle Paper, The Good Men Project and his writing is used to teach international high school English reading comprehension. His debut novel, ‘Dear Philomena,’ was published in 2017 and he recently concluded a 26 city North American tour in support of this.

View entries by author
Got a comment?

Written by Mugabi Byenkya

SUBMISSIONS

Follow us on Twitter