Monday, 1 June 2015

Tales of a Hopeless Romantic in Transit

There was something about the way we made eye contact. In those brief seconds, I felt myself become akin to this man, a man I didn't know. No longer were we strangers, as those seconds filled the distance and years that lead up to this moment. 
There wasn't anything particularly striking about him. His white skin and male privilege dressed him easily, and occasionally I would catch him cracking a smile as toddlers waddled by like penguins, barely able to keep themselves from tripping over their own two feet. Stubble sat on his chin, a deep brown like his smooth hair; that smooth hair that you just knew he ran a hand full of hairgel through after his morning shower. 
As I dosed off, I'd catch him peering over his shoulder in my direction. My mind told me it could be a number of things: he either didn't think I was pretty, or he though me to be incredbily so; I was drooling and he might have been entertaining himself by it, or he just couldn't take his eyes off my piercings, like most people. 
Speculation got me nowhere, so I didn't find out what it was about me that beckoned him to glance over every chance he got. But as I sat there, making a marvel of his porcelain face, I realized that this romanticized reality need not end, as it was the whipping of my own mind and with it I might run and play a fun game called happiness. I might imagine love and romance coming with me to the beach, holding one hand as the other held on to a melting cone of gelato while the Portuguese sun beat down on us. 
For a moment, a stranger gave me promise of a reality that, in some alternate universe, could have been the most beautiful romance of my life... But I watched him step off that plane without uttering a word. Sometimes our fantasies do exist only for our dreams, and like many others, I had to let this one go. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Something strange happens when you're about to leave a place, 
Something about all the things that meant the world changes. 
It’s like being in the finale of your own grand scheme, 
For once feeling like you're on the winning team, 
Because you'll be going away and gone for a long while, 
Death as a destination could only make you smile, 
Something strange happens when you're about to leave a place. 
None of the love can save you anymore,
But you say all the words to save all your loves, 
Because you need them to know that it wasn't them, 
and that when you're gone you're never really gone. 
Something strange happens when you're about to leave a place
And all I can do is share fleeting moments with friends whose eyes hold tears as they try not to cry, 
Share the potions that clear my pain with them, 
and put on a brave face for them, 
because inside I'm really hurting and scared, 
But goddamnit I love the people here. 
And it makes me sad to go, 
But I know there’s not enough left for me.

Something strange happens when you're about to leave a place, 

Arlana Shikongo
November 16, 2014, 4:21pm
White lines, 

In line, 

With white lies. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

To Redeem Ourselves

We are people who run too fast, 
Run fast into the arms of strangers, 
And leap before we know we'll be caught. 
We put our hearts in fragile hands, 
The brittle earth shaking beneath their feet. 
But we run and we jump and we throw,
As though it's the last redemption. 
Redemption from what though? 
Redemption for enjoying the throws of passion, 
For craving the texture of moist, cracked lips
On bare skin, 
In and out of where my crevices begin. 
Redemption for being inlove with making love, 
So that even when we're fucking, 
We're making love. 
Because people like us need redemption. 
Redemption for loving too much. 
Redemption for making love, and making life 
Especially when the intention is neither. 
So we run too fast, 
Run, jump and throw

To redeem ourselves. 

Arlana Shikongo
May 2, 2015, 10:31am

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Day Break

I drown in your eyes, 
Those galaxies that consume me. 
So dark, so rich. 
Encompassing the whole night,
But giving me none of it; 
Because auburn begins to fill, 
My stomach begins to warm, 
And as the sun colours the horizon, 
As if the line is where daffodils and sunflowers grow, 
Day breaks and the blue exudes, 
Washing over me, 
And me, washing into you. 
And it is fresh, and brisk, 
This day break of love, 
Bursting through, 
Birthed anew, 

Day breaks as I break into you. 

Arlana Shikongo
April 7, 2015, 10:31am

Sunday, 5 April 2015


Palms suffocating my mouth, 
Hands pushing down on my chest, 
Ribs, popping out at the seams. 
Hearing, my lungs 
On their own, 
They've outgrown me. 
I'm sorry I couldn't stop
Black ashes from crowding your floors, 
Dusted core, 
Unhinged, a slightly fringed door
To a black hole, 
In which we sink, 
Quick, quickly, 
Before I realize that you see me, 
You've seen me. 
Discretion is lost. 
It is lost on me, 
But let me hold and, 
Host your body, 
Cradle me. 
Cradle me. 
Let me go. 
We were never here together. 

We were never here. 

Arlana Shikongo
April 5, 2015, 9:43pm

Underground Hip Hop in Amsterdam

The air that greeted me was thick with smoke; both nicotine and marijuana. Everyone was vibing to the tunes and the atmosphere was filled with genuine enjoyment. Sticky checked floors licked my soles, billiard balls clattered on a nearby pool table, and illuminated graffiti bouncing off the walls on the far right beckoned me to a corner where DJs, rappers and a rather solemn audience bobbed their heads to some seemingly complex verses. 
The underground Dutch Hip Hop scene was exactly as I imagined it would be. New school mixed with old skool, a rainbow of diversity embracing the spirit of music and liquor and marijuana flowing as loosely as the drug policy that allows the phenomenon to occur. 
The staring up to the slightly elevated stage, I push my way through the crowd and make it right up to the front. I swayed with the audience, memorizing then regurgitating words I didn't know just sing along to the choruses of some of these songs.  Once in awhile one of the free verses would be in English. I was very impressed by the Dutch people's ability to code switch between the two languages so fluidly. 
By the end of the night I was soaring. The company I'd come along with and the company I'd met offered my a new experience of hip hop and Amsterdam. 

Takeaway: attend an underground hip hop event in Amsterdam, because going underground is where hip hop is found.