The week before I took my French Language Diploma exam, I flunked a test so bad that I went home and told my mother that I was pulling out of the exam.
She gave me that look that told me, “Over my dead body,” and then calmly told me I was going to take the exam.
“You have spent all this time learning French to come and tell me you’re not taking the exam?”
I did not respond.
“And these people are even giving you a scholarship for your exam fees?”
“You are going to take that exam.”
Our garbage disposer died last week Thursday.
I flicked the switch on after supper and instead of loud, greedy grinding, all that came out was a hum. I turned it off, then tried again. Hummmmmm. Oh no.
I tried one more time.
Even the hum had gone.
A few more desperate flicks of the switch.
I turned the faucet on in the desperate hope that the water would wash away the remains of our meal. The drain just filled up and bits of dinner floated back up into the sink. …
A friend recently sent me an invitation to the new audio-based social media platform, Clubhouse. I immediately jumped on, planning to spend a few minutes checking it out, but spent two hours in virtual rooms, listening to everyone from actress and comedian, Tiffany Haddish, to entrepreneur, Larry Kim. In one room where creatives where asking each other for help and sharing referrals, I pressed the ‘raise your hand’ button just to see if they would call me up. There were over 500 other people in that room. …
When I was in my first year of University, a riot broke out on campus. I was with some friends and we were coming from the library at about 10 pm after finishing off an assignment when another student came running past us holding a whole frozen chicken up in the air.
“Free Chicken at Manfred Hodson!” He yelled. “Go and get yours! Free chicken! Free everything!”
We stopped and watched him run off, still yelling victoriously. What on earth was he going on about?
Another student came running past, several loaves of bread in his arms.
Manfred Hodson was…
There are so many closet poets — I was one for many years — who won’t come out and say they write poetry. There are a number of reasons for this; none that I’ve heard so far are good enough to hold. They are simply excuses. Here are a few…
You think people will see you as weird
Trust me, everyone is weird. You know how you stick your fingers into the cake in the fridge and scoop it into your mouth like an ogre when no one is watching? Other people do that too — or have similarly strange…
How do you develop greater emotional intelligence, improve your mastery of language and become more aware of the world, all at the same time?
This morning, I came across an audio recording on Poetry Out Loud about the importance of poetry. It captures succinctly why poetry is da ish (i.e. critially important).
It’s by the American poet, Dana Gioia, whose own story reminds us that the poetry of life doesn’t always rhyme or flow the way we expect it to. …
Everyone, from the CEO of the gym I attend and my friends on Facebook to the governor of Massachusetts and the President of the United States, has been sending me non-stop messages about COVID-19 for about a week now. I know you’ve been getting them too.
There are a few simple things that some of these messages miss which I will highlight here.
A lot of leaders have been emailing their employees updates about how their various workplaces are responding to the current crisis and what needs to be done to keep the gears of business moving.
I’ve seen too…
In November last year, an old writing friend reached out to me. I was pleasantly surprised that she had contacted me, but it quickly became apparent that she was not just trying to make nice. She wanted some help.
Her book had just been published and she was calling up a bunch of people she knew, looking for reviewers so that she could start to get some traction on Amazon.
This is not the first time this has happened. Too many times, writers will make excuses to avoid networking with other writers. These range from, ’It’s a waste of time,’…
In 2005, I met Trinidadian-born British poet and painter, John Lyons at a week-long writing residency in the UK. Lyons was one of the mentors for the residency and one of the things he told us, fresh-faced and eager participants, was that he and a group of four or five friends who were also poets had won every major poetry prize in the United Kingdom between them.
How did they do it?
“We would meet every single week and share our work,” Lyons told us. …
I was about 12 when my mother pulled me off a very high horse with two simple questions. It all began when when she sent me to the shops to buy some bread, milk and eggs. The neighborhood grocery store, Leeside Supermarket, was a 15-minute walk away. That was in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second biggest city, where I did most of my growing up.
The eggs were sold in plastic bags, in quantities of half a dozen or one dozen.
That Sunday morning, I was to buy a dozen eggs.
When I got back home, my mother started making breakfast and…