PERFECT POEM NOMINEE: ‘Black Woman Plotting’ by Vuyelwa Maluleke


The 4th annual Word N Sound Awards are almost here where we will salute an extraordinary league of writers those who have worked hard and stood out on the Word N Sound stage in 2015. We celebrate excellence in our craft with eight prestigious awards including Poet of the Year, Poetry League Champion, Best Newcomer, Word N Sound Honours, Best Showcase, Perfect Poem Award, Innovation Award.

‘Black Woman Plotting’ by Vuyelwa Maluleke has been shortlisted for a 2015 Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award. Read her poem below and cast your vote (you can vote every hour).

Voting closes at 20:00 on Sun 31 Jan. You can vote once every hour. The 4th Word N Sound Awards will take place on Sat 6 Feb at the Market Theatre Lab in Newtown.


The world seem to think
Black Woman looks more beautiful, screaming.
You ever hear a rose scream?
It sounds like a closed fist eating thorns.
I guess it makes looking away hard.

But I’m mad that mouths do not die like fists
Because in your mouths Black Woman is a door,
And the door can never say
‘today I am tired of being touched, or looked at’
no one gives the door a name
the door can scream and still be dead
But Black woman is not a dead woman
Black woman is not a potion
She is not for your dishes, or your body.

You ever try to bottle flesh,
till it so vexed it smell like you sleeping next to an open grave?
That’s a Black Woman.
Black woman is not arranging her long and hard,
her crossword face,
for you to take photographs and pin up
as ‘Africa’ a six letter word for poor.

Black woman is not starving,
She is eating whatever she wants,
she is eating the couch,
and the table
and the walls
she loud and taking up as much room as she wants.
because Black Woman is not a broom no more or a closet.
she will not lie about where it hurts
(Black woman do not lie about where it hurts.)

Oh, and Black Woman next to a white woman is not a purse
Black woman could eat you without moving her mouth
could keep that secret till she burp you.

Black woman got into your mother,
In the same way you become hers’
The first time her throat bloom with crying,
the first time she pick something up she want and couldn’t have
all the times she walk into a room and it
feel like everyone want to make her the log for the fire

So Black Woman will fight
and Black Woman will cuss
will close her hands and let her knuckles on your face
Because Black woman is not a bridge no more
She is not broken for you to fix

Look at her,
She is sitting for a moment, to count her feet and laugh
and every time that sound eats her neck
Black Woman is plotting

how to love herself.

by Vuyelwa Maluleke

Read the rest of the poems nominated for the 2015 Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award:


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