imani wolery portland, or
note: i’d like to put a photo here of imani if possible
Artist BioMy name is Imani Wolery and I am a Black Poet, woman, pre-law student, and aspiring civil rights lawyer. Poetry to me has been a way for me to express my identity, freedom of sexuality, and realization of personal purpose. Much of my poetry lays upon real experiences, attitudes, feelings, relationships, and more. My passions are ultimately determined by my life growth, my vulnerabilities, and the traumas I have overcome. My goal is to instruct others who have been through similar instances. I hope that my writing brings you guidance, healing, and well-being.
“you deserve to feel joyful release your fears” -iw
my brain has been spinning and it is trying to trace itself. it is finally given time alone and the instincts feel a little bit more clear. like my grandma says, a kind heart is one that always gets stomped on and a dangling baby tooth always needs to be pulled out. I always wondered if these analogies were arbitrary. my mind is silent for once and it picks apart at my worth like an injected muscle. I am trying to find my worth, I am trying to find where I left my worth, I am trying to find whom I left it in? I’m pretty sure it’s inside of me, I can feel it because I love others just as much as I love me and sobriety these days is important to me and being a mother one day is important to me and figuring out what is important to me is important to me. because, once in a while, being silent is almost as beautiful as being loud, because over my loud voice I can finally hear myself. she is lovely...she wants the best for me even when she’s had the worst. because a pretty smile can cover up many things, a pretty smile can cover up many things, but it’s a part of me, and that’s what makes it brighter.
“so tired of fighting but it’s what I gotta do.” -iw
I ran after you but you left before I could even chase you. disappeared like smog back into the atmosphere. where were you going back to? your center? I try to find you in the muteness of my existence but you hold on close to your devil, and so do I. I guess we both share that in common. I know you want me to wait for you but I told myself I would stop waiting a long time ago, “daddy’s not coming home” this “time” they say. They have been saying that for years. I could rock you like a baby or kiss the ground you walk on but you would stomp on me? they didn’t tell you I was the ant waltzing beneath you. I rooted for you, I am still rooting for you, but you need to want to be on my team, and if not, I'll find someone else who does. though I’ll always hold a space for you, you got a piece of my heart. And one day you will understand this. one day you will replicate this. one day I hope. I’m letting g—
I need to find myself. I need to honor myself. need to let g—
“the fierce anger of the lord will not turn back until he fully accomplished the purpose of his heart. in days to come you will understand this...”
“setting boundaries I want real magic” -iw
you can only change yourself.
one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is realizing I cannot change others. I look inside myself for answers, but when those answers aren’t clear, I feel like bulldozing my own head. Was it me? was it you? always pointing the goddamn finger. I am so restless. I am so disappointed, all the time. you’ll never be let down if you don’t have expectations they say. Yet my expectations are like seeds in the soil, hoping for a good season. should I let go? should I hold on? What do I do? What do I do? you did this to me, but maybe I did it to myself because one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is realizing I cannot change others. I’m out of spark, I’m out of brightness, I’ve never been like this. I’m out of joy because I gave all my joy to you. soaking up the sun feels good doesn’t it? Do you feel sun-kissed?
one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is learning that I cannot destroy myself hoping for your happiness,
even if I want to.
“the clouds have to move to see the sun” -iw
I can’t even put into words what I feel like anymore. Every time I attempt I sit on my hands or I choke on my spit. I stop moving my fingertips and I babble why the world is simultaneously against me. a woman with brown skin. it changes from almond to chestnut within the seasons. trying to find reciprocation. getting lost in the process and doing it all over again. Am I too specific? Am I too restless? I guess I am. but what else to do when you’re putting yourself back
together like a puzzle. I lost pieces in you. you still have them. I lost pieces in me. you still have them. I always feel like I'm choking. I always feel like I'm gravitating. I disassociate to fly away from the world that harms me. yet I’m still optimistic. joyous by nature, but not always happy. they say, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change and courage to change the things I can,
But how must I know the difference?
I left pieces in you, I hope you appreciate them like I do.
“calmer waters” -iw
torment. gratitude. ambiance. I have been trained to visualize the world as a two way street. so much so, I often times visit the dead ends. but what about the branches? I see water trop onto the veins in my arm, they shine turquoise and bright like lemons. they branch out like supplemental developments. no unity can explain it. I’ve always been obsessed with growing up. I guess I felt as if I reached a certain stage, that things would change. I try to go both ways, but don’t. my fingers shrink into raisins. my younger self loved to rule kingdoms. my younger self should have stayed younger longer. my younger self is still myself now. my younger self looks at strategic elements. my younger self categorizes her family's grief, if not one of the strongest things passed down. my younger self is shaken up and put down. my younger self was looked down upon. my younger self knows it can only sting for so long, until it doesn’t. until you’re stung again. The keynote speaker likes to talk about my broken road like it’s an analogy. I tell him, no it’s my reality! no turn, is wrong, no path, is right, and no broken road is unsuccessful. including mine.