Mendi Lewis Obadike




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Mendi Lewis Obadike

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Member Since
July 2007


When I was white I was a man.
My hair was wavy and feathered.
I wore a cowboy hat. (It was
the Seventies. I was a stud.)

I went to bars and picked up girls.
I could have any one I saw.
They bought me drinks and I drank them
then took my favorites home to my

waterbed. I never doubted
this was me. (Even though I was
a small, black girl watching myself
over my shoulder.) I knew what

to whisper in a woman’s ear,
how to wear those bones under my skin,
and did not need to see my face
or recognize my own soft voice.

("One Black Girlhood", from Armor and Flesh)

Average rating: 4.0 · 20 ratings · 3 reviews · 2 distinct works
Armor and Flesh

4.14 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2004
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What I Say: Innovative Poet...

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3.92 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
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Armor and Flesh (Poetry)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 29, 2010 04:32PM
Description: "Mendi Obadike pares her poems down to the stark, dark places where self and selves unfurl, confront, and recombine. She understands the art of distillation, both formal and emotional. Yet there is nothing reserved in these rich poems, which emanate from a deep understanding of unsentimental, polyphonic human complexity." - Elizabeth Alexander "These cleanly-wrought poems turn the world upside down, inside out. They confirm that nothing is simple. Flesh is complex, relentless in its appearance and changes. Like language (and the glad amazement in the sweat and tears of others) flesh could not long survive without the intricate armor of luck, imagination, and grace, which are the poet's special province." - Houston A. Baker Jr. "Language clean as a scalpel opens you to worlds of mysterious, powerful, terrifying life like a surgeon opens the body and reveals the great rivers inside." - Toi Derricotte
Quiver of Arrows:...
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Coin of the Realm...
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message 1: by Mendi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM)

Mendi Did I say thanks? Many thanks. M


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