MindspillWhen I was in high school I took an Afro Lit class that was so-so. The only thing I can remember from the class was this one poem we read & I am hardly remembering it now. I believe it was called “Haircuts in Paris”. The poem compared the dangers of a Black man going into a white barbershop in the south facing certain death from the barbers blade in comparison to the freedom and safety that Black men found in Paris.

I believe it was penned by Nikki Giovanni but again I am not sure. I have tried searching for such a poem & I have come up empty (again) well almost. During my search tonight, I stumbled across “Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)”. After reading I felt pretty good & empowered and not as hungry to find “Haircuts in Paris”

If you can help a Brotha’ out by offering me the correct title/author or when I can find this, I would be most appreciative.

Peace & Enjoy,
Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)
Nikki Giovanni

I was born in the Congo I walked to the Fertile Crescent and built the sphinx

I designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad

I sat on the throne drinking nectar with Allah

I got hot and sent an ice age to Europe to cool my thirst

My oldest daughter is Nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the Nile I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the forest and burned out the Sahara desert with a packet of goat’s meat and a change of clothes

I crossed it in two hours I am a gazelle so swift so swift you can’t catch me

For a birthday present when he was three I gave my son Hannibal an elephant

He gave me Rome for mother’s day my strength flows ever on

My son Noah built new/ark and I stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer day

I turned myself into myself and was Jesus men intone my loving name
All praises all praises I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard

My bowels deliver uranium the filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels

On a trip north I caught a cold and blew my nose giving oil to the Arab world

I am so hip even my errors are correct I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went

The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean…I…can fly like a bird in the sky…

See Nikki read this peice online