In the guest room: M.G. Hughes

Bringing the gift of plant life to my guest room this month is poet and author M.G. Hughes. Her poetry is both rooted and ethereal. It carries heritage and a sense of the uncanny. It is no surprise to me that she has just released a beautiful first collection with Thought Catalog.

if i were
to crack the
last day of the month
to crack it like
the last egg in the refrigerator
the gold and white would mix
the shells would be added to
a raised bed and used for fertilizer
and if i were
to let those seeds sit
to let them green and groove like
they’re chameleon and know no blues
i can bet you a poem as wide as
tomorrow will unfurl by the last day of fall

(hair appreciation poem)

the mimosa honey
i put in my hair will
grow blue flowers there
and then those flowers
come autumn will fall like
the rain of your pepper clouds

when i detangle
i pull from my comb
those pretty and curled sky blue petals
when i make that part in the middle
i think of those old black rubber bands and
summers so hot the concrete could just laugh (cry)

Three questions to M.G.

What does reading/writing poetry do for you?

Poetry is a lot like therapy to me. Once I’m done reading it I often find myself leaving with another lens into myself, my state of being, and the world around me. And when I’m writing poetry I’m naturally forced to think again of what I think I know.

What should we know about you that will help us understand your work?

I’m a Fantasy and Science Fiction writer at heart. In terms of fiction, I love using the genre as a way to explore, challenge, and exaggerate (artistically) what’s real.

When it comes to poetry I often find it unavoidable to incorporate big or little notes of Magical Realism and Fantasy. When I try to write more “straightforward” poems I tend to feel less in love with them.

So if a flower is truthfully red, for example, I can’t help but want to make it feel like glass or black in color. Reading other works that incorporate similar imagery techniques really excite me; and I think, in the end, the strangeness can also inspire the reader to remember that line.

Because the sound of picking black or even glass flowers carries a heavier symbolism; and since it’s not naturally occuring, or possible, the mind longs to know more about them–even if they’re not the main focus.

What brought you joy this week?

Presence. I’ve been teaching myself to take note of one or two positive things in my life at least every other day. When I started practicing this I realized that things like joy and happiness (for me) can be as simple as watching the rain, or being in good health, drinking tea or coffee in the morning.

In the guest room: Uchechukwu Nwafor

I have built a cozy annex to my little corner of the web. It will house some of my favourite poets from the Instagram poetry community. These poets inspire me every day, and I hope that they will inspire you too.

The first poet to sojourn in my little guest room is a poet who has also become a dear friend, Uchechukwu Nwafor. I have asked him three questions and you can read his answers below. But first, two stunning poems:

Three questions to Uche

What does reading/writing poetry do for you?

art has always been about enlivening the senses. personally, it’s a passageway & the destination for a higher thought level. poetry is no different, whether i’m reading or writing, i’m always flooded with a sense of self-awareness. a moment is frozen in time (one that i can always revisit) & that has a way of shaping my past, present & future; it changes how i’ve seen things, how i see it & how i’ll see it. reading poetry allows room for me to be satiated with the thought that others feel the same way as i do, that i’m not alone. it’s only a matter of who bleeds it on paper first. rumi said it best, “inspirations aren’t from us, but descend upon us. and if not expressed through one, it finds another”. writing is more than an expression, it’s the sustenance & preservation of life as we know it. 

What should we know about you that will help us understand your work?

i grew up in a religious family & coupled with the human inquisition to ‘see’ more than the physical, my writings gravitate towards the divine. i love to observe creation so nature is a must-have, must-feature facet of my writing. being a tailor/fashion designer has affected my writing greatly, even though i started wielding a pen before i knew how to wield a needle, both rub off on each other in the most artful way. i’m a huge fan of rap lyricism, the puns, the metaphors, the wordplay, the imagery winged on the human voice most especially to create a positive impact on the listener is a source of great inspiration. poetical lyrics move me. 

What brought you joy this week?

ahh, some question! i read poetry every day, from any source i can find, and two poems really stuck out to me; “window” by Forough Farrokhzad & Tracie Morris’ ”401 requiem”. having their words flip a switch was more than a joyful moment, it was an experience i’ll not quickly forget.

Find Uche on Instagram: @notesfromhim