Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Reflections of a Project Girl" by Shontay Luna

Back Cover Blurb:

Shontay's first publication includes prizes-winning poetry as well as pieces that have thus far remained unpublished. Her first collection of poetry chronicles the struggle (and joy) of being a strong black woman in a world where the female writer must maintain the plight of juggling a multi-roled life. Shontay is brave as she dissects the role of the working female in today's society. She is bold as she speaks of her own struggles in a bi-racial world. Yet, there is a bare, reflective sentimentality in the way she remembers family outings, the youth of her own children, the perseverance to catch her dreams by the shirttail.

Kindle Edition to be Released in May

Book Excerpt

Female Villanelle

How hard it is for the female poet.
Awash in never-ending domesticity,
Soul-spilling to fill the cup.

Duty bounds as if on a conveyor
that her needs never seem to arrive on.
How hard it is for the female poet.

At gatherings, no one knows her name.
So she’s called “So & So’s Wife” (or mother).
Soul-spilling to fill the cup.

Betty Frieden called it “the problem without a name,”
a complete and absolute loss of identity.
How hard it is for the female poet.

When my kids were small,
I was in the closet, writing.
Soul-spilling to fill the cup.

So how can I teach my daughters to follow their dreams,
if  I don’t follow mine?
How hard it is for the female poet,

Soul-spilling to fill the cup.

What I've Seen

I've seen her face in the Laundromat.
Floating down the aisle,
a child-like rhyme her mantra.
The owner says she comes in often
yet I've only seen her one other time
in the shadows of night.
Backing into the alley-wall,
a void-filled stare upon her face.
A stare that didn't penetrate
the man in front of her, his hands fumbling
with the confinement of his pants.


I colored my hair,
confident of avoiding the risk that comes from relaxing it.
I’ve relieved myself of that burden,
some months back. June, to be exact.
The relaxers were taking a toll on
my hair and scalp. Strands were shorter than
they were before. My safest play in that game
was to simply let it go.

And so I did, I colored my hair.
Excited by the hair color coupons
in lieu of the relaxer coupons.
Just a shade darker, Soft Black
over Off Black. Just relieved to use something that
doesn’t sting or burn.
Followed instructions, didn’t even leave
on the whole time allotted. Forgot what using the gloves felt like.
The color of night flowed in the sink
and I noticed the change right away.
It worked.

I colored my hair,
And next time, I’ve to wonder
“What color shall I choose next?”

Bridal Jitters

The road is always the same.
The long, crooked, blurry road is always the same.
Despite an independent upbringing, she feels slightly nervous
wearing white - through the course of living together for years
and having a child. Confidence made her think she could float
her way down the aisle.
But no case is exceptional for this walk is the longest she'll
have to make.