Poetry: ‘Rough Copy’ By Efé


Rough Copy

Liv­ing on a con­crete slab of fake ideals

A mesh of cor­rup­ted ideo­lo­gies run by plastic man­nequins.

‘Excess­ive’ waists restrained by cos­met­ic straight jack­ets.

Hair­less private parts slid into candy flossed magazines.

Hair­lines untrace­able, the strenu­ous duty of inter­woven thoughts run by a dead ringer.

“Keep your legs closed!” They say “Why are you so fri­gid?!” They say…

Pre­ju­diced based on the per­ceived monthly ‘curse’


“Miss?…Here…Take This Once a Day…Please Con­trol Your Birth!”

Baby moth­er? Fash­ionista? Hoe? Tom­boy? Super­wo­man?

Why so many boxes to fall into?

Long and thin? Fat and short? Mas­cu­line status decided by notches on a meas­ur­ing stick.

Who owns that stick? Who owns that fic­tion­al fantasy?

Fath­er fig­ures, fig­ures of speech as the ideal man is with­in reach, but often the stu­dent has no one to teach him.

Shoot­ing in the gym.

“Ay! Are you listen­ing? Cool. Here…take this…shoot…HIM!”

Sponge twists and beards. Con­scious­ness or copycat mir­ror images?

Bread­win­ners? Emas­cu­la­tion? Effem­in­ate? Road­man? Crisis of mas­culin­ity?

Why so many boxes to fall into?

Young men and women imprint­ing on a car­bon copy.

Lost notes in bottles all giv­ing the same mes­sage.

Social media…the stomp­ing ground for adop­ted per­so­nas.

The face behind the mask is afraid of being socially inferi­or.

Socially awk­ward, socially stun­ted, socially incom­plete, socially replace­able…

Try­ing to find iden­tity, seek­ing indem­nity for emo­tions and energy lost in the costly battle of self dis­cov­ery.

Con­stantly being told…

“You’re so late!”

“That was so last year…”

“I use those shoes to walk my dog!”

Play­ing a game of kiss chase with a foggy ideo­logy.

All run­ning towards the goal. Wear­ing dif­fer­ent col­ours of the same brand.

Are we really all that dif­fer­ent? Are we really that com­plex?

Surely not, with all the pic stitches and “out with my bitches!”

The “With the team” and “I look too clean” head­lines

Subtle cues of pro­gress of a flu­id ideal.

What has been gained? What will have to be lost?

What has been improved? What will have to deteri­or­ate?

You have the latest yes…

But you’re inter­per­son­al skills aren’t the greatest…stress…

We don’t con­nect with each oth­er, because we are too busy being vex with each oth­er.

Jeal­ousy a hid­den melody in our sing-song re-affirm­a­tions of self.

“I’m doing bet­ter than you”

These are com­pet­i­tions with no award.

Are we who we say we are? Maybe we don’t know ourselves at all…the depths more com­plex…

Afraid to engage in deep dig­ging.

So we evade, occupy mind space with magazine cut outs and idle think­ing…

I think it’s safe to say we are a first draft, walk­ing dif­fer­ent paths with sim­il­ar pit stops….

We are yet to sub­mit the final form.

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.


Efé is a Poet/Writer and Spoken Word Artist. Her work is influ­enced by a col­li­sion of her Afric­an ances­try and upbring­ing coupled with her Brit­ish-born life exper­i­ences often told in a humor­ous and relat­able way.

About Efé

Efé is a Poet/Writer and Spoken Word Artist. Her work is influenced by a collision of her African ancestry and upbringing coupled with her British-born life experiences often told in a humorous and relatable way.