Who I am

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Brooklyn, New York, United States
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I am a spoken word performer who strongly believes in the importance of deriving meaning from experience, knowledge of self, and understanding of others beliefs and cultures. My poetry is an honest pathway into my mind. I am always seeking to learn something new from someone, from somewhere and have an extremely open mind. So teach me something, perhaps I’ll write about.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ms. Sick Prose -Origins- - Warning Deep Content-

So, I know alot of people think my name is a tad bit conceited. After all, adding the adjective (sick) that according to the Urban Dictionary is "a secondary word for awesome", before "prose" is not exactly a humbling stage name. However, I beg of you to stay with me on this one, believe it or not there is indeed a deeper meaning.

I don't know how people truly do feel about my name, I've heard it all.
"Who are you to say your prose is "sick", that is a matter of opinion."
Then there is the "You live up to your name, your words truly are sick."

I have never really said anything to anyone really on how I came upon naming myself this for stage. I am truly a believer of leaving things to opinion and interpretation.

But, since I am on my whole, "blogging honestly" vibe. I will give you the name's origins.

I understand and am fully aware that some of the things that I will post on these blogs, will be raw information, unedited and open to whoever reads it to scrutinize, judge, and deem this information however they may see fit. I have always found it nessesary to hide where I have come from, because of how people will percieve me to be, simply because of my background. I am realizing day by day, that I need to embrace this. It is not an easy task. I have just recently begun to scribe deep & personal pieces about my OWN background as you will read @ the end of this blog. Writing has always been an easier way of expressing myself mainly because I am an extremely observant person, and writing provides me the same outlet of giving you need to know information without having to study your face for your reaction as I give it to you. But I digress, On to the name.

I come from a single parent home. Raised with my mother. Met my father a few times in my childhood life. Tried to bond as an adult. Never really happened. I have 6 siblings. 4 of them of the same father as I.

4 of my siblings are also mentally ill.

My oldest brother is 38 years old. He was born mentally retarded and has the mental capabilities of a 6 year old. He resides in a group home in Brooklyn, and since he was removed from the home way before I was born, I never got a chance to know him, and he does not know who I am when I visit.

My Older sister is 29 and was diagnosed with Depression @ 14, which turned into Manic Depressive Disorder, which turned into Schizophrenia. She currently lives in and out of mental wards. I witnessed her mental Deterioration before my eyes. The poem @ the end of this blog is for her.

I have a younger sister who is 20, she is developmentally delayed, and a younger brother 19 who is diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, this is a form of Autism, which impairs him from being able to socially interact correctly with peers of his own age group. He says he will be president one day. I believe him.

Recently I have found out, that my mother too suffers from mental illness although her diagnosis is unknown to me @ this time, she has struggled with this since I was a child, which explains alot of the dysfunctionality we experienced as children.

So, all of that being said. The household I grew up in was insane. (No pun intended)

My sister was a creative soul, and she would often write in her diary about her depressive episodes. She would read them to me aloud and I used to think that her way of expressing herself was so beautiful, the way she wrote about her pain so vivdly, her hatred of boys, and rules, and the popular girls in school.

I too wanted to write about all the things that bothered me , so I started writing, and writing, and writing.
I wrote about, the attention my other siblings got because of their diagnosis', I wrote about the pain that I felt because I couldnt have normal conversations in school about my family.

I mean I wrote about everything.

Being, mentally ill in my household became such a staple for me, I sometimes wondered why God didnt give me a defect, I would take anything, a crooked finger, a cockeyed, a speech impediment. I wanted to fit in with my family so bad, and at the same time I wanted to fit in with my friends families, even badder. (LOl @ Badder)

I had a teacher, I will never forget her, she explained to us that writing is a form of escape, I took this and ran with it. I never really wanted to accept that fact that my family was not "normal", so I wrote myself into a normal family.
Wrote myself hugs, wrote myself food in the fridge, wrote myself that new columbia jacket everyone had in school. I wrote everything I knew I could never have.
I grew up watching everyone around me get "sick'', taking pills was as regular as drinking coffee in the morning. I began writing angry poetry. Dark things, that I thought were beautiful.
I still keep these notebooks. Here is an example :

-Behind the Mask- 19 years old. 2003

Tears that fall like Streams & Rivers
Down a face that once was dry
one that once was filled with laughter
finally breaks down & cries
at the harsh reality
life's not what it seems to be
take off the mask and let me see
what you've been hiding from me
behind the smile here comes the pain
like after the sun
there comes the rain.

So when I started performing a few years back, I wanted to think of a name that would best decribe what I did, who I was. "Sick" was the best way I could describe where I came from.

And if you have gotten this far. Kudos to you for not falling asleep, and now you know. LOL

Again, I know people will judge, and critisize me.
Some will say, why are you putting your business out there, some would feel this information is on a need to know basis.

I say, God gives people stories for a reason. This story does not make me, it defines me. I am who I am today BECAUSE of this.
What makes me is what I choose to do with my story, with my life. I choose if I want to tell it. I choose if I want to write about it. Today I chose to share it.

By the way if you were counting the amount of insane siblings and only came up with 4, with myself being the 5th and are wondering where is the 6th??

I have an older brother, 32 years old and "normal", or not diagnosed with any mental illness, who was born after the eldest. He left the house when he was 17, joined the marines to escape the madness. Again, I was extremely young when he left, so I dont remember him much as kids. Now he lives in California and, its always a beautiful thing to call him and talk about our "crazy" family and how lucky we are to have escaped the madness. Him through, military training, and me through poetry.

Questions I would ask my sister if she were "Normal" - A poem for Marilyn.

Growing up,Everyone always told us,
beautyWas skin deep
Your razorblades?
Did they ever find out how deep your beauty ran?
Was it deeper than the red pools my feet stepped over, when I ran to get you tissues ?
How sad was your blood that it cried from your skin, Dripped
Lonely in a corner Until you were convinced That you felt better ?
What ugly was hidden underneath your pores
That you insisted on carving yourself pretty?
How does your soul feel on Ambilify & Zyprexa?
If your eyes are the window to your soul
I imagine your soul a Piano
Being lowered through Your eyelids on a string, that
is yet to be broken
There is still music in your keys
Still miracle notes on your fingertips
Touch your ivory skin and know
You are not falling
You are waiting in mid air
For someone to notice how beautifully scratched you are
I heard cages and birds make the most beautiful songs
Sing it to me
I’m curious to know what sounds come from a broken beak
How do clipped wings sound when they flap?
If I snap my fingers like hypnotists Will you come back to me?
Come back to me like you were before your eyes swirled emotionless?
Before you learned how to spell your name damaged
Ropes still remind me of your neck
I bet you never knew That whenever you fought with me,
Like sisters do
I never tried to hurt you
Just scratch you normal
I still check underneath my fingernails
For traces of your blood, RED
These broken crayons memories haunt me colorful
Bleeding BleedingBleeding
Until u made red my favorite color
Soaking white towels in alcohol
So that I could heal your pain, Blue
Blue means that your bruising
Purple means that it hurts
Yellow means that your healing
We never saw daisy’s blooming on your skin
Only dying roses, Red
Orange was the fire you never saw in his eyes
I wish you saw the green in mine
I envyd your creativity
And maybe if I told you
That the way you wrote poems until your fingers calloused
Is what made me start writing in the first place
That I never understood
why after you would read me your beautiful pieces
Your pen would go back and revise
Like the blade revised your skin
Crossed out your words
Like you crossed out your pain
Maybe if I told you that you were Prose
You wouldn’t be sick today
Maybe you would be sitting here with me
Watching me perform Instead me in the psyche ward watching them perform
Miracles with their needles
Watching them sedate you
They diagnose what they don’t understand
These doctors say you are schizophrenic
I refuse to call you another synonym for crazy
You are wonderfully different
And if the razorblades never told you,
You are beautiful.


  1. I have no words. You took them all and fed my heart. My tears flow, overwhelmed. People say that we are iceburgs. That there is so much more beneath the surface. Or, that we are onions, peeled back layers reveal the heart... There is a certain degree of confidence that arrives with maturity, a point in our lives where we finally begin to realiaze and accept who we truly are... I see that YOU have arrived! Welcome. Knowing you has already changed my life.

  2. Sick, Leesah, this is really amazing. I feel like we are meeting for the first time....again. These are great, and if they don't make a movie about your life, someone needs to be shot!!!! I want to say thanks for writing, sharing, and having confidence and love for SICK PROSE!!!

    P.S. Thanks for reading Beanpie!!!

  3. Shay ... I LOVE this......( People say that we are iceburgs. That there is so much more beneath the surface.) 7 You are so right when you said ,,,There is a certain degree of confidence that arrives with maturity, a point in our lives where we finally begin to realiaze and accept who we truly are... I see that YOU have arrived!.... I'm still arriving ...everyday. Thank you so much for reading. Thank you and your husband for being supportive. You guys ae beautiful.


  4. JENNIFER LOPEZ/MYSPACEMay 31, 2009 at 11:37 AM