Andino Styles

Artist and Writer

Writing Artist- Nia Andino

Coco Brothas by Nia Andino

As I continue to share my pick of writing artists this month, I will also share some of my own visual art and writing as a contribution to National Poetry Writing Month. My painting above is a work in progress titled Coco Brothas. I am pairing it with my poem I Haven’t Kept Long Hours In My Blood which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.


I Haven’t Kept Long Hours In My Blood


Have you seen the bodies?

There are bloated effigies swaying above my tongue


Is there even a remedy?


While I burn with citrus

and grieve for coffee


My mother continues to crush garlic with honey for offerings

Places them like wreaths strung upon my adam’s apple

Gives a splash of rum

To charm all that I speak to with potency


It hurts to swallow

My throat, a cliff of dying dreams


While this eddy in my mouth

holds the palace to which my words are dragged

and drowned


Bitterness has a glittering harbour

When the merchants of language fail to bargain

For softly

For gently

For my waking


Up close

I learn the flickering lights are the constant dimming of eyes

And I recall my ancestors saying we must perfume our shadows so the living will remember us well

Since this shade of onyx is never left untarnished on the pavement


Now the city wipes its feet on oboe reeds and bagpipes

My people carry native chants for my edgeless breath


And in whispers


Over white sheets


Father tells me I was birthed with a spot pre-fitted for obols

And that I haven’t kept long hours in my blood

Because they always painted my sighting too dangerous for it

~ Nia Andino


Andino Styles © 2016