Nina Simone tribute, ‘Skin’ by Sabyne Pierre

What am I
Am I 
if I am not a Black woman? 
if not woman?
not woman
What left?
Imprints scar my flesh as parts of me slip away
I am molding oh
I am fighting and I am molding oh
keeping these parts close to my chest
nail beds.
out take all the blood, too oh 
Please, my
Please leave me my skin.
It is the only part of me I 
know how to love.
Poet Sabyne Pierre is a writer, educator and activist based in Pittsburgh who previously wrote and performed poetry in New Hampshire and New Jersey. She sometimes signs her work Free, The Poet. 

  • Ledisi included several Nina Simone songs in her set at Stern Grove. I noticed that many people mouthed the words to her originals. This is not about me, but I do wish to add that I met Billy Taylor, Dr. Billy Taylor, who was the author of the Nina song; my then-client Henry Butler was part of his Christmas show and radio special at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 2002. When I ran for City Council especially at a particular panel discussion among candidates I introduced myself with this statement: “I wish I knew how it would feel to be free”. 

  • I do not apologize for the crowd noise including my own voice and those of my guests; I would just say that the music is out there if you are listening. And thank you Sabyne and Ledisi for all you do, all you don’t do, and for the wisdom to “no” the difference. Anibade, people.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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