Isaiah Hull is a poet from Old Trafford, who started creating poetry with Manchester’s spoken word collective, Young Identity. Isaiah’s poem was inspired by Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which codifies the rights to marriage and family. Isaiah said: “Marriage and family are changing ideals in my life and I felt it important to explore for myself.”
Rights to Marriage and Family
Are we marriage If when I look at you I see progeny? Future afro-pickney Songs: I couldn’t sleep so Nana used to sing me Knowing she was marriage more than once but felt so multiplied in distances. Not something I whispered with was matrimone-arithmetic. I am not someone with accessories, but at 18: me, Jason and Japhet became seasonal mallrats. Inside myself something became bare skinned at once, hands. We hunted for rings, Eye hungry for gold band, no carat value, a strong wipe of Au across maroon bridge. I married myself divorce-proof. Like stone for its calcium, batwing for its alchemy, ginger for its healing properties. Are we marriage If when you wake me awake You are all-dream and no flesh? All I know is that: A handshake is A car crash is a marriage A divorce is A cinema ticket is a marriage A bully is An earring is a marriage An agreement made over the telephone in haste is A time and date is A curtain draped over chest plate is An unmasked face is A keyhole A window is A recorded message is A cave is a marriage A memoir removal is A baby tooth is A pillow is A thief is a marriage A pig is 999 is in the middle of the night is someone coming to help is the thinning of ice is debt is A graveyard is Fossil fuel is A petrol station is white people is a marriage nimbus is castrata is alto sax on spinning wax is A bomb scare is a marriage A water fountain is A fire alarm is a marriage A spiralling pilot is A parachute is A missing person is a marriage A reversal of good fortune is A circle on your awful is A burden on all authored is a marriage W.O.L.F is a marriage Internet is winter is viral is a marriage North is North North is Pineal is Light-headed is Hair bounced floor is Upside down is a marriage Red light is a marriage Diet is a marriage Laughter is a marriage Smoking is a marriage Quitting is a marriage Hiding is a marriage Naked is a marriage Porn is a marriage Crip is a marriage Family is a marriage Mother is a marriage Your eyes on this is and isn’t is a marriage Are we or are we not a marriage? Love
Is a noir maker from Old Trafford.
His early years of poetry are founded in Young Identity, a pivotal combined-arts charity, which he joined in 2010.
His career has taken him across the UK, performing alongside Kae Tempest, Saul Williams, opening ahead of Skepta as well as working internationally with Shirley May.
As of recent years Isaiah was featured in i-D ‘Class of 2018’, published his debut poetry collection Nosebleeds (2018) as part of BBC’s Contains Strong Language, co-written and performed in MIF’s theatre production Alphabus (2019), which joined New York dance with poetry.
As well as readings at Afro Punk, Tate Lates & Poets and Players, his work explores and challenges the extremities of self with image, word and soul whether on the page or stage.
First published in A Poetic Declaration, September 2021
On Human Rights Day, 1O December, a Poetic Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created by school children from Greater Manchester, to view it – click here
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Featured image: Tate