Love is in the air (& I'm not just saying that because it was Valentine's Day the other day).
I'm saying this because it's one of the many things that can be resonated with when reading between the lines of Tykara Mobley's work. Once you delve into Tykara's poetry, expect to find themes of love, inspiration or confidence. All of these make her world go around, give her security & even remind others (as well as herself) that the things we go through are what make us human.
Born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey; Tykara has been writing poetry since she was in middle school (but she believes that it could've possibly been earlier.) Dealing with a jumble of emotions or events at a young age, it was always easy for Tykara to tidy things up through a pen & pad. "I remember having a journal & writing. Nothing specific. Sometimes it was very specific details about my day or how I felt." says Tykara "It wasn’t until high school that I started hearing real feedback from every single literature teacher I had. They'd say to me "you have a gift in writing." It's crazy because I remember writing a poem about being more than just a grade because I had did bad on a math test or something like that. Then once I entered junior year a special teacher, Ms. Jessie Brown(who had that name at the time) brought poetry into our curriculum & planned for us to have a poetry slam in class. This, I believe, activated something inside that I was unable to let go of. I realized, after nervously performing in front of my class, that I might’ve actually been kind of good. I was still very nervous and not so confident in my writing at that time. But I knew based off the response that I had to better my craft. The biggest obstacle i had to get over for my writing was seeing who I am for real, not the person i show people or the person I want to be. Once I do that, I tie in the transparency and am able to write something amazing."
Since then, Tykara has released not one but two books — Grey Matter & Grey Matter: An Ode. These two incorporate themes of self discovery, sticky situations & even personal growth (but don't just take my word for it. you have to read it for yourself!). Both books mesh well together not only because of its rawness but also because of its ability to captivate & make you think about what you have put in/out to the world. Have you been your best self? Have you treated others fairly? Do you know your worth? "Grey Matter is a story of discovery." says Tykara about her first book "The poems act as an introductory of who I was in that moment, not only to my readers but to myself as well. In a sense, releasing those poems was, for me, an act of
accepting self wholly; which is where the whole Grey Matter concept came from in the first place." Tykara adds "Grey Matter has a simple meaning to me, one that is written on the back of my first book. Not everything in life is black or white. We have these grey areas of life that we tend to overlook because we don’t want to accept them or we don’t want people to know that piece of our lives, or we’re simply just running from it…but in reality, these areas are very much real. These grey areas are what makes us human." Following is Grey Matter An Ode which is a sequel of Grey Matter. In this book Tykara took the lessons she taught others in the first book (or as she calls it: jounrey) & transforms it into a more intense self discovery, personal growth. "Grey Matter: An Ode is almost a celebration of the process one goes through to truly finding themselves & realizing the power they have to transform themselves into something greater than they already are within a positive light." Tykara says "Releasing this book was definitely a proud moment for me as it sort of proved testament to everything that I wrote about within the book. It was a public demonstration on how one’s ability to grow & transform is fully within their capability."
With the ups & downs she experiences, Tykara finds inspiration in it all. "Life inspires my craft. The more I go through life, the better I want to get
at my craft because I am always thinking of new ways to execute a poem in a
way that grabs attention & keeps that attention." says Tykara "People also give me a lot of inspiration. My poems do tend to be very personal, but it’s when I experience or see something in the world that hits my heart. That's when I feel almost obligated to write about it. Lastly, other poets (on a personal note) I'm always trying to be the best in the room. So that is something that I constantly let push me to another level."
From her work, Tykara hopes that others find hope. She always hopes that people can relate with her words because then we, as humans can push others to grow & change their bad habits. "Self growth &
personal change is a personal responsibility. But if I can have one person look at themselves or their situation & say, “I want better” then I’ll feel like I’ve
accomplished something." she adds.
Although there are many great works from other poets, it lacks a piece of themselves in the words & that is one thing Tykara would like to see more of. "We get so lost in the words, we forget the people that
wrote them." says Tykara "Every time you read a Grey Matter poem, you should feel me in the lines. But that could just be a ME thing. I refuse to be forgotten. I refuse to let a poem get more recognition than the poet (if that makes sense)."
For the upcoming poets Tykara advises them to be secure with theirselves. "Be you unapologetically & watch everything else fall into place." she adds "But also make time for reflection. A person who refuses to grow is
a danger to themselves. You can always reach a new level, you can always
better yourself. Whatever you do, never stop writing (even when it gets hard)."
Yet as the years go by Tykara hopes to make Grey Matter into a paper business. She also plans on taking her Perception Tour to every high school in America & being happy. For now, Tykara is working on a project called Destruction. "I'm slowly working on this because I have certain
expectation for this project that I want to be fulfilled perfectly. Just know it is
coming soon & it’s gonna be awesome."
To conclude, Tykara Mobley is a strong minded woman who is a compassionate & influencial force in a world full of carbon copies. Her words have moved not only others but myself as well. I see nothing but greatness coming her way. She truly is as real as it gets.
By: Natalee Gilbert
One poem she found difficult to write was one for an important event & from Grey Matter: An Ode called Adam & Eve "It was a concept that I ran with in hopes to write something amazing. Writing about something that you’ve never experienced personally takes a lot of observation & relating to others. In a sense, I had to place myself in someone else’s shoes so I can try & think how that person would think. It was a very huge concept to deal with but I loved the outcome. Other than that, I wrote a poem for an event hosted by the National Council of Negro Women which talked on the importance of voting in the state primaries. That was slightly difficult, only because of the research it took to make the poem but it was interesting enough to grab the attention of that crowd.If she could give her younger self advice, it would be:
Babygirl, stop worrying. Stop living for others. Stop being afraid of what
could happen and just JUMP! Everything eventually works out & you are so
much more secure than you feel right now. Just know God got you! So you’re
forever gonna be okay.