NaPoMo Day 8: Kinda Type of Love by Shanelle Gabriel

This ain't your light kinda love
Your "like" kinda love
Or "I'm not sure" kinda love
This ain't your past midnight kinda love
Hold me tight only when we're outta sight kinda love
Ain't treating me right kinda love
This ain't your just want to hit kinda love
Only intimate when we're intimate kinda love
Don't want a relationship kinda love
Until you meet the next chick kinda love
You can miss me with the bullshit
Cause this ain't an a billion excuses kinda love
This ain't that useless kinda love
"If you love me then do this to prove it" kinda love
This ain't no I don't want complain kinda love
"We're taking it slow" game kinda love
8 months and none of his boys know your name kinda love
This ain't no loneliness prevention kinda love
Getting hit up by the baby mama you forgot to mention kinda love
This ain't no just do it kinda love
Don't confuse repeat visits with commitment like its love
Don't confuse repeat visits with commitment like its love
Don't confuse repeat visits with commitment like its love
This ain't no misleading kinda love
You only call when it's cuffing season kinda love
Text me when my new pic on Instagram gives you a reason kinda love
This ain't no can't talk to you when I'm sober kinda love
Hit me when your period is over kinda love
You still looking for the one and I'm her placeholder kinda love
This ain't no "I'm not in love with you, I just got love for you" kinda love
Too scared of the past to be present for you kinda love
Dealing with Momma and daddies issues kinda love
Do I stay do I go can't choose kinda love
Too many people walking around confused about love

This love is that real
That real deal kinda love
Whoever's home first cooks the meal kinda love
And clean my plate even though your chicken is hard like steel kinda love
This is that granny panty kinda love
You like me even when you can't stand me kinda love
Got inside jokes with members of your family type love
I'm family type love
Anniversaries we sometimes forget type love
But can't remember life before we met type love
Building empires together so we both could be set type love
Power couple Bey and Jay, Michelle and Barack type love
Sharing hate for Sallie Mae dealing with that Student loan debt type love
This that text me when you get home type love
Giggling like teenagers like I'm not grown type love
Might get pissed but you know to check your tone type love
No comparisons, my mistakes are my own type love
Been two years and in each other's eyes we still stare type love
I get the tweezers, pluck your ingrown hairs type love
This that rub my back even though you're half asleep type love
Not afraid to take the next leap type love
Put a ring on it to make the commitment complete type love
This that rock type love
That smooth pebble type love
We skip together over rough seas never settle for less than love type love
This ain't kinda love
This is that love
This is the only type of love

NaPoMo Day 7: For NS by Shanelle Gabriel

I shone today
A broken blue bottle
Turned into a stained
Glass window
People walked around me as I sparkled
Worked so hard
That sweat glistened off my sweat
And they all noticed
Bore witness to my shimmer shine
The same folk told me my personality
Was too big
That my problem is
I don't sit and smile nice
That my problem is
They're the only ones who can say
What a bright child looks like
I don't know how to dull myself
Never realizing
It takes smarts to be a smart ass
Intelligence to always have a comeback
And I laugh
Cause too many did so at my dreams
So I beat them to the punch
But tonight
I let them know what's up
I shone today
You shoulda seen jaws hit concrete
The shocked look on each face
Like they never knew
My tongue could make a prism
My arms could break sunshine
My smile could bend light
These shards of me
Could be more than shattered trash
I'm not a mirror
Or a window
But they're still purpose
For this broken blue glass

NaPoMo Day 6: Lupus by Shanelle Gabriel

You think you own me/ squeezed my life in your palms/ taken over my body/ you think you are me/ Lupus/ you think because you've hijacked this vessel that you're captain/ you think you can get away with mutiny/ but see/ I'm still the same me/ the same beautiful butterfly floating on the breeze/ I ain't scared to wrestle the wind/ to battle raynauds thorns/ not afraid to diss this disease/ to find peace/ be at ease with this disease/ I miss my old life but I'm fashioning a new one with this disease/ in no way am I saying this is eas/y/
The way my cells fight themselves/ that my chest being in a cage of pleurisy/ that my scalp crying strands of my hair/ that the pain in my knees which interfere with my prayers/ makes it hard to sometimes find the joy in life/ makes the sun less bright/ but I know no matter what there's nothing that'll take away my fight/ When it seems to make my day feel like night/ I'll still reach for a star / when it seems my world spins left/ I've resolved to force it to revolve right/ and even if my limbs refuse to move/ my spirit will still dance/ Every day I'm going to choose to enhance this universe with my presence in any way I can/ Lupus is not me/ but it's the spark that created a flame/ my disease is not me/ but it's the source of my vanity/ lupus you can't damage me/ cause my body isn't all I possess/ I still have a purpose/ a reason to smile/ I'm still living my life with no regrets.

NaPoMo Day 5: Chasing Perfection by Shanelle Gabriel

I miss the days
When I didn't have to be
Smothered in stage make-up
Or rock blue-contacts
To be considered a
Beautiful Woman.
This generation
Will never say
"I see me on TV"
Never be
Told how much they're worth
Without being told
How much of themselves
Needs to be fixed first
Pre-teens who won't go outside without a full face of paint
And two rakes called lashes
Over their eyes
It's an attack on self-esteem
When we're told we have to
Break nasal cavities
Inject substances that don't exist
Before before we
Justify self-adoration
Chasing perfection
While surgeons
Beauty creams
Tips and tricks
Make us minxes chasing a tail
We weren't genetically meant to have
You didn't "get it from ya mama"
You no longer look like your dad
I miss the days
Where if you didn't like your butt
It was ok
Cause you learned to love the legs
God gave
And you rocked
Mini skirts and short-shorts alllll day
Or if you didn't like your boobs
But you had theeeeee smooothest
You coulda owned stock
In crop and tube tops
I know you think I forgot
The new natural hair trend
"Oh Shanelle didn't you see,
All the Afros in Beyonce's shows
And Shea moisture products'
To that I laugh
And say "Yea I'd say sure
Except recently
I saw women trade their yaki
For a kinky weave
Cause their black hair ain't bla-asian enough
Their own kinks ain't full enough
Cause your Black
Ain't really good Black
Unless you look like a mixed child
In an ad by Old Navy or GAP
I just wish we could be
Open arms
Our own skin
Rooted hair
But to get a job
Not be a threat
Be valued
We have to chase a perfection
That isn't really even there

NaPoMo Day 4: Gentrification by Shanelle Gabriel

I must be / losttttt/ no no no its gentrified

I don't know where I am/ walking round like damn/ this ain't my hood/ I grew up in Flatbush/ eating beef patties and cherry klans/ but Now they call it ocean hill/ was a place folk in red got killed/ now it's a place a Sista can't afford to live/ unless she stacking bills/ and got a lil paper/ affordable housing can't do me no favors/ cause you gotta make a penny to pay rent for a G/ spread love it's the Brooklyn Way but not to me/ White folk starting to get off at later stops on the 3/ and I can't knock them for trying to live comfortably/ but the more landlords rent to Jim and Susie/ the less likely they'll sign a lease for me and Tariq/ putting Whole Foods every where now like back then no one needed to eat healthy/ nice things ain't in the hood unless the hood is conquered by the wealthy/ feeling like my home has been stolen from me/ they turning crack houses to condos/ triple the apartment fees/ foreign folk don't know they living in the graves of dope fiends and broken dreams/ interior designers/ must've had a tough job erasing poverty with paint primer/ they had to call ghostbusters because of money green like slimer/ the spirits of those lost in the hood/ should haunt you and your loan cosigner/ Developers said 5 Pointz was an eyesore/ South Paw made too much noise/ so now one is an empty lot/ the other holds play dates and kids toys/ downtown BK ain't the same/ new high rises every day/ who in the got damn world can afford to live there anyway?/ but they try to say we're to blame/ for giving away our property/ to the Jew man a knocking giving millions in cash for deeds/ meanwhile a bank won't refinance/ and you're behind on your payment/ roofs got a leak/ squatters rights have cats not paying rent/ seems like this guy is heaven sent/ 1.5 million in your pocket/ and your problems will end/ hard to break the system of gentrification when it won't even bend/ white dollars mean more than brown ones/ what message does it send?

NPoM (Day 2) by Shanelle Gabriel

I shake my locs
Along with any thought
Of the weight of these beings
In my care
I don't care
Where true justice is
Just that I am judge
I don't destroy lives
And dreams
Because I am principal.
I do it
For mere principle
No mistakes under my watch
No humanity is to be found
Only robots
Parents who never show
Still have remote control
Over the fate
of those beneath me
I wield the sword that can destroy
Careers and hope for all children
Eliminate the essence of educators
With pure hearts and intentions
In their wake
Be fine with desolate hallways
abandoned families
Ignore the desires of many
For the loud suggestions of a few
Cause to me
true leaders pull threads
without considering
The fabric they undo
I have something to prove
I make the hard decisions
My arms strong from throwing rocks
At colleagues
Then hide in my glass house
Jagged jaw
Tongue sharp
When I know I can
draw blood from the weak
Dull when real wars
need to be fought
I pick my battles based on ease
Not need
Short term squinting
Refuse to see how easily
I can break an already broken thing
Into unrecognizable
An absurd clutter of stockpiled
Shards of potential
I am fine destroying the body
As long as
I am the head

National Poetry Month - Day 1 by Shanelle Gabriel


It's National Poetry Month. Gonna try the 30 for 30 challenge to write a poem every day for the month. Here's the first one!


The strawberry swirl
Of her hair
Her vanilla skin
Makes her warmth
The ripple of her voice
Speaks with
Heavy is the crown
That people
Refuse to see
And she wears her kingdom
On her sleeve
Offers it to everyone
With a weak pulse
Or an attraction to sunshine
Or an affinity for broken places
She loves peaks
Loves valleys
Grows roses in deserts
Adds lightning to storms
Soothes fears amidst thunder
She is
Worthy of petals
And soil beneath her feet

"Perfection" A Poem by Shanelle Gabriel

This world isn't perfect.
And neither are you.
Yet, I feel
My life's quest was to find you
My life's purpose can be found in you
My life has more meaning with you.
You're a part of the Legend of me,
The part that's always beautiful.
You are affection
That the wind can carry.
A temple
Where I find sanctuary,
A warm summer day
Amidst the chill of February.
A missionary to my lost soul
Your wisdom I try to hold
While all others to cling to brass
I can recognize pure gold.
So I come before you boldly,
The way God told me to always be
And I offer you,
Unscathed by the previous prejudices
Prevalent in my past.
I'm past all of that
Cause you found a way to my heart Without the use of a map.
Calculated my thoughts
Read the signs of past scribes
Following the stars in my eyes,
Using my smile as your guide.
And during your journey
There were so many nights I cried
Yet now I realize
My wet tears watered the lips
That would one day
Hydrate your thirsty spirit
With each kiss of mine.
I missed you before we'd even met.
You are simply divine
Your name sounds love,
Your name tastes like joy
Your name resounds like praise.
Your name got me saved.
By beholding you, I truly see
That God's spirit dwells with man.
And even though you really don't
How 5 minutes in your presence
Can last a lifetime,
Where the meeting ground
For two like-minded spirits could be found,
Or why it's taking so long for me to say this,
But know that if this world were perfect
We'd fit together
Lock and key,
Rainbow and sky,
Seashell and sea,
I'd be a complement your strength
Like a pearl in your core,
Surrender myself and so much more.
So with hands clasped and eyes closed,
Only the Lord knows
What the future has in store,
While this world searches for perfection,
I see His perfection reflected in you.
And honestly,
That's perfect enough for me

Upcoming Show: THE SOUNDS OF PASSION (Roanoke, VA) 7/25 @ 7pm by Shanelle Gabriel

Next event: THE SOUNDS OF PASSION (one night, 3 part event)
July 25th from 7pm - 12am
Downtown Roanoke, VA
Patrick Henry Hotel Ballroom

Part l
The Laugh At Lupus Comedy Show

Part ll 
The Sounds Of Passion 
(With a performance by ME and Sunshine Anderson)

Part lll
Light Up The Night ( finish the fight)
An evening event with a DJ, spinning the best tunes to get you moving

Tickets are only 40.00! 
Email makinglupuslookgood@gmail.com for tickets

New Video: "MORE THAN ONE OF A KIND" by Shanelle Gabriel

Hello all!

Check out my new video for my song "More Than One of a Kind." It was directed by Jason Sirotin and Produced by ECG Productions. It features clips from my mini-documentary on Living with Lupus for the Simple Tasks Campaign of the American College of Rheumatology. Share! :)

Recap: 3/22 Show at The Cutting Room NYC by Shanelle Gabriel


It was a great time this past weekend at The Cutting Room NYC! I had such a blast performing with such an amazing band: Shoutout to Nate Jones on bass, Walt on guitar, Divine on Keys, Kamaala for always being the dopest background singer a gal could ask for.

While I did mostly songs and poems from my album, AIM HIGH, the biggest treat in my opinion was closing the show with Pharrell's "Happy." People were on their feet jamming and clapping and singing along. It was simply great having so many people there showing love!

Here are some pictures:


Markita & Giselle- my support sisters since Utica College days

My crew that I grew up with at Lighthouse SDA Church

New Poem: "My Love Feeds on Your Love" by Shanelle Gabriel

A poem from my show "Slam 103: Historical Remix" for the Lincoln Center Meet the Artist Series

Inspired by Pablo Neruda's "If You Forget Me"

"My love feeds on your love, beloved,

and as long as you live

it will be in your arms

without leaving mine. "



I can't lie...

It's true...

I've got a BIG appetite

I crave random things all the time

On any given night peanut butter and jelly is what I crave

These days guacamole is all the rage

I’m always hungry

My belly a bottomless pit

My mom swore I had a tapeworm

I tried to explain it

Was just something I was born with

I'm always hungry


For love and attention

Thirsty for true affection

From loved ones and strangers

My love feeds on your love

Wishing I didn't have this constant

Gnawing at my being

Wishing I could be one of those people

Who don't need people

Seem to be so full of themselves that they're always full with themselves

No room for anyone else

But I know the truth

No matter how hard they try to deny,

The craving strikes

See we were created to love

To love love

Not to live on bread and water alone

But on living connection

We need friendship like oxygen

In a world where to feed on

The need for engagement with humanity is called weak

A world where to expect people to fuel your life with love

is considered vanity

To admit you just want to be wrapped in someone's arms

held tight and told everything will be alright

Is not low self-esteem

It's a part of our being

My love feeds on your love

And your love on mine

Our happiness hangs on how much good we can give to others

How many prayers we can answer for the Divine

My love feeds on your love

So learn to savor the way kind words

Tastes on your lips

As long as you live

Let morsels of hate roll off your plate

Don't be afraid to open your table

To put your heart in someone's arms

Cause no matter how hungry you might be

Someone else out there is starved

We all feel awkward

Get lonely

Think no one understands

The pain we feel

Hurt people tend to hurt people

But through healing others

Our own hearts can heal

And the world may run out of guacamole

Peanut butter and jelly

But I can say with certainty

The passion in your pot

Will never run empty

May the spoon of your tongue

Always ready to serve words

To be heard by someone

Who needs a lil somethin somethin

To get them through

A bad day and a tough time

Tell them

My heart, my soul, my love

It will be yours, in your arms

without ever leaving mine.

The Official Video for "Damn Near" by Shanelle Gabriel

Here it is! The official music video for "Damn Near" from my album AIM HIGH. Directed by Gartharie D Broadie of Wasting Imagination Films. Styled by Quanasia of Madame's Mirror. Shoutout to Olu Sonubi and Krystal Garner for being in the video, as well as to the great people at Therapy Wine Bar in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn for being such an awesome location to shoot at. :)

Upcoming show: Aloft Brooklyn - August 15th @ 7pm by Shanelle Gabriel


Come see Shanelle Gabriel (Singer/ HBO Def Poet/ Lyricist) rock the Aloft Hotel Concert Series!

(Directed by Gartharie D Broadie)

Be there as she performs songs from her new album, AIM HIGH, with a live band at this luxury location & awesome series in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, minutes away from the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges. Shanelle will have copies of her albums available for purchase and signing. 

Date: August 15th, 2013

Time: 7pm SHARP

Place: Aloft Hotel (228 Duffield Street bet. Fulton & Willoughby, Brooklyn NY 11201)



Public Transportation: All major subway lines. 2, 3, 4, or 5  train to Nevins Street Station. B, Q, or R train to DeKalb Avenue Station.  A, C, or G train to Hoyt Schermerhorn Street Station. LIRR to Flatbush Avenue (a bit further down). 

Driving: From the Manhattan Bridge, continue on Flatbush Extension for about two blocks. Make a right on Willoughby, then a left on Duffield. It will be on your right.


Damn Near... The Lyrics by Shanelle Gabriel

As we prepare for the release of the AMAZING video for "DAMN NEAR" (to be premiered on August 15th, the same day as my HUGE show at Aloft Brooklyn), here are the final lyrics to it.

This is definitely one of my favorite songs on my album AIM HIGH.



You've been the spring in my step

7 months of intimate breaths

You said I'm the one but not yet

(You might be my next regret)


Priority to me

Yet you can't say the same for me

Sayin what will be will be

(Like we don't shape our own destinies)


Baby, you said I'm damn near your everything

As if damn near is comforting

Got my heart on string

On your words dangling


Given you the world

I don't understand

Why I'm not your girl

And you're not my man

But I'm damn near it

Ain't that some...



Damn near (4x)

Ain't enough

"Tired of orbiting around your love but never landing/ Made you my galaxy/ Thought our stars would come crashing together but/ you got me drifting./ You know what..." 

My patience is running thin

You say wait but I don't think I can

Asking me to give you all of me

(Like getting half of you should make me happy)


You say what did I expect

Well we didn't DAMN NEAR have sex

My heart you didn't damn near protect

You're just another regret


And I'm supposed to act like it's all fine

When damn near's just a freaking waste of my time

Damn near doesn't even make you mine

This is it, it's the last time I settle for…




Ooh, I want it all baby (repeat 8x)


Collecting broken women to make yourself whole

This type of game I pray gets old

This kinda love, you can't afford

It's high risk but high reward


Atlanta! Come to my album release concert TOMORROW, Thurs 5/23 @ 8:30pm by Shanelle Gabriel


ATLANTA! This Thursday It's Your Turn to Experience AIM HIGH live!
ATL's AIM HIGH Album Release Concert
Tomorrow, Thursday, May 23rd @ 8:30pm
Acoustix Bar & Lounge
(840 Marrietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318)
Copies of the album will be available for purchase and signing!
Also featuring the awesome Grammy-Award winning vocalist, ESHE from Arrested Development