misc.

A mish-mash of things.



Someone posted up on Facebook that once you’ve lived somewhere else, a part of you will be left behind there.  The root breaks off a piece when it’s uprooted.  The changes here are unmistakeable; our Independence celebrations consist of a shabby parade and sad dingy pennants hanging from a few government buildings.  But I don’t mourn the way we have advanced tchnologically.  But it as if we have lost the tree and root of us.  Our green spaces littered with plastic bottles and frantic noisy cars.  We live on a tiny island; where are you trying to go?  Someone rams their black sports car drunkenly into a fire hydrant.  Mindlessness.

I see a picture of my former English Lit. professor, now a member of the government advisor commitee for policy and constitutional change.  She is sitting in a metal foldout chair.  Her dreadlocks are now greying, she is as thin as ever.  Looming above her are a rows of policemen in navy, with riot shields and batons.  They speak down to her; this woman who has written books that cement our literary history, this woman who has helped to create a Caribbean literary canon.  She sits quietly, calmly.  The movement of brute force upon our history.  I don’t even know what I am writing now, I just remember sitting in her classes, quietly receiving her light. 

Years from now we will stop and ask each other, “Where were you when it happened?  When we lost control?  When villains found out that the way to subdue us was not through brute force but with stealth, education, playing games with our laws, they have won before we even knew what we were fighting for.  Right now the Senate will pass a bill that makes it virtually impossible for us to escape the bipartisan curse of our nation?  We will be divided into races, we will see groups hate each other without knowing exactly why they hate each other.  Or maybe we see past it.  We cannot be so stupid?  Can we?

I want to create an ending to this but I consider the way we create our existence day by day.  We have no long history.  Our nation is 52 years old.  We have oil, and we have natural gas. We are fortunate.  Now we are beset by people smarter than us.  Our people are helpless, like the Amerindians when the Spanish first set upon them, giving and open, believing them genuine while they hold the weapons behind their backs.

And the parties continue, mad, insane revels, drunken mindless baths.  They crash on the way home, they murder each other.  My God. Was it always this way? I’m exhausted now.  The thing that screams to me the most is the silence, our communal, anguished silence.

“The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.”

– Rebecca Solnit

“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”

– Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We Cannot See”

Poem of the Day: The Love Cook

Let me cook you some dinner.   
Sit down and take off your shoes   
and socks and in fact the rest   
of your clothes, have a daquiri,   
turn on some music and dance   
around the house, inside and out,   
it’s night and the neighbors   
are sleeping, those dolts, and   
the stars are shining bright,   
and I’ve got the burners lit   
for you, you hungry thing.

GOODBYE (AFTER LORCA)

caribbeanwriters:

If I die
Leave the shutters open

The stumbling child reaches out startling
doves
Through open shutters I’ve seen him

The striding farmer presses plough to earth
Through open shutters I’ve seen him

If I die
Leave the shutters open

- John  Figueroa



"Round Here"


Step out the front door like a ghost
into the fog where no one notices
the contrast of white on white.
And in between the moon and you
the angels get a better view
of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.
I walk in the air between the rain
through myself and back again
Where? I don’t know
Maria says she’s dying
through the door I hear her crying
Why? I don’t know

[Chorus:]
Round here we always stand up straight
Round here something radiates

Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand
she said she’d like to meet a boy who looks like Elvis
she walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land
just like she’s walking on a wire in the circus
she parks her car outside of my house
takes her clothes off
says she’s close to understanding Jesus
she knows she’s just a little misunderstood
she has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous

[Chorus:] 
Round here we’re carving out our names
Round here we all look the same
Round here we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs
Round here she’s slipping through my hands

Sleeping children better run like the wind
out of the lightning dream
Mama’s little baby better get herself in
out of the lightning

She says It’s only in my head
She says Shhh I know it’s only in my head
But the girl in car in the parking lot
says “Man you should try to take a shot
can’t you see my walls are crumbling?”
Then she looks up at the building
and says she’s thinking of jumping
She says she’s tired of life
she must be tired of something

[Chorus:] 
Round here she’s always on my mind
Round here hey man got lots of time
Round here we’re never sent to bed early
And nobody makes us wait
Round here we stay up very, very, very, very late

I can’t see nothin’, nothin’, round here. 
No, you catch me when I’m fallin’. 
You catch me if I’m fallin’. 
You catch me if I’m falling down on you. 
Oh man I said ” I’m under the gun…” 
Round here. 
Oh man I said “I’m under the gun…” 
Round here. 
And I can’t see nothin’, nothin’. 
Round here.