Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

This poem speaks to and responds to historical, psychological, cultural and social forces that shape the identity and culture of the people of African descent. It pays homage to the black Jazz music legends, who during the back-to-Africa movement and the Harlem Renaissance period fostered a body of music through an identification with Africa, albeit through a construct of Africa and an imagination which fell short and resorted to mimicry of their white counterparts. More often than not, the African identity is objectified to a form of concept that expressed more of African primitiveness. Similarly, this identity tension, at times, echoing some of the body of music that emerged out of that time, plays out in everyday relationships between the black diaspora and Africans – a body of soundless and sound-full subjectivities.

But if only we would deconstruct this discourse through the music of poetry. This piece sings to that deconstruction.

Found, again after five

hundred many years of


of ancestry


found, again after many


let us unveil to

as if the eternal moment


pieces and links

of stitched fabric notes

on top of the hours

shaded memories

of hundred pharaohs,

let us long to rise

and in our place abide,

void of

black and blue

of being theirs,

obeying thoughts of river

to flow into open gates,

I fixate on seeing

and hearing you;

avoiding night hours

that has lost so much, already,

you, spinning out of self

do you see, hear me

in stillness of time

beyond invisibility,

flow, choose to where I flowed out of,

make a place next to me,

just be quiet

to the soundless voice

of memory

that speaks no more,

mystery remains but

I am here

breathing together; like you

opening to gifts of the sun

journeying-to-find-earth of sorts

yes, I am like you

so, desist

objectifying my identity to

an unidentified form of concept;

construct-less jungle beats

that express misconstrue primordiality

reality'ing-less my existential-ity,

undress from the philosophized

dogma of Berlin-ized,

historicized & subject-icized

facile image-ized,

Afro-cized, the rest is just a mirage.

Like soundless voices that used to tell,

over & over & over

of undecipherable


of memory,

of time spaced

in the price of life,

come, blow into unknown sounds

to opening flowers

of my interior,

paint over margins

that strain-fully muddle our image

into a-word, world

of confined-ed-ness,

instead, make our space inside

as if millions of suns

were arranged inside,

sound, the ecstatic horn bursting like suns

soak'in our chest

fill'in notes of music that belong

in the warmth of our chest,

blow into the horn

our existence

to tunes of resistance of now-full-ness,

interrupt'n time

to revolt'n space-full

music-form of resistance,

intervene'in insatiable souls

of fragmented-ness,


evanescing the time

spaced in sinful-ness,

build'in statements

of love beyond concepts,

anchor me as I'll anchor you,

come to this temple of beatific-ness

to the few that find the path

to obscure imagery

expression-less of that

to express-more of us

more than less;

let us go naked and dance

distance'in the world

of construction-ness

to paint naked to

less-reductional beats

of sax-o-phone-ness,

from the sweetness

of the belly rising

notes-full-of-pearl drops

breath'in into our imagination

of two worlds

penetrate'in-to the heart,

kiss the music

the mouth touching the lips

feeling on the surface

the taste of lips he wants,

to taste the truth he wants,

blow unknown sounds

into interstices

of magical notes that

distances the world of

fictional mimic'in

to imagery music'in,

indistinguishable from music, when we join

continual, eternal dream of

one note of unexpected magic,

to recognize me, fill me

with heartful-ness imagery

mergin'in mine with yours

pieces of a lunar


with an ordinary dreamy poet

lost in vision

of notes that turn the heart over,

making spaces of euphoric fusion

of our aesthetic


of shadows,

invasion of

mine with yours

to turn into stars each night.

Come, let us improvise,

intrude on

the locus of culture

that dances

to performances,

let us

merge like the two seas

brought together

with time & space,

pretext'd pulse

of third space,

blow'in-to the world to awaken, to


our renaissance'd

time and space

in language

that speaks to our soul,

beyond beats

that strain our chords of music

let us debate-less

drunk'in metaphorically poetic space

with laughter'd breath.

In silenced music

let us leave this world,

move'in closer

to moon-trips,

to hear in stillness

musical notes of beloved-ness,

let us live in the soul

find'in our feet

naked in the glory

of our splendid past,

submerse'in naked

in ancestral remember-ance,

let us just make music

of expressions of

our world

of now and

in remember-ance.


* This poem is also available as an [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.