Sunday, April 05, 2009

Slave Story: unedited reasonable lies

Slave Story: unedited reasonable lies

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:05pm | Edit Note | Delete

I have walked the roads less travelled by truth and on each path I quote lies in what I wrote as I try to make myself believe that the slave story is what I held against the missionaries who were stressing man’s submission to humiliations like us of old, people do read me and they do believe my lies with all its reason, lies about being angry against these missionaries when in truth I ate from the missionary table, in Esanland I lied that they…the missionary coming to visit are conditioning my kins to accept their chains as the story said… while in truth I asked myself what could it have been with out the white man coming, and the more I lied the more something in my poetry made me into each stroke of an axe on oak…the kin who sold of his brother though the old badagry route

…when I wrote about slaves in a ship from the slavery stories I read at school, I lied that I have felt it in my clan, knowing I have never been whipped, or felt the power of the radiated pain in my words as the reader,

when at times I could lie about being that cry of a mule I felt it too, in the field the slaves becomes the mule, and the mule becomes the liar, till the poet know not which, I have never written any fulfilment a slave felt, all is pain and whip and pain,

…and I lied when folks ask who I am to my poetry-
with words that quotes that I am the crack of a whip, the hiss as the whip hit on each flesh, I said I am it, but in truth I think it was what claimed the savage in out lineage

once assuming that I can be everything in the past I wanted to study, to try and feel what I read the slaves felt, I decided to work and work and in the farm I write and write, said I am the past but I know am not the past, I lied to myself because I am a poet who creates, and haven created the reasonable lies, the lies becomes my reasoning.

Yesterday some young Nigerians writers came up to me and ask to be part of my creation, they wanted to act the cotton field as in my poetry or the sugar plantation where papa slaved, said they love my lies that are reasonable, they wanted to be able to acclaim the Alleluia exclaim by freedman without feeling them, and be able to see a slave who dived overboard to swim back ashore, and learn the course and the chart of the Mississippi river that wallows through the lying pages

Many of these Nigerian poets does not like the use the word “nigger” in the stanza, so they ask of what my wording nigger-creates, can it bring the past by recalling the nigger-past?, When in the modern world we prefer word-blacks

I said the “nigger” wordings are like the effort by the bridle of a mule hauling the nigger “pen”, or an extra push on papa ox to till a soil for new harvest, or bring revival for the soul like the massa of the overseer and that I prefer the nigger to the word “black” I said for reasonable doubt, I said because I have suffered as them, though in my quotes I saw the lies…I have never swam in all one's overall and find out how it feels in the nigger pen, I have never dived into a world of letters and fished out the secrets of the deep plantation pit, all I did was to stand in front of a mirror and see myself a slave, I try to make these act my arts and make the spirit live-

I have never switched of the air-condition and feel the heat of the hold or to take off my sanders and walk bare foot in the village wood, I have never tried to make these act my act and make the spirit live- I just live the art in my imagination

I know that till I do that; words are just words to me, till I do that my act is just an act, not act but art like a white with a mic calling himself a black African, but I needed to lie that I have done and seen,
At times I accepted my lies like a whining conscience and allows the shackled voices to creeps at me…toward a dark and frightening periphery' and within I was able to see things I never thought I could see…the lies has reasoning within the hypocrisy that hid the black race,

At times I keep trying to negotiate a truce as internal monologues insist on venting themselves out into words telling me exactly what I needed to write, I knew that the voices is baiting me, and I don't just let it do it
I actually seems to like it
as it calls me all the names in 'black'.
Forcing me into an edge of a dark vortex of rage
to which I am constantly withdrawn
as I get the press
With my lies;

Black apple it calls me
Black sheep it calls me
Black this black that
Black 'bad-bad-bad-bad'

I try to stench my fear in my poetry
By exploiting my own 'niggerness'
telling myself it was only a phrase
As I play dumb jokes on my 'BLACKNESS'
yet each time when my anger came out in my poems
each time the voice worked on me
the words seems to grope for me,
at the image of me…
at the mercy of a 'shackled voice'…
beyond the 'Mississippi' river

I must confess that I write of the slaves
A people I do not know
Because I am a writer
And I needed to write
And as each occasion dictates
The black history month’s bacons
With polished penmanship
smeared up with the blood
of slaves I said I really do know

but I have to ask constantly
in Africa where I find the great romanticism
And with the power of the pen
I have to ask of why
each turkey came shaking the backside
to applaud the stick I gave the white

and because I can write
the words creeps at me
nigger words through the track of my mind,
like ancient words cut long ago
before the Whitman comes...

as the scars scream out
I lied in my muse-
And as you read my work
It became the truth

such was the story
I have learned to lie about
With quotes putting me up among legends
born long centuries ago before me


Today I saw a tribal kid…
With a beggars bowl…
in an intimate palm,
as he looked up to me
I begged him to be
the field and toil of men

because he have got the smell
of a Negro toil…
flooring the privy,
something like a pig pen
after a day work in the farm

I wished him to dress like
the identity of the past
by the reason of our existence
so its authenticity and usefulness
in the lineage of history
will be reborn
in the poetry I write

In my fantasy toward the waters
Of acts the pen recreates
…the smell as the current directing my thoughts
or of the dead afloat toward a shore-
the storm attacking the ship
the human-driftwood in the water-
the secret of the sea passage
the slave deep in the ship hold
and the motion of the sea

these are what he was to me and could be
to my writings-
like the wreck on the ocean floor
or the squall in all it fury and storm
like the sea that lives throb and breath

Believe me as I recreate the scene
I see him in the slave story-
Because I am a poet whose lies can calm the savage in the penmanship

1 comment:

LayDeeBe said...

Talent. I'm speechless.