If I’ve learnt things askew, it feel it’s not because of bad intentions —
rather, I laud the form and am sad if spirit shifts when I make use of it.
On a day of trauma for many, a day of mourning a day of anger
at ill-gotten gains, when there are no platitudes, only pain, I call on it.
I call on a form of desire with all ‘erotics’ stripped away because
of the greed of one body over others, because of the chasmic longing in it.
Third person singular, I locate those items of ongoing occupation,
and they are all around me and I make use of them as I make recourse to it.
I don’t for a moment believe that life can be renewed for the oppressed
from the ‘rotting corpse of the settler’ as violent Frantz Fanon would have it.
In fact, I see the artists and poets and singers redressing the wrongs
and bringing repair, knowing the gun was the end of justice and not start of it.
But Fanon was right about loss of dignity and hope and ongoing mental illness
wrought by the settlers who played their part and excluded or validated it.
I laud this form because of its moments linking to moments, its building
out of longing and despair — in the interconnectedness, each couplet unique in it.
I feel the trauma of Karla Dickens’s artwork that antiflags and is forever
more than object — January 26, Day of Mourning — and acknowledge it.
I am a flagless person but that doesn’t exonerate me. I feel my bare feet burn
on the ground and know it’s more than a reminder. In my weakness I call on it.
Note: for more on Karla Dickens see this article.