This is the first of series of posts to follow up on my recent visit to Accra, Ghana. 2008 was when I was there last, and 2002 was when Ghana introduced me to Africa. Since then, what has changed without as seen through the prism of what has changed within is written out in verse and reflection. The context has always been work, but content can change context.
May 15 – Inflight Dubai to Accra
The plumb fascination dons every mask, every trite boredom, every sink that wishes well, the Plum fascination is a gasp, a gap of known and little known facts, a gap of missing factotums.
“Small small” is Ghanaian speak for a little quantity, small change, etc. Poetically, it captures the spirit of the Tao Te Ching, “know the high, stick to the low.” But all that has been forgotten and turned upside down historically in favor of the grand. A redemptive poetics of the small small is not possible without reaching back and bringing back to the fore the “little known facts” and the “missing factotums.”
The tailbone of the journey is far from Release unless you Endear its father & soulfish its Ancestry; its ghoul of Faith & train of unreason; the Tailbone of your untapped Soulwhistle is the further ash That trammels and pouts As it sings, inks into the Untimed meter of gash Of ink and the body of craft & pain.
A poetics of the small small is also not possible without a soulful accounting of the damage done by the patriarchal laws of entitlement and its “train of unreason” masked as faith.
The old dominion of dread is but half past dead, half past the fleet of the unsaid, the blue cart of a thrush's unusual said, and done and what is untrue of sky is true of sin, true too of the half past unsung dread the languor, the peel of dread and its song.
What has been damaged is felt today as dread, what Erich Fromm calls “the fear of freedom.” The machinery of sin and shame keeps that fear – though irrelevant, unrooted, out of place and time – in play.
The sin has to decide to drown its bellowed Insight in the shadow of this here wanton Word wanting to drift a broken toast, a Wooden art and the semblance of a power turret
In the following posts, I will try to tackle aspects of the “power turret”, the myth of the great leader, the history of colonialism, neoliberalism and Orientalism as they relate to Ghana and as voiced by its poets.
This is like the story that you know has a tragic end, but you can’t stop reading… power turrets, missing facts, dread and unreason do not bode well…
The tragic is the status quo. It is its undoing that the poem tries to move towards. The end is one we are in the process of making, of our own volition, and far from tragic 🙂
Well, a page turner then…lets get to Part II !!
[…] is the second of a series of posts on my visit to Accra, Ghana, in May 2016. The first one, introduced the sense of the small […]
You’re welcome. I know I will come back to it for a second read. There is so much to take in.
I look forward to it, Tammy. And there is more to come – at least two more posts in the same series on Accra 🙂
Good to know 🙂
These sections seem to build momentum as they go. I like what you say at the beginning about content changing context; that can be very true indeed, as even when content does not specifically change context, content can surpass context (and that surpassing may be of even more importance than simply change). Some good lines here.
Yes, and an example of content surpassing context is this very set of posts. Few of my work colleagues would find these tangents useful or even relevant, but they allow keener insights.
To convey content surpassing context would certainly be something to strive for in writing.
[…] first two posts on my recent Accra visit are here and […]
Hzfm, you have in these words, structured unstructured and backnforth, touched on and validated my most fearful hopes. Thank you very much. For talking to me in such gigantically small terms. The terms we live by. Poetically in debt, I am, M
And thanks for allowing me to revisit themes whose relevance is as large as their shrinking resonance – at least that is what seems. I have been reworking and re-articulating the same same attempting to strike that deeper chord.