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.