The Uninvention of the Dream

The uninvention of the dream began with a song. The lyric was heard echoing in the most unexpected places. Here, there, somewhere.

And then another

and then another.

The uninvention of the dream neither happened where they wanted it to happen, nor where they thought it might happen. The uninvention of the dream, thus, was expected – and unexpected.

The uninvention of the dream was a story that they told again and again. In bars, on the street, in their houses, to theirselves, their family, their friends, their enemies.

The uninvention of the dream was a whisper.

The uninvention of the dream was passed from generation to generation – like a broken telephone, it was received in all the wrong ways.

But the uninvention of the dream refused to die.

The uninvention of the dream  lasted, and will continue to last, as long as there are dreams to be uninvented.

The uninvention of the dream was a dream uninvented – and so the uninvention of the dream lay unseen.

Still the uninvention of the dream has been sighted by the lost ones, the confused ones, the wanderers, those who hope, those who pray, those who (mis)understand, the lovers, the dreamers, the dreamers.

The uninvention of the dream has always been in the hands of the dreamers.

 

The uninvention of the dream has always been in the hands of dreamers.

 

And dreamers have been heard singing from the most unexpected places. Here, there, somewhere.

And then another.

And then another.

The uninvention of the dream began with a dream.

Echoes of Everything

Like the thunder that came from the east, scattering seeds of the future in our minds, the news spread. It gathered minds as it grew, becoming more, gaining momentum. Like thunder, it was heard by many, feared by few and understood by even fewer still.

Things have histories.

Many times they go even further back than minds can fathom. To unravel deeds to their inception is maybe to say, at some point it wasn’t – then it was. And the becoming from not to it may or may not have been documented. Which, to a people who seek to understand, means that – at the end of the day – there are only questions, answers and everything else.

It is, of course, everything else that we are interested in.

It is of course, from everything else that the news came.

Heard by many, feared by few and understood by even fewer still.

The problem became when life, being a cycle, began to grow. From everything else spurred news, gathering minds and going back to everything else – minds in tow. The mass exodus to everywhere else slowly erasing first the answers then, eventually, the questions.

The problems with history is that it is a creature of habit.

Not only has it happened – it happens again. As if in a bid to impose the timelessness of the present, the past keeps finding its way back to us. And so this husago with time continues.

And we become less.

And we become more.

And time, love and memory continue to organize everything else.

And time love and memory continue to organize everything else.

 

 

The Cloths of Earth

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  • W. B. Yeats

 

Now that I have your dreams, what would you I do with them? Should I put them in a bag where I store the dreams of past lovers, and give them away to weary passersby? Would they take them? Would that offend you? Or maybe I should lock them up, watch over them. Make sure that, should you ever need a dream – I can give them back to you one by one.

Love, like memory, can be lost.

Sometimes, it begins with a whisper.

This is how we dead men talk to each other.

-Jack Spicer

 

Love, like memory, is a long term project

Sometimes, it begins with an idea.

 

Must I disappear for you to see me?

-A one line review of Lemonade

Love, like memory, is a habit

Sometimes, again.

 

I am not standing still

I am lying in wait.

-Hamilton

 

Now that I have your dreams, I stand here and wait – again.

Undying

Death resides in the lake.

But in order to understand this we must first begin by understanding the many ways that death resides. Like light, or any other great equalizer, death in its natural form has been known to exist in waves. A close reading of these waves can either show the beginning or the end.

The problem occurs, then, when the waves are misread. A reading that only shows partial beginnings, or partial endings can have far reaching consequences. And these consequences show themselves in many ways.

The art of reading waves has always been a science. And so, on that level, it becomes very easy for anyone to quickly understand how waves are read, translated and shared.

The only reason, really, that it has been understood as an art is that the trick is in finding translations that can both be understood and acted upon. This is a major problem because death is an inevitability. And acting upon or against that which will come is not only an exercise in futility. It’s also a complete waste of resources that could be turned towards translating, interpreting and reading more waves.

This is only a truth that is apparent to those who live by the lake. For the truth of a thing can only be seen by those closest to it. And hence it is only those close, aware and cognizant of this truth that can find the words to articulate it.

But the search for a new language has destroyed more people than it has built. And empires, like sandcastles, can be washed away by a sea of lemonade. It is easier to erase that which you know than to begin to find ways to remove things that you have no ways of touching and imagining.

 

When the whispers,

that spread both news

and the re imagination, of

ways we have failed to live,

may our hearts swell,

to remember –

we may have died,

but first; we lived.

Hiraeth

Alternative:  (adj) – of one or more things; available as another possibility.

Alter: (verb) – change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.

Native: (adj) – (of a plant or animal) of indigenous origin or growth.

 

*

Where did that child go? The questioning, playing, reaching for, trying to, failing, stumbling, getting up, laser focused child. Where did they go? Maybe they were dropped one day, in the middle of nowhere, left somewhere in the middle of town. What stage was it? What stage was it? Where did that child go?

*

It was a small fire really. Nothing more than an ember that was carried by the wind from the jiko. Even as it floated an eager boy watched. Perhaps it was the red glow of the flame as it consumed that corner of that days paper. The story, an assassination.

Even small fires perpetuate erasure.

(what even, is a Juma?)

*

The business of creating matyrs is often considered a science so precise that only the extremely qualified can do it. It involves finding the right person and building them up in terms of affect. It involves according them freedom. It involves smiling when you would rather not and waiting, patiently for the long term. It involves control of narrative and circumstance. It involves listening as hurtful things are said and swallowing them. it involves wounded pride both of the businessman and of the matyr. It involves building and destroying hope. It involves monitoring, analyzing. It involves listening, but not too keenly. Speaking, but not too often. And seeing, but not feeling.

There is big business in creating matyrs who, after all are the perfect product. Matyrs, after all, offer a power that they can’t come from anywhere else. They give the rush of creation and the madness of destruction.

Power, after all, is not absolute as long as it can be taken away.

 

(fire continues to be a metaphor for power.

A boy still watches.)

*

Is that the day you learned? Decisions, consequences, decisions, consequences, decisions, consequences. A mantra, a song, a principle. Is that the day you took that boy to the middle of the city centre, and hang a sign around his neck?

Where did that child go?

Did you think that, maybe, a better child would avail themselves to you once you let this one go?  Or maybe it’s that you read somewhere that you have options. That leaving a child behind, like most things, is a thing that can be done in many ways.

Or is it because you wanted something different? An alternative to the current. To what you know felt like home. What felt like home, but not really. To change home. To make home, what you know, something different. A different kind of what is native to your heart. Where did that child go?

Did he feel the flame on his skin? As the fire that consumed around, began to consume the child – did he run? Far, fast and again.

Decisions. Consequences.

Different decisions. Different consequences.

Different decisions. Different consequences.

*

If you imagine something you haven’t lost, compared to something you have lost, is it possible you might love the things you’ve lost more than the things you still have?

 

And if you have lost the memory of a thing, does it exist? Does it wander somewhere in the hallways of time looking for a different type of home? Maybe this is why we hang on to memory. Like a trail of breadcrumbs left in the forest, we hope it will lead us back home.

Home, where the heart is.

*

Somewhere, between time and memory, a lost child lies; his sobs punctuated by a steady heartbeat.

Again  

 

Look up. Step up. Meet the challenge. Get hit. Fall down. Look up. Step up. Get hit again. Doubt. Spiral. Try to start again. Falter. Reject. Fail. Wander. Dance. Get hit again. Look up. Walk. Stagger. Take a step. Fall. Get up. Fall. Get up. Fall. Wallow. Roll around in the mud. Get your clothes dirty. Learn to clean your clothes. Try not to look up. Tell yourself that up doesn’t exist. Resist the temptation. Look up anyway. Get up. Step up. Meet the challenge. Get knocked hard. Harder than you ever thought you could. Survive. Look around. Get up. Develop a god complex. Ride the wave. Grow expand. Take the hits. Get knocked down. Lose your god complex. Keep going. Keep getting hit. Fall down. Stumble. Develop impostor syndrome. Doubt yourself. Stay down. Watch others keep going. Wallow. Breath, Recuperate. Recover. Look up. Step up. Step down. Doubt. Step up; tentatively. Feel around. Look for solid ground. Falter. Doubt. Falter. Look up. Get up. Get hit. Fall. Get up. Get hit. Fall Get up. Get it. Stay up. Grimace. Smile. Get hit again. Stay up. Get hit. Take a step. Get hit. Step up. Meet the challenge. Make a breakthrough. Coast. Cruise. Get hit. Get hit. Get hit. Get hit. Get hit. Get hit. Get hit. Get hit. Fall. Grimace. Smile. Look up. Step up. You’ve been through this before.

Against Time

“It’s hard to stop rebels that time travel”

Janelle Monae

Dimensionally, time is a series of frames; A series of ideas.

“Cos we represent a truth son, that changes by the hour and, if you’re open to it, vulnerability is power.”

Saul Williams

If time was tangible, what shape would it take?

In between two rocks there is an ant. It seems isolated from the rest of the colony. As it oscillates between the two rocks searching for a scent that would show it the way home a stream of water comes by and washes away the rock, and the ant. Did it ever happen?

If that frame of time was held and looped like a gif would they show it on the intergalacticnet and laugh? Would it go viral?

If we find a way to capture healing into frames would we be able to share them? Would we be able to move from frame to frame in search of pieces of ourselves? In search of an image that looks familiar?

*

“these letters… correspond with something (I don’t know what) that you have written (perhaps as unapparently as that lemon corresponds to this piece of seaweed) and, in turn, some future poet will write something which corresponds to them. That is how we dead men write to each other.”

  • Jack Spicer

*

We, who have found ways to send little love notes across frames. We, who have scoured the images. We, the rebels that time travel. We, those who find ourselves caught between time, and ways of being. Oscilatting between one rock and another looking for a scent. We, who have seen the loop, wait for the flood.

“And when it is all over

We shall once more inherit

A generation of cracked souls

For whom we must erect new monuments

anthems of praise and the eternal Hope of Life

beyond the recurring stupidity of war heroes.”

Kofi Anyidoho

Post Note: My second chapbook, Time, is available from the Jeli here. This is not an excerpt from it. More like a bonus track. 

I don’t feel like naming this poem

We, who have decided to go on with living life or dying along the path.

We, who once walked on all fours to find nothing more than a sandwich and two pieces of ham.

We, who saw the wounded and had no way to ease the suffering other than platitudes, and love letters.

We, who have told and retold stories against the recurring stupidity of war heroes.

We, who gather in silence, by the sound of the evening, listening to echoes.

We, who hear.

We, hark, beckon, call.

We, learn, stumble, fall.

We, speak, are spoken to.

We, start again.

We, start again.

We start again.

 

We, who have decided to go on with living life or dying along the path.

We get up.

(Un)Knowing

“Perhaps the role of art, then, is to put us in complicity with things as they happen”

To know is to trap.

Which is to say that which is known has often been defined. We know this thing, and because this thing is known, it cannot be another thing. We know it as this thing. If this thing stops being this thing then it is no longer a thing we know. Or rather, we are less likely to recognize it as the thing we know.

Does this mean freedom has no space for knowledge?

Or, particlularly, does this mean it is impossible to know freedom?

A man was seen seated on a chair at the end of a runway. As he watched the models walk towards him, then away, it became clearer that things he knew had lost their freedom a long time ago.

Where do ideas that have been chained go?

Do they get institutionalized? Is there an idea correctional facility somewhere where ideas are locked up? Do trapped ideas write poetry with freedom dreams? Do they have freestyles in corridors where they spit bars about what it would be to one day break away? Do idea gangs sit around marking territory and shooting bad looks at anyone who walks by?

Say a naïve idea walked out onto the lot and challenged the dominant member of the idea gang, would that idea have a short lifespan? Would they look for it during breaks with a hastily made shank? Would the guards look away? Is plausible deniability in the correctional facility?

If, as the idea bled out, it began to think of the past, would it remember the fashion show? Would it think fondly of the days when it was free? Or would it smile, finally having been known?

I once knew something, but I have since forgotten. Am I free? Or do I walk around oblivious of my trap? Things continue to happen. I write.

 

 

 

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Since I am about to tell you a story that is both truthful and without substance I might as well begin with a proverb. One day in the middle of nowhere there was nothing. Nothing to begin nothing to see, nothing to do.

Where were you?

The simple truth is that there is nothing more to do when you have found yourself lost and without a place to look. Sometimes instead of walking forward you might chose to do something simple, like sit down. Or maybe you might decide that buying a pair of shoes will help. But it can’t right? Because no matter how many times you throw yourself at a form of escape you must come back out into the world. Every time you try and hide they pull you out. Violently sometimes, sometimes even without telling you that it is time to come out. You find yourself, like many other places, without a name, or a thing that you can call your own. So somehow it makes send that you find yourself seated on the ground, waiting for an answer from the gods that you used to believe in, but now mock.

And they mock you back. They watch you and say “look at him now, wishing he had a god.” But gods without men are nothing more than empty ideas of power without anywhere to go to. And men without gods are like mumblings of the renegotiation of what forward might possibly mean – dangerous.

At some point you will have to go back to the real world. You will find yourself lost and yearning for some contact from the people cut off.

You know what lies for you there.

You know there is nothing more for you there.

But, like that musician, you are not sure if you want to be alone in desperado.