It is the people we hold onto that hold onto us. As we shake people off, we too are shaken off. Maybe it is through this process of simultaneous release that we find ourselves alone. Like the layers of a snakes’ skin we shed each other, find others to hang on to, find others to hang on to us. Slowly and evenly picking the weight that keeps us closer to whatever form of balance we need to tell ourselves that we are growing. That progress is happening. Or even that we are at peace with whatever form of stagnation we have chosen.

Maybe this is why they say you are alone in the end. Having lost all energy to hold on to anything, the things you hold on to begin to let go of you. It is in this isolation that we are to find peace. To be still and within ourselves, but even this peace is something that we hold on to. And in losing our grip we lose that too.

How does one take care of needy concepts?

Do you wait until they find themselves disproven? Or do we bury them in the past. Find a little corner somewhere in the maze of our mind and shove them there. Do we recognize when we come up against them? Do we see the pieces of ourselves that we have violently shoved aside as we violently shove them aside?

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  • Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Is it then that we constant lay and unlay traps for ourselves? Circling around the same spot, trying to gain enough momentum to throw us of tangent at such a high velocity that by the time we finally discover ourselves we are unlike ourselves. Then maybe this distance daunts us. As if we somehow knew we were going in circles (despite talking about progress). As if we have been betrayed by this false truth that we encounter. As if the mirror we left to hold to ourselves refuses to show us the image we want to see. And so forward we go, to go back.

There you are.







Ain’t th

Ain’t that s

Ain’t that so

Ain’t that some shit.


Swing Low

The heart is an amazing organ. From the day we are born to the day we die it never stops working. Over an 80 year lifespan the heart will beat over 3 billion times pumping over a million barrels of blood through your body.

That’s a lot of labour.

Perhaps this is why the heart demands reason. Why it is the heart that asks why. Everyday it asks, firmly, quietly. Give me a reason today. Tell me why I should keep this blood in circulation. I have been doing this for a very long time and, honestly, I have very little to show for it. Why?

The mind is easier to convince. All the mind needs is a path to follow. As long as the mind can tread along a path, it can ignore the labour of the heart. As long as the mind can see something to work towards, it will demand the work of the heart. Perhaps this is why they say ‘there is only so much the heart can take’ when they talk about death. The heart, dragged along by the mind, stops. This, the heart says, this is not working. This is slow destruction, the unravelling.

The slow unbecoming.

There is less. Everyday there is less to give and more to take on. Everyday there is more to be done and less being done.

Perhaps it is the slow burn of the unraveling that destroys one. How every step seems like a step that can be controlled. How hope slowly slips away. You don’t wake up one day and think it is over. You look up and realise it has been over for a long time, and recognize how long you have been running against brick walls. Perhaps it is in this looking back that the heart gives in. It’s not just in the crushing from the weight, but in seeing the emptiness in it all. For the heart has only asked for one thing through everything.


Every beat, over 3 billion times, it has asked for reason.

Perhaps it is the absence of this that does it in.

And to continue seems like an odd reason.

In many ways then the mind preempts the heart, keeping the heart from destroying itself . And the heart keeps the mind tethered, ensuring that there is meaning to whichever brand of madness the mind choses.

And so we oscillate.

And so we oscillate.

For Science

What is the chemical composition of an emotion?

Once you have separated memory (of the individual and of history – is there a difference? Where does one start and another begin?) from the hormonal response and drained the context all that’s left is latent energy. A burning sensation somewhere in the corner of your…. where?

Where does emotion sit?

Where does it hurt?

Where does it joy?

Where does it excite?

Where does it fear?


What is the anatomy of an emotional body? Does the emotional body tire? Does it grow weary from being pushed too hard? Does it get stronger? Does it thrive on a diet of regular exercise? Is this metaphor too direct? Does the emotional composition even have a physical form? Perhaps it is a gas. Perhaps it lies outside the laws of physics, subject to a whole different set of laws yet to be discovered.

Have you found some apple trees to take naps under lately?



When you have looked far enough into the future to see your own birth you know that you have been staring for long enough. You will know this because the fixed point you began with revealed the secrets of eternity. You know they are secrets because they came in fleeting whispers, barely louder than a muffled heartbeat. You only heard them because you were fixated and trying not to be distracted.

Which made you aware of everything that could possibly be a distraction.

If anything, you almost destroyed the first sound you heard. It was only after it revealed itself as a secret that you relaxed. But even then you weren’t sure. And you said the same, then kept staring.
But the secrets kept coming. At first they trickled in. After a while though the steady stream of things we are yet to understand increased till the flood almost blocked your point of view.

You kept staring though. You have seen your nebula collapse, your feet are tired, your skin pruned from the flood of secrets. But you stand, looking, unwavering. You know you will know it when you see it. You don’t know what it looks like, but you know you will know.
So you stay fixed on eternity, waiting to be born.

For the Language Decoder

I promised myself I would not write to you until I found her. The cyclones in her semi- circular canal were heavy from the whirlwind that was caused by their spinning – so it took her a minute to find her balance. To be honest, I almost didn’t believe you. Lost hope several times along the way and nearly drowned in a pool of my past before I stumbled upon her.

Only noticing her because my own head was spinning.

Do you ever lick the wounds on your palms? I tried once, it didn’t sting much, but the blood tasted bitter. I couldn’t place my finger on what about it bothered me, but I also knew I didn’t want more. That was a long time ago, of course, the scars soon grew scar tissue. Soon after, my carefully etched psalms lost their legibility. Few words remain of this – instead it is a blur of possibilities. The words that remain themselves are too fragmented to bear any meaning. No matter though, I know the psalms by heart now. The scars remain as a testament to the ways in which I had to learn.

But where are my manners? I write a letter to you – unannounced, uninvited and decide to dwell on my issues. You must have questions yourself. Who am I? Why this letter? Why now? Why you? Or you may not – but it is still considered polite to address this issue.

I am writing this letter because while walking along the beach I found one of your bottles. It was lying in the sand and I thought to myself “no shit, who the hell finds bottles on the beach.” So I got excited and went around telling everyone on the beach that I had found a bottle with a note in it – that was my first mistake. Turns out people don’t imagine that notes in bottles can travel thousands of miles. They imagine the sea as a void – and their island as the only one. So everyone had a logical explanation for your note. That perhaps some child did it. It was a prank. It was for entertainment.(to be fair it didn’t help that your language is not as linear as many would like the information they need – something that I now understand also has its reasons).

But I was obsessed with your note.

So you can imagine my joy when I found another, and another. Constantly washing up on shore. Always in the same place – never regularly. I didn’t mind. I imagined constructing notes of this nature must be difficult. And the sea is not a reliable route. But time and tide stayed in my favour, and the notes kept coming.

Which is why I write this letter. In one of your notes you say you are unsure as to whether your notes ever reach the distant shores. I don’t know whether you still wonder about whether your notes get to the other shore – but this letter shows that they did. A friend of ours, ruined by his vocabulary, wrote on the back of a napkin that these things are dead men talking to each other. We are, of course, dead on arrival. Doomed to be saved by our own damnation – we run headfast into our destruction more times than we need to. They thought alchemy was the flames consuming impurities, but that’s what I saw from your notes. It isn’t is it? It is the impurities consuming the flames. Taking everything that they can from the fire before it burns out – and the alchemist’s job is to keep the fire burning, isn’t it? I ask for confirmation because this is what I suspect but you are the one who wrote the notes and so I expect you to know. Though, as I write this out, I realise that too might be misguided on my part.

Anyway, you were heard, and you were right – she is here.

Send my love to all.


A Dependent Observer

Your Wolves

You wish it was as simple as saying that you’ve been feeding the wrong wolf. That somehow there was some revelation that showed an error – multiple preferably. It isn’t. Which does not mean that you think that you are without error, but that perspective is a dangerous thing. Perhaps that was what was being communicated by the mad hatter – but no one was listening.

No one was listening.

Mainly because they were too busy focusing on alice – whoever the hell she had claimed to be.

But it isn’t that simple. For if you weren’t feeding the wolf you were feeding, you wouldn’t have found yourself chasing the rabbit. And if you had not chased the rabbit you wouldn’t have been present when alice (was that really her name?) went into the rabbit hole. And it is in the rabbit hole that you realized you had been feeding the wrong wolf.

Or perhaps just underfeeding the right one. Not allowing it to thrive – it slowed you down, and you needed to move faster. You needed to move much faster because the space you were in was not sustainable. So you kept feeding the wolf that would get you elsewhere – wherever that meant.

Which is at the table of the mad hatter – with the finest company. If the tea party had thought of branding themselves in this way perhaps all the vile they did would be swept under the rug… or perhaps not.

So how can you blame the thing that brought you here for getting you lost?

So it can’t be that simple.

You watch your wolves,

always circling,

always dancing,

always battling.


Child, she said

Never look a dreamer in the eye, she said

Child, she said

Mind you never catch a dreamer’s eye, she said.


I, said I

Will never look a dreamer in the eye, said I

I, said I

Will never catch a dreamer’s eye, said I.


The sky replied,

Don’t let the sun burn out your shine, replied,

The sky replied,

Don’t let the moon pull at your pride, inside

Don’t let the time decide the tide, your pride


I, said I,

Cannot shine brighter than the sun, said I.

I, said I,

Won’t let the waves make me undone, said I

Won’t rush ahead, won’t jump the gun, said I.


Child, she said,

Don’t let the world get in your head, she said.

Child, she said,

Don’t carry the pain you see them shed, she said,

Don’t drown yourself in words unsaid, she said.


I, said, I

Will know myself and take a stand, said I

I, said I,

Will feel with them, will hold their hands, said I

Will try my best to understand, said I.


The sky replied,

Don’t look a dreamer in the eye, replied.

I, said I,

Won’t look a dreamer in the eye, said I.

Won’t look a dreamer in the eye, said I

will never catch a dreamer’s eye.


Tacenda(noun): things better left unsaid; matters to be passed over in silence.

Of the Galaxy

Mood: That scene in the movie. The kid wolf is running in step but out of step with the rest of the pack, keeping up, but excited. Each of the other wolves eyes are set on the path ahead, but the kid wolfs’ eyes dart this way and that proud to be part of a pack after years of being left at home.

“You might think you’ve peaked the scene,

you haven’t, the real one is far to mean

the watered down one, the one you know

was made up centuries ago”

  • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

“Ambia newcomer asijifeel sana,

Weh ni mgeni siku ya kwanza, tunakupenda,

ukikaakaa tutachoka na wewe,

hivyo ndio huenda.”

So Now You Know


They placed the memory of your first victory right in the path of an oncoming comet. Now memories are pretty dense things – we all know that. This memory particular had a lot of sentiment attached to it – so it must have had the power of, at least, sixteen candle lit evenings under the moon. But even that would be no match to the mass and speed of a comet. Comets have destroyed entire conciousnesses, let alone single memories.

So you knew that your memory stood no chance.

And you hated the people who had put it there for putting it there – what right did they have to put it there? Was it not your memory? And wasn’t everything based on respect for the things (abstract or otherwise) of others? You would have sat brewing in your hatred if it wasn’t for a friend reminding you that the time spent brewing was time that your memory didn’t have.

The problem was, they had used some kind of cable to weigh it down.

But there was one solution.

Your armor, technically, can survive the impact of a comet. You know this in your mind – it was supposed to, the guy in the shop said so. And, because memories can be absorbed all you’d have to do is lie on the memory and wait for the comet to pass – or to be destroyed.

They know these are your only options. So they are just waiting. To see the struggle, to see the value of a memory to you. To see whether you would die than kill yourself off.


You place yourself on the memory, and wait.


The things we try to catch

The things we try to grasp are fleeting. We see them as they fly by and chase them down the rabbit hole, never stopping for tea. We stay eyes opened waiting for one to pass by in the periphery, barely visible.

The things we try to catch are like the eye of the stepper to the roaming flanker, to notice without being noticed. To catch them without their knowledge of our presence, for their knowledge of our presence would fundamentally change their nature.

The things we try to catch unhappen, don’t happen, don’t exist – until they do.

The things we try to catch have been buried under years of repetitive action – look away, look away look away. The things we try to catch do not understand the language of being seen.

The things we try to catch float somewhere between the known and the felt. Somewhere between the image and the abstract. Somewhere between what is apparent and what we shall never known.

The things we try to catch are like time crystals, in constant oscillation around ourselves yet not powered by us.

The things we try to catch will never fully be within our grasp.

Still, we chase the things we try to catch, for all we know is how to try.


(for Nyawira Nderitu 1943 – 2017)


Taflase* Taflase Taflase taflase seven times

in this moment of mourning

on this day of memory,

I stand a trembling tongue

without the language

to echo across the void.


I must begin with those who died opposed,

towards a notion yet to be clear

who threw themselves back after watching their friends die.

Who left doors open at risk of murder.

Who left notes under mats.

Who bit down their history towards a future.

Who sacrificed, resented, repented, sacrificed.

And again.


I am still but an idea that I am yet to grasp,

And so I stand here,

on behalf of the half tongued

cut from the source

and without the language

to echo across the void.


And so Taflase, Taflase, Taflase again,

in this moment of mourning,

on this day of memory

I re-member

Those who began with others,

Who destroyed their (selves),

Who lived under consistent micro aggression,

Who checked their locks eight times a night,

Who apologized “they don’t mean it,”

Who raged silently into the night.


I call from the docks to a boatman.

I am but a weary traveler who searched for this place

through myth, legend and intuition –

chasing traces of it in half conversations.

Now I stand here, but the dock is empty,

the sea calm and the place in ruins.

I stand on the shore calling to a boatman,

I have heard only of Katsumi

who spoke to a prophet.

But I know there are more.

And so I call out

in the language I know

to the endless sea.

Taflase Taflase, Taflase seven times,

Please hear me.


I ask to be heard by those who were afraid,

Who acted out of fear and lived to regret their actions,

who betrayed, backstabbed, stole, manipulated, lied,

who Chased redemption, who further withdrew,

who folded themselves to fit into spaces that were designed for their expulsion,

who took advantage,

who settled for what they could get out of the situation.


In this moment of mourning

on this day of memory,

I call that a boatman may ferry those who now leave,

Who listened and misunderstood,

Who have marked distance,

Who watched as the dock was destroyed,

Who have mourned their own deaths,

Who stood, defiant even when the world wanted to erase them.

Who fought beyond amnesia – and only need re-memberance.

Bless the docks once more and take them.

Take them that they may know peace.


Taflase: is a polite preface to a serious, possibly unpleasant or even offensive statement. May be especially appropriate from a younger spaker addressing elders. The expression is found not only in Ewe but also Akan and Ga.

Amabe: Kisii word meaning to mourn