Saturday, September 7, 2013

Unpacking: 1 of some

I have not really unpacked yet.  Most of my clothes are out and used/tossed.  But I still have bundles sitting in a suitcase in the corner of my room.  I pulled some stuff out the other night and started looking through it.  I found my collection of 1/3 full notebooks in which I wrote down whatever drivel came to mind in Togo that was unfit for general blog consumption of the time and my journal.  I decided to resurrect some of these lost gems for you, dear reader, in a mostly unedited form.  Thus, this is the first of what will hopefully be a series.  If you find some of it bothersome or offensive, stop reading.

The following poem has the dubious distinction of being one of the first things I wrote in Togo that was not in a blog or a journal.  Its actually about Morocco-- about a Berber household someplace near the Anti-Atlas mountains.   Do not ask about the formatting, I do not remember.  I wrote this in 2010. During stage.  I think

Three dugouts set
    In a bank of
        A dry ditch that never
             Feels water's clammy caress
             Under a crumbling tower that
       Once overlooked caravans plying their way
   Through high mountains and trackless sands and
            Now the sand whispers its story to
                Bleating goats that must know
                   The secrets of their valley because
                      We lonely Americans only
                       See the three dugouts and
                             The ones in them

If I don't remember the next circumstances of this next thing, I can definitely picture the scene I am writing about.  I apparently got poetic one morning about Harmattan.  And decided to write about it.  After a couple cups of coffee.  Maybe late 2011.  

the air is white
I am in that strange place that only
a large cup of coffee and a
calabash of tchakpa can conjure.
he air is white. If I squint I
can imagine that there are clouds of snow
powder billowing between the mango
trees.  the air is white and shapes
move in it. shapes. lost desert
jinns wandering in pale green
wastelands far from their birthing dunes.
the sun is buried in an ethereal haze. 
a baptismal, or burial, shroud of incorporeal
mass. wind kicks it around. the white.
carries it over the rolling ridges and
dipping valleys.  my lips crunch white.   

To post or not to post this one?  I was apparently mad this day, especially at the ubiquitous trash that is scattered seemingly everywhere in Togo.  Many PCVs have existential crises about littering etc.  Apparently I did too in late 2010/early 2011.

Plastic candy wrappers are fucking stupid.
What is the point of a square piece of
Plastic after the candy is gone?
Environmental damage/pollution
Burn it? Bury it? Eat it?
Cum in it and see if you have toxic jizz?
Recycle it? Toss it?
The trappings of the modern world
Look so fucking pointless. 
Instant gratification is an ugly whore up close
and personal.  Because thats
all that little square of crinkly crap really is. . . .

If you are still reading, this next little nugget is apparently an epiphany I had one morning.  I think it was the result of a couple conversations I had with my neighbor, Jenn, now that I think about it.  

Living here is so much closer to being alive. So much closer to actual life.  Not just distraction shrouded existence.

These next two are from my green period during my literary flowering in early/mid 2011 

Thunder crunches over the horizon
And that's all
A million promises left unfulfilled

and. . . 

Red laterite roads gash through
Quick green countrysides

Storm cells slog over the horizon like
Wandering giants supremely disdainful
Of us mere mortals below

Green hill rising from rolling
Green ridges; so many fetishes curled
Beneath the landscape

Gray smoke smudging far
Green parks.  Charcoal burners

Ridge top vistas where the countryside
Sweeps away into bowls over hills
Through hollows and emerges laughing
Against a far horizon. Ready
To do it again

And, for your patience, some pictures. 

somewhere in southwest Bassar

a football match.  I was looking for a good picture of the dust

coming in from the fields in the evening during Harmattan



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