Get Well Notes to Self

Page


basquiat

Cast out
In crippling storm waters
That rendered my strength into wreckage
Spirit damaged
By the sudden setting of a Son of Sol
Who could rise me up with a true smile
And tables turned into styles beautiful
Mystic Natural
Skills Divine
Well known throughout the nine villages
Till things fell apart, and so
I bled get well notes to self in bright red pen
In the fractured sense
Of Okonkwo

My blood, backed up tubes that roped me up
Captive to a plastic sack filled with suspicious fluid
Veins plugged, defenses numb, barely lucid
I spiraled gracelessly down into disk herniation hell
For nine crooked daze of tribulation
Saved only by dixie cups full of a host of drugs,
In an unholy haze of sedation
Praising the Lord for dilaudid
Traumatized despite the blessed effects of percocet
Sentenced to self-pity and solitary bedrest
Trapped motion less, with no master plan, just a bedpan
Beeps and bells the white noise drowning out signals from my muse
My spine, sliced open, stapled up,
Aching and bruised

Guideless, I grabbed for my ankh
Slipped through my grip, into a bottomless pit
Room spinning, mind reeling, sober yet feeling systematically drunk
My designer fragrance stunk
Offered no water, only malt liquor to power my dunk
Recalling big heavy tunes, lost big heavy tunes
Thugged-out panther sons and street gurus
And wards powerless to the fifth
Blown to bits in sludge and filth
Down to the delta, higher south
Down to soil grains of meaning rolled deeply in the river mouth
Down to undiscovered sounds vandalized on graffiti canvas,
Down to the source, the core, of genius,
Johnson, Joplin and anonymous griots come before

From there, I followed stellar trails of ancient gourds
Up the Great River to decimated earth mounds
Rounded into decimals similar to sums found in temples at Kush
Rode currents swinging as dancehall riddims
They pulled and pushed
I was moved to the marrow
So I grooved on up mahogany depths to where the banks narrowed

Till I reached the pyramids at Memphis
My tensions steeped in so many steps
It fucked up my intellect
Splintered fingers on the edge of my congas,
Infected my compass
Slashed forever deeply, recalling Kigali, so I created sambas and kompa
My twin danced frenetically in tandem to limbo and soca
Descended from mathematical prodigy into dementia
Nerves unraveled to cover the circumference of both tropics
Roots fibres, thick as provisions, his breathing strangled, myopic
Emotions frozen,
Thoughts wet
Hope jeweled, glittering, yet spent and emptied, in captive debt
Coffers dry, treasure chest heaving, through even eons of peonage
Seeking a neon age to sooth my neo-rage
My sons were my salvation, and my daughters’ names mispronounced Nneka
Cuz they reigned supreme, raining Sun Ra rays
I was amazed the burden was not too great for their infinite beings
I looked into the afterlife, thinking I might read my story backwards from the ending
To better understand the beginning
So I could straddle worlds with my words

But the atlas wobbled
I lost sensation in my left foot, the neural science was too tangled
The jargon mangled my utterances, left me stuttering and effectively hobbled
My sense of humour condensed into one-liners parading as timeless parables
Self-referential and dead-pooled
Threads of the plot unspooled
The smell of fear was palpable
My anxieties unclenched, and I drenched my possibilities in chemicals to solve my ADD
But it drove me damn near suicidal, as though pesticide, deep down terrified, DDT
Determined to recombine the notes
Sung in the epic song of my DNA
My internal organs wailed Marvin Gaye notes
Sad and profane
Gospels bluesing Buddy Bolden notes
Wild and insane
My shit so untogether, immortal self
Detained in a conflicted physical frame
Jarred half-awake, to scratch and lurch
So I took my faith, bravely to church
The preacher was enraptured with my very essences
I could not stomach his fetishes, slick as earth abomination
Nor manage to testify, I ain’t have enough dollar signs or sense for donation
Only scrunting, hustling, grubbing, flossing, trapping, ranting and raving
Vocals raked over coals of ganja blooms, echoed through residues
Wrapped round my brown fingertips
To my half-raised fist
To my ashy knuckles
That drew from the crowd mere boos peppered with chuckles

Choking, my knees buckled, and I paraded into nothingness
Intense hunger invaded my consciousness
Convinced me to swim miles cross a dry river
Through an ocean of sewage that cleansed me
For my entry, into a bush of jumbies
With eyes like headlights, they tried to silence me
Only sign language would allow my own bloodline to recognize me
Mouth scruffy, locks dreads electric, personality split ended, memory jooked
With hypodermic needles so I appealed to my burning books
Vague morality tales of twisted logic
I could not swallow it
Nor could my conscience breathe through the smoke screens
I had to break free
So I hit ground level
Soul rebel
Brain bursting into tears
It created wet seasons
With polyrhythms beaten on galvanize
Compressed my ego into fetal positions where I chrysallized
And emerged a blinded warrior, nourished on ammunition
Stormed fortresses under the orders of Ouverture and Dessaline
Formed Kreole into the curves of conch shells
To call tribes from Soufriere to Point Saline
North to Charleston, and on to Jerusalem
Over-turner of baracoons
My flambeau painted plantations red
And mountains indigo shades of blue
Praised in poems of bamboo by chantuelles
Compelled to chant well into dawn in guerilla cells
Accompanied by chain rattles
And whip-crack percussion of iron sections, punctuated by shackles
My senses so baffled and bellyful of rage
It made my threshold of pain distended
And sketched scars in pages of faded Moorish scrolls
I could only meditate upon, but not decode
My un-navigated globe so brokenly balanced over
Fresh wounds, tenderly held together
Through deep breath
And down-to-the-vertebrae vibration felt
In red-penned
Get well
Notes to self

© nth digri, 2015

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