Get Well Notes to Self


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

Blood backing up tubes that roped me up
Captive to a metallic post capped by a plastic sack of suspicious fluid
Veins fully plugged, defences numb, barely lucid
I spiralled gracelessly down into disk herniation hell
For nine crooked daze of tribulation
Saved 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 tramacet
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, stapled up, ablaze with pain, 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 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 grafiti canvas, the source, the core
Of genius, Johnson, Joplin and anonymous griots come before

From there, I followed stellar trails of ancient gourds
Up the Mississippi to decimated earth mounds
Rounded into decimals similar to sums of temples found in Kush
Rode currents swinging fluid as dancehall riddims, they pulled and pushed
I was moved to the marrow
So I grooved on, up through 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 jewelled, 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 a plot began to unspool
The smell of fear was palpable
My anxieties unclenched
And I drenched my frail, rail-thin 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, trapped in a crack addicts withered physical frame
Jarred half-awake
To scratch and lurch / crazily to the breaks /
So I took my endless faith / bravely to church /
The preacher was enraptured with my very essences
I could not stomach his fetishes, slick as earth abomination
Or manage to testify, I ain’t have currency 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 audience mere boos peppered with chuckles

Broken, my knees buckled, and I plunged into nothingness
Intense hunger invaded my consciousness
Convinced me to swim miles cross a dry river
Through sewage that cleansed me
For my entry into a bush of jumbies
With eyes like headlights, they tried to silence me
So that only sign language let my own bloodline to recognize me
Mouth scruffy, locks dreaded electric, personality split ended
Into roots untraceable, identities uncardable, my memory jooked
With hypodermic needles so I appealed to my burning books
Vague morality tales ablaze with cloudy logic
I could not swallow it
Nor could my conscience breathe through the smoke screens
I had to break free
Brain bursting into tears
It created wet seasons
With liquid melodies beaten on galvanize
Compressed my ego into fetal positions where I chrysalized
And emerged a blinded warrior to follow the call of Ouverture and Dessaline
Fused kreole into curves of conch shells to summon 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 epic poems 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
That sketched scars in subcutaneous scripts I could only meditate upon
But not decode
My un-fucking-navigated globe circling in to crush the laughter
As I spread my grin wider, to tunnel back to health
Held in secrets of deep breath and down-to-the-vertbrae vibrations felt
In red penned
Get well notes to self

© nth digri, 2015

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