13-10-17

Colin Channer, Herman Franke, Jeet Thayil, Sebastian Fitzek, Richard Howard, Migjeni, Arna Wendell Bontemps, Conrad Richter, Edwina Currie

 

De Jamaicaanse schrijver Colin Channer werd geboren op 13 oktober 1963 in Kingston. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Colin Channer op dit blog.

 

Mimic

I.
From the chopper shot
the beach is a golden border
on a brown-gray shack town,
a jumble on a point,
sweet flourish of Liberia
sweeping into waves.

My son and I are watching
this in lamplight from our low
brown armless couch,
iced roibos on the low wood table
where I keep a bowl of beat-up cricket balls,
a wink to where he indirectly comes from,
Makonnen, Brooklyn teenager
with Antillean roots
replanted in Rhode Island,
a state petiter than the country
where my navel string was cut.

He’s a boy who loves sketching,
drawing cartoons, eating fish and pasta,
swimming, but most of all
performing accents, likes how
they jokify the mouth.

He was born with the ears of a mimic,
a tight connect between what makes a sound
and how to counterfeit it, make it feel
authentic near its place of birth.

On screen, the camera jerks
behind an ex-warlord
up chipped-up stairs
to a big slab roof.
Here, he’s questioned by
a pink and meaty hipster,
dude keen to talk to men
who say they ate their foes in war.

This one here refers
to chopping wide the backs of children,
mimes reaching in the crack
to pluck a heart,
and munching it before a fight
for blood and courage,
naked at times, or done drag,
boots with wigs and dresses,
amulets and other charms,
the more bizarre
the better hidden.
Spirits can evade
the human eye.

Maki echoes all the interviewer’s
LA nasals. I laugh hard.
But when he takes on
a Liberian accent
I do not take it well
although I’m twisted
by the sketch, a poly-vocal
back-and-forth involving riots.
It’s peacetime and we’re at
Monrovia’s first McDonald’s.
Folks are vexed.
The burgers aren’t made
from human flesh.

I gently tell him he,
well, we shouldn’t joke too much
about this awful war,
and blah blah on about this country
founded on the coast of Guinea
by ex-chattel,
guide him through the marsh
of history to the present,
leading as a father should a son.

 

 
Colin Channer (Kingston, 13 oktober 1963)

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