In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Ossuary I*
  • Dionne Brand (bio)

I lived and loved, some might say,in momentous times,looking back, my dreams were full of prisons

in our narcotic drifting slumbers,so many dreams of course were full of prisons,mine were without relief

in our induced days and our wingless days,my every waking was incarcerated,each square metre of air so toxic with violence

the atmospheres were breathless there,the bronchial trees were ligaturedwith carbons

some damage I had expected, but no oneexpects the violence of glances, of offices,of walkways and train stations, of bathroom mirrors

especially, the vicious telephones, the coarseness ofdaylight, the brusque decisions of air,the casual homicides of dresses

what brutal hours, what brutal days,do not say, oh find the good in it, do not say,there was virtue; there was no virtue, not even in me

let us begin from there, restraining metalscovered my heart, rivuletsof some unknown substance transfused my veins [End Page 1]

at night, especially at night, it is always at night,a wall of concrete enclosed me,it was impossible to open my eyes

I lived like this as I said without care,tanks rolled into my life, grenades took rootin my uterus, I was sickly each morning, so dearly

what to saylife went on around me,I laughed, I had drinks, I gathered with friends

we grinned our aluminum teeth,we exhaled our venomous breaths,we tried to be calm in the invisible architecture

we incubated, like cluster bombs,whole lives waiting, whole stellar regions,discoveries of nebulae, and compassion

from the cities the electric rains pierced us,the ceaseless bitter days folded like good linen,the phosphorous streets gave off their harmful lights

we bit our fingernails to blue buttonswe staggered at the high approach of doorways,plunged repeatedly to our deaths only to be revived

by zoos, parades, experiments, exhibits, television sets,oh we wanted to leave, we wanted to leavethe aspirated syllables and villages, the skeletal

dance floors, the vacant, vacant moons that tortured us,when the jailers went home and the spectators driftedaway and the scientists finished their work

like a bad dog chained to an empty gas station,for blue blue nights,I got worse and worse, so troubling

I would fall dead like a specimen,at the anthropometric spectacleson the Champ de Mars, the Jardin d’Acclimatation [End Page 2]

the mobile addresses of the autopsy fields,though I could see no roads,I was paid for losing everything, even eyesight

I lived in the eternal villages, I lived like a doll,a shaggy doll with a beak, a bell, a red mouth,I thought, this was the way people lived, I lived

I had nights of insentient adjectives,shale nights, pebbled nights, stone nights,igneous nights, of these nights, the speechlessness

I recall, the right ribs of the lit moon,the left hip of the lit moon,what is your name they asked, I said nothing

I heard the conspiratorial water,I heard the only stone, I ate her shoulder,I could not hear myself, you are mistaken I said to no one

the chain-link fences glittered like jewellery,expensive jewellery, portable jewellery,I lost verbs, whole, like the hulls of almonds

after consideration you will discover, as I,that verbs are a tragedy, a bleeding cliffside, explosions,I’m better off without, with vermillion, candles

this bedding, this mercy,this stretcher, this solitary perfectable strangeness,and edge, such cloth this compass

of mine, of earth, of mourners of thesereasons, of which fairgrounds, of which theoriesof plurals, of specimens of least and most, and most

of expeditions,then travels and wonders then journeys,then photographs and photographs of course

the multiplications of which, the enormity of this,and drill-bits and hammers and again handcuffs,and again rope, coarse business but there [End Page 3]

some investigations, then again the calculations,such hours, such expansions, the mind dizzywith leaps, such handles, of wood, of thought

and then science, all science, all murder,melancholic skulls, pliant to each fingertip,these chromatic scales, these calipers the needle

in the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 1-6
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.