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  • Opitennin
  • Kamau Brathwaite (bio)

the landscape has no life no habitation no memory until there is a grave/crib under it – Márquez/Solitude See also NourbeSe ‘Meditations on CowPasture’

The morning that i stir within the narrow compost of my gravemiraculously ash space move around my head to open out my eyethe eyelids sticking down some time until they opening

That i cd lift my head and shoulders’ shadowsfind arms & legs to shift the crisp & sound-less wind-like gravel for more company. push myself forward up

sit there w/in the dark of worms & soft-stones for a whilemy nose allowing me to breathe the sticky myrrh of frankincense and bones.and somehow light here too. and space. more space.

to push my fingers’ hands up thru the coral up. ward up. warduntil i break into the peace and ancient sunlight of my birthmy one eye seeing all [End Page 40]

the green the grass the distant tattoos on the trunks of treesand then the trees themselves. their leaves and silvery design of branchesw/the wind within them swaying welcome

i cd not not believe it as i pushed up uprightsee the blackbirds hear the twits a gaulin wing above melike a kite and chilly mooring in the forgotten sky

its open blue as if my heart wd pierce it!

And so i push myself full up and climb myself out of the grave onto CowPasturewhen something turn my head around and there beyond the chain-link garden fencewas DreamChad’s washing on the line as if she nvr stop her washing after i had gone

And as i moved towards our homethe wind come up and blow the colours of the clothes towards me evermore [End Page 41]

Kamau Brathwaite

Kamau Brathwaite is a distinguished poet, historian, and essayist who taught for years at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and subsequently at New York University. He is the author most recently of the collections Strange Fruit (2016) and The Lazarus Poems (2017). In 1994, he received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and in 2015 he was awarded the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.



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