Gain without gladness
Is in the bargain I have struck
–Liadan (7th century A.D.)
But he who hides his sickness
can hardly be brought back to health;
love is a wound in the body,
and yet nothing appears on the outside.
–Erasmus, Paraphrase on the Gospel of John (pub. 1523)
What would become of her finer qualities
if she didn’t nourish them by a secret love?
–Marie de France (1160 – 1215?)
A free woman. At last free!
Free from slavery in the kitchen
where I walked back and forth
stained and squalid among cooking pots.
–Mother of Sumangala (3rd – 1st century B.C.)
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Kimberly Townsend Palmer
Made in Heaven
(originally published in Exquisite Corpse)
He believes in eugenics — his line was bred for sad brown eyes turned down on the outer corners. He feels his Self slipping away, somehow. The Self he was creating — he did it, he was tied to a woman, a woman who didn’t really want him, a woman who flailed at being tied to men like an unbroken yearling colt flails at the lead chain. He fell in love with her watching her walk in the grass at the side of the road — bare arms, long brown dress, square brown handbag, pale white skin, waist-length brown hair. He’d had ten cups of coffee pulling an all-nighter to teach his first medieval history class. His role: the nervous young professor. He stopped to give her a ride — his first day on the job, he didn’t…
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A great interview, an interesting dialogue, a thought provoking interviewer! Hallelujah!
Mum C Writes
Nana Awere Damoah is my guest post for today. He is a man with brains and an objective voice. I can say he is the writer with the voice of reason in Ghana. His words “Ghanamonosyncratic nsempiisims” stuck with me from his book, I speak of Ghana where he presented all things as they seem in Ghana. I am very glad to have the honour of this interview with a true Ghanaian patriot.
NANA AWERE DAMOAH
Nana, please tell us about you, from birth to now in summary.
Thanks for this opportunity, Mum C. I was born 39 years ago in a taxi on its way from Kotobabi to Korle-bu. My brother remembers the registration number of the taxi and says someone (I can’t remember who) won the lottery with the numbers the week after I was born! My family were staying in a compound house at Abavanna…
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I felt I was Gloria, some angel living in her own hallucination of time. We were angels on LSD, on LPS. I was cheesecake, chocolate-dribbled, sexy & asexual, pop-rocks eye candy. Wrapped in a wealthy, yet tragic, past. DEEP BREATH. With my dreamy tones; those slow, hypnotic lyrics, my subliminal heavenly chorus of all that is female, the goddess inside us. Hypnotic, larger than life.
And so were the commercials. We really were all famous for about 15 minutes, but we couldn’t see that, all we could see was right now, right then. The atom bomb age, the Cold War, suicides, the Third World starving to death… children dropping like flies in Africa from famine. India, hit by an earthquake. Viet Nam cranking up, with war profits for the conglomerating corporations; divvying up the spoils of war. Kennedy, dead in Texas.
Be the girl all the bad boys want. DEEP BREATH. Sex turned into a Technicolor rock show, pure fantasy; turned into reality. People started living according to their own fantasies of what the world was like. The awakening grew harder; grew easer; grew harder; again & again.
Material wealth. An intoxicant. A drug. Addictive behavior. Spread it around. Moderation in everything. Reasonable assumptions? No? DEEP BREATH. Spell it the fuck out. Rules-based understanding. It takes me a long, long, long time to learn all the rules, all the techniques, all the subtleties. But when I figure something out, I have fucking figured the fuck out of it! DEEP BREATH.
I’m a dreamer; I’m a practical schemer. I’m a dreamer with a BMW; I’m a bad-ass schemer; I’m a waterlogged dreamer; I give up when there is trouble; I run like a rabbit. I dig in like a lion at bay.
Falling in love is wonderful. Once you fall in, take care never to fall out. Find something to keep your love alive… anything! Fasten on & fasten hard. In every way, so they say. Rumors fly. Determining actual facts is hard. All the shit I ever believed about myself came true. DEEP BREATH.
So, my body believes, at least. Next, to make my logical mind decipher the hieroglyphs. DEEP BREATH. Then my heart shall feel; then my soul shall live. DEEP BREATH.
It’s what Andy always used to say: artists are artists, no matter their profession or occupation or job or outward circumstances, and artists are the commodities of the very wealthy. DEEP BREATH. We’re all falling prey.
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