Saturday, May 26, 2012

at the end of the day

Despite my insane levels of anxiety, unpredictable insomnia, and chronically stupid decision making, at the end of the day or night (there's no beginning or end for me), I'm grateful for so many things.

I'll end with a quotation from one of my favourite novels, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio:

"It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood."

It's a beautiful novel that intricately captures the depth and complexity of human emotion, frailty, and strength.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

quotation from Lose your Mother

Quotation from Saidiya Hartman's moving journey in Lose your Mother:

"'STRANGER' IS THE X that stands in for a proper name. It is the placeholder for the missing, the mark of the passage, the scar between native and citizen. It is both an end and a beginning. It announces the disappearance of the known world and the antipathy of the new one. And the longing and the loss redolent in the label were as much my inheritance as they were that of the enslaved" (8).

In this book, Hartman journeys to Ghana to trace the history of the Black Atlantic slave trade, only to discover that tracing does not always result in a recovery, but, at times, a forgetting.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


“Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theater. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.”
Walter Benjamin, Berlin Childhood Around 1900

Our memories reside alongside the perpetually evolving past, being filtered, constructed, and forgotten. To return to past moments, events, objects, or people, as Benjamin asserts, is to dig. That is, there is no return without sweat, labour, and dirt. Above all, memory is performative.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


at one point, i thought i had a rebellious soul, but acquiescent demeanour. 
at one point, i trusted and believed in others.
at one point,  hope fermented within me.
at one point, i  intuitively buried the pain of others.
at one point, i predicted a future, the background a pedestal.
at one point, i offered guidance and moved between multiple spheres.
at one point, i gazed at madness from the outside.
at one point, i projected responses.
now i'm haunted by loss.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


insomnia i must make of you a friend
instead of erasure, you shall become my constant shadow
lurking deep beneath my eyes
because of you, i have sacrificed alertness for perpetual lullness--
dullness of the mind
i am reduced to inanimate thoughts limping
flailing, agitated, warring

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Holiday's "Strange Fruit"

When I think of protest songs, Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" comes to mind. This protest song par excellence, articulates the horrors of lynching in particular and racism in general. She translates her bitterness, abhorrenc , and pain with such depth that we can't but read them faithfully and share her sentiments. I wanted to share Holiday's powerful performance of Abel Meeropol's equally powerful protest poem "Strange Fruit."