275-27: Untitled

We leave tomorrow,she says, by noon, in order to harvest enough bullets before dark.  I flinch.  I hate harvesting, taxing on both the knees and  the blood.  Plus, by then, baby will be starving, our few supplies depleted and frankly  the bartering of bullets alone won’t fill our stomachs. Still, I follow her, like we followed stars when there were stars. Early morning, we pack what few belongings we have, steal the ones we lack and set forth at high noon. This particular sun is vengeful and the other grounders  find shelter in cement cavities and abandoned catacombs. Warily we  venture above,vulnerable.  The heat curses our trio heading towards the Fields, meandering around metal and bone carcasses.  So hot. Heat drums incessantly at my neck.  Sweat and soul release, my feet forget.  I drop to my knees and look at She who carries baby.  They haven’t realized that I stopped, and I can’t  don’t tell them. I’m fucking done.  I can’t.  I love you both.  I love you too Sun and I am so sorry. Forgive me. I reach down into my tattered pocket; a bullet.  Probably worth a dozen seeds on the line but that it is not this bullet’s purpose.  Genuflect, I force it to the back of my mouth. And press. Till I hear crack, till I crack.  She turns, and her face is frantic. She puts baby on the floor and her eyes stay on me, on my body as it freezes in burning ataxia.  I cry no tears. She beckons no words.  I give my body up to the essence…I..I..

 

Hello Sun. I am yours now.

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275-23: Keynote Speaker

Wow, It’s great to be here again in front of you all.

 

Friends, colleagues, leaders and trailblazers of the Green Conquest, I am so thrilled at the turn-out tonight for the 29th annual Sustain to Gain Gala event. I was asked by the organizers to say a few words about the Gala, and how profitable our crusade to green the globe has been.  Next to blocking out the sun, and we’re working on that, there is pretty much nothing we can’t and won’t do to make this world a better place for us!

 

(applause)

 

Before you get to your meals, I’d like to give a..what do the bl..inner-city kids call it again…sorry, I’m not quite “down”..ah yes…I’d like to give a shoot-out to the First Nations and the rest of those rag-tag group of indians. That’s why I’m wearing this feathery thingamajigger on my head, because, fellow venture capitalists, we need to remember that they’re humans too..kinda like us.  And a special shoot-out goes to my main beeyatch, Mama Africa! Right, amirite? C’mon, give it up!

 

(applause)

 

Providing us with superfoods and super villains, we couldn’t have made it to where we are without ya, tuts. Shell, you gotch yourself a keeper, buddy. Lucky bastard..
But enough with all these pleasantries, it’s not like any of these people are actually here, right!  So go ahead and dig-in to your heart’s content. We have enough polar bear roast to feed an entire army of child soldiers and a endless flow of red wine dark like the blood-stained streets of Bahia.  You earned it! Together, let’s leverage the world for a brighter future!

275-22: Mango nwa

In Ayiti’s  Cité Klere-Klere is where you and your sisters will find les Mango Nwa.  Literally  black-flesh mangoes growing downwards past the crumbling slabs of cement, past the shards of blood-stained glass, past what your father`s ancestors used to call soil (soul?)  and blossoming by some dark miracle in the buried skulls of the Dessous-Nu. You will know them by their roots. At the surface, these same finger-like roots claw at the sediment heavy fog and rigidly gesture profanities to the sun-killers of past days.

When you reach Cité Klere-Klere or whatever is left of it,  take a moment.  Stand there in the debris and touch the cold skeleton army of lamp posts that once made the city the heart of the Caribbean.  Taste the steel, press your tongue against its frame till your saliva is saturated by its grime.  What does it taste like?  Foreign aid?   Innovation?  Salvation? Old shit, perhaps.

Make sure, great-grandmother, that you cry deep astro black tears…and when the moment of mourning is fleeting and the surface still damp , you grab your sisters and start digging. Dig like you  truly are the first and last line of defense for Rne La.

That night, I promise, you will understand why I sent you forward to the Cité.  Why I asked that you bring your sisters.  Why I asked that together you harvest every last mango nwa in Cité Klere-klere and throw them deep into the acrid cesspool that is zone C3 of the Sans-Poisson Sea.  That would put the odds in our favour.

And, please, bring your rifle. After all these centuries, the piecekeepers still lurk amidst the rubble.

275-21: In Search of The White Ahaw

If you were to ask tomorrow’s farmers, they would all agree that  the White Ahaw is no myth but a very real entity.  They would say it comes in the form of a thick cloud, sagging with unwanted remorse only to burst one time on  dry black soil until the seeds dead of overdose.

Ask  the indoor field workers and they would all profess, that the White Ahaw is not a thing of legend, but a breathing and living mess.  They would say that it is like the frenzied pangs of torrential winds, forcefully licking through window panes and  door panels. Pure licks on any type of structure, on any type of history as it bawl-out  ‘Progress! Progress!’

Ask the Mystic Man Dem on Fielding Avenue and they will all attest, that to them the White Ahaw is no new-age theory but an ancient bona fide threat.  It is like bad inside-outside smoke, the kind that clings to your lungs  and muffles your voice, hiding the road to your own terms.

But see you now, looking for the White Ahaw..have you not been warned? Do you believe that you can invoke this creature and expect not to be scorned? You cannot eat its meat nor will it  work your land and it will grin as it teef  resources from your hand, what business do you have feeding this beast, child?  For the sake of tomorrow`s farmers, of the indoor fieldworkers, of the mystic  man dem who will always watch over your children, kill it and leave it there on the side of the road to rot in a pool of its own self-righteous promises.

275-14: The Response

Dear Ms. Shanice Collymore,

 

On behalf of The Holden Family Foundation, we would like to thank you for applying to the Communities on the Rise Funding Program.   Your proposal for funding was reviewed by our board of directors and stood out as one of the more unique requests for community support amongst a slew of very impressive projects.

We do however regret to inform you that your ‘Community Garden Initiative’ was not selected as a funding recipient. Although well detailed in terms of objectives and budget, it did not align with our targeted demographics criteria.

For future reference, I stress the importance of abiding by the set parameters of our application protocol as to increase your chances.  We do lay out specific population groups for selection.  The ‘at-risk’ category may have been a more acceptable fit for your proposal. The ‘inner-city’ or ‘urban’ options should have been given more consideration.  If applicants were to follow your lead and include their own demographic option on the application, our decision-making process becomes extremely difficult.    We were not prepared for your amended demographics option of ‘Niggas In need of that white boy money’ as this did not fit with the culture that our Foundation wishes to instill in the Community.

We encourage you to better identify your targeted demographic given the recommendations of our pre-determined selections.  This is how our foundation, will be in a better position to help you help yourself and provide the funding to necessary projects such  as the one  eloquently detailed in your recent proposal flourish.

 

We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavours,

Jessie McKinnie,

Treasurer of Holden Family Foundation

275-11: The Recipe

I gone and write down all deh ingredients down on piece a paper so, fold it twice from corner to corner and stuff it in my arse right tight so when the Lord does call me home, me and my Ginger Beer recipe gonna walk up to the pearly gates together as one. Cheez on, what a day that will be, yuh! In my three piece suit prim and proper ready to kick deh bucket and leave this wretched place, and leave all yuhs ungrateful children that plotting to teef my recipe from me. Chuh! Fool me once, if yuh please!

On my tombstone, that big piece of fine rock, make sure to write ‘Official Creator, Founder and Royal Curator of the Original Ginger Beer’ in the Queen’s Calligraphy yuh hear? That’s the very least you and your lazy brothers can do for yuh father. The very least.

In fact, I fit to write the recipe nice-nice so in blood-red ink on the last page of my Royal Barbadian Passport, so if ever I does forget where I going after the coroner pucker me up in my ivory casket, I can reach in my inner pocket and show all the heavens and the earth that I, Harold S. W. Walcott am the one and only official Barbadian Ginger Beer Royal Head Master, if yuh please. And I will die with my secret lodged in my old black arse and three cloves clenched in my cold fist. Tink I gunna let these unruly pickney take my good recipe,wreck it and then share it with their friends and family to enjoy? Over my rasshole dead body! Wuh loss!

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275-4: Black Gold, Black Power

Composting is the managed biological process that optimizes the conditions for microbes to break down organic waste in the presence of oxygen, transforming the organic waste into a versatile soil amendment primarily used to improve soil quality.

Composting, a stream of organics recycling, is location-specific, which physically ties the process to a limited circumference.  This differs from other recycling processes, where materials are shipped across oceans to be used or discarded.  The enforced circumference of organics recycling has people at its center and calls for greater stewardship and communal responsibility over the management of food waste.

The result of this process is compost also known as Black Gold. As communities of colour work towards self-determination, I believe that Compost can be a useful aid in reclaiming agency over oppressive living situations. The discipline of composting and the product that it yields can serve as a testament for communities to acknowledge their potential involvement in the food cycle.  Labelled as consumers, black communities if they so choose can identify themselves as producers, as agriculturalists  and in so doing, access more decision-making power  as to how their neighbourhoods flourish.

However, there is much work to be done to insure that organics recycling brings power to the people, and not get co-opted and green-washed by removed, capitalist interests.  This is hard.  Large-scale compost facilities tend to be built in struggling neighbourhoods often without consent from residents therein.  Traffic increases, pollution skyrockets all at the expense of the peoples’ health.

I do believe that organics recycling can be an integral step towards Afrikan Self-determination, symbiotically balancing black gold and black power all while resisting climate change and environmental degradation.