Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Hate Artist

Recently, I wrote that I am caused increasingly to recognize how bound we are to the struggles of people within and outside of our immediate communities. In point of fact, we are not only bound, but similar, in that the monster we fight is the monster we all fight. This poem by Niran Okewole, which appears in the debut publication of African Writing Online, typifies this excellently and with great beauty. I have Sokari at Black Looks to thank for introducing us to this important new source of information and talent. I give you

~~The Hate Artist~~

by Niran Okewole

In the death camps there is a failed landscape
Artist with a meinkampf, brushstroke moustache
Mounting a collage of bones and hair on a canvas
Of Aryan pride.

His reincarnation in Alabama,
Worshipper of a black cross, cross upside down,
Cross burning, burning

He loves the texture of grief, like velvet,
Loves the feel of passion in heat
Waves, shock waves, the erotic melody of a
Bomb blast in Ulster or Beslan, shattering
Glass and crunching steel, the counterpoint.

Today he sculpts wood, leaving splinters in the eye
Of his imago, the other subculture.
He loves to sculpt the lean, lanky Tutsi frame,
Does Darfur bronze casts on the side.
(Nothing like molten ore for
drawing deathscapes on the skin.)

Brush strokes on tarmac, he paints with bombs,
Smouldering pastel, the soothsayer’s recompense,
Like de Chirico, wrought iron sticking out
Like ribs on the kerb, it could be blood or ketchup.

At a council flat in Leeds, munching a sandwich,
Plotting the mother of all intrigues, hate is the juice
That trickles down the chin when he
Chews on a red apple,

Libido rising at the thought of the crowd on the
Madrid metro, a baseball field in Nevada,
A market in Damascus, cinema house in Mogadishu.

Or Wimbledon. Or Kigali. Or Freetown.

4 comments:

Rethabile said...

Wow! Dayum!

Second time I'm reading this poem this month. It's powerful.

Charles M. said...

and poetic...

Changeseeker said...

Yes, Rethabile and Charles: Both powerful and poetic. And I thought the graphic I found was perfect for it, too, don't you think?

¿Yh8? said...

Nice post. Thanx fer sharing that awesome poem.