Crowns

i.m. Donald Rodney (18 May 1961 – 4 March 1998)  Emblems of countless martyrs devoured by the Atlantic, who remembers that slavery was monarchical, that historical atrocity came directly from the divine head, that gravity cannot be numbered. Do not seek to be venerated or to win the appraisal of civic awe, like for instance Basquiat’s crowns. Estimates have been made – “about 15 million” – but you didn’t allow your body to conform to that illness; you transformed that. But into what? Emblem of power and of savage mockery? Vehemence yet no vengeance? And yet, ever at the fulcrum like that ocean, bleak plain ink which echoes the aftermath of your rage which achieved the most difficult grace in the election of urgency (which is grace). Turbulent saccharum officinarum: you transformed all that. Obsessive sketching of that. The immense, miserable aftermath of that. Concentric abyss that your crowns turning wheels within time inexhaustible after a splash opens the death clinic chasm, turning the aftermath of surgery and slavery, growing irrepressibly without end, blood’s real provenance of what survives. And what survives is diaspora. (Braced, sotto voce, in this parenthesis, is your perpetual rage.) All else constitutes a lived fable.

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