FRANKÉTIENNE -"READY TO BURST" (AN EXCERPT)

EVERY DAY, I EMPLOY THE DIALECT OF UNTAMED HURRICANES. I speak the mad- ness of opposing winds.

Every evening, I use the patois of furious rains. I speak the rage of over- flowing waters.

Every night, I speak to the islands of the Caribbean in the language of hysterical storms. I speak the madness of the sea in heat.

Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Language of storms. Unfolding of life in a spiral.

In its essence, life is tension. Toward something. Toward someone. Toward oneself. Toward the point of maturation where the ancient and the new unravel. Death and birth. And every being finds itself – in part – in pursuit of its double. A pursuit that might even seem to bear the intensity of need, of desire, of infinite quest.

Dogs pass by (I’ve always been obsessed with stray dogs). They yap at the silhouette of the woman I’ve been chasing. At the image of the man I’ve been seeking out. At my double. At the murmurings of fleeting voices. For so many years now. It feels like thirty centuries.

The woman has left. Without fanfare. Left my heart out of tune. The man never held out his hand to me. My double is always just a step ahead of me. And the unhinged throats of nocturnal dogs let loose terrifying howls, making the sound of a broken accordion.

It is then that I become a tempest of words, bursting open the hypocrisy of clouds and the deceitfulness of silence. Rivers. Storms. Flashes of light- ning. Mountains. Trees. Lights. Rains. Untamed oceans. Take me away in the frenzied marrow of your joints. Take me away! It would take just a hint of clarity for me to be born with nine lives. For me to accept life. Tension. The inexorable law of maturation. Osmosis and symbiosis. Take me away! It would take just the sound of a footstep, a glance, a tender voice, for me to live happily in the hope that Man is capable of awakening. Take me away! For it would take so little for me to speak of the sap that circulates in the marrow of cosmic joints.

Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Language of storms. I speak the unfolding of life in a spiral.

+Franketienne

 

Translated from French by Kaiama L. Glover.