Notes on Mathematical Bones: Ruminate Module
by Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah


As I am looking out of the window this early morning, the clouds                                                                   

have disappeared & you can see the town. Half of it is ruined

in the flood. The grave beneath the oak tree is opened & a voice

is departed from me with that figure I am to make

in my memory & distinguishing it from things I am to do,

your echoing footsteps go so far unrecovered, I wait                                                              

for the remittance to establish the omissions.



i am lopped out of my remembering shape



These objects left below are reflections behind the rocks,

are the rambling thoughts on the next rosy mornings

in the corner of the sun rising. I go downstairs. You are here

in the boudoir of the barmaid, speaking very gravely

about those solemn words I have used before the wording.

Oh yes! I return my host’s nodding but his own.                                                                                 

Here I remember our last conversation about him struggling between

attachment and obligation. I have lost the meaning I am,                                                                       

my inability no conceal that I am forced to make myself indispensable.


Near Count-the-Times-We-Kill you remain silent when we’re acknowledging             

our awaking world I build, this snow blankets in Regina in winter,

or this hot Sahara in a mountainous region of Aïr, oh yeah,

let’s count these times & most people get paid monthly,                                                       

& how much do you pay for all that trips?                                                  

Back home they ask me, adding, Can we be employed by you?                                                              

When one of them, rushing to put her arm round me, looking at

my face & I’ve a presentiment that must be no trifling with these,

after the season of wages has passed, another century has passed,

ads will be announced on radios, tvs, pub walls, in newspapers, etc,

a long queue at the employment bureau when foreigners walk                                                                                     

your pavement say, your gutters are filled with gold & hands,

seeming loosely hang together like a pattern of decorum within,

but poetry now living is the act we breathe at a dining table.

It’s noon, I stare in at the window of a cardboard building,                                                                                       

it appears, after all, in the sense I’m looking at myself still                                                                                                                      

sitting in the employment bureau waiting for a work with                                                         

a sighing sense of fullness, a young man sitting next to me,                                                                 

drops after every moment when his companion observes

with some decision, I understand you in short at last                                                                     

with proofs against everything is only another attestation.

So how do we conduct a funeral of a dead who doesn’t worship                                           

anything greater than or less than him & who’s still innocent?

& how much do you pay his mourners you’ve employed?


hiding the morning around a thought in the nervous breakdown




The windows in your body are widely open, we see the balloon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  floating up there, ‘cause it’s filled with helium gas & your skin                                                                                                                                                                                                             

made from a synthetic fibre, everybody is ok & we’re                                                                                                                                                

maximum altitude, the gas for cooking is at brim, dad                                                                                                             

comes home, happy, mum in the kitchen laughing with                                                                                                                                         

our next door on phone, kids in the street chase after                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

that paperchopper, everybody understands his or her                                                                                                                              

mouth, no walls, no faces, no keeping appearances,

he’s not lost his job & position when hoofs are lying strangely                           

on their sideways & the reins are still clutching among faces in panic;

no lizard tail, that size, to cement on in front without unrolling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

the cellophane shell in one eye around the walls bulging                                                                                                                

like a locked room or womb, your abiding love for abacus.


                 back to be conscious the rainclouds in rising hysterics




In Málaga I met a gypsy & nicknamed, Casagemas i Coll, whose                                                          

muscle-bound cover was creepin’ along the ground to small end,                                                                                    

or other, we spoke in Basque, Poztennaizzuezagutzeaz. We’d                                                       

small talk, kafe hutsa, & art at the Café Els Quatre. I was deeply interested                                   

in this dialogue, completing a survey I’d already been engaged.

out of the trench probably to be evapourated




Henceforth, voices aren’t significant again when corners                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

are relaxed in their own alphabet, I make the fascinating                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

dig for off endings, fitting into local vowels, we save                                                                                                            

energy, no utility bills, these kids ascend & descend on the ladder                                                                                                

leaning against the windstorms, even newcomers enter                                                                                                                       

the space with alacrity ‘cause they’ve what they want,                                                                                                                               

the airliner is no more empty or carries alarmists,                                                                                                           yeah, nobody, in fact, nobody is asleep, we transform                                                                                                                                                           

the inner peal into a fire, painted on the walls & ceilings,                                                                                                                   

I remain silent, you, the unbelievable, the salons engage                                                                                                                 

a thicket between dahlias, or cuticles, I cut the edge from the flesh                                                                                                                                                   

existing from our tongue still hanging elsewhere as crag,                                                                                                                     

we wrap the night with languishing blue eyes without                                                                                                                                                   

any smile from those pallid elder folks committing on points,                                                                                                             

I sit between you, I’m surprised to find how easy I’ve taken                                                                                                                      

this journey from dissolved mornings to nonchalance,                                                                                                                         

I paint the eyelashes & you lift up a friend’s face under                                                                                                                                  

my gaze, I absorb its contents that have been hidden                                                                                                                                                    

from beneath the daylight, a very faithful representation.

between action & prayer a shape is moulded from vines




At his funeral, the natives praised his coffin, natives who live

in the flood & keepin’ the dead in high rise, you’ve failed to understand,

I’ve failed to look beyond my conviction when I’m in possession

of all the  rest of this, I’m proportionately disappointed, that only


half in your confidence, is an obscure truth lurking in the loose folds,

I see your face & eye when you’re helping me to see my genuine

contentment in your gait, it seems a little addition to the rite.


                                    diminishing beach toward the next century



Now that these drawings, paintings, & sculptures produce                                                                                                                   

your album, I propose a walk with you in the tricky grounds.                                                                                                          


moonlight flows through the door at the far end



Here we’re deep in secured success to sketch their portraits                                                                                                      

marked with horizontal eyebrows on a paper with pins still hanging,                                          

I draw a little nearer you twitched & shrank down the dark avenues                                                 

of all the years that have lapsed in our hands, on motionless ground.


                        the weeds hurry into the full glare of your feeling




I count bull heads of flowers in the streets, marked by your counting.


                   under the skeleton of a shadow something else emerging




We yearn to write living poetry, a language for outsiders beyond the edge                             

of ember completing itself a camel caravan by nomads of a Berber- speaking                                                                  

group of the Tuareg, I take your feet through the huge sand dune.                                                   


                         like a long grave of sunlight something remains still




‘Cause I own you your oases for a landscape vast as your body,                                                     

I maintain my body of saguaros to store water in my trunks & branches                                               

for the coming days when we’re served as syrups for our safety,                                                                 

I remember a boy in my youth, I make you my Sacagawea.                                                          


                        slitting away the whiteness another whiteness now




We face the Shoshone territory in the Rocky Mountains,                                                                                          

trying to live outside their maps or categorizing peoples.

                                             a mirage waiting in silence


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