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