Thursday, December 21, 2006

It Just So Happens


It just so happens that
I do not always have words for every occasion

It so happens that

Sometimes you surprise me so much, you bring tears to my eyes

It so happens that

You’re wiser than you know and I have been the drinker at your fount

It so happens that

It was you who reminded me every time I forgot that there is more than just me in the room

It so happens that

It was you who by calling made me feel human when everyone treated me like I wasn’t

It so happens that

It was you who made me want to get up each morning when I had no other reason to, just to see you

It just so happens that

I’m making it through this year because of you

It just so happens that

You’re my miracle.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Slide

It’s 1:20AM and I’m awake, I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I can’t drink and I have never felt I needed a drink more than I need a drink now. A drink would do it. A drink would relax me, my neck muscles would untense and my shoulders fall back. With a drink I would not breathe so fast trying to suck in more air than I need like I’m doing now.

With a drink my mind would travel out of my head, float out of me like on a magic carpet with the ease of perfumed Arabian night dreams. A drink would stop me from hearing this crash of rain on a roof outside I hear in my ears yet I clearly know it is not raining outside. A drink would make me write better, unhesitant, flowing easily, not watching myself like I’m doing right now.

A drink would make me put my pride aside, say Fuckit and call her because in the drink I would know clearly how much I love her. Desperately long for her; know, in between the stumbling bathroom breaks, I can never live without her. She is everything; I’m nothing, without her.

That first burning on my tongue tip sip would take me away from here. I would not be in this room, the bed in which my grandfather died a few feet away, at 1:23AM unable to bring myself yet sober to sleep in the same bed. I will sleep in that bed.

But with a drink, best of all, I would escape this dread.


The dread.

The dread of becoming something I saw as recently as this week’s Monday afternoon. The dread of becoming... Now that we are 26 and supposed to be adults. Now that we are 26 and out of university. Now that we are 26 and out of our parents’ control. Now that we are 26 and supposed to know what we’ll be doing with the rest of our lives. Now that we are 26 and our daemons can roam free. Now that we are 26… The dread. The dread of becoming NR. And NR’s not the only one.

NR 3:30pm Monday afternoon crumpled, groaning on the floor of our sitting room on a mat, retching, the windows and doors wide open for the smell to escape. NR, one of the best friends of my youth, now a stranger, bleary-eyed, numbed even to me, unable to talk, mumbling now as we walked home from the bar he had beeped me to pick him up from, four hours late for our twosome reunion because he needed just one for, “the hangover. I was going to call you but I had no credit.”
NR.

NR who with sad wistful eyes seeing the hollow where my heart used to be over the din of ordering another one from the waitress could say, “All women are bitches” and make me feel better, make me smile for the first time in a week when I had hardly slept with too much time on my hands and one girl on my mind. In Nakulabye Rhino Pub, drinking our separate sorrows away. How far I have come!

The wit is gone, the humour is gone, the fun is gone. Only your easy to hurt eyes remain and that adhesive memory that still recalls the phone numbers of people who will still buy you a drink. NR I’m afraid of becoming like you because I can still become like you, 2Pac wondering “am I falling off” when a week passes and I don’t write something because I don’t drink anymore. F.Scott Fitzgerald fooling myself I still have it under control. Ernest Hemingway seeming I do.

Richot, V&A, Johnny Walker, Amarula, Pilsner, Chairman, Eagle, Vodka, Uganda Waragi, Kwete, Dollar Gin, Bell, Liberty…. Oh Lord, names more precious than all the women and people I have loved or tried. Names not one forgotten but I don’t want to go on.

With a drink I would not worry, about anything. But I can’t drink. I don’t want to drink anymore. This is going to a long night, longer than the night when I knew she would never be mine and I dragged myself away from that window through which, standing on two perilously balanced Sadolin cans of paint, I had been peering at them until I saw her hand pulling down the zip of his trouser laughing and eager. Backed away, hurrying back to my hired boda boda rider waiting a distance away in the dusty road but before I could make it to him suddenly found myself unable to and crouched on the ground holding onto my stomach, convulsed in a wordless scream, shaking. Well, my fingers are trembling but I'm holding on. This night will be longer. But when morning comes, another day will have been born when I have not touched a drink. These four Vodka sachets in my hand will still be four, I hope.

The Queen Live: Honestly Ok by Dido

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Paleos


Well now that it's been gone for quite a while I can talk about it. If you were sick, perverted or just this borderline of insane, werewolf sleepless and curious, you certainly were once there. I call it Paleos because I still somehow harbour this crazy hope that this club will one day again like a phoenix rise to entertain like it did me in my time when I needed such entertainment (God knows, I needed it!). In the years before anyone had ever heard of Shadow's Angels or worse cross dressing Amanda's Angels and when New Life Bar in Nakulabye was just another bar with a wonderful second story porch view of a trading center that never completely goes to sleep with always one more rolex maker at his coal ember glowing sigiri stand tirelessly rolling and a one door small pub holding out with spirit addled patrons leaning like shot soldiers in their groaning blue plastic chairs out for the last still mumbling customer was still nothing special and Sax Pub was more frequented by bored journalists who needed three beers and a shot of Uganda waragi before they could go outside to whisper to the women of the night their ten second needs furtively fulfilled in the corridor behind Sax Pub, Paleos was there and I was a member. Never planning to be. From the night I came late with a friend already a member from a Miss something beauty competition at Africana Hotel and it was already 3am in the morning, no point going home when we were so awake, he suggested just the place to relax better where the beauties were not on some distant catwalk but finding you in the member's only upstairs lounge for a drink came into your unlit corner and curled across your lap like you were the most comfortable fur sofa they had ever lain upon. No rules here, no names mentioned, no need for words. At Paleos. So long ago that it’s nearly four years ago that Paleos ceased to exist.

In tha Dome: Wild 2 Nite! By Shaggy featuring Olivia

Because of 2 Peas

Many times when you hear “he rose from rags to riches to where he is now”, it is often not true. It is an exaggeration. But in David Katumwa’s case, it is an understatement because he did not just rise from rags to riches to owning one of Uganda’s leading sporting goods store, Katumwa Sports Center. Katumwa did not even have a rag to start with.

“I grew up in business into a businessman in a very poor family because I never grew up with my mum and my dad. They did not want me. I grew up with my grandparents but not the only grandchild of their feckless grandchildren they were looking after. I was the very first child my parents had and you see, they were still very young when they had me. I don’t think they had planned to have me, I was a mistake."

"Although my father was well educated up to University, he was studying further and my mother was still studying in secondary school. They were just having fun and they didn’t mean to be with each other forever, to get married and settle but there was an accident and I was conceived. Because they were still very young and they had not meant to always be with each other, they had disagreements before I was even born. They were fighting and just as when two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers, I suffered. Desperate, angry with my father and not wanting to look after me herself because she still wanted to live her own life, one day when I was just six months she took me to Namulonge, dumped me at her mother’s house and never came back for me. I never saw them again.”


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hey Ya, What Do You Know?!

  • I’m still madandcrazy! Not as confident I used to be, wildly swimming in unchartered waters without a lifebelt, but trawling on nevertheless, LA's example an inspiration, things done changed, I tell you!

    Sometimes I wonder about the direction my life is taking and if it is the right one. I know it is the right one and I have chosen it but still, some mornings, in the dark in bed, before curtain edges begin to lighten, I wonder.

    I have been to the same church three times this year, each time unintentionally, though no one forcing me there. The most peaceful I have felt was walking to this church in the cold morning through the dew speckled grass and then walking back, stopping at a TOTAL petrol station to buy the day’s newspapers, a man walking home on Sunday morning after church, to see her.

    I’m afraid of success. I think it will destroy me. All my life I have been trying very hard to fail. Most of the people in my life will not let me fail and have frustrated me at every turn. I'm only still coming to grips with the reality that I was born to succeed.

    Aubade is my favorite poem. I hate it that Aubade is my favorite poem. I was 16 years old when I first read Aubade, a culled portion in a St. Paul Christian text book I found my eldest brother’s library cupboard. I was home alone that afternoon, waiting for the advertisements in between Neighbors to end so I could begin watching again on his 15-inch Panasonic black and white TV. I was supposed to be sick, off from school.

    I constantly think about deleting this blog not because I’m tired of writing in it or I’m afraid at some future date when I’m much older, something I wrote in here maybe used against me or used to bring me down in some way but because it’s just something I have been doing for so long. I throw things away before I can care too much about them. I’m afraid I maybe losing that ability.

    I’m ‘wiser’ in my writing than I am in real life. I still cannot understand how this can be. Strange. But it has helped me understand what DH Lawrence meant when he said trust the tale, not the writer.

    I have been an interviewee, at least as far as I can remember, four times on radio, Countryboyi’s Campus radio interview included. The interview I enjoyed the most was
    Countryboyi’s in which I’m afraid I may have said a little bit more than I meant to and now he’s blackmailing me. At least once like every three months, I meet someone who says they heard me being interviewed on BBC radio, an interview I did straight off the streets into their Clement Hill Road Kampala studios. I will be interviewed on Radio Sanyu when a story I wrote in October will be running in December. I don’t know how to get out of it. I don’t want to do interviews anymore. I talk too much when someone gets me started on writing and what it means to me.

    I have known since I was 12 I must be a writer.

    The most important year in my life upto this moment was 2003. I met my girlfriend,
    Baz, Hipflaskswigger, and Undo became a very close friend. They have all radically altered my life. Undo patiently talked me into writing again after a two year hiatus in long Saturday evening walks from his hostel in Makerere Kikoni just below El Shadai, Hipflaskswigger made me finally see why my writing had stalled through many beer drinking Larkin quoting nights in a bar on Dewinton Road, Baz with pithy one liners provided the avenue, and she undamned me. She undamned me.

    Tonight we will meet the first baby in my family since June 1986 when my little brother was born. I’m going to become an uncle! And my parents’ grandparents! Shit, we're getting old... You cannot even begin to imagine how excited I’m! Okay, maybe if your big brother has had his first son or daughter, then you might know. Anyway, tonight I find out if I have a niece or nephew, the littlest and newest December addition to the family. A November baby like our Dad, well now there’s a thought! Can Christmas be anymore joyful?

Can't Get My Mind Off Of: Racing in the Street by Bruce Springsteen

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

back from the brink in the ring


I was born madandcrazy, never pausing for thought, until I nearly lost you. Now I don't know if I'm crazy anymore or mad enough and I don't know who I'm without you. I'm lost, my soul on ice, figuring the new me out.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tell me your story

I’m a book addict, reading anyway and everywhere because books save me. Books have saved me. Again and again. And I know I will go the afternoon I don’t pick up a book. Because this has happened before. Books pulling me back. Always books. Books. Even as truant junior Casanovas going out to practice in skills that took us far, in odysseys that ended after ten minutes, docked, panting on mats on muddy floors in incomplete bungalows next to hostels with weeping, sighing ‘virgins’ that became only another form of a drug to be more feverishly sought. Heart snatchers, boasting, fatally, of being angel faced heart killers. Of the four, two dead, one dying and I still here to tell their story, saved on an afternoon by a book. This is our story, a part of it anyway. Beginning in the Aga Khan High School library, there for Nina, the librarian’s student assistant, unbeknownst to me then that afternoon, evening and night, after pizzas beers chips and chicken, singing with raised legs another man’s name in a room in Hotel Equatorial. Discovering...

The book: Reader’s Digest Family Treasure of Great Painters and Great Paintings, instead of Nina, getting more cynical about women, a long time before I could bring my heart to any, years, timidly before I could finally even bring it to one only. Witness how it went down for this child. Former poet at 15, a year sworn off rhymes, the writing finger twitches refusing to cease, Prefect, after the changes, where I hardly ever ventured, for Nina going back and never finding her. Never to. On that unmarked shelf standing before a revelation.

Often unsure about what I wanted in this life but definite in the silent afternoon rooms of my mind about what I did not want, I remember poring page over page, absorbed in awe in the intricacies of Vermeer’s craftsmanship, Caravaggio’s wild lusts connecting, empathizing with Cezanne’s wordless fury, frightened by glimpsed vistas of me in van Gogh’s trials, knowing for the first time I was in the presence of something close to what on 26-4-’80, 12:30am, I had, mewling, been pushed into this world for. Remembering the reasons why.

My hands shaking, like how Catherine Blake shook seeing William for the first time, in the furthest end of that library, the roar of the rain outside unable to dull the dawning realization of the terrible path I was setting my sandaless feet on, already cracked and bleeding from futile rebellion races. Set apart without my consent. The lives of Gauguin, Degas, Monet, Rembrandt offering not consolation but confirmation of the pain and living purgatory ahead every single breathing moment from now on that would not end until I was laid in my cheap wood coffin with a frowning caretaker counting the coins in the bereaved basket.

The heart weeps, I know, because mine did with joy as flicking breathlessly through the whole book disbelievingly. I remember reading, warm and fuzzy all inside me and outside me the way only wine in Sheraton Hotel on an Africa Big Brother launch night when I did not have taxi fare and I was going to walk all the way home after my work assignment and kwete in Kisenyi drinking with the owner has made me feel. I remember reading and getting lost in that book, forgetting myself as only one other book has made me feel. I remember hearing rain, rushing pouring windy rain I could not see because the library had no windows but rain only I could hear. I remember chuckling happily that my friends truancy was ruined, pleased with my wisdom, not a bit regretful at all. I remember the rain making me feel that everything else was closed off to me was pushing me towards this book and I remember being so happy about that.

My faith faltered by knocks that seemed like Everests’ before, I remember sitting on the edge of that chair knowing that no matter what, no matter how many sellouts I met and knew, I would be the one to hold out, refusing to barter this thing inside me for any price in the world, holding on as I was holding onto that book because my life depended on it. Finding my faith again Friday, 28 February 2000, six years away from hearing 2Pac sing my life, "I was born not to make it but I did, the tribulations of a ghetto kid. Still I rise." Alone but not frightened anymore.

For years till that afternoon, since I was a 13 year old Buganda Road Primary School kid filling two 48-paged Visa exercise books with scribblings in between bottle top football games and Scooby Doo cartoons on UTV that made my favourite English teacher take off his spects and look at me in wonder; I had been impersonating courage, a mirage in my own life. That afternoon after, like a long trekking 17th century Timbuktu pilgrim back from Mecca, becoming myself again.

Unafraid to hug Martin, the librarian and only man who for a few fleeting hours in pure mad joy I ever felt physically comfortable with, when in exuberance at my inchoate ravings and near tears, declared I could take the book and keep it forever because only someone who wanted that book as much as I desired it deserved to own it. He could get another to replace it.

I remember sleeping in my bed with this book for a week nearly, incredulous, unable to believe it was mine forever. A kid who had lost more than any kid that age should lose and battling unnamable demons, waking many times many nights my sweaty palm gripping tightly to reassure myself this book was not another dream from which in the cold air morning I would awake empty handed.

The first thing in years, I did not want to throw away. All these years later still owning that book which never leaves the table on which sits Betsey. Next to Betsey (hard earned baby), my most prized possession. Strange, after all these years, still unable to let it go.


All Night On: It Ain't Easy by 2Pac

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My New Religion

With the pain in my brain dulled, I sit down before the computer

Trying to remember what life was like, the day before you came. Trying to reconstruct from the bombed out remains of this city that was once my life, how I lived, before you came. Before there were mornings when I woke up to eyes glowing in the morning on the pillow next to mine with a softly whispered, “Good morning, how was your night?” I try to remember, mornings before this morning, mornings when I did not have to murmur back, “Oh, it was…” sweetly slipping back into a dream to wake again, ten, twenty minutes later to eggs frying with an aroma that makes me sit up suddenly in bed, stomach growling. I try to remember mornings before this morning, the day before you came.

I shouldn’t be doing this, I shouldn’t be doing this

I know I had a life before you! I know I was not dead! I just can’t seem to remember my life before you, my life before the day you came. It wasn’t at all bad. It wasn’t at all sad. Heck, I had my John Keats, I had my job, and I had a black notebook with numbers that in the night I opened to dial and I did not have to be alone, the day before you came. When I did not go home before 10pm and met quite a number of mice in my pantry with tears in their eyes on Monday morning when I returned after a roistering weekend that took me in speeding death merchants into towns that were blurs from behind the car windows behind the beer glasses, slurping droplets, laughing, the day before you came.

This tea just doesn’t do it, I know you said no more coffee

The day before you came, I had my life planned out; I’m trying to remember what those plans were. Crazy, strange, deranged, another wild child stuck up in the game, the day before you came. Betsey up in my crib, that account opened and the M7s piling up, no steadier eye on that promotion trained, studying pictures of the type of potbelly I wanted at home, squinting in the dark in the candlelight over rehearsed budgets, the day before you came.

They say there are two deaths and one birth

But nothing makes any sense but you and it's like I was non existent before you, before the day you came and I’m so gone with you, I think I can hardly breathe and now I don’t know what to do about it. I'm lost for words. Speechless. In love with you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

10 Things

i want...

1. my weekends back. Saturday afternoon slumped in the couch in front of the tv, fan whirling somewhere, bored, happy.

2. sunday morning in bed, sleeping five minutes more, before Church, Mum banging on my door.

3. friday evening in Wandegeya at Neolite with Michael, K promising his on his way traffic held up, to talk about the love of his life, his vintage white landrover, before everything changed.

4. to be in Bulaga again, in the last taxi there, past the foul fish smelling swamp, after 10, on the verandah, Royal Vodkha in hand, plateful of Michael's special pork in the other, the undead puppy rolling with a bone in the moonlight, Biggie blasting from Michael's room, the weekend coming on.

5. my house again. Monday morning waking at 4am, in a cold sweat, sheets drenched, phone green light flashing, Ronnie "I'm on my way and I got two twin sisters with me," dashing out to buy a whole pack, pictures disappearing out of photo frames and that jingly air freshner getting a good futile shake.

6. to be able to sit down and watch a movie and not fast forward, because tomorrow i got a million things to do and 24 hours is hardly enough and this movie sucks and i got to think of new ways to say it sucks without dropping off to sleep before i say it.

7. i want to be able to sit down and watch a recently released movie and be surprised.

8. buy a book on Kampala road or in Owino Market on the spur, walking with Brian or Lil Cease, in the morning, an hour before lunch, headed down to Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road, our day done...thinking of the afternoon's pleasures.


9. talk to Lovely Amphibian and ask him how he knew she was the right one, the one he is going to marry, because sometimes i wonder and i wonder if sometimes, in the bathroom alone knotting his tie, listening to her talk in the other room about the scarf her friend bought, he too sometimes still wonders.

10. be young again, be able to walk away from anything again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back Tonight for the First time I Get…oh hell Blog Again Step-Child!


A true story

I’m not a guy who asks me too much of this life. All I need is a room and peace of mind to write, two daughters and maybe a son with the good woman who gave them to me, and for their sakes to not be poor but neither either offensively wealthy. Only to be rich enough to provide them with the kind of life that enables a frame of mind with which each of them can believe and know they can do and be anything in this world of their choosing. Simple wishes then. But it’s the simplest dreams that struggle hardest to come true.

In my world there are malevolent forces always primed to squat hard on these simple entertained musings. Once it was the daemon of laziness in me, an attitude of mind that celebrated short-term pleasures over enduring long-term gains, an inner back alley Molotov wielding anarchist torching the stores of my own dreams, before she came into my life. Unexpectedly it was in school too from the sneering lips of thwarted stunted lives with quarts of Uganda waragi bottles peeping from worn trousers in front of classrooms with dull-minded deskmates who couldn’t understand why I got it before the teacher explained it. Too many times too, it was the people I worked for who spoke of their workshop as a “family” but paid too little to keep the family fed. Sometimes too, painfully, it was a friend become blood brother. But never before, in my own life, was Judas the bank. Like Nile Bank that out and out robbed me last week.

One of the rules in my life, after witnessing the tragedy of a family friend and the others I see around me everyday like end of the week bus wreck in the process of unfolding, is to never let money and the hunger for money rule my life, “Cause money's like a strong prescription drug, it's got me addicted to the pleasure and the pain it inflicted Somethin bout the paper wit the pictures of the president's, head Damn, it's like a motherfuckin plague!” And yet from time to time in the temple of Mammon, for my loved ones, I worship too.

Lately because of my big November plans, my ardour has been more intense than a Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine pilgrim who won’t be distracted. And frowning annoyance at petty amounts of shs. 5000 and shs. 10,000 that always seemed to be missing from my Nile Bank ATM account from time to time has turned into saliva frothing rage because the nibbler at my account this time bit off a whole chunk.

On the evening of Friday (I know, how clich├ęd) 13th October, I went to my Nile ATM account all geared for a roistering weekend, backpack slung over my shoulder to discover that shs. 120,000 is missing from my account! The bank claims the impossible, that either I withdrew the money off the ATM or someone used my card on the 10th October at 12:30pm. A finicky lifelong habit of retaining for at least a month all kinds of receipts I receive disproves I may have withdrawn that money and forgotten all about it because I have all my month’s receipts for deposits and withdrawals and there’s not a date in them that I don’t remember ever, itchy-fingered, going there. My ATM card never left my wallet unless it was to be slotted into the ATM machine by myself all this time. But the bank insists the money was withdrawn using my card and it is I who withdrew it. There is nothing they can do for me. I’m still in shock.


Head Bobbing To: If I Had by Eminem

On My Wall Hangs a Poem That Reminds Me

The outside world pressures you into a mold,
but if you don't accept that-- gamble with life.
Call it gambling.

You know when I decided to become professional--
that means to expose yourself naked to the world
with the other creative minds,

I said, "I'm going into areas I don't know
I might just fall right down to hell and kill myself."

And I said, "Well, who cares?
I'd rather do it and see what it's all about."
I don't want the safe way.

The safe way limits you."

Louis Nevelson

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Red"


What will it be like on the day I die?

Will I have a presentiment that the end is behind that door and that beyond when I turn that gnarled, heavy silver knob I can never come back? Will I falter, will my legs fail me and will I plead for more time? Will I try to make a bargain with fate and wager for one hour more?

What will it be like on the day I die? Will I be dressed appropriately? Will I wonder if my unruly hair needs the comb one more time and before I walk into the room where I will die, see in my mind’s eye her frown that I do not care about these things, on the day I die?

Will I be thinking of lunch or the first time I stood lost on a road looking for the Omo sign post she said pointed the way to the road that led to her home that warm afternoon on a Sunday? Will I be thinking of how her cheeks dimple when she smiles and how oooh so much I love them and she cooks the best fried spaghetti I have ever eaten and how I want all this to be finished so that I can seated on the floor with her under the window back when were young and poor and used to insist we took tea suppers with buns because it was novel and exciting by candlelight and she used to laugh, will I be thinking of this on the day I die? What will it be like on the day I die?

Will I die instantly with help seconds too late and the doctor still struggling into his surgery gloves or will it be a slow, lonely death in our country house two days before our grandchildren come over for holidays and I’m alone waiting at the back of the house, crumpled on the stairs remembering my father’s eyes and the day I first saw him as a man and cried? What will it be like on the day I die?

What will it be like on the day I die? Will it be sudden, something I did not expect, looking up from my reading Keats poems to see the driver swerve into the way of a speeding timber truck and think, “Here it comes and I’m not ready. Here it comes?” What will it be like on the day I die? Will it be on the hour of my choosing, unopened Bond 7 bottle on my bedside table, loaded magnum in my trembling hand sorry that I have to stain these white silk hotel bed sheets on the day I die? What will it be like on the day I die?

Will I be sinning, in the act of my final betrayal, caught, stunned like deer in headlights, keeling over another blank sheet of paper like Flaubert, remembering as my eyes glaze at my tin of never-used- expensive pens Austin Bukenya’s sad whispered confession all those years ago in the British Council Uganda offices at Rwenzori Courts, “I have not written as much as I should have,” when I was still young and promising on a starry, chilly night that seemed to go on forever? What will it be like on the day I die?

What will it be like on the day I die?



OFF THA HOOK: Suicidal Thoughts by The Notorious B.I.G/ I Seen A Man Die by Scarface

Friday, September 29, 2006

This Used To Be Me Before You



Over my head, I see a bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in the green shadow.
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

Lying in a hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
James Wright

Friday, September 22, 2006

Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae

When I first moved into your life, stranger I never met, I used to look for signs of you. Lingering traces to prove you had never left. Irrefutable evidence to nail down the truth she was still in love with you.

Sometimes I thought I had found them. In the way she used certain words; using quaint slang like “slap” to mean she was pleased with an idea I had had for where to drive to for our Saturday afternoons, to another secluded beach in a town with three kiosks. Slanging I was sure she could only have learned from you.

Living with her I was living with you when she did not like the way I cleared my nose and throat before volubly spitting in the bathroom sink before sleep, would sit up pouting till I noticed I had stepped out of my trousers lying on the rug almost pulling back the blanket to enter bed, always trying to insist I sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door: all these once endearing male habits now hated because you were no longer together and she did not want me imitating them because I could never be you. Because of you, I thought, with her I could never be a man.

I had looked at your photographs in her album of you so long I was certain you had a bigger everything. Making love, hearing her call again and again while gasping for breath, sweaty, forehead furrowed, eyes squeezed shut, “You’re the best! The best! No one has ever done to me the things you are doing to me!” I knew only you were on her mind. Always you.

I hacked into her email inbox, followed her to work in the morning and waited around the corner after, hired Romeos to try-test her resistance for the time when you would come back to woo her, waiting for you. Sure you were coming, she was waiting. Your phone number in my address book I called you. I was so busy finding you, I never did find her.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

bible times

TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996)


Krazy

(feat. Bad
Ass)


[Intro]


Hand me a cigarette DAWG! [inhales]
They got me feelin crazier than a motherfucker
I got Bad Ass in this motherfucker
Makaveli the Don, representin the Outlawz
Bad Ass representin the L.B.C.
So what'cha wanna do? Y'know how we do it


[overlapping the Intro]


.. puffin on lye
Hopin that it get me high
Got a nigga goin cra-zy
Oh yeah, I feel cra-zy


[Chorus]
Time goes by, puffin on lye
Hopin that it gets me high
Got a nigga goin cra-zy
Oh yeah, I feel cra-zy
(Tell 'em bout it)


[2Pac]
Last year was a hard one, but life goes on
Hold my head against the wall learnin right from wrong
They say my ghetto intrumental, detrimental to kids
As if they can't see the misery in which they live
Blame me, for the outcome, ban my records - check it
Don't have to bump this but please respect it
I took a minus and now the hard times are behind us
Turned into a plus, now they stuck livin blinded
Hennesey got me feelin bad, time to stop drinkin
Rollin, in my drop-top Jag, what's that cops thinkin?
Sittin in my car, watch the stars and smoke
I came a long way but still I got so far to go
Dear mama, don't worry; I'ma watch for snakes
Tell Setchu, that I love her, but it's hard to take
I got the letter that she sent me, and I cried for weeks
This what came out when I tried to speak - all I heard was


[Chorus - repeat 2X]


(One, two, three, four)


[2Pac]
I see bloods and crips runnin up the hill
Lookin for a better wayyyyyy..
My brothers and sisters it's time to bail
cause even thug niggaz prayyyyyy..
Hopin God hear me, I entered the game; look how much I
changed
I'm no longer innocent - casualties of fame
Made a lot of money, seen a lot of places
And I swear I seen a peaceful smile on my mama's face
when I gave her the keys to her own house, this your land
Your only son done became a man
Watchin time fly; I love my people do or die
But I wonder why, we scared to let each other fly
June 1-6, '7-1, the day
mama pushed me out her womb, told me, "Nigga get paid."
No one can understand me - the black sheep
Outcasted from my family, now packin heat
I run the streets, a young runaway, live for today
When he died, I could hear him say, c'mon..


[Chorus - repeat 2X]


[Bad Ass]
God help me out here, cause I'm posessed
I need the root of all evil for my stress
Cause money's like a stong prescription drug, it's got me
addicted
to the pleasure and the pain it inflicted
Somethin bout the paper wit the pictures of the president's,
head
Damn, it's like a motherfuckin plague that spread
It's epidemic; forgotten, forgotten it got worse
I keep my head on straight, makin money cause it's cursed
Makin money makes a difference day by day so I gotta stay
paid, no doubt, day in and day out
This life is like a vicious cycle called fightin to live
No matter how hard you try, it's in death, you gotta die
A lot of my, peers didn't make it to the years to come
Did life doin right, or did life livin dumb
Who has the answers? I wonder; I turn to my elders
They aged and experienced, but they can't even tell ya
or tell me, that there'll be light at the end of the road
(Why?) Cause they don't even know
A million thangs run through my mind..
You ain't gotta be in jail to be doin time..


[Chorus - repeat 2X]


[Chorus repeats while Tupac speaks below]


[2Pac]
I feel fucked up in this bitch.
I smoked half a ounce to the head
Chocolate tye, indo, Hawaiian, lambsbread, buddha, all that
shit
I'm fucked up in this motherfucker, and Hennesey don't help
and Hennesey don't help - Thug Passion in this muh'fucker
Makaveli the Don puttin it down to the fullest, maximum
overload
3 Day Theory - Killuminati to your body
with the impact of a 12 gauge shotty
Double-I slugs, no love, straight thugs
One time for my niggaz in the jail cell
(One time for my niggaz locked up)
One time for my niggaz doin life in hell
(One time for my niggaz and shit, one time)
One time for my niggaz in the jail cell
(One time)
One time for my niggaz doin life in hell
(One time for my niggaz locked down)
One time for my niggaz in the jail cell
(For my niggaz locked up, one time)
One time for my niggaz on Death Row
(One time for my niggaz on the Row)
For my niggaz on Death Row
One time for my niggaz livin, broke
(Westside, California style, L.A.!)
One time for my niggaz livin, broke
(You know what time it is, no doubt)
One time for my niggaz in the.. jail cell
(Get high, puffin on lye, wonder if it get me high)
(Yeah, yeah, crazy..)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Young Ugandans To Watch No.3

I know an artist called Pius Kyomukama


who can do work like this



and this

and this


he never ceases to amaze me


he's another young Ugandan

based in Najjanakumbi doing it all on his own without any aid.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Felix


I go gagga over this beauty. he's fought for me, I would fight for him---and you if you touched him with intent to harm! He's My fighting Temeraire!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Life Plan

I want a house by the beach with a writing window facing the lake, a good woman to make love to, two daughters at bedtime to read to, and always I want to hear this because…

It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often ‘tis in such gentle temper found,
That scarcely will the very smallest shell
Be mov’d for days from where it sometime fell,
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound.
Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vex’d and tir’d,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea’
Oh ye! whose ears are dinn’d with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody---
Sit ye near some old Cavern’s Mouth and brood,
Until ye start, as if some sea-nymphs quir’d!


On the Sea
John Keats

A World Away I Could Not Forget


The first time I read this poem, my world stopped.

SLUM DAY

The monotonous tap of the blacksmiths’ sounds.
Long shadows zebra the roads;
Partners stretch and yawn,
Their girls catch up on sleep.
Dew lies still on the piled maize,
And children tumble their way to school.

The vendors squat behind their wares.
Careful spenders have enough for food,
The careless flounder in the shade
Press emptiness against worn grass.
The pious wash and pray.
Heat stills the birds: the crickets sing.

Smoke curls to stifle the quiet air.
The lamps are lit: music begins to play.
As bars begin to fill,
The girls waken and parade.
Children quarrel their way to bed.
Life has been won from another day.
Jim Chaplin

Jim Chaplin was Director of Monuments in Uganda when he was knocked down and killed in Kampala in March 1967. He was well known to many young writers in East Africa and put much of his own enthusiasm and interest into writing and discussing poetry.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In Awe, Again

Ayi Kwei Armah


CHAPTER FIVE

"The reproach of the loved ones comes kindly when it comes in silence. Even when this silence is filled with the consciousness of resentment there is always the hope that they understand whatever vague little wishes there are to understand, as if one could forever keep up the pretense that is the difference between the failures and the hard heroes of the dream is only a matter of time. Time in which to leap across yards made up of the mud of days of rain; to jump over wide gutters with only a trickle of drying urine at the bottom and so many clusters of cigarette pieces wet and pinched in where they have left the still unsatisfied lips of the sucker. Time to sail with a beautiful smoothness in the direction of the gleam, carrying with easy strength every one of the loved ones; time to change the silent curses of the resentful loved ones and the deeper silent questions of those in whom pain and disappointment have killed every other emotion, time to change all this into the long unforced laughter of tired travelers home at last. But when the reproach of the loved ones grow into sound and the pain is thrown outward against the one who causes it, then it is no longer possible to look with any hope at all at time.

The man moved from the table and lay down on the bed pushed into the far corner of the hall and closed his eyes, but failure would not let him rest in peace. Arguments and counter accusations that had run many times round and round just underneath the surface of his mind now rose teasingly and vanished again beneath his confusion after they had multiplied it and deepened it beyond the point where it could be endured. A man, even a man who stumbled once, ought to be able to pick himself up and hurry after those who have gone before, a man ought to be able to do that, if only for the sake of the loved ones. And the man also who in his stumbling is pressed down with the burdens other than his own, he also must hurry. The judgment of the loved ones is no different from the judgment of the others, though in the lonely mind the loved ones may themselves look like a strong excuse for the failure and the fall. What would be the point, especially since these days outside the area of the gleam which made the loved ones suffer in their impatience, there was nothing worth pursing, nothing at all worth spending life’s minutes on?

There was nothing the man could say to his wife, and the woman herself did not look as if she thought there could be anything said to her about what she knew was so true. But inside the man the confusion and the impotence had swollen into something asking for a way out of the confinement, and in his restlessness he rose and went out very quietly through the door, and his wife sat there not even staring after him, not even asking where he was going or when he would come back in the night, or even whether he wanted to return at all to this home."

The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Things I have Seen in Kampala Part 2, Night Scenes

Part 1/6

On the Street of No Hope

Well, I never thought the day would ever come but it did. Maybe it was my assumed arrogance, my belief I totally owned her. My total confidence then not yet challenged, certainly not shattered, that whosoever was granted audience into my company became mine. I had never thought her separate from me until that day. Until that day I had had such feelings, I had such thoughts. Until that day, I had thought I was imperious. I had thought I was the Don in my world. I was until that day. I would never be again from that day. Returning from another defeat that would never leave my lips in words. Walking home. In the evening. Later, I couldn’t remember what made me choose to divert from my usual route along Kampala road, instead of walking the whole length of that road like I always did, coming from another futile attempt to erect a world in which everything would spin at my whim.

That evening instead, influenced maybe by the endless series of defeats I had had that week, nostalgic to pass through one site of a former triumph, I had turned when I reached NEMA house and crossed the road, seeing Spear House with the big lettering of a place safe and secure to work in, Gordon Wavamuno’s WBS, and leisurely squeezing myself through the angry hooting bumper to bumper cars and taxis in evening traffic made my way through the National Theatre car yard and to my destiny.

It was evening, 6:45pm, changing my mind in the foyer, because I knew without going there that in that small office where I had once suffered and hungered and waited for my shs2000 transport home with some cookies with the barely there sugar tea, they were having tea in the Sunrise office, my old place of work, once were I was King. Or as close to a King as an employee can be when you are working for someone else, with that false sense of power. I would have been welcome there but then I didn’t want anything to lift me out of my funk with the superficial optimism anyone who worked here had to have to not go home and swallow an overdose of Panadol tablets hungry with only with only a dry doughnut to eat for supper and water to drink in your bare, rented one room in a slum around Makerere University.

I wanted to walk. I wanted to walk and remember how I came to work with Sunrise newspaper at one time in my life. I wanted to remember the afternoons I walked all the way from Makerere University, down Nile Avenue, sweaty and thirsty, with a reworked handwritten draft of an article going to be rejected for the third time, lost in wonder at the only Kampala street I knew that had a continuous row of straight standing working electric street light poles that stretched out into the distance like the poles that seemed to go on for miles I used to stare out of the window at in the backseat of my mother’s blue Datsun as a boy as she drove to the airport in Entebbe to pick up my father from another trip. I wanted to remember the mornings when I left home with a rucksack on my back wearing my oldest pair of shoes with the new ones for the office shiny and well polished in my rucksack, to change in a store in Speke Hotel because I had a primary school friend who worked as a security guard there and he could sneak me in.

I wanted to walk by the wood statue commemorating a bogus independence and look at the well trimmed Sheraton Hotel gardens with their very high white fences and remember Mirabella, Mirabella with whom I used to sit in those gardens sometimes, in companionable silences in the long mornings before the lunchless lunch hour after we had finished with our round of handing in our sweat stained brown envelopes of job applications at the chilly reception areas of big companies.

I wanted to reminiscence in solitude because there would be the world and time enough to worry about my future in my bed tonight unable to sleep in the dark because there was no electricity. I wanted remember my many times of survival, to remember to love myself, remember I was lucky to have the love of a certain special girl. And there I saw her.

I was never to be sure if they had been coming out of Speke Hotel’s Mamma Mia’s where they had got an ice cream or something else to eat. I know she looked well fed, looked like she had just finished eating. And I will never be able to forget how so full of joy she looked. How happy, contentedly, deliriously happy, with him. Playing. Laughing. He hanging back, pleasure on his face at her happiness coming from him, watching her. She a girl, careless as women can be, when confident in the protection of a man. Running laughing circles around him until she came too close to the road.

And he reaching out to grab her arm, his other arm going around her to her waist and tipping her back from the road to against himself, briefly. And I knew they were lovers. I knew she was in love with him. From across the divide on Nile Avenue, I learning my girl was in love with another man.

In the booth: Hazard by Richard Marx

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Year Ago Who Woulda Thought it????


Strictly speaking, it's tomorrow, but hey, yeah, you heard right: We are 1 year old!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ghosts

I thought I saw you again today, on the Kampala-Jinja road stage, oblivious to all around you; the impatient beckoning taxi conductor and his angry, frowning driver, the friend I did not know standing next to you waiting for you to get off your cell and talk to you, the Policewoman looking at you and not the traffic she was directing, the Marabou stocks up in the white splattered trees looking down, the driver in the Toyota saloon car with his foot down hard on his brakes looking up at you. Everyone was looking up at you.

And you were on your phone, your shoulders rising and falling in your deep-throated laughter, your mouth wide open in mirth, your stiff Robocop shoulders shaking. In a blue Kaunda suit, your favorite. You were laughing. And I remembered your daily farewell that was never a farewell, “Will our bald heads be shinning in the sun one day?”

I don’t ever remember you walking but today I saw on Kampala-Jinja road speaking into your cell phone about to cross the road to Social Security House. You have been dead three years now but today sitting in an evening traffic jam in a taxi, I saw you. Looking up from the Tuesday New Vision newspaper I could find nothing in to read, I saw you again.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

free spirit



i know this girl who takes such amazing pictures i'm convinced this is what she really should be doing instead of her other job that has her stressed half the time but she does not think so. i know i spend hours of pure joy scouring through her photo scrap book. she says this is the worst photograph she has ever taken.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Things I have Seen in Kampala, Part 1 Maybe

What are your more enduring memories of Kampala? What have you seen in Kampala, what experience have you had that you think will always stay with you and marks for you what kampala is in your mind? I have had a few such experiences I wish to share with you.

Seeing a thief being beaten to death
How old was I? Ten, twelve? I don’t remember. I remember I was old enough to be scared and old enough to look in wonder at the faces of the adults around me who one minute had been going about their business like, well, adults, and the next when the thief came running out of an alley with a woman's black purse tightly grasped in one fist with no longer jubliant glee at his own pickpocketing dexterity on his face but terror, into the road near the then Nakivuubo Bus Park I witnessed a frightening transformation in their faces and actions. To this day I still cannot find the words to describe the transformation I saw.

Perhaps its because I was also absorbed in seeing what they were doing to that thief. A species of human being I had never been in the presence of before. A thief, I had been taught, was something bad, something to be destroyed and on that day at midday returning home from school with my schoolbag on my back, I saw my first mob justice incident. It is one of the events that still make up wake up screaming in the night because I can still hear that man’s screams as bricks landed on his head. I can still hear his shrieks in my head to this day when I try to sleep too early, I can still hear them. And I saw this in Kampala.

"The streets are a dangerous place to be."

Undressing a woman in the taxi park
I was much older when I saw this. A hormonally crazy teenager, 14 years old in a taxi on the way back to his boarding secondary school in the early 1990s. Say around 1995 when I was desperately unhappy that I was going to be hemmed in for another 3 months with other pimply , squeaky-voiced 14 year old hormonally challenged teenagers. No more access to my 'blue' movies.


There would never be a better or worse one than the one that was unveiled (swiftly) before my eyes. It would cure me of my lust for porno films, it would erase from me my habit of lip-smackingly mentally undressing every woman who came into my view.

With the loud smack on her backside which as she tried to turn to parry extended into a full fist groping of her breast until she cried out in agony, I was disgusted at myself. Appalled that a tutored hypocritical part of me approved, revolted that I couldn't turn my gaze from this rivetting scenario. You may have forgotten and find this hard to believe now but it happened and I saw it with my own eyes. I read in newspapers and I was told worse happened. But with my own eyes in the old taxi park, I saw, we used to call them bayaye, try to undress a woman.

Yes, you read right. I saw bayaye try to undress a woman though some of the people who participated in this attempted undressing were in suits and nor high on some things their jaws were crunching on or even taxi drivers. She had made the mistake, nearly fatal then, of daring to walk in the taxi park in a very short mini skirt. I bet you have forgotten that at one time women couldn’t wear mini skirts in Kampala and walk the streets unaccompanied! I saw this.

"I'm the rose that never bloomed."

Police shoot real bullets
Before I joined campus at Makerere University and learned that strikes and running battles with the Police are nothing to be awed about. Long before all this, if you are a Museveni regime baby like I was, hearing bullets fly to save a criminal from lynching was something you had never heard. I did hear Police fire bullets in the air, real killer bullets to save a thief and risking injuring innocent passers-by in the process. After more than three years since I last had such an experience, it happened to me again not more than two weeks ago when I was visiting a friend in Bweyogerere.

"The red badge of courage."

It’s not that I don’t love Kampala, I do. I just wanted to tell you a few of the thing I have seen in Kampala in my younger years. There’s so much more I have seen than I have told you.

Maybe if the wine is right and the mood is right, next week I might be able to tell you so much more. Wonderful Kampala night sights I have seen.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Great Man is Gravely Ill, Pray For Him


BUILDING THE NATION

Today I did my share
In building the nation.
I drove a Permanent Secretary
To an important urgent function
In fact to a lunch at the Vic.


The menu reflected its importance
Cold bell beer with small talk,
Then fried chicken with niceties
Wine to fill the hollowness of the laughs
Ice-cream to cover the stereotype jokes
Coffee to keep the PS awake on return journey.


I drove the Permanent Secretary back.
He yawned many times in back of the car
Then to keep awake, he suddenly asked,
Did you have any lunch friend?
I replied looking straight ahead
And secretly smiling at his belated concern
That I had not, but was slimming!


Upon which he said with a seriousness
That amused more than annoyed me,
Mwanainchi, I too had none!
I attended to matters of state.
Highly delicate diplomatic duties you know,
And friend, it goes against my grain,
Causes me stomach ulcers and wind.
Ah, he continued, yawning again,
The pains we suffer in building the nation!


So the PS had ulcers too!
My ulcers I think are equally painful
Only they are caused by hunger,
Not sumptous lunches!


So two nation builders
Arrived home this evening
With terrible stomach pains
The result of building the nation -
- Different ways.

Henry Barlow.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Jewel

You’ll have to excuse me. Tonight I feel sentimental. I know, you’re probably reading this in between a lull at work and wondering what the hell? Is this writer drunk? Was he drinking when he wrote this? You don’t need to be drunk to lose all sense of time when you’re in the mood I’m in writing this. I was not drinking when I wrote this, just for the record.

I was working, very late as usual, when like in life, I stumbled upon her again. It was like meeting a ghost. It was like seeing standing on Constitutional Square about to dart across and seeing across the road, the girl you should never have dumped about to enter a taxi going to a place whose name you’ll never know or have the right to again.

It was like walking through a door, the door of the house you grew up in, the house your father built and becoming a child of 12 again waiting to be called for supper, reading a comic book by flickering candlelight. It was like for a blinding moment, remembering oh so clearly what it felt like to be in love for the first time. What it felt like the first time to have your heart broken, seeing Susan holding his hand behind the water tanker at school.

It was all these emotions and more crashing into me all at once and me listening with a bowed head, glad I was in the office alone this night. No one to see my glistening eyes. To discover Jewel again. Jewel Kilcher.

What happened to me? How did I get here? The wailing innocence in Jewel’s voice returning me to places I have not been in a long time. “Do you love me like I love you or am I standing still?” Was I? “Cutting through the darkest night are my two headlights.” Where were we going? “You aren’t in sight.”

“Trying to keep the clip but I'm losing it here to the twilight.” “Do you want me like I want you?” I was gone with you like I will never be gone with anyone else. “Do you need me like I need you?” I will never stand by deserted taxi stages after midnight hailing phantom special hire taxis to come and see you again.

I will never sleep in abandoned kiosks amid the sweets wrappings locked out of my parents’ house again. “Was that you passing me by?” “Between fight and flight is the blind mans sight. And a choice that's right.” To go back and face them, to go back and face them, in the morning, to deny finally what had denied me from the beginning, to try and not see their leers and grins, “I feel broken down.”

“Or am I standing still
With the scenery passing by
Or am I standing still

Out of the corner of my eye
Was that you
Passing me by?”



Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Certainly had NEVER thought of Beethoven Like This

WARNING: You may not want to read on if you're female because the subject's potentially yucky and anyway I'm going to go on and on about a blogger who is a woman basher. Okay, strictly, he hates feminists. But he's sooooooo funny I just couldn't resist sharing some of him.

06 November
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Nagging

It has been said by feminists that boys should be taught more "feminine" subjects at school, rather than useless and sexist male-orientated subjects (y'know, like physics, computer science, chemistry, etc, the ones that are vital to the progress of humanity.)

As if it wasn't insulting enough that a bunch of childless vulva-sucking rat-bags dare suggest how other people raise their children, these feminists have often cited music as a "traditionally female" subject boys should learn.

Huh? You mean, males aren't normally proficient at music? Are you saying, dear dikes, that females are the ones who have traditionally dominated the musical sphere of culture?
Well excuse me, rug-chompers, but if you weren't too busy trying to shape other people's sons into your own warped ideology and actually studied history (as opposed to "herstory") you'll find that us males aren't quite as tone-deaf as one may think.

After all, how many female classical composers can you think of?

None. Not one. None of them were metrosexual fudge-packers either. They were real men. Just
look at the picture of Beethoven up above. Does that look like a man who uses moisturizers, eats vegan quiches and talks about his feelings? No. That's clearly a man who writes his symphonies whilst guzzling vast quantities of beer and occasionally scratching his balls for inspiration without giving a shit that his mother-in-law is in the same room. He looks like the kind of guy who would reach for his duelling pistol whilst growling homicidally should any fussy limp-wristed fag from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy dare to skip up to him and tell him his collar is too big.

As for contemporary music, that's male dominated too, and even feminists have a hard time trying to put that down to some sort of sexist conspiracy, given that the popularity of bands is based on the buying public.

The biggest bands/singers of the 20th Century? The Beatles, Elvis, Radiohead, Metallica, Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, U2, REM...you get the idea. All men.

The Britpop era of the mid-1990s was likewise male dominated; Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, The Verve. There was some band named Sleeper, fronted by a woman with the amusing name Louise Weiner (well, actually Louise Wener, but it's pronounced Weiner) but they were crap and disbanded after releasing a few crappy songs from their crappy albums.

Women's attempts to enter the heavy metal scene was doomed to failure too because they just can't shout as loud as men. Some ladies tried to enter the Soft Rock scene, but sadly found that the main leaders of that genre, like Jon Bon Jovi and Def Leppard were more feminine than they were.

Sure, there are some female singers around, but they're a bit, well, shit really.

The Spice Girls? Manafactured crap. Manafactured by men incidentally, to sell the concept of Girl Power to stupid teen girls with more money than sense. It worked too.

Mariah Carey? Sure, she's sold a lot of albums, but that doesn't really count because the only people who buy Mariah Carey albums are drooling lunatics who think that listening to what sounds like a rabid cat being sodomized by an elephant is somehow pleasant.

Madonna? Well, to quote Kenny from South Park: Madonna is an old anorexic whore who wore out her welcome years ago, and that now she suddenly speaks with a British accent and she thinks she can play guitar she should go fuck herself.

Did someone say Celine Dione? No? Good.

Bjork? Well, I do quite like Bjork. Pretty good vocal talent, good punching-oriental-reporters skills, and she got her boobs out for some video a few years ago. Seriously though, I quite like a lot of her stuff.

But that's about it. Women have made very little impact in the world of music, yet they - and in particular their feminist harpy leaders and womyn teachers - labour under the belief that music skills are somehow "feminine" and "not traditionally male orientated."

If feminists want boys to be taught "traditionally female" subjects at school, then they should round the boys up and put them in lectures titled "Whining, Making Excuses For Failure And Pretending To Be A Victim For Beginners."
posted by Duncan Idaho

And you know what's so utterly bloody delightful? He's still regularly blogging!!!! When (I won't even entertain an if, you gotta go there!) you do visit his blog, and all his archive is worth your leisurely perusal, look for the 07 December 2005 post entitled 'Scary Story.'



For you Steve, it's mandatory to check out Scary Story. Degs, I think you'll have a word or two to riff about Scary Story and I so would love to hear JKB say something and dreamland Dennis, well, okay lemme ease up!

But

Seriously

There's a real underworld in the blogsphere I was only until now totally unaware of. There's some scary campaigning going on out there.

Reno Raines Returns



The smiling Smurf on the bike is Magoba Brian.

This is why I want to be a Photographer when I grow up

Saturday, July 15, 2006

back due to….Oh well

What can I say.........?

I was going to title this: For All My Closest Roaddogz but that’s too 2pac-rish. So here’s to honoring all debts public and private, spoken and unspoken, for a limited period only, I’m back!

For all the dearly treasured comments....




Iwaya says thank you.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This Could Be My Last Post


"Everyday Struggle"

I don't wanna live no mo'
Sometimes I hear death nocking in my front do'
I'm living everyday like a hustle
Another drug in trouble, another day another struggle


I know how it feels to wake up fucked up
Pockets broke as hell, another rock to sell
People look at ya like use to used
Selling drugs to all the loosers mad buddha abuser
But they don't know about the stress-filled day
Baby on the way mad bills to pay
That's why you drink Tanqueray
So you can reminisce and wish
You wasn't living so devilish s-shit
I remember I was just like you
Smoking blunts with my crew
Flipping oldies 62's
'Cause G-E-D was it B-I-G, I got P-A-I-D
That's why my mom hates me
She was forced to kick me out, no doubt
Then I figured out things went for twenty down south
Packed up my tools saw my raw power move
Black nineteen forcasted flower moves
Four drunks trying to stop my flow
And what they don't know will show on the autopsy
Went to see papi, the cock me a brik
Asked for circumcise and he wasn't trying to hear it
Smoking mad Newports 'cause I'm doing court for an assult
That I caught in Bridge Port, New York
Catch me if you can like the ginger bread man
You better have your gat in hand
'Cause man


I don't wanna live no mo'
Sometimes I hear death nocking in my front do'
I'm living everyday like a hustle
Another drug in trouble, another day another struggle


I had the master plan
I'm in the caravan on my way to Maryland
With my man Tutex to take over this projects
They call him Tutex, he tote two techs
And when he smoke the boss
He likes to ask who's next?
I got my honies on the Amtrack
With the crack in the crack of her ass
Two pounds of hash in the stash
I wait for hun to make some quick cash
I told her she could be lieutenant bitch got gassed
At last so I really really lounging Black
Seating back counting double digit thousands stacks
Had to read up see what's up with my peeps
Toyota dealer cars had it cheap on the jeeps
See who got smoked but rumors was spread
Last I heard I was dead with six to the head
Then I got the phone call
It couldn't hit me harder
We got infotrated
Like lino wa' the car
I heard Tec got murdered in a town I've never heard of
By some bitch named Alberta over nickel play the burnace
And my bitch swear to God she won't snitch
I told her where she hit the bricks I'll make the hooker rich
Conspiracy should be home in three
Until them I look south for the home family
A true G, got speed blowing like a bubble
In the everyday struggle


I don't wanna live no mo'
Sometimes I hear death nocking in my front do'
I'm living everyday like a hustle
Another drug in trouble, another day another struggle


I'm seeing body after body and our mayor Giuliani
Ain't trying to see no black man turn into John Gotti
My daughter use a potty so she's older now
Educated street knowledge I'ma mold 'er now
Trick 'er little dope bying young girls tringes
Dealing with the dope fiend binges
Seeing syringes in the veins
Hard to explain how I maintain
The crack smoke makes my brain feel so strange
Breaking days on the set no sweat from cold moet
Can't bag yet because's still wet
But when I dry back in five at a time
I can clock about nine on the check cashing line
I had to burst on the third
Rehearse that's my word
Thinking the game Ds knew my first name
Should I quit? Shit no!
Even though they had me scared
Yo they gotta eight I gotta teck with air holes
That's just how the shit goes in the struggle mother fucker
I don't wanna live no mo'
Sometimes I hear death nocking in my front do'
I'm living everyday like a hustle
Another drug in trouble, another day another struggle


The Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls

YOUNG UGANDANS TO WATCH: NO.2


This is about a young unknown but not for long. You heard it here first. Remember this name: Ashraf Habib. He’s going to blow your world away. In about three weeks when the project he’s been slaving alone, a Herculean task, finally comes to fruition after the 2006 World Cup madness.

I haven’t been this excited since I worked with Ashraf when we were both still Makerere university students that our successors (and this is not meant disrespectfully) are currently fumbling. Setting up Masscom Online was one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me and the team I met convinced me beyond doubt that if Uganda’s politicians keep just keep out of our way and keep the country together, Uganda’s future is more than bright. It’s bloody dazzling!

Each and everyone of the members of that original team is involved in a project, either individually or working with another team, that will not just change the face of Ugandan media, it’s going to change the way the world looks at Uganda. I did not realize it then but the gathering of talent around the first Masscom Online was a unique thing. I first met Ashraf there.

One afternoon (these significant meetings always seemed to happen in the afternoon!) Edward Ssekalo came into the lab raving that he had discovered an aficionado at a favorite obsession of his. For Ssekalo to rave, with facts, figures, statistics and all that ever at his finger tips, we were all eagerly waiting to meet this whiz. He did not disappoint. The guy was Ashraf Habib and three years later, three weeks from now, that passion is going to be translated into something tangible for you’ll to enjoy. I for one can hardly wait!

YOUNG UGANDANS TO WATCH NO. 1

To meet Countryboyi, I had to leave behind a roomful of fine women in Africa (a girls’ hall in Makerere University) because I had stupidly agreed to the first and last interview request I’ll ever grant on the same day as I was 'benching'. This was one day when I finally suspected that the hit two birds with one stone philosophy was not going to work for me!

And I had been on a roll! (Uhm…is that I was desperately angling for a roll in the hay? Nah, I just wanted to be friends, REALLY.) Still I was sore (why am I so into double entenderes today?) to have to leave a roomful of eagerly listening, pretty girls for the company of a guy who had sent me an email that spelled my real name right requesting an interview. Moreover at Makerere University of all places! Have I told you how many issues I have with THAT University? Decades of therapy ahead.

But I had wanted to be here. Dennis’s email (that’s the Countryboyi’s real name) had piqued my curiosity. Me worthy of an interview? On a radio? All I was was a newspaper writer (I can actually write so don’t even suggest I’m a journalist!) and sometimes when the planetary alignments were right, conjurer of some fiction that made a number of people countable on my right hand believe I might some day write the great Ugandan novel. But that’s all I was: another potential. Countryboyi was trying to single me out of the field and I wanted to see for myself and confirm he was crazy.

That was not the only thing. I wanted to ascertain for sure if his name was really Muhumuza or a ruse. Anybody called Muhumuza is instantly a friend solely because Muhumuza is the name of my favorite brother (is one allowed to have one of those?) Anyway life had conspired in this Dennis’s favor. I had a delightful walking companion from City Square on Kampala road and for that company,

I mean a guy who tells you that he’s come from a place as remote as Kabale in a village called Karukara in western Uganda and has a colorful family background of being raised by a midwife step mother who used his services in the business (young Dennis got to see women give birth many times over and lugged pails of blood-socked plancentas) is someone worth meeting!

I expected Dennis to be like way too many hosts of literary shows, on radio as on TV: BOOOORING! The mere 30 minutes on Campus had re-ignited the belligerent bastard in me, the stir up a controversy out of nothing Puck. I was going to blow and take this five by four studio cell writer’s show with me! I thought. I never had to. The atheist met the believer. Dennis wins you over with his eagerness, an eagerness until I met Dennis I was sure three years of Makerere University, if you’re bright and aspiring with loads of ideas and the unfortunate passion to drive toward achieving them, was sure to snuff out. Dennis was not like that. This guy actually believed in this stuff, writing! Was this guy on something???

Then I realized something. This is how I used to be.

Dennis believed being a writer is the greatest job in the world. He was so eager to be in contact with people who write he was doing this show for free long after the necessary period his internship demanded to get that journalism degree was over. As long as you wrote, you were a writer and Dennis had no snobbish hang-ups, my horror at discovering that a Smut editor had been the person last interviewed before me was, I believe, well masked. Dennis actually found me interesting enough to go back and read stuff I had written so long ago I had even forgotten I wrote and could quote some of it from memory! The shock of that. The blushing pride. He actually believed it was an honour for me to grace his show. The tricky bastard had me purring me on his show!

I was the one who did not wish that show to end. Graciously, Dennis insisted I was the most interesting guest he had ever had on the show and, standing outside Lincoln flats the sky darkening over us after, said he was going to keep the recording of the talk. I have heard myself speak on record and I heartily don’t recommend that!

But I would get my ‘revenge.’ Putting Dennis on the other side of the microphone, well, email interview anyway. And now I can’t put up the Countryboyi interview because it’s copywrited. Oh shit!


does this drive you crazy?

I love Kate’s blog, I do. I think it’s entertaining as well as informative reading coming from a country (Congo) so much written about from a distance and little understood. Kate’s blog is on the list of my must daily visit blogs and over the month of reading, I have to come feel like I know Kate (which I don’t) and to like her.

Maybe that’s why I feel so strongly about her Thursday, June 22, 2006 Congo 101, Lesson 1: Geography post that basically set out to describe how one can tell from which of the country a Congolese you meet comes. Kind of the thing we have in Uganda where you can say he’s a Muganda because he has a huge nose, she’s a Munyakole because of her wide hips. That kind of stereotyping you never really notice and is even considered fun sometimes. Except this one time.

Is it because I know Kate is a white woman that my radar is wailing? Do I think she is being smugly patronizing and racist because she's white? I know I’m not the only one who was disquieted by that post because the number of comments on her blog suddenly dropped. I think I maybe being unfair but this seems to be an issue where I can’t get my heart to agree with my head. Read the post and decide for yourself.