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)


(feat. Bad


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

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)

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)

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
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
to the pleasure and the pain it inflicted
Somethin bout the paper wit the pictures of the president's,
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]

I feel fucked up in this bitch.
I smoked half a ounce to the head
Chocolate tye, indo, Hawaiian, lambsbread, buddha, all that
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
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


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.


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.