Thursday, March 29, 2007

NOT READY TO MAKE NICE...


Gimme de Loot!!!!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

3am II


SOMETHING HAPPENED (BEFORE APRIL)

Try this on for size. Try this on for size.

I hear you in my head.

Try this on for size. And let it ride.

How many times have I done this?

I have never done this before.

But for you, I would never have done this. Now I’m. Unashamed, no regrets, no looking back. I’m doing this and I know, I know what I know I know. Like…

There’s a certain sadness at the heart of you that I could never understand. I would see you laughing and joking, all happiness it seemed, but in between the punchline and the next joke, while the table rocked, heads thrown back, graceful hands shielding noses that were about to run from the Coke going the wrong way, you seemed to be so far away from us, your face slightly turned, a suffering Madonna in profile, and I was watching you, wondering, where are you, where have you gone? That look again. Who causes this? Why am I the only one who seems to see it?

Then you were back. Maybe it’s because I could never understand your breed. I’m not built that way. I could never be on stage laughing, the life of the party while my heart was breaking. I remember one evening when you were home with me. A Thursday evening when you came over without warning me, and surprising me home early that day, leaving the office at about 3pm, and you had found me on the floor, papers spilled all around the living room, Jimi Hendrix in the Sunshine of Your Love connecting all those terrible confessions that began everywhere and led nowhere. What was the use? He said Jim Morrison was going to be there. And you said, standing in my doorway, “I have come to hold your hand in the twilight.”

A week of electricity and the evening you came over was the evening the electricity was switched off that evening so we lit a candle, put it on top of my sideboard, and sat on the stairs in my doorway, watching the night coming, sipping my bitter, you breathing, “How many times must I tell you? There’s no story to tell! Really am alright. I know you don’t believe me. But I’m. You should have been my brother. I love you. Only you know, in my heart it’s raining. Write us another ending, Iwaya, write us another ending. This one is too painful. I want a laughing ending. Call Mataachi over. I love you!”

I never held you more delicately than I did that evening. My God, I loved you! That evening in my mind was imprinted, forever you. I know how you spasm when I touch the edge of your sixth rib going to your back, I know in my hand how the flat bone at the end of your spine begins to curve, I have never held a smoother elbow than your elbows resting like warm freshly laid eggs in my palms, I still shiver when a breeze rustles the leaves because that is how your neck feels resting against mine in an embrace and I know why it was so hard for him to let you go, a tingly alive restless bosom so fragile in my hold, I wanted to smash you up in an orgasm of squeezing and tender hold. I knew how he felt. I have never known a heart that gives and gives, like yours did that evening, and I turn around laying the table, the last melanin plate on the table, you’re on the floor, looking up, giving more, your face a cup of wonder. What are we doing?

Lord, I’ll never be able to listen to Hendrix again without thinking of you! How do you go on loving and loving so much inspite of your pain, tell me please, because I need to know. I was never good at forgiving and forgetting and already you’re talking of moving on. I’m the penitent now. Your name is a prayer on my lips and I’m wishing you the best. I shouldn’t be doing this. Thank God in my world nothing is so simple.

You said, “The problem with you, Iwaya, is that you care, and you’re trying to teach yourself not to care. Do you think that will work? You want some sort of Chet Baker, Charlie Parker story in Uganda?” I was like, “Fuck you!” and you said, “I’m afraid that can’t be arranged.” We looked at each other then, glasses on the table, forks on the plates, and we knew. We knew. It should have been you. It should have been me. We knew.

Baby.

Like a series in Kyekyo! the electricity suddenly came back lighting the room brightly like some torture chamber and there was no escape from the charge. You’re the one and I’m the one. You’re the one…and I’m the one…oh God, this can’t be happening, now. I’ve got everything already so sorted out! I want to be like Scofield, on the run. It’s happening again.

Remember the rule, Iwaya, remember the rule, never date a writer, never hang out too much with writing folks. Never. Remember the rule, Iwaya…

Fuck the rule!

Oh hell, here I come!

But before that, tell us, which one of us are you going to blame? Tell us…

Iwaya, Mataachi, Maurien, or Maalvolio?

You have a thing for M’s don’t ‘cha?

What?

I don’t care! It’s got to be her. It’s her. Oh Lord, what am I doing? She was in my house. She is my house. Oh Lord…

“If you had seen that smile, you would have been speechless…”

I did see the smile.

What am I doing?

The name’s changed now. It used to be called Beer Point and now it’s called Spot Pub, in Kireka.

These hits don’t make it anymore.

Inktus, this is the part where you should read carefully…

Sam and Ronnie were there (we all still miss you, Eddie, we still miss you), and yet all I could think of was…

Her.

Twelve o’clock, it’s midnight, we’re in a taxi, it’s Spear House in the night, and Ronnie’s got to get out and I don’t notice. He’s staying in Nakawa for the night before he goes back and he came 300 miles to see me, it’s only her…

I know the name of her perfume. I know the name of her favourite clothes designer. I know the names of each of her course units and when she goes to class for each of them. Fuck it all, I know the names of each of her ‘babies’ (the cuddly dolls at the head of her bed) and who gave her each one, I know the history of her entire utensil collection and who lent her 100 shillings to make the Old Taxi Park buy possible. I know all that and more. I know all that.

On the night she bought those cups and set of sugar table spoons…there was no electricity in the Old Taxi Park Area. You came out of your taxi and out of that taxi, looking down in the Old Taxi Park, you said, “I thought I had landed into an Arabian Night’s Dream. There were so many tiny candles waving in translucent buveera, the Old Taxi Park was magical! It’s a sight I can never forget! Coming down those stairs.”

I never told her.

It was then that I fell in love with her.

Before her, I had seen that vision so many times. No, not a vision. This is real life happening. On every night when I leave office late, which is nearly every day of my life. So now even when you’re not here, I think of you. I think of you, going home. I miss you. I love you.

I need my fifth job to be able to sleep.

I can’t do this. I can’t do this anymore…

April 02nd, April 08th, April 17th, April 26th, September 19th…

I can’t do this…

SERIOUSLY: Wishing on a Star…Jay-Z/ Nkoye Okwegomba…Philly Bongeley Lutaaya

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Friend John

2Pac is Medicine!



Can you feel that?


I do.

But this is not about Tupac. It's something different. Today was strange. She came back.

A memory came back. I remembered...

You were my first love, my first touch, my first kiss.
To look at you was to see the world
To hold you in my arms was to be in the embrace of fire.

Your breath was my breath
Your sighs my sighs
Your laughter my laughter.

I remember everything we did together
From the first time I saw you
To the first time I could not love only you
To the time I discovered so far away I was still in love with you.

I can still feel your nose tip nuzzling into the hair at the back of my neck
I can still taste the Stoney tints on your quick, darting tongue in my mouth
I can still feel how your thigh cupped into my mine
After all these years I can still taste you.

I remember everything.


Tonight I will be walking the streets. Again. After forever.

I won’t be at this BHH, the next one, or all the BHHs that will ever come…I won’t be there… I’ll be the guy standing outside, opposite Mateo’s, watching y’all. I’ll be that guy.

No, it’s not because:

"I know how it feel to wake up fucked up
Pockets broke as hell, another rock to sell
People look at you like you is the user, selling drugs to all the losers
Mad Buddha abuser
But they don’t know about the stress filled day
Baby on the way, mad bills to pay"

Nah, it’s not like that. I’m not alone. I got a friend with me. A companion. A little stiff, a little formal… a bit shy...



But when he flows, he flows!

He’s going to tell me again the story of his family. The story of his life…

“To Forsyte eyes Bosinney appeared to have no habitat, he seemed one of those rare and unfortunate men who go through life surrounded by circumstance, property, acquaintances, and wives that do not belong to them…”

A little bit too about the woman he loved because…

“He had never met a woman so capable of inspiring affection. They could not go anywhere without his seeing how all the men were attracted to her; their looks, manners, voices, betrayed it; her behaviour under this attention had been beyond reproach. That she was one of those women—not too common in the Anglo-Saxon race—born to be loved and to love, who when not loving are not living…”

Maybe she loved him too well.

Admittedly, Galsworthy could have done more with a bit of more wildness in his writing. He was tamed. No novel of passion should be dedicated to the woman you married. It don’t work. Believe me. I have tried it. Wives are not muses.

The Indian Summer was fantastic to be inspired by the rueful memory of the woman you pursued, who all the time you wanted her, preferred to hang out, as
Eternal Bachelor would stridently put it, with the bad boys. You know, the ones with no morals and with so many notches on their belts, they were on their second dozen of belts! But not many people can stand the sweet that is in The Indian Summer and some days, even I can’t read that book without having a difficulty in locating my smelling salts. But when you’re in the mood and you know…

“Two days of rain, and the summer set in bland and sunny. Old Jolyon walked and talked with Holly. At first he felt taller and full of a new vigour; and then he felt restless. Almost every afternoon they would enter the coppice, and walk as far as the log. ‘Well, she’s not here!’ he would think, ‘Of course not!’ and he would feel shorter, and drag his feet walking up the hill home, with his hand clapped to his left side. Now and then the thought would move in him: ‘Did she come--- or did I dream it?’ and he would stare at space…”

Is one of the most moving passages you’ll ever get the chance to read in all literature and considering how long written literature has been around, it’s a bit staggering to consider that Galsworthy wrote it, an easy going man who did not have that much faith in his writing ability and needed his wife at the end of each ‘thoughtless’ writing bout to tell him he had spent the morning better than if they had called on their neighbour’s who had a standing offer for breakfast to have him over with her for breakfast and maybe lunch. Yes, it’s true! Galsworthy was that insecure. In spite of winning a 1932 Nobel Prize for Literature! Galsworthy might have written…but he was not sure…

“I can’t bear this part of it,” said Jolyon suddenly.

“Let me do it, Dad. He never cared much for me.”

Jolyon shook his head.

“We’ll lift him very gently, leaves and all. I’d rather not see him again. I’ll take his head. Now!”

With extreme care they raised the old dog’s body, whose faded tan and white showed here and there under the leaves stirred by the wind. They laid it, heavy, cold, and unresponsive, in the grave, and Jolly spread more leaves over it, while Jolyon, deeply afraid to show emotion before his son, began quickly shoveling the earth on to the still shape. There went the past! If only there were a joyful future to look forward to! It was like stamping down earth on one’s own life.”

was any good!

I know this is hard to believe, but Galsworthy nearly threw it out! So what you’re reading, Galsworthy was not sure if you would like it! And I was so sure from the beginning of!

I never told John this. But the day I first got my own copy, I wrote immediately at the back of The Forsyte Saga:

“I discovered this wonderful book in the Aga Khan Store room for unwanted books left to rot on Saturday 19, February, 2000, around 2pm. And my reaction was absolute incredulity, disbelief. Today, Sunday, I have read only bits of it but I can already say that this is the John Galsworthy I looked for in Swan Song, glimpsed in flashes.

The style is all here in its elusive magicalness; lyrical, lucid, light, profound, intoxicating, luxuriant; one of the best prose styles in the 20th century and in the history of the novel. Vastly better than Edith Wharton’s portrayal of the upper classes which is cold, impersonal, destructive. Galsworthy makes them human, understandable, a joy to read even if the pain is never far from the surface. The pain of the embalmed life. I admire the man.”

Let’s go walking!

3am


Well I have come a long way. I don’t always look back because I know. I’m the journey. Imagine me again. A man in a room in the dark, 3am and I can’t sleep, the cigarette’s for show, by a window the curtains drawn back, watching the sky and the silence that won’t come in. Imagine me. This happens every night. When she’s not here. Imagine me. Again.

Friday, March 09, 2007

101

Blue or Red?

This is for you Pernile!

Do you remember your clubbing days?

There was a time when I was a night hawk. Night and you would not find me after 7pm in any office grimacing at a computer like the screen was a mirror to make expressions at. Nor would you find me at my bachelor pad in shorts seated on my stairs, enviously eyeing my neighbour’s girlfriend who took extreme pleasure in modeling for us in a nearly see through lesu as she made her way to and from the communal showers. No, I wasn’t there.

Nor was I in some evening class hobnobbing with juniors ten years younger than me, wondering what story I would tell this young chick who thought she was the smartest two timing Cleopatra trick in the history of womankind. Well, you smiled and acted innocent and older, unaware of these things, and told her how you had never done this before and she would have to show you how this was done and you could see from her superior smirk she thought she had you took. No, I wasn’t there, in those classes, beating the evening traffic in worn suits shiny tie flying over shoulder on life threatening boda bodas to make my classes. I wasn’t there. No, life was elsewhere and I was there. I was in the clubs.

Not the usual. I mean who goes to Ange and Silk unless they have never been to real clubs? Ange and Silk are for the tourists, and the songs and the style is tailored just right to make them feel they are getting a sampling of what it means to live in Uganda. There is just enough hint of danger and the unfamiliar to make the tourist feel that they are out of their ordinary element while not making them truly uncomfortable that they have strayed too far and will not find their way home. I was not in clubs like that.

I was in clubs and night spots that true Ugandans who are fans of Straka Mwezi patronize. I was in those ‘dives’ where you are all waiting for either the LC to show up demanding that the club has reached noise pollution levels because his wife has refused to ‘give him some’ or the Police will turn up on account of the rumour that Amanda’s Angels are going to perform there at about 2am and Sarah Zawedde is poster girl material. I was always in clubs like that. From Kireka to Kisenyi and I even broke town boundaries getting to Mbarara and Jinja and now I have even got to Entebbe.

How I reached there, in my sober moments I still contemplate in wonder, a blurry memory of Swahili speaking drivers in Ministry of Agriculture vehicles supposed to be headed to Juba the only still clear conversations had, never mind that I never speak Swahili when I’m sober and myself. All I know is that Sunday afternoon, I was always sure to wake up with an empty wallet at about 1:30pm and pockets full of scribbled numbers with invitations.

All that did not matter. What mattered on Sunday afternoons and evenings spent crouched over the under the bed basin was remembering the perfect moment I had got from some deejay whose face I would never remember and whose phone number I had long lost before I got out of the club. The perfect moment when he or she played a sequence of songs that in perfect matching and marching order were my favourites.

Make Me See


"When you pass a grocer seated at his shop door, a janitor smoking a pipe, a stand of hackney coaches, show me that grocer and that janitor, their whole physical appearance, including also a description of their moral nature, so that I cannot confound them with any other grocer or janitor; make me see, in one word, that a certain cab horse does not resemble others that follow or precede it."

Gustave Flaubert

She Got It From Her Mama!



"You can walk that way some day and make them take notice of you. It ain’t hard to do. Women know how to make men take notice of them, and you’re old enough to know all about it at your age. Them boys at the sawmill down at Big Creek ought to take a liking to you in spite of the way you look in the face. When a man looks at you from behind, he ought to want to mate up with you right there and then.”

TOBACCO ROAD, Erskine Caldwell

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Heaven Was Here




I have watched this movie so many times and I'm never bored when I come back again. The most moving scene for me, strangely, is the one where Salvatore does not say anything, desperately in love, pinning outside Maria's door, a teenager in love for the first time, and the music and his doe eyes yearning do all the speaking and every time I watch Cinema Paradiso again, I wonder, what is Salvatore saying when he is not speaking...

Cinema Paradiso, the Courtship scene...

" I paid court to this girl, for ninety days and ninety eights. And it was only her that I ever wanted. I wanted no other. In the rain, in the afternoon sun, in the cold, in the heat, the busy morning and the deserted evening, I stood watching her window, never leaving, living for her to open her bedroom window, watching for her shadow preparing for bed each night. I counted the days in my calendar and at the end of each day, I marked away, crossing out, another day of my faithfulness. I was so full of hope when she gave me no reason at all to hope. I was in love with her in a way I had never been in love. My love was purer than my love would ever be again. I did not know this would be the last happiest time of my life and I thought all the time I was unhappy because I could not have her. I had her already, in my heart."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

They're Playing Our Song!

Any 0-Town fans out there? Because I had never heard of O-Town before, or the music. And I just stumbled upon their song THESE ARE THE DAYS, googled and googled and couldn’t find their lyrics anywhere, sat back, listened more carefully and transcribed their lyrics myself the best I could. The lyrics to this one special song on repeat, humming, the Media Player pushed to maximum, hearing lyrics that were me, three years ago, I found myself… remembering… how…

Motel sitting in the dark
Empty room like an empty heart
Lovers stop but they never stay
They don’t look back as they drive away

Maybe I should fix this broken (gear light?)
Feeling the cracks and panic rides
That maybe love will stop here tonight

And if she knocks on my door I’ll give her the key
Just one look in her eyes
And I know I’ll be everything that she sees in me
More than I ever thought I could be

But
These are the days
When all I can do is dream
But I don’t want to spend forever
Living in the in between

I’m stuck here in a place without love
And I just can’t let it stay this way
But for now I’m gonna have to face it
These are the days

Gotta use this lonely time
To change the picture in my frame of mind
Outside the window there is a sunny day
I wanna feel it on my face

You and I
We are out here looking for the same thing
And then tomorrow the wandering
Waiting for someone to share this feeling

And if she knocks on my door

Just one look in her eyes
And I know I’ll be everything that she sees in me
More than I ever thought I could be

But these are the days
When all I can do is dream
But I don’t wanna spend forever
Living in the in between…

Where are you now? Sometimes I still wonder. I shouldn’t. Yet. Sometimes I still wonder. I can’t pass by that road without thinking of you. How many times did I come back here? And every time I pass here, my heart still stops. I shouldn’t think of you now. I shouldn’t. Yet I know if you were still here, this would have been our song. Those were the days. And You were the one.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

M&M


I had decided not to think about it so I went back home.

Home to Biggie.

Biggie begun me but I don’t know how I ended up listening to Marvin Gaye: the greatest hits essential collection you could say. But no, that’s not true. I do know how I ended up listening to Marvin Gaye. Mataachi was over. Yes, Cheri, Minty, Countryboyi, Scotchbiscuits, Inktus, Darlkom, Grandmaster, he exists. Mataachi exists. Of late, he’s been extremely reclusive. But. He sometimes still comes over and he could not get out of his head this Gaye song Just to Keep you Satisfied after he was done with describing in too disturbing detail what hearing You Sure Love to Ball brings to mind. There was something I did not quite catch about, “that Tammi whore, a village Beyonce of those days but a better singer,” from the song Your Precious Love but the song “that will make you curl your toes is Just to Keep You Satisfied. It will even do more that!” I can still see him even now, black enamel mug in hand, standing there in my living room still pulpitting about how he has never heard such a sweet song of more controlled bitterness, passion, regret, desire and when I listened I discovered, yes, he was not exaggerating.

I was thinking, thinking, all the time Mataachi was talking, where have I heard before someone talk like this? Listening to Jack go on, I knew, in the tremors of his voice reaching for something, I had heard someone else before describe this sundered love and the sad retrospective memory of it and Marvin’s aching voice had it. Oh yes. Don’t stop. I could almost touch it and then it came back…

Because

You’ll find that when it’s gone, it’s gone…

Andrew Miller, 2001, Oxygen…

“On occasion—he had not dreamed this—the mere sound of his voice had made her flinch with pleasure as though he had stroked the denim between her thighs. What was this tangle between them, this knot of raveled emotion? It was pathetically distressing to him that he did not make love to his wife anymore when he could recall so clearly the nights he used to plunder her, that look of insane concentration on her face, her arms flexed against the head-bars of their iron-framed bed, pushing against him with all her might as though she could never have him deeply enough inside her.”

Be still my heart, be still.

We had begun with Biggie and ended up with Marvin before we popped in the Miles Davis because we were looking for the one refrain that is our lives…

It’s too late for you and I. It’s much too late for you…

On this cold, bizarrely silent Kasubi evening when without warning the sun dipped and it started raining. And all the women were away. It was like, for that evening, the old days again. Almost. Thinking thoughts we will never tell each other, in the dark, only the green light of the player distantly flickering in the room, slouched back in our sofas, the past a living parade before our eyes, each in the darkened theater of his own life.

Why is it that the closer we get to our dreams, the further they seem?

I was also thinking. No matter what I do. I can’t get away from the thought that he was shot and killed by his own father. How does a father live with siring and killing his son? How does Marvin Gaye’s father live with that? How did he? A pre-desegregated dark America street preacher too! Like James Baldwin’s violent father was too. And James, briefly for a time, was. And Marvin started in his father’s small church choir! All his life, in the unhappy days to the UK, Belgium and Hawaii, Marvin was probably running from this man and in the end the man won. I can’t get your smile and eyes out of my mind, Marvin. I can’t. Marvin

Take me on a tour of your world.

I saw a picture of Dee on Carlo’s blog. No picture has made sadder in so long. I didn’t think anything could be so innocent and painful. I had forgotten my Hemingway lesson from the last book he ever wrote before this living life of feelings became too much. All wickedness comes from something that seemed so innocent. I’m paraphrasing in this outer world mind state right now. But that picture brought back so much, I was surprised.

We like to think we are innocents here. The offended ones, the more sinned against than the sinners. And sometimes, most of the time we believe ourselves. I don’t have that luxury anymore. I’m not among the innocent. There are no innocents here. How do you atone for sins you committed when you did not believe you were sinning, in the full burst of your magnificence when everyone wanted you and you let everyone believe they could have you because you fed off that admiration? I don’t know.

I’m listening to Marvin Gaye because everywhere all I seem to see are antique hearts, broken hearts and hearts about to break. And mine was about to join in on the chorus line. I’m lower than I have ever been and nothing it seems this time nothing can bring me back. Because I’m gone further than I would like to admit or tell anyone. I have seen things I never thought I would, had thoughts that I knew were wrong and still thought them, still think them. I don’t know what’s going on.


But that picture. That picture, that photograph reminded me of a Jovial Jitterz entry, the title, I think that goes or should go How Are You Really Today? I maybe reading too much into it, I think I most probably are, but it reminded me of how we, okay, I, never know until someone tells me, that they are hurting. It’s all good, the faces I see always seem to be telling me and I don’t lie anymore when anyone asks me, how are you? All this came back because I remembered how peeved, you used to ask me, “When are you ever going to be fine?” Now you know.

I finally managed to get my hands on the entire Season 6 of Smallville, the one that introduces to me a new character sometimes called The Green Arrow and in his ‘mundane’ life Oliver Queen, do-good billionaire and major hunk boyfriend to Lois Lane (one of the most lovable foot in mouth inserters I have seen on the screen in quite a while). There’s an episode in the series, I forget the name, where the history of bad blood between Oliver and Lex Luthor is traced to their boarding school days at one of America’s most prestigious schools Excelsior Academy (one of my favourite drunken authors Malcom Lowery went there by the way!). Hold on, all this is going to come together. Hold on. I wish someone would tell me that more often. Hold on.

That Smallville episode turned out to be one of the most honest pieces of film I have ever watched. Or maybe I just watched it at the right time. To see. A digging down through the many veneers of lives we erect to protect the cowering little hurt boy still inside of all of us, that at some point in this hurting life we send back to the house as polished and gleaming, we leave the safety of home to launch the vessels that we are into life. Lex’s troubles all begun at Excelsior, or at least he realised he had fallen, began to know the true awfulness of his own nature from there and that episode brought home more than ever how after a certain age, we begin to live backward. Am I making sense to you? I don’t think I’m.

Everything we do after a certain age, it don’t matter the exact age, what matters is the day, the moment you realize for the first time that you have been hurt and that you’re going to be hurt again, life after that is about getting even. Acquiring the means to get even. No, no, I have not put that right. I have not put that right. Forgive me, I’m sloppy today. I’m not myself. What I wanted to say was that, what I mean to say is that, at a certain time a certain age you are suddenly forcefully made aware of how much you have been damaged by all the people you have come into contact with. People who hurt you deliberately, people who hurt you trying to help you, people who hurt you because you were in the way, people who hurt you and never knew they hurt you. And on that fated day when you realize how hurt you are, all your life after that is about repairing all the damage that has been done to you. All life after that is about trying to reclimb back. All life is about going back to be able to go forward again.

In tha' Joint: In My Secret Life by Leonard Cohen