Wednesday, December 16, 2015

kwame write & blood drum spirit ensemble - ghanamanisms



Docupoetry performance about Ghana at #TheWriteExperience event with the blood drum spirit ensemble led by master drummer royal hartigan, joined by saxophonist David Bindman, pianist Art Hirahara, and bassist Wes Brown. Video by Martin Adi-Dako. Edited by Steven De Castro

Monday, November 30, 2015

kwame write ft wanlov the kubolor - wonna mama



Jamestown was the most appropriate place to shoot this video, since it happens to have all the elements signifying a crumbling economy in the face of corrupt leadership and a nationwide myopic foresight. Though, the people look happy and chatty, they might be aware of the fact that their geographical location pins them in the middle of a busily growing urban scene which thrives on the fulcrum of extreme importation of general goods and services and leaking of natural resources to the west from all crevices of the country as well as dependency on IMF and the World Bank who come with their tuneful policy-attached loans, while the best forms of schooling can only be accessed by homes which can afford. Local neighborhoods have interesting architecture that have a look as if the residents are staying only temporarily, having windows next to each other where people poke their necks out and discuss issues affecting them and the country. The video depicts this observation. When the video starts, you see an act; Manchilde(rapper and music researcher pHd from Trinidad and Tombago but based in Canada) looking towards the ocean shore; enacting the West African who was approached by the European explorers and merchants who brought in new religion and triggered slavery that has gone far and wide to colonize bodies and minds. Graffiti on Otublohum walls by Bright Ackwerh emblazoned the focus on great leaders and revolutionists who have held the pan-African sceptre. The metaphoric display by Samoa dressed as a traditional priest towards the end of the flick, signifies how we need to 'sankofa' to the concrete African systems and bring the 'light' in. See how Teochronic dances majestically next to the beauty of fire of actual liberation.

Dir: kwame write
Video + Edit: Brian Ohene

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TEXTURES IN MOTION (THE POEM)

(Inspired by artist Zohra Opoku's portrait series TEXTURES that features me. It describes an identity of an artist, by subverting the wardrobe of the subject: https://vimeo.com/125732879)

Performance unlimited-
Stray ghosts
Blow life into shield
Mimic my story
In the denseness of garments
Their movements
Around the stillness
Depicts the style of sculpture
Dancing to music of air
Gyrating to flair of art

Textures draped
With symbols sacred
Soaked from home
Culture in a calm setting 
Of incomplete construction
Aligning motion of philosophy
As the artist in all intrinsic expression
In communion with environs
Draws passion into bowel
And delivers
In the silence of a howl

STREET HAWKER'S MANUAL; A HAIKU

When traffic hits red
Weave through cars, reach as many
Till the light goes green




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

TRIBUTE TO THEODOSIA

The flag was up
When your body in all glory
Dropped off the eye of the globe
A saintly tear
Dropped off
Saved in the scar of sun star

The flag was still up
It was still morning
In Nkrumah's Tema
When the red gold green songs faded
Outside the barns of charred dreams
When

Children with red gold green faces
Elders with red gold green palms
Mothers with red gold green babies
Priests with red gold green psalms

Lauded your handiwork 
Gripping unto the black star lone
Lone like an un-mopped sweat drip

Damirifa due!
Due ne amane hunu!

And if art
As sincere and delicate is nothing but soul
It only goes to say, you offered yours to Ghana
Even before your humble transition

Theodosia Salome Okoh (born June 13, 1922) designed Ghana's national flag. She died at the Narh Bita Hospital in Tema on Sunday April 19th morning after a short illness.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

3/30: THE SACRIFICE

We sacrificed the old paramount gods
Took our temples to the markets
and brought the markets to our temples

The oil leaks between our fingers
Dripping unto unworthy skulls in reach
The drums with broken scalps bleat
The songs we buried do not sync with our feet

We sacrificed the old vital gods
The symbols soaked in earth rain salt wit fleet
The bound broom, we loosen with our teeth
And hack out our souls in the streets!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

SUNSHINE RAIN (ODE TO W. E. B. Du BOIS)


"Most men today cannot conceive of a freedom that does not involve somebody's slavery" - W. E. B. Du Bois

the gestation of a dream
inspires mind of heart; eternal realm
I saw your two soles stemmed as baobab barks,
branches of hands cut clean with alluvial gems
the torrential threats tossing torsos tracked
winds gathering like vultures on cold carcasses-
you swallowed under your wing
I saw you use your scars as a ladder
the well of your tears waited to impregnate countryside clouds
at the moody embrace of midnight mirage
You ironed out the wrinkles in your sail
You gunned for glory in a city of black ghosts 
where your scrolls were read through outcast eye of the sun
the ashes were swept through canon nostrils 
the gooey phlegm of imperialism pour at our feet
Africa, dying many times 
and the dirges still haunt us sleeping at the Polo grounds
using Nkrumah's bones as bed stands 
the cotton black wool of your hair as pillows
Padmore's marrows as strings in spread out sheets 
veteran soldiers who once laid down their gold coast lives
their lives their lives their lives their lives
sing lullabies lurid love stories of slavery 
internalizing the pain in sunshine rain
out here, I am also, like you..dreaming

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

THIS WAS NOT WRITTEN ON 24TH FEBRUARY

Wherever the lessons of liberation bleed
Lion-hearts loyal line their tears with me
The struggle has been fought, 
But butchers branded in bulk
Bundle buoyantly and beam their bluff
Wherever the oozing, the blues of cold chop with
E. K. Kotoka on the string threads
Minds boozed red-faced under the blood shed
Millions of scalps merge, more than one louse
Spread above heads, 

Hands dust Hanoi huts, heaving hell 
Nkrumah, your own brothers left you with a lonely sail 
Even perforated like the post-independence dreams
And buried the books of shit-story
Burning the post-Goldcoast mood, bursting from brooks
Of embezzled banks of the mental leaving bitter buffoons,
Beckoning helluva imperialistic hunger and
Public orgies of intellectualism
About a hundred hierarchies, hacked heads bathed in anarchy, 
Rock-less ranks and file base, 

About brief mysteries mingling in every lie case
Carved in the naivete of superstructures borrowed from burrowed wounds
Enclosed in sandwich of colonialist bourgeois swoons
By the fireside fencing narcissistic monologues
A. A. Afrifa danced in circles too
Dictates via Rawlings' camo creeds displayed dirges of diktats

Tat for tits, sugar calls the ants
Gong gong stuck in armpits, drums dig the stunts
Wherever the lessons of liberation bleed
Lion-hearts loyal line their tears with me
Every pan African owns a pan for this tear breach
These raw years of eternal lies implanted in youthful minds
As the new phase invites lice to bald ears

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

YOU'RE AN OCEAN!


You bow to the storms bumping into the sinews of your heart, you’ve babysat injuries of your ideologies from the start, the washing winds punching the firm frame of your face make you forget all the sweet smelling quotes about better days and inspiration from your mama’s good dinner plates, your chances of getting away from this lock of desperation you dread are limited, you’ve thought of being a Rastafarian but you dread the constant locks, you want to pork, this vehicle of restraint,  but it  looks almost impossible like a robot’s respiration, you end up wasted- it’s only a weekday, lethargy hangs over your weak ends, lecher-deep hangover before the weekend, you walk a world where everybody talks 6 feet, under your feet you feel the earth calls, you almost feel defeated even before you start a feat, your echoes hit dead walls, if success were a basketball dunk, you’d be throwing air balls, you entered the mall with tears as currency, you window-shopped all day and forgot to get doors, to your emotions, you’ve always been called an ocean, because you feel you’re sure but you wave in when you land and quickly retreat because you’re tide, the graph of your progress is a roller-coaster ride that runs under dark waters, the gradient is far from radiant and you’re that bothered, you almost want to drop your black converse and that crooked smile that pulls up most of your face into a punched pudding or after-effect of 6 shot alomo, you’re in the midst of people you call friends but feel that solo, you walk looking like the letter C crawling compressed out of Hitler’s concentration camp, your conversations are damp  like concerts wasting gushing fluid of faith from your bowels and turning you inside out, contemplating, you puke your wish-lists, your heart and your mind are at war, you try mopping crumpled opportunities smeared on the floor, you’ve many a time been called a misfit, if you were clothes you’d be fit for Kanye’s torn fashion business, you’ve started carving unknown hieroglyphics right on your wrists, you’ve thought of seeing a psychologist, next time the thought of suicide hugs you you might not resist, same suicide shadow you sense moving your marrows shows you a drop dead delicious pout and you might wanna kiss, you might want to stop to exist, you tight balled your fists, you eyeball the mist, you might want to strip, all the fabric fantasies of finding a future, you’re failing and that fall is swift,
But yeah you’re an ocean, you rise and explore, you surf  ashore and you soar, you break through when you land, you have a lot of beauty deep down in store, you look up to the sky and swirl and dance even when you’re blue, the whole world needs you, everybody wants to touch their feet to yours, you’re a bowl of wonder with a lot to share. You are an ocean!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

HARMATTAN’S VERY HANDS



Dusk waits for me at the riverfront
I hide the sun behind my palms
But it sleekly slithers through
Shedding scales into my soul..
Dusk, like donkomi, ding-dongs for me
But, metamorphic peace finds me seeking, I hear
There’s a God who carves tunnels in the air
And eyeballs the urban baobabs oiling their skin with tears
And blighted grass tasting emotional flames..
As the puddles under my eyes disappear
I find comfort’s manger rocking
Where the laps of my inner clouds babysit dawn
And I know too, the journey always leads to dusk
For all things birthed shall one day pass..
Heavy like the harmattan conks, I’ll share this breath
I’ll nudge into skins, hear my hoo-has!
Once I’m here

By Jeanne Clark @jeanneC_IO

Monday, January 12, 2015

DRAWING FOR SURVIVAL

The caustic arms of fire-breathers bearing
the bald bones of creeds 
dropping cold ash into our bleeding eyes blinking
between the gun and the pencil;
I ask, which of the two would inspire a dream
if the barrel did the opposite of dropping blanks?

Do they hear the reverberating anguish
or dread not our immortal art and consciences?

Under the umbrella of vision of eternal paradise
if a benevolent god or karma perhaps
would resurrect common consciousness
we could live amongst ourselves
and not bite the arm of another
but here the tongue is forced at day
to dip into the bile of death's philosophy

at night we're here
staring at bloody portraits in a dark gallery,
suddenly, there's satire in the air that laughter cannot be addressed to
not to mention,
broiling flesh
wailing guts too
due to the putrid venom of extremism

We're not human enough to shake hands
at home,
thousands fall at Baga
but the bartender is busy
rehearsing whisky-blooded speeches

I marched in my heart
I was a pedestrian when the streets went gay with agony
I saw the ripe hypocrisy when hands held contact long like
a randy photog's gaze
in the lens of cameras capturing camouflaging
feet fighting..

Do they hear the reverberating anguish
or dread not the sharpened ivories of our teeth?

When there's true freedom of speech
I will frog-leap and chant
Je suis human!