Poetics

best of travel writing 

It’s Frank’s birthday today. A good man in many ways, cunning in others.

Been in his house today while he’s been at work.

Thinking: This has not been a good year, you’ll know, because for a long time I’m getting back to sampling The Cranberries. Dreams, especially. On repeat.

Sitting at another writer’s desk is strange. Very stange energies there. I don’t move anything on the desk, all I do is open the curtains and position the chair so that I can see Umoja through the window. Buildings are getting taller and taller.

A pigeon lands on the gutters outside the window. It looks at me in that nervous quick way birds do with their necks. Red eyes. If you know me you’ll know why my eyes are red too. I attempt a call in Swahili. It keeps up it’s dance. Says Fuck off.

Lots of cords and wires in Umoja, na tanks za maji, na vinyozi, na malaya, na the unscheduled late nights at Mutua’s. Good economics. & this bird is in the middle of all this, looking at me, hungry. I don’t know of saying this is the same as offering food, or scaring it back to it’s third lover of the century.

I’m crying. I’ve been so sad. Times like this people offer advice, they mean no harm. They say things like ‘it will be OK’, ‘how can I help’, and all this i love, even when they bring up Jesus, who I’ve also loved since I was seven.

Such a beautiful time when it rains in Umoja. Like right now. I miss my old Parish. The girls thought I was intelligent.

This bird is here looking at me, reds in its eyes and white spots on its wings. I replay Cranberries’ Dreams and as I turn back towards the window the pigeon is not there. Catholic as I am, apparitions do not interest me.

This fucking pigeon has left the gutters and landed on a gunia of maize; someone is drying them in this end year intermittent Nairobi sun. Fucking bird was not communicating, it was being a spy.

The rains are here. Maize has been taken indoors. And happy birthday, Olilo, you fucking bastard.

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