NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 26

Old Man Hears the Brain ’ s Howling Beast
Old man listens to the bells and his lifelong failures echoing through the brittle points in his bones . The years sit on his head as if chewing him away . The world of the illogical is a ghost in the hideaway of his imagination . His heart drums with ease at finding the imagination is the compass , the guide through the thousand and one fields he passed through in a lifetime .
Time ’ s perfume sticks to his skin like the living and dead and newborn . No matter how fiercely he desires to dig his toes in the green earth and return to age seven like the red-tailed hawk with sun wingtips , he is stuck . The wind brushes against his face winter ’ s grinding stones , yet he breathes on and blinks his eyes like he was leftover computer keys . He senses he cannot run from the lies littering his stories with success and glory .
When the cookie-cutter moon waves goodbye , the old man wonders if he will find his way home in the thud of a heartbeat .
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Papa Legba louvre barye pou Atibon, Ago eh Papa Legba ki tap pase o, veye zow Louvre barye pou Atibon, Louvre barye pou mwen, Papa Pou mwen pase. Le ma tounnen, ma remesi Lwa yo Papa Legba, papa, makout la nan do w, ou chita nan gran chemen, ouvre barye pou mwen Papa Legba, papa makout la nan do w, se ou memn ki nan barye a, ouvre barye a pou mwen Papa Legba, open the gate for me, Ago eh Papa Legba, open the gate for me Open the gate for me, Papa For me to pass, when I return I will thank the gods. Papa Legba, the bag is on your back, you are sitting at the crossroad. You are the one at the gate, open the gates for me. Years later, I was acutely aware that I also needed for Papa Legba to open the gates for me, so I could understand GrandAngele and the family history better. I had left Haiti, gone to college, and then returned, after more than twenty years away in the United States. So I spent a great deal of time going to Vaudou ceremonies throughout the country to apprehend some of the mysteries linked to that religion. I had to make that voyage into the invisible, which deeply connected me with my paternal family. I had felt lost without these ancestral rituals. My curiosity was awakened, and I had to learn to love my roots in a more philosophical manner and go beyond the emotional. I began to understand that the design was called a veve: it was a secret writing code that, along with its corrolating drum beat and prayer, was a call to the spirit of Legba. It was to ask him, as the guardian of the gates of the mystical world, to open them so the spirits could pass through and join us mortals. For Papa Legba was a wise old man who had travelled from Africa to Haiti, as well as to Cuba, to Brazil with his people to help them get Y]\K[[H\Z\]]\[[HH^Hܝ\ ]YۈH\[Z \H\›][H[وHY^K\\ \ HٝX]\ۘ]Y\HYBY[\H^Z[[\XXBY\[ZY []]ۂܙ[\Yۋ][ZHHY]Bݙ\Z[[ܘ\[ۈ^HB\]Y\H[Y[K]\H[YH[XHHBZ\ Y\HYؘHۙHYY\™\\Y[[ݙY]^HBܘ[[[K\[B\XK\XY\ܘ\Y]B][XܙY\[\XHYBX[X\[]Z[]K[V]ۛK\]Y\\][YHZ[\H\\H^]YH]]\H[H[Z[H]Y][YH\HۛH\\]^H\B\[Z HX[[[HY[Xœ[[]\[ۙH[]\\H“HH[H\HH[B][H\^[ۂXHH][^HYB\H[H\HH[ \YHܝ\ H[HH]\KH[[H]YBHY[[]H\H[[[[[ˈH^Y][KYH\B\[YH\H\[\\HZ[Z\[\[]B]Z\Y][ۙ]H[\\\H][ˈHXY[Z\X\]H[&][\[ Z\^Y\\H^]Y[]\H8%XX\[[\[܈Y[ۙH\\K\\Y[ۙHۙ™ۙHHHۙ][ YH][BZ[HۛHH[YH[Y[ ^H\H[ۜ[[[ۋHZY^H^YY]]\X[[[[[ˈHYو^B^Z[]Y\HHYB[ۙK]H^H^Y\Y[YšۙY[[ۙHXK\K]\XB\]\[ݚ[[\[K\HX[YY]\ˈHY&]Y[[B\H[H[\Y [ܘ[[[H[YH[^HY]˜YZ[\HY[\YX˜]^HH\HYY\[[K]XX][\[[[[H\K[H[‘ܘ[[[x&\[܈]\X\YHH\X[[]HH][BXY\H[X\]X]\]H[H\H\Z[\H܈HYZ[\[ۈو\ۙBX[[Y]^H\[[K\ܙY^Y\[[H\[K\YY][܈Y[ۙHYZ[۝و\[\ۙH[[KY\X[ܘ[[[K]\\šYHYXYX[[ˈH\BۙH[Y[HXX\\ܛ \H^H\H[H[K^H\[]Hݙ\[YY H\\Y[\x&\X\\[H]\š\[[ˈ8'[Kܘ[[[H\BX[XH\ZHHY\[[B\ \\^H^K^H\H\YH\]]B[H[ 8'H\H^Z[Y H[\ ^Hܘ[[\\HY\\ٙXX][]\]YB\[[۞KH[XX[ [[\[ ]]][ۈ\x&\\[H۝ˈHY&]\Z[[ ]H]H\Xۈܘ[[[H[[H؝[\HYۚYX[X[ۜ]H\Z[˂ۈH\\[Z Hܘ\][\\H\[YˈHYY\[]K[و[K\H[[[[[[Hܛ\[][[ۈ[\ۜHH^\X[وB[\ˈHY[[]H\š[Y[H[[[\[[] Z\Y\\H\YH\B]\ˈH[Y[[ۙ]Y&]ۛHܙˈHXKH[YKHY[H\H[\H[ [\H[YYHܘ[[[KH[YYH[H\\BZ[^H[H\KH[X\X][[H\\ ܘ[[[x&\^Y\\H[]YK]^H\[&]X[H\^H\BY[ۙH[x&\HHY&]Xۚ^B]ۙ]YK\H\[ܙBZ\܈YK[ۛH[[Hٝ] H[YYHH^HXۘ[YK[K]ۙHۛHH[\H\Y \HXH[^ ][YZH[[][ۈۈY]H  H[[^HX\˂]ܚY[]YHHܝ]YK]\XH^YY[XH[؛Bۙ[ۋ\HYY[]Y[^Z[ˈH\\ۙY[]X[YHH[[YZ[^Y\[HX\HK8'\HYؘK'B]\[\YK\ۙH[[Y\[\Y YH^Y\[XYو[\Y\H˜HXKH[X\]X\]XYHH]H[ H[ [K\[\[[X[]H]H\\ܚ][Y][ۈHX™܈]H]H\HY&][\[H[X]H\Yۈ]Yܛ\[\\ˈ[^H[[\HYؘNY[YK[HX]\Y™\\]K]Z]H[^XYK\B[[Y]H\Z[\œY]\HXX[ [X\[\ۙ\H[Y[H[YBۜZ\H\[Z H\[\\[ۈ\H[[HYوB܈]K[HY[\H[]H\\][X]HXH]Z[˂YH\H][ۈZ\\\H[[YK[۝\ H]˜H[ZYHوX\و[Y\قX[ۋXXY]B]HXYܘ\ \YHZ\\\Y[YXXZH\^BY[YY\\[ܘ[[[B[H[ZKX\K\Y^H\BX[\\H]ۈ[[[ۙY܈\]ۈ\\ [HZ[YYۙHۙYH[HH\HY[\[YNYH^Y\\B^]Yۈ[H[YKH\[Z[\HXۚ^YۙHX[Y\[\XX]HXH]YX]Y[Z[X\]K[\H^B\[ˈH]\HYY[\][ܘ[[[KHZ[Y[Y^HXY\X[H]XXXH[HXH][\[]B]]\\[ˈXXZ[YX˜]YKH\]YH[[ۙ\œY]HوY[[]K