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Song of the Andoumboulou: 142 | The Nation

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Song of the Andoumboulou: 142

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      —moment’s omen—

We were on a train somewhere on our way to Cal-
    ifornia. Florida, Panama and the Bahamas lay
  behind. Abandoned boys and girls again, the band
                                                                                     of
      us. We threw our votes toward the polling place,
  too far away to reach… Southern arrest had set
    in. We set our sights west. Sunset’s chemical sky
some new recognizance, balm the omen’s notice
                                                                                might
    be… Lone Coast obliquity said come hither…
      Steeped insolvency, bittersweet obliquity, bend.
Fit were it the end of it but not, Lone Coast arri-
  vancy. Lone Coast obliquity’s behest… We had
                                                                                just
    gotten started, we were barely off. A dream of
outmost arrival obliged us, the asymptotic hustle it
  was notwithstanding, a blessing we were bent
                                                                             on,
boon beyond any, Lone Coast rapprochement…
    Either we stood in a line wrapped around the
  world or we sat on a train headed west, IDs in
                                                                              see-
      thru ink… Either way we circumambulated, un-
  sure which, the ballot box our Ka’ba stone, black
    rock, no way to look thru or look into it, no matter
                                                                                        it lay
      broken or because it lay broken, come from no sky
  we knew… We were scared and afraid fear meant
    we knew something, scared being scared was know-
ing’s omen, moment’s gnosis. The Alone lay waiting,
                                                                                       the
    we we were afraid
  we’d be

                    •

    I knew there was no we. I knew I knew we less
than we’s rumor. I knew it was a feeling from
  before… I knew there was the hum it made at
                                                                              least.
      I snuck a peek at where the Alone were, Lone
  Coast intaglio a grimace in the wind. The it of
    it might only be the hum of it I saw, heard what
it made me imagine I saw, an aggrieved amen we
                                                                                 were
    a moan away from… Why they take it away, why
      they try to we were asking. A lady dressed in
black stood in the aisle and started dancing. Other-
  wise we sat with refugee blankets tossed over us,
                                                                                  flags,
      we later learned, of the possessed… Why we the
  had we were asking, wanting more to think of an
    earlier life, some lifted sense, something said get-
ting out of a car when we were nineteen… So it
                                                                               was
    and so it went… So we said and saw it come
true… Dispossession got hold of us, possessed us,
  got us happy, Lone Coast abandon woven into
                                                                               the
    blankets we wore… Now it was a bus we were
on, going backwards, no matter we sat in front. Where
  was the ballot box we were asking, where did they
                                                                                    put
it… We soon saw the way, the fey design of it, away
    from Lone Coast while on it, none of us know-
  ing where, none of us knowing when. We were in
                                                                                    the
    aisle now, the lady in black our leader. Lone Coast
islander, she intimated come hither, gave the air a
  bump with her hips and gave it a grind. Give it all a
                                                                                       don’t-
    care damn we took her
  to mean

          ____________________

She was the moment’s woman, frustration’s main
    squeeze. Given to paradox, don’t-care damn
  we gave it up to, all of us only there not knowing
                                                                                   why
        she made us admit… She took it from jook to
    flamenco before we could blink. Back stiff, head
      and chin high, heels hammers, face rationing
  pride and duress… Eyes elsewhere, her hands bore
                                                                                      mu-
        dras, a sign from the east it seemed. Don’t-care
    damn a danced indifference, dance don’t-care’s
                                                                                  ta-
  ’wil

                    •

  Heels hit the floor, we’d had enough. The lady
    in black’s heels hit and ours followed. Heels
hit the floor on the bus that had been a train,
                                                                          the
    bus that again was a train when our heels
hit… A Websterian growl went up as they hit,
  cante jondo’s friend. A breathy reed squawk
                                                                          be-
    hind each of us, a kundalini blacksnake moan…
      A buttress it seemed it was in back of us. Gravel-
ly strafe Camarón would’ve blown had he blown
  a horn… Thus it was we spoke of clowns and
                                                                             kings,
    each of us conducting our lone apocalypse. “Na-
ture Boy,” before we knew it, was on the box
  that wasn’t there. Instead, we spoke with our
                                                                            feet…
An early joy relived in a dream came next. Lone
    Coast reconnaissance. Dreamt-of entelechy.
                                                                             Hint-  
  ed what arrival might
be

          ____________________

            (slogan)

    What it was was dance was a weapon for the
weaponless, would-be some would’ve said. It
  wasn’t some “next level” stuff, we’d have
                                                                      none
        of it, a way of being away that brought out
    in was all it was, frown-line amenity a wrinkle in
      the wind, noses up as though we took offense…
  What it was was we did take offense, ballot-box
                                                                                 ab-
        scondity afoot, no one would not have. Deep
    song dance’s hauteur was no shuffle. All heel was
                                                                                     what
      it was, all
    stomp

 

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