Friday, January 27, 2006


Isn’t it ironic: We said our government was of old men. But hey.. they cool. I mean the president is given to making pronouncements from Governor’s Mansion in dated sheng. Then the other day as I was walking; walking and talking to my boy Timi, I saw that the roads had changed.

There were markings. Markings in a psychedelic shade of yellow, or is it orange. The government was doing more graffiti than I do. Now who is the tramp? Who is the idler? Juvenile Delinquent?

But I can beat them in that game. Yeah, the playing field isn’t level. They got their truckloads of paint and all I got is a pilfered spray can. But I got the experience…well (I have to claim experience in something- maybe some head hunter will read this call me for an interview: ‘Wanted, Immature 26 year old with 10 years experience in staring at walls…doing nothing that isn’t mentioned in the law books and good in junk communication.’ Of course if you are wondering what job I would qualify for, I say M.P)

Yes the government is old. So what if they are good at graffiti. Hey maybe that is some thing new that they threw into the Highway Code or whatever that book Kenyan drivers do not read is called. Maybe the government has said “YES” to a new Highway Code, and obviously since they live in Mars, and we, in er..uhm…Kenya- duh!- we don’t know they did.

Did I say old? Yeah a bunch of old guys doing graffiti. I call my style of graffiti Stone Zone recline. It is a throw back to the cave man days. Yes, man has always needed to write on walls, from way back before he could write. It is a primal instinct. So my style, I define as a regression to that base instinct but sketching with tools of the future. The mind. My mind is my medium, my template. I draw, doodle, spray paint on the walls of my mind.

Wonder what the government calls their style. Retro- Makerere?

Retrophilians! Did I say I could beat them in their game? Maybe I cannot. But my mind is my action zone. In my mind, I will shit-can them. Spray paint them with a can of piss.

“I win! I win!” I need a gleeful smile to walk to.


Walking and thinking.

The roads aren’t what they used to be. I hear it said once that Kenyan roads resemble the lunar landscape. Then I came to realize that the existing photos of the moon were taken in Kenya. It was all a big conspiracy. (Remember the Tom Mboya Airlifts? That was blood money.) Of course you thought the Airlifts were all about engaging the emerging republic. Decolonise your mind!

Then again, I am thinking of crop circles and related things. Maybe the aliens- our rulers who art in Mars -finally want to make contact with us their mortal subjects. They need some special markings on our otherwise unmarked roads to land their space ships.
You must of necessity find a road first before you can make a road side declaration

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


You can call me anal-retentive. Not only because I love to cross my T’s and dot my i’s but also because I question the least of questions, Doubt the most basic of answers. I spend so much time thinking about things I hear people say as they walk along the railway line from kibera towards Industrial Area. Their musings as they mill about staring into the sky waiting for that small white plane to drop Unimix and varied rations. Sometimes that plane comes but most times it doesn’t. Then I cannot help wondering: “ What are they thinking, now? About tomorrow?”

Tomorrow? Maybe them. Not me. I think about my last job. I reminisce on the pleasures of my last meal. Not that I enjoyed it. Hardly. But I am a realist. And in this life my true realities are in the past. My hitherto experience. What will be- the future- is a vast desert streaked with the few and far in between mirages of ‘a job if I can get it’, and a “ meal if I can afford it”.

As for the here and now, well, I wait.

Yesterday, I tried, yet again, tried to make it all work. Really I did. But once again they wouldn’t let me past the factory gate. It is always the ‘first so many guys’ at the gate that get hired for the day and I always make it first. I am always the first one after the ‘so many guys’. Then sometimes I make it first; first before the ‘so many guys’- but on those days the foreman shouts: “Hakuna kazi, leo”.

See it is easy to get tired. Tired of walking. There comes a time when you feel like you just want to sit and wait. The only problem is that you have the time, to sit and wait, but you have nothing to wait for.

Hey, maybe I can ask those kids over there what they are waiting for. Maybe I can wait with them too. The interesting thing is that every time I ask them what they are waiting for, they tell me that they are waiting for something to wait for. And they say it with the most thoughtful of countenances. Such sincerity I can never help but join them. Join them in their sitting and waiting. Waiting for something to wait for.

So today, I wait. Wait for something to wait for. And this while sitting with Timi. Timi my favourite homeboy. My boy that writes stories like I do. Stories that no one will ever read. Maybe we can review each other’s work. Have a pseudo- intellectual conversation on some dead poet or other we read a decade ago. All this as we wait- Timi and I- waiting. Waiting and talking. Talking and waiting. It is as though waiting for Godot.


As an aspiring writer, I go through phases- few and very far in between- when I really write. The one issue I have with myself though is that in those moments of literary inspiration- times when my Muse is on Speed- I get so inundated with ideas. Ideas that are intriguing to me at their revelation but are too subtle- even complex- for my limited intellect to work out into a full-length piece.
Then again I have never learnt to file away a good idea, or what appears to me like a good idea at that moment, and interpolate it into a later piece. The offshoot of this is that I end up with a collage of inchoate ideas that are particularly brilliant as constituent parts yet irrelevant when the article is viewed in toto.
All these appear to me as symptomatic of a mind, not in a perennial state of flux- which has suggestions of a positive dynamism and exploration- but in perpetual conflict. This conflict is borne out of a long life attempt to pass trivia as intellectualism. Surely as they say, a little knowledge is dangerous.
Further to that, I can digress in perpetuity. I never seem to end up telling the same story I started. That sort of makes me believe that maybe what I begin saying is not worth saying. Or maybe, and this must be what is true, my ideas are to big even for me. Maybe, with this in mind I should start writing nursery rhymes. But who says nursery rhymes are necessarily easy? Hey, did I just segue? Nice huh! What was this blog about? Oh…These last three days I have been working on:

Even I saw it, as it was revealed to one John who was at Patmos – and there maybe as a prisoner, escapee, refugee. Just like I was. There were angels and when the Fifth Angel sounded, I saw a star fall from heaven and unto him was given the key to the bottomless pit. Out of this pit came forth smoke and out of this smoke, a swarm of locusts. And the swarm tore through the Sahel, Over Chad, and like a rock of salt floating on the Magadi, they settle on the festering wound that was Darfur.

Then the locusts became horses- Iron horses- marching forth, the mines of King Solomon to take. The locust bites were like fire and potent poisons and the Nubian could not mine, any more, the Black Gold that was his birthright. Couldn’t mine because the approach to the mines was littered with land mines and its entrance guarded by soldiers of fortune in the service of faceless Kings from distant lands across the Mediterranean Sea. Kings of men, with their guns and their bombs; their avarice and their blood thirsty Gods. Indeed, the curse of Noah was come to pass.

The Sahel burns. The Nile discolours to the crimson bane of the Second Angel. The rightful ruler- beloved of her people- Cleopatra lies adrift on the poisoned Nile. Her purity pilfered and used worse than a Sodomite whore. And yet, Imperial Rome, unsated as ever, takes her again. Sucks her. Not stopping until maybe she dies.But her subjects must live, though as refugees on their own land. They must live, even as amputees, not by glorious battle but through the savagely of cowardly buccaneers and the evil proselytizing of Rome’s prophets.

Indeed the Sahel burns. And her children are taught the rhymes of rat- a- tat machine gun fire. The screaming of women as they see their children plucked from their bosoms and slain like beasts is their poetry. Their heroes are crowned with the blood of eviscerated foetuses. Their guns are their phalluses, and the joys of consummation are forever ridiculed in the wanton rape of infants.

And the leader of the horsemen- he that is called Apollyon- charges against the Sud. The Sud, like Bunyan’s Pilgrim upon encountering Apollyon, has no armour for his back and thus stays to fight. But maybe as it was written… The King of Herero must be vanquished that the descendants of Japheth might have “ a place where the sun shines. “ The Sud must fall against the darts of Apollyon. The swift Impi, the wizardly Sangoma and the Holy Waters of the Kaya in due time must yield the fort and the Motherland taken by the vile Pirates.

…..Kwame Nkurumah wrote: “ The neo- colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage.” To this day Caesar marches on. Victorious. Ever looting, from Cape Town to Cairo. His policy of divide and rule setting the Hutu against the Tutsi and stealing their gold in the melee.Caesar’s courtiers forever beguiling illiterate maasai to sign away their birthright. They take their land; where there was fodder they plant landmines. And when they are done, they take the Maasai women with both heat and force and use them for burnt offerings to their gods of lust………

I am not quite sure whether this was meant to be a narrative or essay. Thematically, it is an attempt at critiquing Neo- Colonialism but obviously ‘critique’ would an intellectual exercise that other statements afore- going indicate to be an activity beyond me. This particular piece has- as always- refused to shape up in my hands. The idea though as much as I recall came to me in 2004 when there was much fuss over Darfur- the Genocide and all- and yet a plague of locusts was approaching that festering- wound- on- the- global- conscience through Chad.


“I want us together. Forever. I promise,” Victor coaxed. “When I get back to The State, I will send you The Green card”, he continued. “Then we can be together.” But Victor was lying. Lying just to get what men sell their souls to get. That thing that most crave, not to keep but to use and discard like dregs from a wine pot.

He didn’t care the least bit for her. Neither did he care for any of the others that had slapped, scratched and stabbed each other just to have the honour of sucking his mzungu dick. They were merely tides of orgasm to him. Transient. Ebbing and flowing. Never counting for much more than just another notch on his totem.

“Amee- neah, please”, he begged. Amenya Smiled. She always did when he mispronounced her name. “A-me-nya”, She pronounced it for him while dragging her henna hued finger- nail over his lip. “ Sawa”, he growled, resignedly as hot blood and much hotter semen pounded his urethra. ‘Sawa” was the only Swahili word he had cared to learn. Maybe because the natives used it to question, to answer, to describe- everything- he had concluded it was about the only word he needed to know.“If I say it right will you let me fuck you?” Victor asked, “ Let you fuck your moron brains out…” was closer to what he meant. She cocked her head sideways her eyes settling momentarily on a point somewhere above his shoulder. These African women could never look him in the eye. They had been taught to submit to their men. Taught to lie down at the drop of a man’ s pants- headache, menses or not. But what they did as they lay under you was no submission. They took you in. Engulfed you with a deep, almost pensive, sensuality. Captivated you with subtle oscillations of pressure. Asphyxiated you with diabolical gyrations as though they were voodoo dolls on rhino horn aphrodisiacs. Then they let you go. Centripetal motion. At times after being kept up all night, he tended to see it all as the vestiges of a primeval brand of feminism. Maybe that was their way of stating that just because the man was on top didn’t mean he was in control.

Victor had known Amenya for all of two years. The first day he met her; he made her suck him off. Right there in his plush, new office. “So you are my personal secretary?” He had asked ogling the twin peaks on her chest, imagining them jiggling, dancing to the rhythm of her pelvic thrusts as she rode astride him. It all gave him a baobab-sized boner.
“Let’s see how well you can receive my faxes,” he sneered, maybe more with his pulsing john than his thin lips. She obliged him. He on the hand carved Lamu Swahili stool; she, kneeling on the leopard skin floor mat.“Damn!” He thought as his wetness splashed her blonde weave, her hydrocortisone- bleached- face. “If this was back home, she would slap my ass with a mighty lawsuit, just for imagining her in my daydream.” So he slapped her ass and sent he on her way.

This tour of duty would be the best yet. The relief agency he worked for, back in The States had wanted their own man on the ground. They had to have one of their own to keep a watchful way on the natives and their thieving ways. Here he was now, in the solar powered brazier they call Mombasa. Mombasa with its own easy pace; where a minute lasted an hour… an orgasm too.

This is the kind of piece that puts me on the defensive. It isn’t my style, you know, just experimental stuff. I read an anthology of erotic- horror fiction late last year and I have to admit that in spite of my low opinion of ‘pop- trash’ and pulp fiction, I enjoyed it immensely. My intention with this story, if I can finish it, is to use it as my first post on
East Of The Web. Specifically, beyond being an experiment with the erotic- fiction genre, it is an exploration of the African idiom which I am recently attempting to acquire and master.


On that day, it appeared to me. Not in a Mosaic burning bush, hardly. It was a presence. Vague yet possessing. “Was it serpentine?” you ask. Of course not, you must be reading tales from old wives who have no use for the healing value of apples. It was a presence; and that is about it.Now son of your mother…if you will let me tell you my story… What? Yes, I will have some of that dragon smoke…

If I were of the softhearted kind, I would describe the darkness as having been essentially tangible and proceed to state that we crept through it with bated breath lest we take in the forbidding air. But I am no coward. No sir!It was a regular dark night, as dark as nights were intended to be. The silver quarter moon crouched behind a ponderous nimbus, taking a pee or something. “Hurry before that cloud bursts!” I hissed at the two shadows scaling the high cemetery wall with the surefootedness that is borne of habit. They were my gallant soldiers of the night. My knaves in dark armour. It was a regular dark night, like I said before, and regular dark nights are great nights for grave robbers.Earlier on, during the day, I had been at the cemetery’ entering and leaving through the ornate gate as any respectable undertaker’s flunkie is meant to. But you know the travails of minimum wage. And me that has dressed them stiffs not being able to afford my own funeral, someday. Isn’t that scandalous? A man has to eat, the wife and kids too, and when he dies…yawa! …. You know a man was a man when you see them put him six feet under in a ‘designer” coffin.So there I was, moonlighting. Trying to afford a decent funeral for myself.

…. I must have fallen asleep because I woke up, screaming, from a nightmare in which the ghost of a long dead man was trying to drown me. Awake, I lay in a deep pool of water and all around me was a nauseating stink. It took me five full minutes to realize that I was lying on a coffin in an open grave, partly filled with water.Screaming and cursing, I tried to extricate myself but my hand dug into decaying flesh. I retrieved the hand and shuddered as an excruciating pain cut through my forearm. It was suddenly clear to me that in my fall, I had shattered the glass-viewing window of the coffin. The sickness that overwhelmed me as I scrambled out of the grave was inexplicable.

The rain must have stopped long before because the dense nimbus clouds had drifted away leaving fluffy dark blotches high up in the sky. I looked around me and realized that I was alone in the graveyard. At that moment, I had little knowledge of how I came to be there. My body was shaking and the only thing I could tell for certain was bound to catch pneumonia. It was cold. I was cold.There was a persistent thought at the back of my mind that I couldn’t grasp. It was, I figured connected to the heaviness in my soul but I couldn’t tell how. I looked at my watch. It was three thirty five. The witching hour!I crouched on the muddy ground on all fours. Then, slowly, instinctively, I raised my eyes. I saw it. There it was in a still-frame of light, low in the Western sky. Right there, merely six inches above the brick wall of the cemetery. An only presence in the entire sky above me. Glorious. Bright and beautiful. Revealed, not in a dream but stark naked reality.The Morning Star.Venus.Lucifer!

A rambling piece initially titled; The Grave Thieves. How lame! This is a peculiarly POTASH kind of story. Although there is no decidedly Picaresque protagonist here, the over riding theme- that of Satanism, Lucifer, The Dark Arts, and a profoundly Anti- Christian bias- is a throw back to my most prolific era; Circa 99/ 2000. This tale is inspired by my earliest attempt at an anthology, which was tentatively titled: ‘Potash Son of God and Other Ungodly Stories’. Maybe over this weekend I will dig up the seminal piece from that time: ‘ The Ring of Aboguthi’. Hope I will like it as much as I did back then. But my style has changed. I need the African influences I had back then and that help mark that as my greatest face to- date.

Uhm..I cannot figure out why I started writing this particular entry in my blog. It is characteristically long… well that is why it is MY blog. I do my posts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I want to be understood; but most importantly I want to be misunderstood- it is the only way to stay relevant. Why else is God such a big deal? Do you really think anyone would care to find out what God was about if they knew ‘IT’.

People always want to question. They are intrigued by such things as are by defination mysterious. Sublime. Like their own existence. Life. Time. Space. And all such things that our minds deem unfathomable even though our best brains attempt to fit them within our ‘limited- dimensional’ realm of cognition. But even the most eminent of physicists can only imagine what is out there.

Frankly, I am not one of those that claim to know what is out there. (They that claim such esoteric knowledge through the studies of physics, metaphysics or good old ‘bone and dice’ chicanery’). Infact, I always say that I have never been dead therefore I cannot vouch for the existence of the so called life in the hereafter- or the lack thereof; but I have lived, and it is of the living that I am best qualified to talk about.

See there are lives and LIVES. Lives that a significant portion of any demographic group can label: ‘Well lived’, and then those that can only be branded as ‘Lowly Existences’. Lives so empty they earn no more than an ‘Unidentified Black Male’ toe- tag in the morgue of life. I do not know much about the former but of the later, I can attempt an exposition. If it were to sound too much like a personal experience, then who knows….Maybe.

This is the story. The story of a mid- twenties Kenyan guy trying to afford his next shot of Liqour. A young man who, maybe by the circumstances of his lowly birth, individual failings or the caprice of The Fate Sisters, has found himself staring up success’ posterior end.

This story is not easy to tell but someone has to tell it. It has to be told because it is the story of any boy in any urban neighbourhood- from Cape Town to Cairo. The story of a life that exists in the past of “yesterday I got drunk” and has no apparent hope of a “Tomorrow is my first day at the new job”.

It is easy to think that those of us- yes we are more than a crowd- living this life want to be here. Well, maybe some do and some don’t. I cannot tell you about some. But I can tell you about me. The only story I know how to tell is that of the one, the only POTASH.
In the end, as I always say, the only person I owe the truth is myself. These are my memoirs that you read in priviledge. Need I say more…..