Monday, October 27, 2008


We walked.
We walked and talked.
Talked about things- life; everything.
By the dark village paths we stopped.
We stopped, stopped to dream.
We dreamed of the city.
The city.
Bright lights.
Tin lamps that never ran out of kerosene.
We talked.
We walked and talked.
Talked as we walked.
Talked and made plans.
Plans to leave.
Then we left.
The next day we left
Walking away.


How come we do not talk any more? You. You do not talk to me any more. Is it because you are rich and famous now? Famous, huh!

I remember back when. Back when we had been back in the city two years. (Back from six months of lying low in the village. Lying low while everyone- from that crooked Constable Rono, who kept buying us Napshizzle with fifty bobs he had taken off us, to four OCPDs- sought us. Sought us over the matter of certain disturbances at the Dandora bus stop Circa 1997. That when, even though most of my witnesses are long dead, I had never even been to Dandora... Eish, dadi, in 1997 I used to think Dandora was a rap group...). I was sitting at Mutua's kiosk reading the paper. I was reading the paper when I saw you.

I saw you that day. Saw your face. Your face peering back at me from beneath the headline. You were the headline. You were the news and I, I was still a statistic: 2 million youths lack ID cards or such and such. I was still a statistic and you were the news: “Wanted Gangster Kills Again.”

That was you.

You, a wanted gangster? At least they wanted you. Such a joy it would be to be wanted. Rich or poor; dead or alive, it must feel good to be wanted. No?

We had dreams of being. You became. We, we still merely exist.

It has been two years now since I saw you. Saw your face in the paper. It has been three years since we talked. Three years of wishing we still talk. Two years of wondering: do they still want you?

Want you dead?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Dear Timi,

Coherence eludes me. So much to do these days and very little time to do it. Well, maybe it is not the time that is lacking but the motivation. Because, lets face it, I am an unemployed writer- how can I not have time? But if no one is paying me, for anything, in the here and now, can't you just see how hard it is to think; write- work?


Now that I am back to our- yours, mine and those others that we shared it with- 'reality' (Nabokov, says this is “one of the few words which mean nothing without quotes” and I agree); this furtive place of 'always trying', I find myself thinking of you a lot.

I constantly wake from one of my increasingly frequent inebriated slumbers with a letter to you clawing at the tip of my fingers. Too bad that I can never get up and write it because, truth be told, it is not the gnawing letter that wakes me but that sick feeling at the pit of my stomach brought on by an over indulgence in cheap alcohol. So instead I turn, ever so slightly, and retch blood, bile and the remnants of many missed meals.

Sad is what all this is. And such a pity it is that being back in this place reminds me of you. In this dire place rather than a year or so ago when I felt that our shared dream- that of making our indelible marks on the Kenyan Canon (lol.... we used to say that Kenyan Canon will quit being a paradox when we were done with it)- was attainable. How sad that I forgot all about you when I was strutting my stuff on the theatre of dreams and only sneak you back in as metaphorical crutch and muse when I am returned to our theatre of broken dreams.

Now my mind staggers and I am Prometheus reaching out to grab that literary fire and bring it to the motherland. But divine hands intervene; thwart me. And here I am bound to a rock (some hideous monstrosity; a relic from an inglorious era; the Nyayo Monument perhaps) and life, shrouded in despondency; hateful leer turning into the curved beak of an eagle, lunges at me. Lunges at me. Consumes me. Frightful wings flap, the heat of my fire to sap. Destiny, I say, this is not. Vicissitudes, perhaps?

I write this here wary of what others will have to say. I mention destiny and emphasise that it is not at play here because recently an academic of my acquaintance accused me of having a teleological view of life... (Such cunt, er, I mean, how Kantian!)

But now I begin to lose my train of thought or rather than train finds itself dithering in the wake of my urgent need to reach for another can of naplam (if it quacks like a duck...) to blunt my senses.

Till my next ten minutes of sobriety (or its simulacrum) and hopefully, eloquence, Rest in Peace my dear friend.


Monday, October 13, 2008


Dear Timi,

These tears have been flowing since yesterday. I have tried to wipe them off with jug after jug of Senator but the only thing I have managed to still is my cash flow. Now I am sitting on the dirt floor surrounded by books and half drowned in my own tears. I am holding a dog-eared copy of The Complete Shakespeare with one wobbly hand and writing you this note with the other, more wobblier, hand.

Surrounded by books, huh? You must be wondering who died (apart from you...hehehe...) and made me an owner of many books,eh? No one really. It is just where I am now. I am the proud owner of volumes upon volumes of- brace yourself buddy- new books. Books, man, that only I have read since they left the bookshop. Books that have only had one owner: me. Books with covers- dust jackets too. For crying out loud. Books with all the pages in them and where they are meant to be.

Books. Books. Books.

Two piles of books: (a) The new; (b) the old.

a) The new: Zadie Smith, Ishmael Beah, Doreen Baingana, Piri Thomas, Edward P. Jones, Jeffrey Euginedes, Chinua Achebe, Azar Nafisi, Ryszard Kapuscinski, this one... that one... the other... etcetera.

b) The old: The Complete Shakespeare (a Front and back cover, frontispiece, indices, The Tempest, the first scene of Troillus and Cressida, one act of Much Ado About Nothing, the last two acts of A Comedy of Errors and ten sonnets short of complete). The New King James Bible (Beginning at the Third Chapter of Deuteronomy and ending in the middle of the John 10).

Only you know what those last two books meant to us. Only you understand why so many of those early blog posts yelled: I was raised on Shakespeare and the Bible. Shakespeare and the Bible, between us the only two books we had. But that seems like a long time ago. A long time before you left us. Left me.

If there is an afterlife, I hope you are sitting out there in its library. Sitting there, ye that died book-poor, surrounded by books. Reading. Reading and sipping on something finer than that Napshizzle that we shared.

Till we meet again.... do not quit believing that I loved you!