…the first musical instrument I remember touching was

[ the tabla in my uncle’s home ]


this pair of beating eyes, bringing life
the touch of taut skin
flitting
flatting
frequencies
skimming
skipping
sentences of sound
there is no more desperate path out
                                                                                                      (of dislocation out)
than my divine desire to crop my fingers
fold them into pegs
to fling and to follow
to play play play

Un-tabla’d as I am, I dedicate my sound to learning about the music in me that already knows the rhythm of the tabla. This is the first section of Mark of My Departure. Speaking over the tabla loop here felt liberating. The image of the tabla is currently in my mind and everywhere around me all the time.

if you got the rhythm I can go with precision
i can flow with the feeling of the water
i can drop unexpected, drop like the t’s in the native speech it’s sorta
sorta slick with these thick lips flip syllables to spit am from L D N
but you can find me in the kiez by canal in the sun, in the rain, in the hail my friend
all praise due
all praise due
all praise due Allah
if i wanna manifest a blessing, my head be pressing the musallah

this language I hate it the colonisers tongue – not very fun
this language I love it, it’s the only one – well I guess that’s done

i can flow with the feeling of the water
cut through the border
what you gonna do with this bricks and mortar when the sea-levels rise
hoarder
that’s me though too much stuff
who come rough round the edges and bluffs
i can float in the cushioning clouds, pushing them bounds
kush and a crown

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