PhD Student in Comparative Literature (track for International Writers) and recently published Senegalese American poet Baba Badji will read a few of his poems for us on Thursday, March 25th 7:30-8:30pm (Zoom link)

Here is one of his poems entitled “Multinational Self:”

Imagine shutting myself in the American face,

where I face the low slung & pale sky to draw

everywhere African-ness begun Negro-ness to end

the elephant’s shadow of Négritude.

Poivrons doux et piments dans mes blessures.

The will to smile that big Senegalese smile-

Un Homme blanc me dépose au regard de

L’Océan Atlantique, au regard des terres Africaines

Because I refuse to stop for prose.

Because the aches of double exile never froze.

My humming lure vultures in jungles for a saintly dose.

We slowly become French, Senegalese/American in the law of faith.

The setting of dreams gone dark on bamboo farms.

Les secrets de la Mère Fantôme.

Du Tchouraï pour déloger le mal.

Du Tchouraï pour purifier sa véranda boueuse.

Looking back, insanity and nostalgia curve against

my people’s tongues (tu penses dangereux) in defense

of multinational self a penance I pay for Coffin Maker.

Je suis le mendiant béni. Je suis le mendiant guéri.

It is said, I was baptized in the Shrine with Kumpo. Church was shut.

Through the rebels’ attack, Ghost Mother knew it was safe.

Gän bou doxot balay leck deem rootii deerett ack xam xam.

Au cœur des vautours. Sable. Boue. Rivières. Fleurs. Plantes.

Mais. Alors. Très bien. Je te défit. Esprit colonialiste. Je te défit. Quitte l’Afrique !