The Dead Can Love Us Too / After Jimmy Robert’s Untitled (Fragments) – Phanuel Antwi

Antwi1Image Credit: Derrick Chan

The Dead Can Love Us Too
After Jimmy Robert’s Untitled (Fragments)

Jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head howl
delivering a puzzle made of blood into cavities
on the block.

Jigsaw of leaves now my brother’s head howl
all day delivering a puzzle made this blood
into cavities on the block’s ear.

Jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head howl
a puzzle made now blood into cavities.

Jigsaw of leaves suddenly my brother’s head shattering
howls a puzzle made of blood into cavities on the block.

Jigsaw of leaves now my brother’s head howls
a jigsaw leaves my brother’s head
delivering a puzzle made blood into cavities
on the block’s ear.

Jigsaw suddenly leaves my brother’s head howling
a jigsaw of leaves now my brother’s head
morphosing a puzzle of blood into cavities
on the block’s ear.

Jigsaw of leaves now my brother’s head howls
a jigsaw of leaves now my brother’s head
scattering a puzzle made of blood into cavities
on the block’s ear.

Jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head howls
jigsaws of leaves of others brother’s head
scattering a puzzle made suddenly blood morphosing
a puzzle now love into cavities. On the block
breath reverses willed returns
the ins and outs of injustice jigsaws
a tide that still carves pleasure from the face
of terror.

Jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head howls
a black tide that carves pleasure out the face of terror
a jigsaw this leaves of my brother’s head
scattering a puzzle made of blood morphosing
a puzzle of blood into cavities. On the block, like
the self from self of injustice
all I am not I also am

a jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head
puzzling the video from a covered camera, the Velcro
straps put over badges
all I am not I also am

Jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head howls
hammering down houses that carve pleasure out
the face of terror, a jigsaw of leaves of my brother’s head
scatter a puzzle made of blood morphosizing all I am not also

the dead: even as I must die howling I am saying I love you.

dead: even if I must die howling into cavities on the block hear me say I love you.

dead: even if I must die howling it into cavities on the block I am saying I love you.

dead: even if I must die I am saying I love you.

dead: I am saying I love you even if I must howl into cavities on the bloc.

 

My brother’s head

on the block

’s ear drums the staccato of gunfire of an invading army.

My brother’s mouth,

lipped sealed, is a rebel’s testimony nosing around, following procedure: bottom-up shirt neat cuts a tie.

My brother’s unrests,

not as they exist but as I see them, shed a thread of light through heads. Hair lines up to testify, while eyes, chinned up, croon to the sky, testifyin that part as itself is myth is a mirror, an I knotting I, shattering across, tying necks on the block.

I breathe breathe I breathe I I breathe I: declare your breath. That willed return is breath reversing shards of my brother’s head into the block’s ear.

suddenly breath, this equalizer of beats, guts in its precision.
your “suddenly” has been [howling] always. (suddenly growing redundant weighs)
even if my always is now your suddenly / even if my always is yours now hear me say I am less the speaker of this poem than the person loving the subjects of the poem

even if my always is now                                         your suddenly / even if my always is your suddenly

now hear me howling into cavities
even if we must die                                                              on the block say

who are these men                                                                                      
who take my time for granted.

Phanuel Antwi is a son, a lucky brother of two handsome, loving sisters, Agnes and Clara, a blessed uncle to a beautiful boy, Ezekiel, and niece, Chelsea. In addition, he works with dance, is a poet, activist, aesthete as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at The University of British Columbia. He has been politically active in organizing around a range of issues, including anti-immigration laws and practices, anti-racism and anti-capitalism, sex workers’ rights, labour rights within the university sphere and leadership opportunities for marginalized youth. He spends loads of time exploring questions of desire, the poetics of identity and the intimacies of everyday living.