gargoyle (i live in memory)

i don’t reflect this city’s moods, but my emotions parallel those of this place. disoriented violence, these days, manifest in physical discomfort. baton blows transmute into revived pain memories. it’s the left side that hurts.

security cannibalises expression embodies fear, frustration, outrage. clichéd protestations.

even my dreams are disturbed.

i’m driven by an irrepressible urge to witness. distanced, i place myself on edges, on rooftops, on the other side of fences. in the grey spaces of symbolised logic. i was never allowed to belong, every exchange a reminder of the conditionality of my personhood. i recognise this and in acknowledgment, pull out the good-grateful performance of girlhood on demand. i was never allowed innocence. three decades of practice.

survival instinct paramount tantamount.

i plug into these spaces, listen retro-futuristically. wirelessly and sometimes soundlessly.

something happened too easily, simply, quietly. the grandiose collective royal we laboured under the false belief that it couldn’t wouldn’t ever happen here. until it did. and it’s too simple to dismiss but place everything in context*.

this time around, privileged outrage might just mean something. experiences vocalised in a way (i personally have) never heard before. narratives documented instantaneously, distributed universally. please forgive the tired language, but The Revolution Will Be Available On YouTube.

again, i need to mention the surfacing of repressed experiences. i was always one of the lucky ones because of my peripheral existence. easily able to abstract the ugly because i could make my own life beautiful. but witnessing comes at a cost too, one more quietly absorbed. the cost of affirming other-than-divine intervention.

even if i were permitted to forget, allowed to take for granted, i won’t i can’t. there is complicity in inaction. i might be asked to testify somewhere sometime.

disclaimer: i only stand behind my own(ed) truths.


*Is this a tale of rough justice in a land where there’s no justice at all?
Who is really the victim?
Or are we all the cause –
And victim of it all?

The Language of Violence, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy (1992)

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