A Siren Wanting To Dance With Somebody… Yes.
(A Meditation by LeRoy Clarke)
Devout, the beauty of longing
Recurs in dreams’ stealth.
Childhood at our lips, a kiss
Sets aglow the flowering
Realm of Becoming our Yes!
Whitney Houston is dead! A cloud, we never imagined to be darker than night, rushes
across the sky, reviving in us such depth of melancholy; we are forsaken! Nothing remains the
same; an absence enlarges our reality. Where is the point in the appearance of this silence, and,
for what is it that we constantly risk everything about us -beyond erosions of faith, a harvested
Her word-song, devout and warm, arc-ed our feelings fully in a glow of offerings felt at
sunrise; all her soul bared at the need of our hidden-most desires; consummate before the glare of
a mocking world, ravaged of the insolence of her beauty. What a toll she is made to bear! Naked
and as incorrigible as curved is to a kiss, a lover she was to the flashy ends of our perversions
that punished her! And, with the wink of her unspoiled allure, one tear left, she leapt so easily,
with the joyousness of a wing or a fin, into the crying salt of my wounded heart!
If only for a brief moment our thoughts are made inviolable, the currency of past
experiences can offer no security in our gaze towards the void she has initiated withal the wealth
of graces that flowed through her, and to which we enjoyed witness. What is signified in the here
and now of our loss: we are swallowed up in an exclamation of ambiguities, which may really
hold for us unimagined beginnings, meanings that are being distilled in the clasps of tortured
paradoxes at play in their infinitude.
Alas bewildered: what is the point of it all? What is it about us to be appeased by the
casting of any meaning to our lives, baiting the void, a re-uncurling its rose? Our own Mighty
Shadow, (Winston Bailey) bemuses: “Oh, what is Life…?” But, for us, it is the struggle to be
recognized as ours, the flow of blood binding/ creating World.
Does Art begin there? There, in our fascination with the void left by some thing or some
value or some one now lost to us, probably forever! We are humbled by the essentiality of
circumstance; a space that denies us cognition that we so wryly attest to our upkeep of
Democracy and other institutions spawned by vanities given our ineptitude at engaging the
commons that bind us to an isolation that has to be endured if we are to be at once, the whole that
is Humanity: The superfluity of Africa, well considered in the reflection of Universe!
We hurry to enlarge our quarantine by making of the idea of Icon a cliché that is
meaninglessly fashioned by fatigue and not by the self-sacrificing mentor that never shuns being
intrinsic to its vocation, spelled-out in snatched moments; such are of skills topped by glimmers
sought and found among kisses -eye to its flowering in a flower; the rind aglow to breasts that
are shy of sunlight; all too pure, the tongue in its sacred pledge, reshapes the ear that must enfold
it with tenderness that is never at stake in fidelities in the timeless round of Dawns and the
setting of gems in her Crown.
Whitney, to her meteoric age is a spectre, phenomenal in her outreach as a Performer of
Art, or an artist who performs Herself; she would rent the veils that encumbered us. Locally, a
thirty-eight-year old, in grief, responded: all of us wanted to be Whitney Houston! While, She, in
a not so recent interview balked: I am tired. I want to go to the Caribbean to sell fruits on their
pavements! Little did she know of the unevenness of their stones and the rancidness of the flow
of blood that runs there!
With outlandish intensity and insatiable passion, her performances were charged
testimonies -attestations of Being on the roller coaster fanatics of Becoming! Her repertoire, not
unlike those of other generations with their share of catatonic epiphanies was replete with the
woeful plight of longing that would inevitably be contradicted in assuring its out-weighed,
measured compliment of tragedy.
And, the complexion of that plight is not at all at variance with a World grown
accustomed to being constantly on the verge of catastrophe. What is the point; what is the
meaning we seek in our travail? Maybe that it is simply an event of disguises where gain or
progress is an illusionary or elusive touch, but, essential to one and all in a desperate struggle to
identify self, nevertheless, justifying time and space. What do we strive to know when knowing
is never known.
It seems so easy to lay judgments where we were never present. Nor are we willing to fit
our feet in someone else’s shoes in order to become acquainted with what they are fated. Seldom
are we courageous enough to be juried by the truth of our own account. And, were we- are we
not obliged to find in the oscillating ordinations that temper our form, similarities in our
personalities -a wrought-out indigene of soul-sound?
See her among them, their disappearance! Those tortured ones, reverentially destined to
give us an almost corporeal glimpse of a perpetual Cry in quest of a tidy Home, now lost in time,
behind the zero of any amorous rights: the epistemology of Soul personified in the lineage of Big
Mabelle, Billy Holiday, Ruth Brown, Mahalia Jackson, Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Eartha
Kitt, Sarah Vaughan, Dakota Staton, Ella Fitzgerald, La Vern Baker, Betty Carter, Minnie
Riperton, Shirley Horn, Lena Horne, Nina Simone and Etta James could not save her from
herself or from us; our snares like a memory-less night into which she was, as they were and us,
meant to be swallowed-up in the grotesqueries of our Dark.
What they sought, she sought all over again, seasoned, helplessly to the call! Theirs and
ours, all matriclinous to a lost Continent, ravished by the torpor of Wait; waiting for some thing
that awaits to be complete and fulfilled, hand to hand, arm in arm, justified by light dreamt of, a
fiddling among our tropic loins.
Believe ourselves, how we are withered in perpetual lament betrothed our milk-black,
heartening funerals. Forgive us of our idolatry of easy love and for the gratitude we have for
inferior naming ceremonies -the swathe of spit on our foreheads that binds us to our infidel! And
let us forgive them and those of us who hate us so with the debaucheries of their immensely mad,
Whitney Houston is dead. Dead woman. Dead tribe that is woman! Woman, our Earth scored sour by our brute she conceived, and is consonant to wit my folly elaborates the scansions of my own need to die of this lie that shuns love’s need to live and make of us a beautiful thing the Eye sees in the eye’s flowering with the Flower she is, eternally!
The Elder, Chief Ifa’ Oje’ Won Yomi Abiodun… LeRoy Clarke.