Swans Commentary » swans.com March 12, 2007  



written on my sanbenito


by Guido Monte





Pic: "Before the black sun" - © 2006 Giuseppe Quattrocchi - Size: 12k
Before the black sun - © 2006 Giuseppe Quattrocchi



(Swans - March 12, 2007)  

il n'existe plus de maison il n'existe plus rien
no hay más casa no hay más nada
pour celui qui habite la terre,
para quien vive la tierra—
des enfants chaque jour meuvent vers le massacre
niños cada día muevan hacia la muerte

Watoto wa-innocent wana go tena kichinjio

Tu ne peux pas aller plus loin d'un jour
no puedes ir más del tiempo de un día,
tu, la pensée d'un rêve, el pensamiento de un sueño,
ombre impalpable, sombra impalpable.
Tu ne sais plus vivre dans un monde sans dieux,
no sabes más vivir en un mundo sin dioses

Watoto wa-innocent wana go tena kichinjio

tu es Argo, entre boue et tiques
Argo, entre limo y cecas
qui attend depuis vingt ans
celui qui est disparu,
qui espera desde veinte años
quien es desaparecido
et encore ne revient pas
y aùn no vuelve

Watoto wa-innocent wana go tena kichinjio



[no home, nothing real
for world inhabitants -
every day children go towards the slaughter//
innocent children are going again to the slaughter//
but you cannot go more than one day
you, dream impalpable shade
no possible living
inside a no gods' land//
innocent children are going again to the slaughter//
you're like Argus, between ticks and dung,
awaiting for someone
who disappeared, not coming back yet//
innocent children are going again to the slaughter]



The author thanks Rosa Maria Costa (French and Spanish tr.) and Nyambura Kiarie (Sheng tr.)
Sanbenito was the special dress imposed on the prisoners by the Inquisition courts, during the auto da fé rituals.

Watoto...is translated into Sheng (Kenya); it is an urban language coined from a myriad influences, from all the ethnicities in urban settings. Even Sheng has dialects depending on which area it is spoken. It is yet to be recognised as an authentic language, but it is the language of young people there and it is strongly reflected in their art and music. The Sheng used here by Nyambura is very basic, comprised primarily of English and Kiswahili words with strong Bantu origins.

Drawing: Before the black sun (2006), by Giuseppe Quattrocchi.


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Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Guido Monte 2007. Drawing copyrighted, © Giuseppe Quattrocchi 2007. All rights reserved.


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art13/gmonte14.html
Published March 12, 2007