Poetry on Impact / Vanessa Kisuule

Vanessa Kisuule - schreef het 'virale' gedicht 'Hollow'

Vanessa Kisuule - schreef het 'virale' gedicht 'Hollow'

Zaterdag 30 januari, 20:30 - 21:00 uur
Live via zoom - tickets / English

Vanessa Kisuule was city poet van Bristol toen haar gedicht ‘Hollow’ viral ging. Tijdens de #BlackLivesMatter-protesten in haar thuisstad werd het standbeeld van Edward Colston, zeventiende eeuws koopman, slavenhandelaar en tory-parlementslid – omvergetrokken en in de haven gegooid, het begin van een wereldwijde beeldenstorm als reactie op de moord op de zwarte Amerikaan George Floyd door politieagenten. Kisuule is schrijver en performer met een rits aan beeldende slamtitels op zak, waaronder de Bang Said The Gun Award en Hammer and Tonque National Slam. Haar tweede bundel ‘A Recipe for Sorcery’ valt te lezen als een gids voor personen die genegen zijn mee te waaien met de waan en het politieke klimaat van de dag. Kisuules gedichten stonden in The Guardian en Huffington Post en waren te beluisteren in BBC Woman’s Radio en The Guilty Feminist Podcast.


You came down easy in the end.
The righteous wrench of two ropes in a grand plié.

Briefly, you flew, corkscrewed, then met the ground
With the clang of toy guns, loose change, chains, a rain of cheers.

Standing ovation on the platform of your neck.
Punk Ballet. Act 1.
There is more to come.

And who carved you?
They took such care with that stately pose and propped chin.

Wise and virtuous, the plaque assured us.
Victors wish history odourless and static.
But history is a sneaky mistress.

Moves like smoke, Colston,
Like saliva in a hungry mouth.

This is your rightful home,
Here, in the pit of chaos with the rest of us.

Take your twisted glory and feed it to the tadpoles.
Kids will write raps to that syncopated splash.

I think of you lying in the harbour
With the horrors you hosted.
There is no poem more succinct than that.

But still you are permanent.
You who perfected the ratio.
Blood to sugar to money to bricks.

Each bougie building we flaunt haunted by bones.
Children learn and titans sing
Under the stubborn rust of your name.

But the air is gently throbbing with newness.
Can you feel it?

Colston, I can’t get the sound of you from my head.

Countless times I passed that plinth,
Its heavy threat of metal and marble.

But as you landed, a piece of you fell off, broke away,
And inside, nothing but air.

This whole time, you were hollow.