t e o





NIIZI




ALA, daalu so, nne m. ndiichie m, daalu. daalu so, anyi niine.

*

how could i deny myself what you have given me?
what you have granted me, i cannot help but give.

*

coming into my role as historian in familial and cultural contexts, i have come to better understand my reasons for coming to this world. this is a work that i have always felt at the beginning of, until now. there are so many silences, so many absences, so many overwritings to account for. who and what is bolstered by the archive as it commonly exists? how does one bring back into Known Being those (narratives) the colonial and imperial archive has deemed unworthy, unnecessary, and threatening to its motives?
  at times, i have felt as though my efforts to recover and uncover are not enough, but finally, i understand that my best is more than enough. remembering and experiencing the fact that i do not operate in isolation from my peoples - living, dead, and other - has transformed my approach to living and making. i am never without anything that i need because there are so many people giving themselves for my sake, and i for theirs.

the work operating as my thesis has not been allowed to unfold entirely naturally due to the restrictions of the institution. it perseveres nonetheless. what is is, regardless of its surroundings. what must occur will occur, despite attempts towards otherwise.

these archival photos of the ancestors whose blood has given me form are precious. the words that exist alongside them are my own reflections on my lineage, my ancestors, the roles we play in each others’ unfoldings.
as we unfold, we help those around us, in all directions through space and time, to unfold.

i give thanks to and for all who embody and surpass the agreements they planted before coming to this world. daalu. wanenu.


*


as you pass through,
hover over fading words.
pull text around the page.
what new phrases do you create?
some images are activated by movement.

reflect on your own connections to those in your lineage.
where do you stand amongst them?
how can you make yourSelves more whole?


KURA





putting   together        pieces

strewn     across existence.               

               always    at   work,

          putting  together,       

        until

rest.

relief.




        in the work,

we’ve granted    us

rest.

            relief.

whole    (even)        then

and    (certainly)            now.

only  made   more          so

by         anọ.

     final.





((kedụ maka nke ise?))

((onye ga-ewepụta nke ise?))





OGBO N ’ KA NNA





who am     i  if not             you?

              reflected       and reflected         and reflected.

who am i     outside of     you   if not     nothing  ?

what            am i      if not             every  thing
you   have                  
(for)         (me)        ?


                            who am i         without   the   breath         you     
folded   into       my       chest   with          patient   hands         that       
have     known   the             ineffable  ?           


           
who   can     i     be     outside     of   

other   than     nothing?
       
my all.

impossible    to consider    else.

        my all.








gbi


 
sere be esoi
                                       

damor enu ra.




EKE


seeing you,       

i recall feelings of 




longing    .
longing     



restored                       

within my chest.





scraping    
      against my sternum           

searching for                the

peace of recognition.                           




myself in you.               

you in me.           

           
imagining            you          had   what i have  not.

 imagining   the                         space  
for               void   to     consume

                        freely,  entirely,         ravenously.

to bring      forth  the       life       it is    
to         bear.
                            full.
                                            unfettered.

free of                         all that   burdens     me                        today.





i pray   you         were        are        free  of     my     burdens.      

i am         myself      and          therefore    
freeing            you.






imagining        you   had             cooling breath        despite   the   heat          
of            being.     

knowing     my    invention    of
you    exists      alongside                 you.   

i     imagine          you as     best i    can.

i             imagine             know     me  

better   than          i    myself.                




i    imagine     that  is  how   you          guide  me.              





KITA



bowing     in,   

your frame     weakened    by     the

unrest that  has   made     space  for            

itself  in all   the little places        your      

body     has  kept   for  relief             



                              

*

//bone meets unrest meets ligament//

//skin meets unrest meets flesh//   




how long       can  these   spaces             grow,

expanding        themselves  where        

they  do   not       

belong   

before

your  being  can     no   longer         

hold   all  of  you   as            one?
    



((what was))     once     firm     and full

yields to   a                    afterimage

of               

        itself.


*


what has can never be