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from ‘Captured by the Source’ by Andre Bagoo | Word Riot

November 15, 2012      

from ‘Captured by the Source’ by Andre Bagoo

Listen to a reading of “from ‘Captured by the Source'” by Andre Bagoo.

After Caravaggio, Christ on the Mount of Olives


Take note how wrong Caravaggio was:
‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’ yet
Not a single leaf. Consider, too, Peter’s
Leg, reminiscent of Angelina Jolie’s (it’s
Well-moisturized, judging from the
Smooth spread of the light). Peter lingers
Like a czar, covering his crotch from
A smiling James (the other brother, John,
Pretends to be asleep but his wrinkling
Forehead tells us he is not) and only
Peter’s pinkie finger is disturbed when
Left-handed Christ (a deliberate
Touch?) makes a cowboy gesture.
Christ’s right hand is another painting.


Every single leaf is there: through
Slender veins come great blackness,
Their mathematics not understood.
When light hits it (though no light, officially,
Can) thousands of brush-strokes become:
A telegraphed message in invisible ink.
            Miraculous is the light
Swallowed whole by jet metaphor
Giving human limbs fluorescence
Bodies burnt inside-out. Caravaggio’s
Trapped beam out-powers the halo
Of Christ who warns, with bodies
So lit, that flesh is strong and all else
Weak. Look closely, it is day-time.

The Curse of Eternal Laughter

It reached the stage where if she asked me to jump off a cliff
I would.
Burnt. So burnt. My room ripped open, made a burial
ground for horses.
And hats. And boas. The neighbours laugh.
Laughter, like water. The only riddle that cannot be solved.
You cannot be solved. Like fire. A joy made aural torture.
The video on my crappy computer is stuck because there is
no memory. My
floor opens into the US Capitol. Maybe I can
stay there and
crouch among the tourists. The dark places
            planned for so long.    /      Your reflecting lake
has secret connections. We came to weeping.
                                                                     like light. A small
bowl glowing, filled with Himalayan salt – orange
flame. A flicker. As the tiny electric tea-light
with an unstoppable battery. The faster I type, the
more music I stop. How could these heartbeats last so
Laughter, like waves. Even at night, a crashing of nervous
Perhaps the ebb and flow of the Gulf of Paria is inside me.
Or Salybia and the almond-tree coast.
            Salt, become my eternal pulse. Laughter, rifle me.
Explain screams I cannot explain. My neighbors.

Riddles with no solutions, they are not riddles.
Tell no one, whose eyes can bear the light.

About the author:

Andre Bagoo is a journalist working in Trinidad. His first book of poems, Trick Vessels, was published by Shearsman Books (UK) in March 2012.

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