Kamwangi Njue Considers Akomfrah’s The Last Angel of History

The Data Thief

  It should be at night,
for I am a thief after all.

On the low,
  lurking in the shadows
keeping to
          my thief shit.

In hornets easing with killer bees
and snakes,
I was born.

All contaminated
with violence.

To dig in.

It is a myth, you know
the nostalgic return
a dent in an adept chronology.

My seamstress of alternate time
weaves outliers.

The long hours
of thought,
           the heavy eyes
         of entry,
the ear as a deceptive,        the noise
heard wasn’t there
the eye says              this,
so I heard      heed to its call
it says, here, a passage
                         a door.
All is Dark.       Unknown,
                      we invent some
to push along.

For the Mothership,
        time       capsules      bursts
       reveals            souls       sold.
  secret of the tech.

Years to peel into the future.

                  A black box
                     painted silver.
Fragmented      coded
Mothership       connection
      all rooms,
to enter,
to exit.

Water wet no drum.
Bass caresses cheeks
                  to depart,
Space Based.

To be bound by elsewhere,
bodies of subjugation
set criteria of actions.

Patch of viral entities
submerged to neck heights
couldn’t swim
couldn’t drink,
   data to flow freely,

Gene holders loved and grieved
and died.

To die is to revolt.

Up the river of no end
where to sail is to live.

For inaccessible narratives
the incarcerated speech
plots forms.

Scales of sovereign tips-
hierarchy of value.

This is far enough,
trapped in afro-purgatory


spread from

shore to shore

then beyond

hanging low

strictly ice

iridescent algae

remains of oblivion

of word traces

deposited to

pronounce nature’s secret

unable to flee the haunt

modernity’s exultation

sad and immediate

data found


algorithms are a scene of crime

datum is not permanent

is the hope is the faith

is why to how to resist

to find which

that persists



to affirm

its error

maybe we need more

experimental will

I held my heart
mind hot and left

I searched everywhere
only dust reached out like sin
Clouded vision. Eyes
teared up all the way.
I couldn’t have known
to remember or to hold
tongue. Pronounced words,
voice protested
worlds that lie to each other
outstretched like grace
they beckon
my unfathomable needs
plagued with lack.

I stepped out or in?

Inside an SP-404 machine to map
swing coordinates
glitched, chopped and screwed,
torn into bits
servitude stuffed into
all possible escape routes.
To survive,
to be etched on a stone.
There was no more
space left for extra engravings.
All compressed
to fit a restless system
that fakes deep
the way of blues.

The Myth stood on
the opposite end,
a fluctuated embalming
of how everything collapses.

To keep on, the ensemble
imagined to comfort.
     jams all out other worldly.

Growing wings,
all futurism became redundant.

                 Flapped, feathers
                  reached all time epochs.

This equilibrium like
all other inventions
couldn’t last.
New ways of being were imagined.

Speckled incoherence
susurrated the days of earth
to a lull.
Dreams were in tear formulations.

Though they couldn’t shock,
their precariousness
allowed other lives to sprout
temporaries that permeated

a new way of dreaming.

When night came again,
I lay traps for all geohistories.

State was an accomplice.

  The speculated remained
                      untouched but

The damned
rapped episteme
of dire birthed
cultures to multiply in.

The settler life wasn’t enough,
harnessed souls of the native
                detain other histories.

Only electricity was on our side.

So we hooked the necessary up,
plugged the myth in
the viral to capture
ways in or out?

Outside the window
hued atmosphere
punctuates my memory
of the wreck.

My gaze shiftless,
nothing alive escaped the hubris.
The machine hissed
struggling to keep the remains intact.

Ruptured skyline
readied to devour
the inoculating angels.

But all shut down, fell on its feet,

the decay of
one dimensional history.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.