29 leads to love

By Salimah Valiani

29 leads to love
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In a world barely beginning to recognize itself as dazzlingly multihued, the erupting ecocide is teaching that while no accounting of complexity is complete, change is true and the sky, singular.

We are of parts fundamentally interconnected and overlapping.

If we choose it, ... Read more


Overview

In a world barely beginning to recognize itself as dazzlingly multihued, the erupting ecocide is teaching that while no accounting of complexity is complete, change is true and the sky, singular.

We are of parts fundamentally interconnected and overlapping.

If we choose it, this overlapping can become a continuum. A continuum of movement combined with still-ness, individuality reaching for the whole, loss and surrender, abandon and opening.

And of falling: an ever-falling, toward the intensive care that is love.

Salimah Valiani

Salimah Valiani is a poet, an activist and a researcher. She is the author of two collections of poetry-- breathing for breadth (2005) and Letter Out: Letter In (2009). An Associate Researcher with the Centre for the Study of Learning, Social Economy and Work at the University of Toronto, she is also the author of Rethinking Unequal Exchange: The Global Integration of Nursing Labour Markets (2012). In June 2012, she was awarded the Feminist Economics Rhonda Williams Prize, an award recognizing feminist scholarship and activism in the spirit of the African American economist and activist, Rhonda Williams. Her poetry and essays have appeared in a number of Canadian journals and anthologies.

Excerpt

body map

part there

part here

part beyond

this longitude struggle

this longitude strife

this latitude song

joint between here and song

cartilage joining there beyond

organ a function of struggle here there beyond

limbs traveling

struggle strife song

here there beyond

body a cartography traversing and transgressing frontiers

For Iraq, March 2003

somewhere love
but here

15 tots
noosed by the sashes
of 15 stained bonnets
sashes with xerographic transfers
of archival papers

collaboration
lost in the crack
in between two sets
of contrasting train tracks

cold weight
of snowflakes
multihued
like an oil spill

christening gown for trees
suspended
over a grove of five young poplar trees
planted in cement

15 hand stitched doll garments
of an unknown child
somewhere love
but here
an attack
called war
and slipping hegemony
mistaken for omnipotence

On the immaterial

she said I can count on two
fingers
the times I've been lifted

he said
I don't remember
the number of times
I've been lifted
as a baby
small child
when ill
but I know when I have felt held
skin to skin
tear drop to tear drop

today in Kenya,
the streets of Mexico
South Korea
people are holding together
because they feel unheld

I can count on two fingers
the times I've been lifted
but today
with my two fingers and
entire being
I can and will
hold

Reviews

"Valiani's words vibrate with a keen awareness of love as a force of rupture/rapture/way of navigating through the crises of capitalism/climate and the multiform/ever-present nature of colonial "pasts," should love be what leads the way as we embark on journeys across the globe that are continually "rebeginning. " 29 leads to love is a book that is part radical map, part kinetic geography of the body, but also "part there / part here / part beyond. "
?Adebe DeRango-Adem, author of Terra Incognita

 

"Salimah Valiani's 29 leads to love is an paean to love that is political, transformative and global. Her words--precise, evocative and justice-seeking--take us to streets of New Delhi, Mexico, Johannesburg, and Manila, showing and teaching us that love is more than what we can imagine. "
?Farzana Doctor, author of SEVEN

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