Abre nkuto: when the knowledge of words + meanings is secret sung gallo not only ungiven but slippery brinkamo anyway + is like getting up from the grave in Kimpasi speaking Nkita + is knowledge not given freely + chop + wood + carry + water’s what I know + you have to bleed well & come back up off the floor no name just waded in the lango before that + signs for free on the floor Nsala Maleko / Maleko Nsala literacy earned by penitence & hardship Nkimba the door in the Forest + miles + years + river + precinct house + the monte + the Seeking + the Pointing + the great graveyard tree + years of mop + clean + carry + fetch :: Who knows more Isabella or Isabellita? :: The old knife cares best for its master :: No one is born knowing the Forest’s roads + waxing Bed Stuy & South Bronx basement floors + working up to backup chorus boy + Ngwayi means prisoner of war Ngueyo! something like Hey You We’re Watching You Pino Nuvevo at least that’s how it used to be eloquence as aspiration to efficacy, understanding as a secret teaching mouth to ear + Courtesia Kongo gets hot + throws puya hot tongue rooster fights + Malembe Malembe / Malembe Malembe in other words: I know I’m bad / you know I’m bad / so don’t fuck with me rincon style as you sing the treaties of sun of moon of falling star & praise nchila nchila ko or Heart as we used to say secret itself about what was in Tata’s head getting off that boat Bozal: salt water iterations begun by feet crossing The River + the hunter & the new country + what he found planted there + who it was planted it + the door into the Forest, Ngurufinda great organ of God breathing in the trees Padrino sings :: Dog has four legs but does not walk four roads :: Some palos are only good for charcoal :: Gray hair doesn’t rinse out in the tub :: The old knife saves its master :: Criollo! Padrino calling for a chorus you better know & sing back the time Sun burned the Earth until Time + the Moon gave her shade & invented days & nights sing :: Tempu Ntango Anabutu Ngonda / Tiempo y Sol y Tierra y Luna :: & then a day it’s quiet no drums no one else just you Padrino + all the Nkisi & your broom as you sweep Padrino says Mi jalo como tiene: Nzazi means lightning, matari is sacred stone, Cunancieto is the Holy City in Wankila how we say Africa, wankasi is your walkboy + so you are mfumu Mayombe a free man of El Monte, Mayombero: judge of the forest of the dead so don’t slouch + sing loud like you motherfuckin mean it hands you the kaolin + says draw Quatro Vientos + sing this like I say :: If you don’t know me then why are you calling my name?/ If you don’t know me then why are you calling my name?:: & so speak to the matari nsasi rubbed into the cross cut across my tongue + speak lightning & bury it in this ground :: In Guinea / in Guinea / Mayombe was a good thing :: Wa Kuna Kongo? :: & the answer is Wa!