A Welcome Message

from Bayo

Once, we supposed that by burrowing into the world, and taking things apart, we would eventually arrive at pure essences, at unbequeathed virgins hidden behind thick layered harems of dust, grime and exactitude. At the heart of the matter. When we ‘arrived’ there, it wasn’t a holy calmness we found: in the material world, the electron touched herself in perverse sensuality – neither here nor there, frolicking with virtualities, teasing the impossible, mocking our gaze; in the intellectual world, we surveyed the ancient ruins of Reason, overrun by visiting hordes from less austere realms; in the moral world, where we supposed ‘love’ to be the resolute bedrock for all things, we noticed a queer undergrowth, a flourishing carnality of considerations. Mere chaos.

In other words, we are finding that the heart of the matter is not a simple creed, stable ground, conquering Truth, or an exalted state. And that there is nothing ‘pure’ or finished about the world. The heart knows something we don’t – and this is that one and one often equals less; that life cannot be computed in terms of ends and purposes; that the idea that our lives are a lone feverish hunt for happiness is a conspiratorial compromise and, as such, what we all want and long for is not given or uncontested; and that behind the curtains, when the neon lights flicker out and our masks come off, when the candle-stained scripts rest exhausted from all the handling, our most astonishing fear is ourselves – strange, perverse, wild, indeterminate, and powerful. If we touched the heart of the matter, it wouldn’t be satisfaction we will feel. When the saints go marching in, it isn’t eternal rest they will find. Nothing is still or settled. The heart of the matter is a gasp, a bleeding cut, a haptic involution, a self-touching encounter, an event horizon that takes us in and belches us out in stranger versions of where we first began.tranquility

In a world where intentionality, agency, causality, learning and memory can no longer be safely ensconced away in the fleshy caverns of human be-ing – and at a time when modern civilization, our cherished binaries, our institutions, and our cultural lexicons are unfurling at their seams, grappling with resolute impasses and spinning black holes – I offer these dances with the preposterous. This website. This very material yearning for a world more at peace than the stories of infinite growth allow; a world more alive than can be accommodated in the anorexic confines of Newtonian imagination; a world more just than the exhausted binaries and tired clashes between ‘good’ and ‘evil’; a world where ‘I’ am home with Lali. With our daughter, Alethea. With the preposterous.

Welcome.

Adebayo Akomolafe

Poet. Philosopher. Psychologist. Professor. Passionate about the Preposterous.

Recent Works

Essays, Articles, Speeches and Adventures

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‘We’ are not leaping from ‘here’ to ‘there’, we are making ‘here’ and ‘there’ by leaping.
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Worshipping Lali

This unease

This unease at the seat of your belly, like a precious lover’s note squeezed into the palms of a soldier at war, has braved the fierce winds of the normal. Tend to her wounds. Be hospitable to her. Her message is dire: that there is more to the world we take for granted. That behind …Continue Reading >>>

Out the box

If colonization places us in boxes, one might think that ‘decolonization’ is the act of coming out of the box. Moving from here to there. But that would be another silent instance of ‘whiteness’: the mythical condition that enlists us in the practice of seeing things as discrete, not relational; as simple, not complex and …Continue Reading >>>

Re/membering History

I find fascinating the arguments offered by those who defend the statues and monumental structures scattered across the United States, which celebrate the leaders of the Confederacy. As activists insist that these structures are reminiscent of slavery and racism – painful memories of wage-less labour, broken ancestral lines and abuse – the defenders of these …Continue Reading >>>

Time enfoldments

To the modern mind that sees time as a Newtonian flow of moments from past to present to future, ancestry is a distant object – and matters of belonging and indigeneity are locked in a static past, accessible only to a few. Nothing however does more to remind me that the past is never done, …Continue Reading >>>

Reaching for the stars?

Do not dishonour the stars by seeking to reach them, by trusting that home lies in the glittery distance. ‘Reaching for the stars’ erases the hard work they have done, travelling unfathomable miles across our galaxy, spilling their guts in temper tantrums, baptizing earth with the very minerals that have become our bodies and our …Continue Reading >>>

Falling might very well be flying – without the tyranny of coordinates.
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