Pont des martyrs


One stop on a manic road. Can it go Bambara, Mandinka cameo, subject to object. Hot flesh lets fresh droplets off vests evaporates with diesel. People walk past the mosque and cathedral, regal, ready for the sequel. No mange now but they don’t look feeble, it’s Ramadan man; the appetite will eat you.

Breathe in cough now, have a look around and it’s got Wow, got Pow,  got real power. Mud hut roots with a musical flower, mythological, it’s so logical. Imbued with Sunjata Keita the chronicle, walk around the place now so post-monocle, i’m straight spectacle. Four eyes. More eyes take it all in, business men tryna rake it all in. L’homme and femme on their motorbikes skip both those lights on Modibo, see those street clothes, see those cheek bones, peep those deep robes!

Heads tryna shot this, shot that. ‘Nah, I don’t want that, sorry man got that’. On track, off road. Off track, on road. Bop on a hot globe, walk behind a little brother and a sister maybe 6 years old, hold hands, bold as they cross streets; sweet, there’s Love in this concrete disco, disc-world fable. Third poorest in the world but more than able to sit at the table and ad-lib and add-vibe. Bring that jam, now that’s live, now that’s life!

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bamako

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bo

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bamako

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bo

Set by the bulging niger, bulging wider daily these days when it’s rainy. Over the bridge, into the thick of it, where the fumes make your lungs just a little sick. Pass the commemoration 26th March agitations for Liberty, Justice, Democracy. Sounds familiar, I stop to see then carry on walking, oh what’s this? Of course, 4X4s outside the Ministry of Justice.

Modernity, full of contradictions, counter-fictions, encounters with twists and turns on the tarmac road with potholes of nostalgia. A fresh suit with a hole in the trouser and a quick fix. With some rubbish in the road in a triptych. 3 sights of the same scene: one a fall, one a great leap, the third tryna make peace, make sense of it all – balance life and death in it’s call.

Wham bam Bamako, man stands fallible in every urban place that I’ve travelled to, here man’s hands magical, hands bang balafon, hands bang calabash, hands bang djembe. Boys on the road shot the Bemebeya Long Play Regarde Sur La Passe the future gets penned in and bends with the tin aspirational bins.

Wham bam bamako. Comment ca va? Ca va bien. C’est ca. C’est ca.

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bamako

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bo

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bamako

Wham bam Bamako Bamako Bo


Josh Solnick ©

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