From The Pornography of Harry Persaud

Faizal Deen

It was the Family that had no country.

Follow-up stories from the execution of Osama bin Laden.



They would tell them, the boys,

the ball is lost. "Here. Go buy a new one."

And all the reports said it was

fifty rupees.





59 cents. Fifty nine cents for a cricket ball. 


Of all the details

in the takedown,

the scary other tracked down, killed, as the white boys drank,

it's this one, a tale of brown boys who lose a cricket ball in a compound,

who live side by side with Modernity's monster,

who, like my father, refused to behave himself

in nations, multi-national, like the actions that have made him a monster,

though not from the points of view of the boys I met in Sumatra,

who wore his face proudly on their t-shirts, and I remembered I had seen a report on that once,

from inside our camps, the horror was apparent, this was worse than a thriller, 

God, for the monster,

had no nation. It's this one I remember. 

And, he hears only the screaming God that has had enough of letting you off the hook 

for the crimes and punishments,

and my sister laughs, says that the wives and daughters are in the kitchen cooking

while the men are in the parlor plotting.


The war continues.

Did we plunder the heart?


Sometime today, 

Un-imaginable carnage in Libya, the most sensational story of death

waiting to be told, its hold on the homepages, what has happened in Misrata, what has really

happened in Benghazi while last week's Japan

almost forgotten, as the apex of suffering, appears

in the indignities of mass graves. So, you shut them out. The actual story

of how we all died but from within, from deep inside, doesn't always

entertain, we entertain to get our minds off things,

a boy plays with a basketball in a shelter, north of Tokyo,

for example, he and his friends are laughing. The actual story

doesn't always get told.


The war continues.

Gadhafi versus the Tsunami. I remember when he committed original sin

and came to be known as the "mad rogue of North Africa," in my suburb,

the white people called him Daffy Duck. Then, he staged a redemption,

not evasive, not suspicious, but a full-on forgive me. Today,

he continues his race to beat the rising death tolls in Japan,

brought on by the syndromes of Mother to see who can yield

the most bodies. Some believe he can yield the most bodies with only his hands,

his fashion denotes arch-villain, cinematic, such power,

stuffed with art especially when vowing final drops of blood

and fights to such ends. Daffy Duck plays it out and the cameras line up

as if to say this is the new topple, the new tumble

of Stalin Hussein Castro Stalin Hussein Castro,

O Pharaoh, watch them now.

Today, there is unimaginable carnage






I remember when Fukushima started to feel sci-fi, 

a disaster to remember, the multitudes, the burnt-up 

lovers lining up in the rations of desire, against the lines 

baby blue on their white suits, the scientists in their white suits,

something cinematic in it all, something uncomfortable

almost forgetting to fan the fires of a no-fly zone in my mind,

the siege of Benghazi, as more bodies washed ashore, 

Minamisanriko, I prayed for you, I cried for you.

O Pharaoh,

unimaginable isn't it? 


But, what are the actual stories? 

That Elizabeth Taylor chose this time to die

on the heels of revolutions, the world shaking

just throwing us off as if it is indeed flat and it's been

teasing through the pillage of centuries,

the actress has died and her work, her greatest work,

what made her life count, as someone puts it,

brings me back

to a carnage I understand

only too well. 




Did we plunder the heart? 


I don't know.

I haven't watched in days. 


The innocence of age

drained by the catastrophes, 

I yearn

to be small, insignificant,

to the thunder



O Pharaoh,

The actual story doesn't always get told, 

even in the rising death tolls,

it cannot hold because there is no art to hold it,

how can you hold anything in a place where memory

has been swept completely away

into some other watery place, deep beneath,

though you can imagine it all washes ashore

somewhere else, where I will find you 

in some other nativity 

washing ashore.

Faizal Deen
Faizal Deen

Faizal Deen was born in Georgetown, Guyana and studied English at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Land Without Chocolate, a Memoir, published by Wolsak & Wynn in 1999 and was a contributor to the award-winning anthology, Our Caribbean, A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles.  This excerpt is from his latest work, “It was the Family that had no country.” which thematically explores the relationship between diaspora and melancholia. He currently lives in Windsor, Ontario.