for-binta!

Carryon My Wayward Son
  • Binta:...Other times I honestly forget that I have knives in my carry on until I'm about to head to the airport and just throw them all in the top of the closest checked bag.
  • Morty:or forget that your mallet is, in fact, not allowed
  • Binta:I like to think that it will make an interesting story.
  • Binta:I'm so sad. That was my problem solving mallet too.
  • Me:......what kind of problems? did this mallet solve?
  • Binta:...problems.

Someone left me this chill comment on a recent chapter of The Aftermath and I’ve been mulling it over:

“Hey, I’ve really liked all of your lit reference any chance you could list some other poets/novels you like?”

Honestly, that’s a difficult as shit question to answer.

In The Aftermath, I’ve already mentioned SteinbeckArthur Miller, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare. Plus I’ve name dropped poets like Philip Levine, Jean Binta Breeze, Josephine Miles, Allen Ginsberg, and Bob Perelman.

Honestly, it’s killing me to try and narrow it down. I went to school to study literature and poetry with a heavy focus on medieval lit and Caribbean lit (yeah go fucking figure). For medieval lit, I am ALL ABOUT some goddamn Chaucer, although I doubt anyone’s doing light Chaucer reading in their spare time outside of the medieval lit community.

[I guess it’s worth pointing out that the first and most notable Geoffrey in my life was Geoffrey goddamn Chaucer and I almost made a fucking career around writing about him. SO.]

For Caribbean lit, I love the aforementioned Jean Binta Breeze’s poetry. She’s my jam. I also love Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kinkaid. I tend to lean towards women in that category because it resonates more with me.

In terms of poetry, Philip Levine is my absolute favorite poet on the face of this earth. But I also truly do love Josephine Miles. TS Eliot blows my shit and I find myself revisiting his poems over and over and over again and finding new reasons to be in love with them. I love Audre Lorde, Robert Lowell, WS Merwin, Sharon Olds, Richard Wright (both his poetry and his prose, really), and Billy Collins.

For me a lot more is about how an individual poem resonates with me, though, and I consume just… a metric shitton of poetry, half the time forgetting who wrote it and just remembering the poem.

I approach fiction from a sort of weird angle and I consume a lot of different types. I’ll go through a phase where I only want to read things that I find influenced authors I love now (reading strictly stuff like Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, HG Wells, Jules Verne—or more modern ‘classics’ like Stephen King, Michael Crichton). Other times I’ll get on a non-fiction kick or a horror kick or just pick up random shit.

I just. Ugh. This is spiraling out of control. Here’s my top whatever whatever authors and their best works imo off the top of my head and I’ll be done with this rambling:

Donna Tartt (The Secret History: beautiful prose about college friendships spiraling out of control)

Bret Easton Ellis (Glamorama, American Psycho, Less than Zero: frightening, sickening narratives you can’t put down)

David Sedaris (Nonfiction, everything he writes is hilarious and beautiful)

Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: a poetry-influenced non-fiction account of life with his homeless father that is so haunting and everything I aspire to be)

Tana French (In the Woods and the books that follow are heavily atmospheric and literary mystery—EXACTLY the type of thing I’d love to be able to write successfully)

Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited, like Great Gatsby but better and gayer)

John Fowles (The Magus, super self-indulgent and atmospheric)

Thomas Mann (Death in Venice, a story that will basically haunt me forever, beautifully written)

Richard Flanagan (Gould’s Book of Fish, the most challenging and lovely book I’ve come across in a long time, worth many revisits)

Dan Simmons (The Terror, Summer of Night, Drood, Abominable—Dan Simmons is a fucking asshole and I write exactly like him, much to my dismay)

John Lindqvist (Let the Right One In - very different from the movie, I love this book and also it makes me want to vomit)

Cormac McCarthy (Child of God, seriously trust me on this one, please read this fucked up book)

Richard Russo (Straight Man — I channel Richard Russo sometimes when I write about boys, I can’t help it)

Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow & Children of God — the weirdest, best scifi books you’ll ever read, the end of the first one still got me fucked up ya dig)

Maria McCann (As Meat Love Salt — difficult as fuck read but got me started on writing about latent homosexuals and I never looked back)

Mary Renault (Fire from Heaven, The Nature of Alexander — basically novelized historic fanfiction about flaming homosexual Alexander the Great, A++++)

Geoffrey Chaucer (Troilus and Criseyde NO JUST BEAR WITH ME, THIS BOOK IS SO FUCKING GOOD OK)

Mary Roach (Anything—it’s all nonfiction and equally wonderful)

So. I’m sure that wasn’t helpful at all, but I didn’t want to ignore that comment. If you’re ever looking for something to read, poetry or prose, literary or trashy, feel free to shoot me a message and ask me to recommend something based on what you like! 

Girlhood Official Trailer 1

Girlhood Official Trailer 1

Summary:

Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.

(more…)

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The Double Life

One of the strangest aspects of being a Peace Corps volunteer is the feeling of leading a double existence. When I call home to the states or e-mail my friends, I’m still Carson Ross. When I’m in my village, to my friends and family here, I’ve become Binta Sow. It’s only been around other volunteers that the two sides of myself have blended effectively. We can talk openly, each understanding where the others are coming from (without romanticizing American culture) and the new lives we’ve adopted in Senegal. We get together and rant about our frustrations or boast about positive experiences, throwing in terms from our local languages and references we are sure everyone else will understand.


As the date of my family’s arrival drew near, I experienced a unique anxiety known well by volunteers. It had to do not only with the pressure of being in charge of three adults who don’t speak the language or understand the customs, or the fear that they would probably get sick from the food and water or the heat (they did), but from the overall idea of my two worlds colliding and how I was to reconcile them. I worried about them being overwelmed by the people, the noises, and the smells, or that they wouldn’t be able to relax and enjoy themselves, and sent e-mails and made phone calls to prepare them—what to pack, how to dress, what to expect. And I also worried about myself, having worked so hard to build my identity here, and that it might shatter as I reverted to being just another tourist.  


I soon realized that these fears were largely unfounded. As should have been expected, my mom, dad and sister showed up with open minds, ready to experience new things, and eager to see my life here, or should I say, the world of Binta Sow.


The trip was fantastic and eye-opening for me as much as I know it was for them. Their observations and questions impressed me and helped me look at aspects of the culture and life here through fresh eyes. We saw so many different things and places—Dakar, smaller cities, my village, beaches, wild life—and each one sparked interesting conversations that allowed me to share a little more of my new self with them.


The highlight of the trip for me was taking them to my village. My host family and friends here were possibly even more thrilled than I to have them come. They’d been talking about it for literally months, and haven’t stopped talking about it since. When we drove into the village they were waiting and welcomed us by dancing and banging make-shift drums. I threw a big party for everyone the next day, and it seemed like at least half the village showed up to greet us, dance, and eat.

I was so happy to see that despite their not being able to understand each other verbally, everyone’s happiness was mutually understood. My (real) family continually remarked at the warmth and generosity and general friendliness of all the people I introduced them to in my village and throughout Senegal, be they locals or other volunteers.


The trip for me was reassuring in many ways. Being the guide, I was reminded of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished in the last fifteen months. As a vacation, it gave me new energy and enthusiasm to put towards my projects here, of which there will be many as a second-year volunteer. Finally, seeing my parents and Skye reminded me of everything I have to look forward to coming home next November.  


Saying goodbye was hard, as I know it was the last time that I’ll see my family for the next ten months. But it was not as hard as saying goodbye the first time, when I left for Senegal in 2013, because I know now how fast the time goes and those ten months ahead feel infinitely shorter than two years seemed originally. I’m nearly two-thirds of the way through my service here and can’t help but start to think about the goodbyes that are still to come. I know that leaving Senegal will be especially hard, as it will involve not only saying goodbye to people I’ve come to love and to depend on (possibly forever), but also to a part of myself.

Note: I don’t have too many photos of my own, and the internet connection here is too slow to load them anyway, but here are my Dad’s photos from the trip:

https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A1G4TcsmGvs1dy

https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A15qXGF1FcToq

young-gunsrevolution asked:

I know recently you posted your favourite poets but I was wondering if you would be able to a masterpost of all of the poems mentioned in The Aftermath? If you can't thats totally cool. I finally read it and I am so glad I did, I love it c:

I’ll do ya one better and give you a list of ALL the other works I reference in The Aftermath, including poems, novels, and songs:

East of Eden
Novel by John Steinbeck
Appears throughout early chapters and in The Hustler

Song
Poem by Allen Ginsberg
Appears first in Chapter 5

Riddyum Ravings
Poem by Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze
Mentioned in Chapter 8

Collected Poems, 1930-1983
Poetry anthology by Josephine Miles
Appears first in Chapter 8

Physiologus
Poem by Josephine Miles
Appears first in Chapter 8

They Feed They Lion, Poems by Philip Levine
Poetry anthology by Philip Levine
Appears first in Chapter 14

They Feed They Lion
Poem by Philip Levine
Appears first in Chapter 15

The Metamorphosis
Novel by Franz Kafka
Alluded to in Chapter 16

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Novel by Ernest Hemingway
Mentioned in Chapter 16

The Pushcart Book of Poetry
Poetry anthology edited by Joan Murray
Appears in Chapter 17

Pig 311
Poem by Margaret Ryan
Appears in Chapter 17

Biblical Also-Rans
Poem by Charles Harper Webb
Mentioned in Chapter 17

I Knew I’d Sing
Poem by Heather McHugh
Mentioned in Chapter 17

A Poem with No Ending
Poem by Philip Levine
Appears in Chapter 17

Situations
Song by Slaughter and the Dogs
Appears in Chapter 18

Merchant of Venice
Play by William Shakespeare
Appears first in Chapter 19

The Way I Feel Inside
Song by The Zombies
Appears in Chapter 20

The Importance of Being Earnest
Play by Oscar Wilde
Appears in Chapter 21

The Secret Place
Novel by Tana French
Alluded to in Chapter 21

The Crucible
Play by Arthur Miller
Appears first in Chapter 22

The Secret History
Novel by Donna Tartt
Appears first in Chapter 25

Sneaky Feelings
Song by Elvis Costello
Appears in Chapter 25

The Abominable
Novel by Dan Simmons
Appears in Chapter 25

Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Harper Lee, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jhumpa Lahiri
Authors who appear on Geoff’s posters who haven’t been mentioned yet elsewhere
Appears in Chapter 25

Bob Perelman
Poet mentioned in Chapter 26

‘Abalaka case still at S’Court’

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has said that it has an ongoing case against a surgeon, Jeremiah Abalaka of Medicrest Specialist Hospital Limited, Gwagwalada, at the Supreme Court over his claim to have discovered a vaccine that could cure HIV/AIDS.

A   32-page judgment of the Federal High Court in Makurdi, Benue State, presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, which was made available to journalists during a press briefing by Abalaka, had nullified and voided the ban placed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration on the use of the HIV/AIDS vaccine discovered by Abalaka.

But the Chairman of MDCN, Prof. Jonathan Azubuike, during a media briefing on Monday on the inauguration of the North-Central zonal office of the council in Ilorin,   said the council’s case against Abalaka was still ongoing at the Supreme Court.

He however said that he would not comment further on the matter because it would be subjudicial to do so.

He said, “If you look at the record of our plenary session, some months ago, we had a meeting on the cases we have before the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court. The last meeting we had was on November 23, 2014; under Abalaka, the case is still in the Supreme Court. That is all we have in our minutes. If it is in court, we are a law-abiding people, we cannot comment further on that.”

Azubuike said the council was working hard to review the Act establishing the MDCN.

He stated that the council was not against information on services of health institutions, adding that it was rather compiling various components of medical care and institutions in Nigeria that could assist to render such care to patients.

According to him, this will afford people the knowledge of where to access medi-care of their particular ailment or that of their acquaintances.

He, however, said the council was not in support of hospitals advertising a particular doctor and his medical claims.

He also said that the MDCN had responsibility to regulate alternative medicine, adding that the council had already co-opted the alternative medicine practitioners into its board.

Azubuike said, “We have decided to devote one day to alternative medicine in our next session so that we can learn about it. Our focus is on alternative medicine and not on trado-medicine.”

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After16 Years, Court Legalises Abalaka's HIV Vaccine

After16 Years, Court Legalises Abalaka’s HIV Vaccine

In a landmark judgement, 16 years after the federal government officially banned the use of HIV vaccines discovered by Dr Jeremiah Abalaka,  a Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, has declared the ban illegal and inconsequential.

In a 32 page judgement delivered by Hon. Justice Binta Nyako,  the court held that given the dreaded nature of HIV/AIDS,  it is incumbent on government to…

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At Santana Music Studio

Boljug ✌👋 – at Santana Music Studio with Kimo, Faiz Aditya, Binta, Rolly, daniel, and pepphy – See on Path.

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Boljug ✌ – at Santana Musik Studio [ruko segitigamas kosambi] with Kimo, daniel, Binta, Faiz Aditya, and peppy – See on Path.