Papa Quaye

Creative Project Intern 2021





Why are you trembling? When you recite a poem that you wrote in your own language.


Or apologise for your broken translation? Why is the sound and rhythm lost after translation?


You kept your mother tongue in your heart like the melody you listened to in your childhood when you went to sleep. Yet those sounds have to be transformed and translated into another language that can be understood, and you have to endure the fact that they seem to be the whole picture of your creation. You cannot overlook the rhythm of your mother tongue transforming into a different shape, because it represents some sort of essence, letting a person fall asleep in the midnight, the song doesn’t need to apologise.


When your tongue is disassembled into steps of utterance, repeat the exercise hoping to turn it into a reflex that doesn’t stutter, so that you can be a invisibleself. Observing your awful imitation, then accidentally exposing your bare alien feet, and blaming it on your dull self, others wouldn’t mind of course, probably.


You tried to recite your own poem with your mother tongue, feeling naked and clumsy. And you apologised, there’s no need to apologise, as your voice needs to be heard, without translation, they can find you in the trembling of your voice.



You would find yourself trembling somewhere. Curled up in the bed as you have nowhere to go. The voice that you’re familiar with has nowhere to go not because you’re not surrounded by people who speak your language, but because you're not as fearless as before. Speaking vulgarly without restraint is yourself from past life.


Now your joints are slogging due to inactivity for a long time. Stretching your body would make some crackling noises. Your clumsy body in the present would be vulnerable no matter where it is, afraid of unfamiliar touch, without any antibodies.


The creative body however must be flourishing. Those inflammation secreting from your crackling skin can be your work, as the entanglement of abjection and self present in itself is a form of vitality, voice is self so as is body fluid.



Rather neglect those thoughts that are hovering your brain, than allowing headache. Rather neglect, those brain-eating roundworms wouldn’t leave by themselves. Pen is a scalpel. It’s okay to slice through your stomach and chest, because writing can also heal your wound. Then you can be complete and fine again, probably.