03/2013, Goodwill (2222 and Lamar)
A proud tradition in the poetry of the English Renaissance (and long before) is the translation of the body into a map: a sustained metaphor in which the beloved subject becomes the fertile plains and mountains, as appropriate. (Wildlife) partakes of this tradition, but is not of this tradition: here, the subject becomes the rough surface of a map or globe, not as an act of praise, but to establish a bond of solidarity through time with the subject’s ancestral homeland.
The subject draws strength from the homelands’s animals, a totemic bond with three animals that, together, are shorthand for African fauna, and, indeed, Africa: the elephant, the giraffe, and of course the lion.
Each of these three animals are resolute beside the subject, staring with fierce gazes at what the subject, also, faces. Together, they are fierce.