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Friday, March 04, 2022


by Indran Amirthanayagam

Amid Ukraine Exodus, Reports Emerge of Bias Against Africans —VOA, March 2, 2022

The tradesman from Guinea has lived in Odessa for fourteen years. He is
afraid. In one day all of Ukraine's airports shut down. In one night heavy
bombs fell just ouside of town. They are falling now. Russian soldiers
landed on the beach and are marching towards Kyiv. The horror. The sadness.
It is happening. Shock and awe. Awful. Wrath. Madness. Chernobyl, symbol
of nuclear death has been captured. No reports yet on the state of the concrete.
Where are we going? I listen to the trembling voice of my friend from Guinea.
He says he will watch and wait for another day or two, huddle at home
by his television in the apartment block. If fighting comes to his neighborhood
then he will call Guinea. Ask to be flown out. How many diplomats has
Guinea posted in Ukraine? How many cars and planes? Airports are shut.
But the sea flows by Odessa. He has lived in Odessa for fourteen years.
He knows people with boats. He has sold them housewares. He will
ask them to take him away. Past the battleships. To Guinea.

Indran Amirthanayagam's newest book is Ten Thousand Steps Against the Tyrant (BroadstoneBooks). Recently published is Blue Window (Ventana Azul), translated by Jennifer Rathbun.(Dialogos Books). In 2020, Indran produced a “world" record by publishing three new poetry books written in three languages: The Migrant States (Hanging Loose Press, New York), Sur l'île nostalgique (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Lírica a tiempo (Mesa Redonda, Lima). He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and has twenty poetry books as well as a music album Rankont Dout. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly and helps curate Ablucionistas. He won the Paterson Prize and received fellowships from The Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, US/Mexico Fund For Culture, and the MacDowell Colony. He hosts the Poetry Channel on YouTube.