Free verse

Day 317: Brown in Academia

“Problematize yourself and we can begin.”
Write off your experiences
your understanding
but speak with no authority.
You are the Inside other.
Be an outsider of your voice,
and allow the colonizing experts to tell you
what you meant to say.

Assumptions about cultures
can only be made
by the white hand,
a brown book,
yellow highlights,
red underlines
black text

But then again,
even that text is wrong,
as is impressed on a
pure white background.

Every word is a problem,
an issue,
a contested term
we say so much but mean so little
how do we change when
even our words are not our own.
When we are
forced to use the same words
that we seek to change,
challenge the assumptions,
we are compelled
to accept.

So we remain
a Bachelor, unmarried to an ideal.
yet needing to Master ourselves
through the agency of
academic Doctors,
striving to heal a society
broken and reframed
by discourses that are
foreign but will never be native.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

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