Saturday, February 6, 2010

on exile and expats

“Sit with us, stranger, and after you have shared our meal, tell us, if you will, who you are and how you come here.”

Travelers, wherever they are, always aim for home. Return will always already have defined them. Not that, then.

Exiles are banished, expatriates live abroad by choice.

Banishment: decreed, or self-imposed, the state of non-reconciliation.

Expats may be reconciled, or not. Their distance does not exclude the identifications of patriots.

Exiles have lost, or cut, this umbilical cord.

Formed by, but severed from, motherplace.

A traumatic second birth, perhaps. But also a potential. Of critical production, of empowerment in dispossession.

As in: “silence, exile and cunning” of a Stephen Daedalus.

But what a gap of disaster between Stephen and us...

Too much to make a home of art, like that.

Still, the exile eye, then, for what it can see. And despairing cannot prevent.

The protest of words, artful or not, responding, dribbling out under flawed direction or ranting wildly, refracted through the estranged and alien optic of exile.

Bad singing, lector caveat.


  1. each moment on passing
    beauty changes its infinite costume
    and the doubtful enigma closes in four folds

    we're listening.

  2. she thinks she is supposed to live in montevideo.
    she's never had a home to aim for, but she loved not being *here*
    thanks for proving it's possible, jehan!

  3. 'Wherever I travel Greece wounds me.'
    G. Seferis