Blue Djouba Alaso! or, Frisner’s Piano

Dear Frisner,

How’s everything? I’m calling to say “happy birthday.” Actually, it’s the time of year that marks your transitions in and out of terrestrial life (March 1, 1948, and February 28, 2012, respectively—both leap years), and on March 1, 2013, we called you up from under the water (wete nan dlo) to begin your life as a distinguished ancestor. I’m sorry to write that this year I couldn’t visit your family mausoleum in the Port-au-Prince cemetery and pour libations. Security is weak in the area, and we’ll have to content ourselves for now with rites around your govi. The clay jar, which I think of as my spirit telephone to you, lives securely in our Brooklyn flat, just beside me as I write. So let’s have a chat.

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