Volume Two, Issue 4

Crudeness and Creole Part 3:


Darryl Wawa

To Part 1 | To Part 2

I was nine years old when I saw my first Vodou possession. A woman who worked at my house began speaking indecipherably and convulsing. She dropped on the floor and writhed like a smitten snake. My parents had gone out, so I locked the house doors to keep me and brother safe. My parents later explained to me the phenomenon to me as being possessed by a Loa.

Legend has it a slave named Boukman invoked certain angry spirits during a ceremony called the Boiscayman, the first time slaves officially took to killing their masters. It's a famous image of a slave blowing on a conch, the famous or infamous call, the signal. Vodou is the synchronicity of slave practices disguised as Catholicism to keep slaves safe. It’s a subtle echo that borders on hypocrisy: our disparity of poverty and wealth, our resilience and misfortune. Our refusal to bow, for better or worse. We pretend to speak French but Creole is like water to us, French more like a fancy wine. Hypocrisy under the guise of class and elegance, or because you don’t know anything else. We all try to be European.

"Zen Haiti" was a health lifestyle event where I was expecting to see a mixed-class of people but instead saw a gathering of wealthy Haitians. It sickened me to see that curiosity for esoteric things had been reduced to social and status display yet again. I went with a friend who was also a Haitian-American and since neither of us could deal with it, we went to the other side of the hotel to drink through it. We had some beers and talked about spirituality, what it meant. Is there spirituality without biology? Without chemicals or matter, like our drinks that made that day bearable? Without light, smell, or sound? Without an excuse? If life responds to gesture than what was the Haitian rebellion? Was the gesture unfinished or too brutal? Hence this charade/parade of ‘want to be connoisseurs.’ I sipped on and smoked on.

Hypocrisy here even transfers to the prevailing idea of manhood here. It’s a lazy lie, a pose and rigid disposition of hidden criminality, a lust for power by all means which, when tested, reveals itself as cowardice, the “I’m a man so I get to do what I want” philosophy. Women here tend to swim in a sea of entitled deadbeats, and I think that’s why they follow suit. Local women here will have you believe things, seeking opportunity on a status they imaged for you. To see my homeland with new eyes, a place of cheap perversion and low moral responsibility. Pity, how we make such good immigrants but such shitty housekeepers; and the irony in how ‘philosophy’ can translate in Creole to “female thought.”

Darryl Wawa: "I am a Port-au-Prince born Haitian-American who studied Photography and Creative writing. I enjoy chocolate and good books. That said, maybe a movie is a good book. I love to work with images and words and their pairing."

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