How to write a surrealist novel, poetry by Umar Sidi

Be madly insane

Your narrator

should be a dog, a child-flower or a poet

drifting in the hallucinatory

haze of mushrooms & hallucinogens

Have no plot

At most, have three characters in a boat:

a boy, a Bengal tiger & the angel of death

Subject them all to the will of weather


Have a hundred fleas argue in the ear of a naked buxom woman bathing in the sand

Let your story be a howl engraved on the tomb of a Rastafari

snoring away in a Tibetan cemetery

Your novel should be pointless

Without any ideological leaning; it should be chaotic, like the scrawls of an energetic blind child playing in the sand

If you must have a setting, it should be in an unnamed city where people, suddenly, stop dying

Your novel could be set on the back of giant turtle, whose specie is long extinct

The title should be opaque, like: Introduction to a Discourse on the Paucity of Reality or Umbilical Limbo

Note: It is best if the title is a single word, like: Gift, Nadja, L’Amoufour

Regardless of the level of your irrationality, do not change your name to Dali, Heisler, Rene Magritte or Desnos

Do not smoke Cuban cigars

Do not wake at dawn with a burning desire to see the full orange moon

Do not dream

Do not write in a notebook or on a typewriter

Ensure you write on the tablets of wind and water

Write on the hidden pages on the back of the butterfly

While finishing your first draft

Remember to wake up at night, enter your mind and scream:

Be the Idiot!

Be the Smile

A Surrealist Interpretation of Rastafarian Painting & Jazz or Definition of an Idealist Rascal

This is the Dada this is not the DAda

The resultant effects of the bludgeoning possibilities in the Rastafari Bull painting hanging in the Museo de Surealisme is depicted as the sigh of the gazer the striking pose of the looker & the hidden identity of the interpreter especially if he is

            a rascal or

a poet who welcomes  the morning with a steaming mug of bad coffee

Am a I

Am a king stone

Am a dreadlocked king of coils in the shadow of da great Jah da Boumbaclat click clock of da king of coils around da python around da stem leaf of da watergrass around da beargrass around da crazygrass around da bluegrass grass of da greengrass herb in da Bless Ganja Bless Jah Bless Zion Bless poet drinking bad coffee contemplating meaning of Rasta ART in da Bless herb of da green garden of Haile Selasie to cast a long haul crucial come dung curse on them Bad Babylon system come dung crucial curse  on da Niyabinghi ras clot blood clot of da come dung Babylon neo capitalism grass of illusion of liberty


You ask me write poem of painting of brethren sniffing white powder sipping glass poison  & drowning in sky of mothereal bawl of goddamn goat meh meh meh


You ask me paint poem of dreadlocked tree of life on da head of old blind Rasta man

All kinda things in the bathfountain with Rastaman bawling like  goat meh meh meh ya man gone man Jah gone man Zion in da grass  poem in painting of da Rastaman

In letters to Breton there exist an atmosphere of readiness which transformed states of individual consciousness to illuminate art displayed at the Centre. These transpositions re-affirm a major assumption of the non- bilateral agreement between some surrealist thinkers and the ideals of the poet nicknamed the Rascal

That is not the DaDa, that is the daDa


You ask who Am high

Am high man

Am high man being

Am rascal poet drinking bad coffee in haze of come dung Babylon steam of smoke Ganja


Umar Abubakar Sidi is the author of the poetry collection, The Poet of Dust (Konya Shamsrumi). His work has appeared in Brittle Paper, Jalada, and elsewhere. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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