The Drunk Chromosomes of a Drunk (He who drinks sinks, didn't you know?) - Nana Fredua-Agyeman

On the fertile footpath
to the weedy farm
he fell…

(Sun and Moon at a twilight reunion)

…and died not
…and the conceived son
from the drunk communion
was not a toad-cow…

The mirror
reflects the contents of the mind…
The soul
harbours the deeds of the body…

The crab
surely begets a crab
You sow what you reaped
the farming season before…

Then he saw no heavens
…but a vast emptiness
He felt his feet suspend in space:
the Lotus-Eater cum Palm-Wine Gulper
He sang songs of lamentations
beneath the palm-wine seller’s shed

He tossed
Balanced himself
Broke his neck

His son has a bottle in his back pocket
A stoic man to succeed his father
…and he has his father’s Drunk Chromosomes
He is his father
moulted into prime youthfulness
to continue plying his trade
To be the gods’ concrete example of advice.


Adjei Agyei-Baah said...

Nana this is simply didactic but was so sad to see the son following the footsteps of his father instead of learning from his father's waywardness.

Darko Antwi said...

As indicated by the line in bracket, ‘(Sun and Moon at a twilight reunion)’, it was not yet dark – but the unnamed drunk fellow does not find it easy to navigate to the weedy farm, his destination. Nana is candid. He does not give any excuses before going ahead to pronounce: ‘he fell…’

As the story continues, one would expect Nana to report this unfortunate story as plain as he sees the wobbling poor soul. Quite contrary, he rebukes: he preaches him with traditional proverbs and: ‘You sow what you reaped the farming season before’. However, he leaves it open for readers to gather their sympathy, or disdain if they would, for the self-pitied deluded drunkard who feels that his feet is being suspended – and goes about singing songs of lamentations.

Although the drunk ‘tossed and turned’, although he tossed again and ‘Balanced himself’, although he fell and broke his neck, the speaker doesn’t announce it with sentiment. Not the slightest emotion or consolation. Instead Nana swiftly diverts readers’ attention from the main character’s mobility setback to the son, whom he (the writer) has much concern for (as read from lines 28 & 29).

Nana is obviously bothered about the ‘stoic’, and apparently energetic, young man who has become his father’s replica. Yet Nana resigns his worries to this biological act of fate: he traces the son’s habit to his father’s blood. Term it hereditary if you like – because he (the son) has his father’s Drunk Chromosomes, as explained by Nana in the final stanza. Drunk Chromosomes: a science theory that stands at-large to be challenged by social and interpersonal psychology, provided it is understood as the author’s definite concept to establish father-son behavioural connection.

I have no doubt that the Drunk Chromosomes is the KNUST scholar’s belief, and not a probable attribution. If that is that, do we then blame the son? What about the father – is his drunkenness too a result of genetic inheritance? Can science answer the force behind every travesty or misconduct we find in our societies? Has science got the means to solve a problem like addiction? Should we stick to superstition and avoid encroaching on mysterious territories? Or we should learn to base our arguments on the reasons of science.

As she forecasts a rainfall in ‘Wrickken’, L. S Mensah attributed the water cycle to divine order. By doing so, she didn’t oppose the fundamentals or elements of science. Is Nana similarly not opposed to other principles? Or he has left it open for readers to imply?

Whatever I tend to believe, I salute Nana for this evangelistic title that is, by all standards, well-rated under Taylor’s Yardstick.

Based on the framework of his proficiency and the combination of high intelligence quotient, Nana Fredua-Agyeman’s poetry, including the haikus, bears the profound spectrum of wisdom.

Welldone Nana.