Pol Mouketa, born in 1958 in Gabon. Filmmaker, radio host for Africa I, associated Director of the Centre National du Cinema in Gabon. "Mal de Mots" was performed at the Centre Culturel St-Exupéry by the Théâtre du Tigre, directed by Alougbine Dine.
[published in RN 05, June 1992, original text written in French translated by Victoria C. Koppel]
– The sun is so red tonight… a lot of people must have died
– It’s not important (pout), well yes… But who exports, that's the question.
– No one, definitively, because who's ever found the definition of exportation?
– No, someone went over there, with the sun, he followed it from here…
– It’s metallic, it's hard and soft.
– What, death ? Of course
– Well, that's life.
– Like the sun and Nazaire: A … to … Z
The dog left all by himself and didn't come back until years later. He'd grown up, gotten married, and even aged a little… The cat wouldn't let him run away. The mice stiff run around here … But when they saw each other again, when they were together again, their hearts were full of joy… Tears flowed from their eyes.
– We loved each other
– Us too
– Is it worse no.
– No, it's no worse
– The village tastes coarse
– Even more
– Not less
– Yes, you !
– What was it like?
– Me ?
– No, how were « you »?
– What, me ? No, no, O.K… good.
– Why ? What, you !
– Yes in the end any thing goes, we tire of it
Stop, stop, stop he screamed. Nobody heard him, the battle was raging, people were slitting each other's throats, tearing each other apart, attacking each other with art. Iron, blood. A moment, he had like a vision .… His son cut off a head… fell toward the west, towards the setting sun, took it with him and disappeared. The battle stopped as if disillusioned…
– Your weapons, dogs, your weapons won't protect you. Your weapons don't scare us. They have betrayed, we'll hate them until the end of time…
– Life… Time
– Space too.
– Ah yes… space and rime
– « Master and possessor »
– Us, You, Them
– No, Us, You, «They»
– We want what ?
– Nothing, nothing at all, we haven't wanted enough, we haven't lived enough, we're dead, that' s all.
– To want is ...
– To move
– You have to be able co want to move
– To see the world, to see life, to see death…
– Death that' s life
– No, no, no, death is death
– Yes and life, that's L.I.F.E.
– That cut up ?
– Who knows ?
– Me !
– Me too I knew ; they saw it and chose life, freeing brothers, mothers and fathers.
– Ad hoc
– The cat butts into what's not his business. He interferes in the thread unwinding from the bobin. He gets into a muddle, gets tangled up in the thread
– He’ll get out of it
– with the help of the bobin
– Of space, of time,
– or of the Master.
– Ah… Yes… the Master.
– But what the hell has he come for ?
– To put an end to…
– the « unwinding », to get rid of, « to help » ...
– « The river traveling alone, didn't have the unwinding it should have had »
– Does it complain ?
– Leave, but just leave… and above all alone, like the river like the water that would never live in a box, a fort, a port…
– And the well then ?
– The we ell ! dead water ; yellow and stinking
– The depth ?
– In wells… the water is always everywhere and more.
– Thank God !
– … ? ? ?
– Huh ?
– Nothing ?
– That’s good. We're on earth, and nothing but on earth. All attempts at escape are destined to fail which is to say to the sand, to the stones of the path, to the pink of the morning. The clouds even so high always end up falling. Us, Me first, the rest… The earth first ; then nothing more…
– And the gods ?
– of earth !
– of iron, of blood, of fire, of water and of wind…
–Yes, of water, soft and… see you tomorrow.
– What ?
– Like it was…
– lt’s a hoop, eternal cycle…
– Yes, but today ?
– And so ?
– Nor yet…
– Mother, life in the open, on the edges…
– yes, man
– Love life, save life, empty out there, LIVE FREE
– shut up.
– Aunt… auntie is dead.
– Mom too…
– Who ?
– Who ? Me, You, Them…
– All of us hey… « All of us » push us
To fight was the only way to live. Not at all a solution, but to fight meant to live. To fight and the rest… And So…
– Did they figh™ ?
– In retrear…
– All of them ?
– You, Me? Them?
– Above all…
Why, why ? tell me, answer me they screamed over the dead of the battlefield warm not long ago. Now, the eagle has flown away, in the sky spinning half-closed circles around a vulture with a skinned neck, waiting for his turn to take the stage. Vile cheating beast who we don't bring down to a lower level, what are you doing so high up ?
Come down, come down here if you have the courage, come down here and fight, shameless thief, liar, scoundrel, christian only seen at burials, don't you even know that life exists too… anyway, it'll get you…
– Say it
– Who knows… No one no matter
– If it doesn't export… No one unless it’s…
– You, no, me
– But it's a waste of time to cry for the dead, to put a hex on their head, to curse the sky, to bless the dead, it's a waste of time to scream, to cry, to rage, to spread, to communicate, disseminate, to complain, to whine, it's a waste of time these dead and with these dead we !ose our lives…
– With the sun… Towards the West… always… No, towards the East.