haitian art
A collage of two paintings, created by Haitian-American artists in the wake of President Jovenel Moise's assassination.

A painting by artist Colette Bresilla, entitled “-Boomerang versus +Boomerang effects”

“Always aim to be on the good side of karma, as the opposite side can be quite bitter,” artist Colette Bresilla said of her painting, created two days after the Moise assassination.

A painting by artist Jean “Zedd” Nestor, entitled “inner Konplo,” which loosely translates to “Inside Job.”

“The president’s body falls in slow motion and the circles with splash paints all around them are bullet holes,” Nestor said about the painting. “Which are violations of the flag and the people of land no one is safe … Simply translated dead bodies in all corners, bullet holes everywhere no one is safe.”

A poem by Patrick Sylvain, “In Cold Blood

There is no winter in the tropical land

of my birth, but icicle hearts hunger 

for power dagger the night sky, until

silence bleeds into a moanful blues.

There was a storm brewing in the night

as strange lights refracted up in the mountain

where camouflaged men inhaled smoke

from their riffles and became dragons.

I received the call at six in the morning, 

and heard gravels from my friend’s throat.

Camouflaged men with icicle hearts forced

Moïse to cross the sea in his own blood.

In tropical land of my birth, there’s always

the stroke of blades on our necks. Men

made themselves gods to run amok

on the land with bloodstained hands.

Danielle Legros Georges, “A poem for Haiti in this moment,” July 7, 2021

In one hundred years

what will we know of this moment?

Its worsening when we thought 

things could fall no deeper.

What more can be asked of a people

who live with death in all corners,

who continue to get up, 

saying to life there is no other choice.

All around, the world says no.

Women getting home, safe,

no, trees left alone to extend their branches,

no, rice paddies full of rice seed 

and water, no, 

basin enough to feed a nation, no.

How many nos to break themselves

into something else?

Right now, yes does not present itself.  

Right now, one death is one hundred 

deaths, is one thousand

in the arms. Weapons 

     proliferate

        proliferate

                proliferate.

Such a word: proliferate. Now fires 

burn people from their homes, tires 

burn black smoke into day.

Blockades stop the circulation.

Blood blocked. Blood stopped.

Blood red. What kind of blue

happens now? What flag to wave in this 

vortex? One hundred hurricanes

to wash clean what? 

How many plants ripped from their roots? 

How many years to blow 

this open?

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