Ezekel Alan

This blog is about: cotton candy, cold milo, midgets, mangoes, sex, aged rum – everything but writing my next book

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Disposable People

Finally! Released! For all those who have waited patiently, here it is: the first novel! The Jamaica Observer review said: “A Brilliantly Innovative Debut”, and “A Magnificent Piece of Work!” (See the full Jamaica Observer Bookends review – Sunday March 4, 2012.) The Book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Bookophilia Hope Road, Kingston Bookshop, and Sangsters bookstore in Jamaica.

Here’s the gist of what customers on Amazon are saying:

“I was transported to another world, where I was appalled, moved, shaken by laughter and given liberal dollops of food for thought, in equal measures. A masterful effort by a talented and unique writer!” – Waspishwit, PR Consultant.

This poignant, hilarious and candid memoir rings true and hits home hard… Indeed the language is raw, and the creolese may be befuddling to non-Caribbean readers, but the meaning and sentiment is always conveyed with complete honesty and clarity… This is the Jamaica that you won’t see from your Ocho Rios beach chair… To be honest, I read it in one sitting as I didn’t want to put it down. Highly recommended for those seeking a true West Indian experience. – Amanda Richards, April 14, 2012 (Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer)

This is a quite stunning (and in places shocking!) debut novel from Mr. Alan. The variety in the language and the rhythms that the narrator uses in telling his tale are both stimulating and at times unsettling as you are left wondering about the narrator’s mental state while he tries to come to terms with some of the terrible memories of his childhood. I think the book that this most reminded me of is Angela’s Ashes…This is a book I can see myself reading more than once and I firmly expect to read it again in a few years just because there’s such depth and imagination to it that I expect to get something new out of it every time I pick it up. – L. Hughes (USA)

 “Ezekel Alan’s book wowed me throughout on many levels…Ezekel displays gorgeous poetry, joy, beauty, culture, ideals, horror, sin, murder, fear, suspicion and faith, all surging through his tale.” –Kate Policani, Author of The Disenchanted Pet.

“Riveting, vivid, raw, yet authentic…. Mr. Alan has done a truly remarkable job of encapsulating the plight of the poor while reminding us that even in poverty there is humanity, laughter, pride, and ambition.” – C. Manning, Dacula, GA

“This is a compelling story weaved together by a literary grace that had me laughing so hard at times and then had me in tears at other moments as we go on this journey of self-exploration with the author. I was intrigued from the first page right through to the very end…” – Miss Anonymous, Bonafide Jamaican

You can download a pdf of the first 50 pages by clicking here, or read online now by clicking here. You can also go to Amazon and use the Look Inside the Book feature.

See what other readers are also saying on this blog (folks are saying). Plus the latest reviews http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/

Ten year old Kenneth Lovelace often went to bed without dinner. Instead of feeling hunger, however, what he mostly felt was fear and shame, knowing that his family’s increasing poverty was the reason he had no food. Kenneth also recalls his bitterness whenever his parents locked him out of their tiny, one-room house to act on their ‘urge’. This was in the 1970s, when Jamaica’s socialist regime was dragging the country into bankruptcy, and when an Old Timer had told him that he was cursed since birth.

Read more…


Special interests

He had tapped me lightly on my hand, on the back of my palm to be more precise. I was in a bar, at the counter, alone, having a drink. Having a Grey Goose vodka and tonic, to be more precise.

Grey Goose Vodka 750 mL bottle

Image via Wikipedia

He was a fairly good-looking man, white, about 44-45 years old, wearing a fresh, bleachy-smelling, neatly pressed pink shirt, and a black scarf. I reckoned his jeans and his boots were expensive, though I couldn’t see them clearly under the dim light. He flashed me a smile, then asked, “Can I take you home with me tonight?”

I said, “No,” while shaking my head gently enough for emphasis, but too much to be rude.

He continued smiling, then said, “By the way, my name is Brian. How about tomorrow night?” There was a certain beam in his eyes. I could see how some men would view his soft, direct approach, his baby blue eyes and winning smile as irresistible. But I didn’t.

I said, “No, that’s not my thing, Brian.”

His response was already cued up, like it was a line he had rehearsed. And it  came with the same soft smile, which suggested that I had not yet said anything negative. “I have never been with a black man before. Would love to try it. D’you have a brother maybe?”

Smooth, persistent, charming, smiling, witty. He was certainly different, this Brian. Quite unusual.

“Have a good night my friend,” I bid him, before leaving $10 under the Heineken coaster and him at the bar. I knew he would not give up and go, so I had to.

I was thinking about Brian yesterday not because I was having second thoughts about my decision. And it was also not because of the coldness of his finger when he touched me. At the time I had wondered whether Lazarus, when he was brought back from the dead, also had cold fingers, or something that would always remind him of what he was like during those hours before the Lord came.

I was thinking about Brian because of his “special interest”. And, even more precisely, I was thinking about the role that “special interest” would have in the upcoming US presidential elections.

I can’t help but feel that special interests will have an extraordinary role in this next election. And I don’t only mean the ‘special interests’ of the high-rolling, big-spending Super PACS, with their deep pockets and Karl Rove.

English: Karl Rove Assistant to the President,...

Karl Rove, Image via Wikipedia

I wonder whether there will be an awakening of the religious right, and what kind of role they will play given their interests in contraceptives, abortion, the satanic east, Al Qaeda, and the god-less rest of us.

The Jewish lobby – will the current Administration, which got Bin Laden, be seen as strong enough, or does the conservative right, which takes a stronger stance on Iran, Iraq, Afghan, N. Korea, Yemen, Cuba, Russia, China, Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize, Isle of Man, Japan, UK, and all other rogue and non-rogue States, be seen as a stronger ally?

The immigrants – whose interests have diversified beyond merely avoiding the cops and sending a little money home to the family, and who are now positioning for higher paying jobs and greater social influence. Who will they align with, Obama or Romney?

Then we have the gays and lesbians, who have long been firm supporters of the liberal democratic agenda. One wonders how will an economic recession, and a seemingly muted President affect their vote.

The tea-party – will they be drinking purer, more flavorful Sri Lankan teas, or switching to coffee? Will they have a moment? Will their moment extend beyond one or two States?

The independents and the students, who came in droves to support Obama the last time around, but now seem to be the most disenchanted. Will they come back, defect, or simply stay home?

And Brian, with his very special interest. I know how he leans at the bar, but not at the polling booth.

Is this only about the man who believes that no one who is rich should be left behind vs. the Food Stamp President?

N: Yaaaawn. Oh man, I think I must’a o’erslept! What time is it? Turn on the TV, let me watch some news. Put it on Fox.

Y: Yes, mama. It’s eleven o’clock, mama. You’ve been sleeping a long time.

N: Bring me some coffee. Bring an aspirin as well, my head’s killing me.

Y: Yes, mama.

N: Who’s that negro on the TV?

Y: That’s the president mama.

N: You mean that god-less Muslim negro boy from, where was he from? What’s that place in Africa called? Al Qaeda or something.

Y: Yes, mama.

N: What’s this? I don’t want no black coffee! Put some milk in it! Go! When’d that boy become president anyway?

Y: While you were asleep mama.

N: Well, I’m awake now, so I guess we’ll just have to fix that.

Y: Yes, mama.

Agreed. Political issues are not what you (or I) should expect from this blog. Nevertheless, I would argue, the caption on my blog clearly indicates that I will write about issues such as cotton candy and also sex. And since sex and politics are almost the same, I reckon I can therefore blog about politics. Good then. (But I promise not to make it a habit.)

The thing is this: the upcoming elections in the USA are so important that I fear that if it is left only to the American people to vote they may make a huge mess of things. It is for this reason, and this reason only, that I really believe that we in the rest of the world should be allowed to vote as well. I am quite certain this would lead to a better outcome.

I can’t recall another time in recent history when the social and ideological conflicts were as sharp as they are today in American society and politics.

What we have today is not just two men running for office, but two poles of the ideological spectrum competing for power. [I am assuming Romney vs. Obama and leaving out Gingrich and Ron Paul, because if either of those two win the Republican nomination then I am renouncing my citizenship in the world community.) In the 1990s Francis Fukuyama and others argued that ideology was dead; at the time they were referring to the East-West divide. I would like to know what these scholars now make of the divide opening up within the American society. To me, this divide is absolutely not an issue of rich vs. poor, haves vs. dog eat your supper. No. From where I sit, this looks like a much deeper social, ideological, racial, and intellectual divide. It looks to me that the time has come when anything and anyone liberal, gay, black, socially-oriented etc. must look over their shoulder when walking alone through dark alleys. Because something is lurking, the That Which Should Not Be Named.

The Food Stamp President. How many of you see this as a thinly veiled attempt to cast blacks and other minority groups as lazy and dependent? How many of you see the ideological line between those who believe the State has a responsibility to help the less fortunate, and those who believe that (a) the State should simply create the environment for businesses to grow so they can create jobs and employ those who are willing to work, and (b) if businesses are growing and some people still can’t find work then, obviously, those people are lazy, and the State should not use our money to take care of them anyway.

“I don’t care about the very poor’” is not a misquote. It is not a slip of the tongue. And it is not taking a piece of a statement out of context. Listen to the tone. Listen to the voice of an ideology of market efficiency, capitalism, power, wealth, business, capital gains, dividends, real Americans. Not only does this ideology not have appropriate language to communicate with the poor, it is an ideology which, when it communicates about the poor, can only do so in terms such as dependent, lazy, food stamp, black, immigrant.

This is an ideology of an America and a social class that is self-sufficient  – does not need either foreign or poor or immigrant allies, and will never apologize for anything it does.

This is an ideology which has awakened and found out that blacks, gays, socialists, non-Americans, liberals, Muslims, terrorists, immigrants, demons, and other vile creatures have insidiously infiltrated the State, and are corrupting the machinery of government, the wider society and, frankly, anything they touch. Whatever you do, do not drink after them! Do not share the same plate! And if you must shake their hands because social decorum demands it, then, for the love of the True God, do not touch yourself before you wash!

Call it politics if you will, or call it the competition for State power. To me this looks like fear, racism, intolerance, bigotry, classism. And it looks like a frightened ideology fighting with every ounce of strength it still has to avoid extinction. And, for want of a more elegant way to express myself, I must say that all of this is scaring the poo out of me!

Let’s be friends! Wait… never mind

So here’s another blogger out there that I really like. Check out this blog for starters:

Let’s be friends! Wait… never mind.

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