Duppy Dunza

Close up image of Olmec stone head from Central America

It was in that moment that she could see the connections, like a lattice of accord stretching over what once seemed like a tangle of happenstance. Red Money flowing through back channels, black plastic in Mass Production on factory floors; gravity's pull drawing notes ringing from the desert sands. Hada Raykoum and rhythm boxes coiling through sheets of synths, sun-glazed in the heat and slipping elemental toward Sahara skies (Moroccan Roll). Artifacts flown up from the Yucatán on biplane, over the gulf and into the Florida Keys. Stone sculptures submerged in the deep... rise against the tide, slowly.

Hector Lavoe and Willie Colón on tape with Augustus Pablo at the controls in El Yunque. Bass pressure rises from the deep, ghost drums and duppy dunza echoes haunting through Carolina streets. Transatlantic shadows drift from gold coast to gold coast and back again, from one summer to another. Cheikh Lô treads softly in 2006, one year later but none too soon. A snatch of graffiti cries out Lily Was Here and the saxophone breeze carries faintly on salty ocean air. Gulf stream laps at the beachhead, where sea turtles crawl to shore on black sodden sand and the promise of tomorrow.

Excerpt from The Coqui Papers

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