Tuesday 5 December 2023

Derron Sandy, "The Chaos"

Derron Sandy is a Trinbagonian performance poet. In 2021 he won the National Poetry Slam title in Trinidad and Tobago and was long-listed for Bocas Lit Fest’s Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize. His book for children, A Story of Hope (2020), was published by the Pan American Development Foundation as part of a project building greater understanding between host and migrant communities in the Caribbean. Sandy is Artistic Director of youth spoken word and theatre organisations The 2 Cents Movement and The Quays Foundation, an actor – and an avid basketball fan. The Chaos is his first pamphlet of poems. 

The pamphlet is published by New Walk Editions, which is co-edited by University of Leicester Associate Professor of American Literature and Creative Writing, Nick Everett


About The Chaos
The subjects of this pamphlet are the individuals and communities who suffer most from injustice, poverty and violence in contemporary Trinidad. Using a variety of forms and approaches, the poems describe scene after painful scene – from the murder of an abusive boss and a killing at a gang member’s wake to a child’s suicide and the finding of a missing person’s body in a barrel – evoking the ‘chaos’ in each case with eloquence, clarity and compassion. Sandy offers no easy solutions to the social problems behind these incidents, but his poems are nevertheless imbued with a profound faith, hope and sense of redemption.

You can read more about The Chaos on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read two poems from the collection. 

From The Chaos, by Derron Sandy

A Dead Child

Bareback pampers dead.
Face down on concrete dead.
Four months old dead.
There is a woman
bawling for the dead
in a Trinidadian accent.

A grandmother at wits’ end
dropped her grandbaby
over a ledge and the dead

child is a viral video
and a story missed
by mainstream news.
Chaos at its best.
What poem gives solace?
Not this dead one. 


A Cashier Will Kill an Employer for this Reason

The day comes when you start creating somethings out of nothings and that in itself is an intense madness. People will respond by saying “is just so it happen” and “outta the blue” and “the mad woman trip off” and other things that will ferry their ways into the inaudible realms.

In the night he used to turn a beast and she was a cave for him to rest in and one day the cave caved in and the knife that run a jagged trail from cheek to collarbone is how she excavated his demons from resting inside her. Is never just so or outta the blue or trip off. Is calculated.

Is the ability to see yourself dead from the next side of the chaos and claw your way back to life. Is stiff resistance against being twice owned (as woman and employee). Is retribution, Lucifer, for every man you hypnotise by waving his own prick in front him. Is justice. 

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