This poem by Christopher Angell (Assitant Executive Director - CrossPathCulture), was first read to me, on the patio of my house in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was very much moved by it as I'm sure you will be! Chris wrote the poem during our preparations for the exhibition CrossPathCulture-CrossOvers (January 2001) of which I was a participant, and in which I built my sculpture ReFormation. To describe that sultry summers evening and the events surrounding that night in Africa, might help you the reader understand the circumstances leading up to the poem, but I think this work stand's very well on it's own! I'll just leave you to read it and wonder at it's beauty.

Gerard Pas, April 2001

Christopher Cooper Angell
Christopher Cooper Angell in his Soho, New York City Apartment. April 2001.

I am talking to myself
as if I were a child
"Don't chew with your mouth
It doesn't matter,
or at least it matters little.
Everyone at the table knows I have food in my mouth
and I can see
that they have none.
Is it more polite
to keep my lips pressed
curved up smiling towards
my eyes,
or to open my mouth
And reach inside and grab
at the gooey paste and
pass it around the table
like a falcon feeding its young?
The wider I open my mouth
the more I know I will feel
fingers inside
that do not belong to me
and after the fingers
come the hands
And even after the food is gone
I feel fingers and hands
reaching deeper and deeper
down my throat
I won't choke
Perhaps I will suffocate
But I will not choke
If I do begin to
feel my air expire
the only thing I can do
is bite, and bite hard.
Sorry, my friends.
Now I must go sit at
a different table.

By Christopher Cooper Angell
Written in Johannesburg, South Africa. January 2001
E-mai or

Christopher Cooper Angell
Chris Angell in New York, April 2001.
Read more of Christopher Cooper Angell's work at
To r ead another of Chris Angell's poems
please click on the above image





Return to top of page.

  Gerard Pas