Augmented Reality

Andre Bagoo in The White Review:

Not long after I moved into my first apartment, I started keeping an archive. 

By ‘archive’ I mean a shoebox under the bed. Those were days when it was hard to believe anyone would ever care who I was, where I had come from, or where I was going. I had quit my day job as a journalist and decided to devote myself completely to my life as a poet and a writer, but, unsurprisingly, the path was far from straightforward. For a long time, the box stayed empty, collecting dust as, night after night, I dreamt in the bed above. One day all that changed, when I was commissioned to write about Caribbean writers and their literary archives. The project showed me how the most meaningful things in life can be fragile and ephemeral, and that, without a record somewhere, all of that substance can vanish like a forgotten memory.

The shoebox filled. Then it was replaced with a plastic container I got from Excellent City Centre on Frederick Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Soon, one container was not enough: I got three more. I started to keep everything: books, printed programmes, flyers. I had a boyfriend who would make jokes about this. One day I drank a bottled water at a literary panel at a university. He kept the bottle and later said, ‘For the archive?’ We broke up not long after.

Anybody who was interested in art in Port of Spain during this period – the late 2000s to the late 2010s – would have encountered my friend Rodell Warner.

More here.