The Commonality Conjurers in Art

The Commonality Conjurers in Art

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu


Gather all your red things

Measure each of their statistics

To ascertain who are the commonality conjurers in art

Red things, apple you are a #1 commonality conjurer

Menstruation and blood you are #2 commonality conjurers

They wished to know if they saw a red object

What thoughts would they conjure?



Up to Snuff #50: Winter Reading List 2018 with emphasis on African Writers

Up to Snuff #50:  Winter Reading List 2018 with emphasis on African Writers

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Put together a box of books, cover your coffee table with books,  light a fire or head to a cottage or good “reading city” and read, read, read and maybe practice piano, throw in a few page turners, some classics and what I call “kb” or knowledge based books, stash articles, research a nice PHD read, check for Nobel Laureates in Literature and don’t forget to take your child to the library once a week to satisfy a young readers consumption, maybe 2 books a night, maybe even take a book run vacation and collect foreign language books to build a linguistics profile, buy or build some book shelves and build your families library, read, read, read.   A good hobby to have is researching books or getting good classes with good book lists or go to a school with a good library or asking colleagues for a book list, read, read, read.


Sommerset Maugham –all books


Nikolai Gogol

D.H. Lawrence

Daphne Du Maurier

Jane Eyre

Nathanial Hawthorne

Alice Walker



Falun Gong

Find some good Latin books

Spanish novels or newspapers or little pamphlets

Try to read/earn a few skills

Read across an area all you can get your hands on or a writers complete collection

Carlos Casteneda

T.S. Elliot

Aga Kahn

Prentice Hall books (Publisher)


James Baldwin

Jose Saramago



E.O. Wilson

Oscar Wilde

Read Recipes

Fareed Zakaria

Pablo Neruda

Octavio Paz

Rosario Castellanos

Paul Ricoeur


Aleksandr Dugin

Jurgen Habermas

Nick Land Alt Right

Bill Gates

Complete Guide to Sewing, Readers Digest 1995

Designing Apparel Through Flat Pattern Fifth Edition, Fairchild Publications

How to Draft Basic Flat Patterns, Fairchild Publications

Ross, B.H., This is Like That:  The Use of Earlier Problems and the Separation of Similarity Effects.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory and Cognition

Schank, R.C., Tell Me a Story:  Narrative and Intelligence, Evanston, Ill, Northwestern University Press

Schank, R.C., & Abelson R., Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding:  An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Spiro, R.J., Coulson, R.L., Feltvich, P.J., & Anderson, D.K (1988) Cognitive Flexibility Theory:  Advanced Knowledge Acquisition in Ill Structured Domains, Tech Report No 441, Champaign, Ill:  University of Illinois

Center for the Study of Reading, Sternberg, R. J., & French, P.A. (Eds.) (1991) Complex Problem Solving:  Principles and Mechanisms, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Voss, J.F & Post, T. A. (1988), On solving of Ill Structured Problems, IN M. T.. H Chi, R, Glaser, & M.J. Farr (Eds.), The Nature of Expertise (PP. 261-185), Hillsdale, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


The Complete Greek Tragedies

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing

Writing Your Dissertation In Fifteen Minutes a Day:  A Guide to Starting, revising and finishing your doctoral thesis/Joan Bolker

Sicily by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi

The Italian Baker by Melissa Forti and Danny Bernardini

Mozza at Home by Nancy Silverton and Carolyn CArreno

Henry and June

Tropic of Cancer

Cities of The Interior, Anais Nin


The Rhinoceros  by, Ionesco

A good almanac

Collect Maps and study them



Some African Writers

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Peter Abrahams, Mine boy, This Island Now, A Wreath for Udomo ( South Africa)

Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Jose Eduardo Agualusa

Mohamed Naseehu Ali (Ghana)

Germano Almeida

Elechi Amadi

Ayi Kwei Armah (Ghana)

Sefi Atta

Ayesha Harruna Attah

Mariama BA

Nadifa Mohamed

Chris Barnard

Mongo Beti

Andre Brink

J.M Coetzee

Mia Couto

Tsitsi Dangarembga

Mohammed Dib

E.K.M. dido

Assia Djebar

  1. Sello Duiker

Daphne Williams

Buchi Emecheta

Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa

Nuruddin Farah

Athol Fugard

Nadine Gordimer

Alex La Guma

Bessie Head

Moses Isegawa

Rayda Jacobs

Tahar Ben Jellouon

Cheikh Hamidou Kane

Yasmina Khadra

Camara Laye

Naguib Mahfouz

Charles Mangua

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Dambudzo  Marechera

Darlene mattee

Zakes Mda

Thomas Mofolo

Bai Tamia Moore

Meja Mwangi

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Lewis Nkosi

Flora Nwapa

Nnedi Okorafor

Ben Okri

Deon Opperman

Yambo Ouologuem

Alan Paton


Sol Plaatje

Nawal El Saadawi

Tayeb Salih

Wilton Sankawulo

Karel Schoeman

Olive Schreiner

Benjamin Sehene

Ousmane Sembene

Wole, Soyinka

Amos Tutuola

Marlene van Niekirk

Yvonnne Vera

Jose Luandino Vieira

Joseph Jeffrey Walters

Birhanu Zerihun

Ama Ata Aidoo

Georges Andriamanantena

Jared Angira

Kofi Anyidoho

Kofi Awooner

Sahesillasse Birhanemariam

Breyten Breytenbach

Dennis Brutus

Glynn Burridge

Abena Busia

John Pepper Clark

Jose Craveirinha

Viriato Clemenete da Cruz

Getinet Eniyew

Tsegaye Gebremedhin

Abbe Gubenga


Ingrid Jonker

Jonathan Kariara

Joseph Kariuki

Susan Kiguli

Ahmadou Kourouma

Antjie Krog

Jack Mapanje

Eugene Mapanje

Eugene Marais

Don Mattera

Bai Tamia Moore

Togara Muzanenhamo

  1. Moses Nagbe

Arthur Nortje

Gabriel Okara

Nii Parkes

Chrisotpher Okigbo

Okot P’Bitek

Lenrie Peters

Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo

Jacques Rabemananjara

Elie Rajaonarison

Ny Avana Ramanantoanina

Pierre Randrianarisoa

Jean Verdi Saloman Razakandraina

David Rubadiri

Tijan Sallah

Leopold Sedar Senghor

Debede Seyfu

Bewketu Seyoum

Warsan Shire

Adam Small

Veronique Tadjo

Dagnachew WERku

Armenio Vieira

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley



Credit:  Wikipedia African Writers List (see for more detailed list)




Up to Snuff #49 A Description of Poetry

Up to Snuff #49 A Description of Poetry

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu


Something loaded







Something with roots

Something lean and meaty

“A button” as if on a computer that controls a larger work or function

Something that unlocks

A small that may transfer into a larger work

A large or “body of research” that can be broken into small pieces or even variables that become poems

A method of writing many things with “small pieces” that unfold, eg. a book or chapter that starts from a poem as common literary practice

An idea, something of value that is “caught” or “captured” in a moment and framed as itself or for later enlargement or extension

Poetry may be fundamental in a “development session”, captures may be small bites that relate to research and are intended for contemplation or greater purposes, or simply to document a thought, experience or observation, thinkers may utilize poetry often as building blocks both literary and intellectual

To utilize thumbnails to map out series of poems or related ideas or sequential ideas

To collect scenic poems by sampling or writing non- stop or with description

Collecting sensual ideas like sounds, colors, smells, or general descriptions or onomatopoeia within a framework, eg. To precisely describe a color or condition-eg. “A little browner than watermelon” or to transport or to take with

Poetry may be somewhat derived from personages who were heavily engaged in onomatopoeia like Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry benefits from muses, or loves or studies or observation

Poems may “set the tone” within a writing when used similar to a dedication in a book or at the start of a chapter in a book

Poems may work as a “knowledge builder” something by which one builds themself in a scholarly fashion

Poems may connect to art works, or books, or films or songs or even companies

Poems may illustrate ideas or actions or become activism

Poems are sometimes naturalist, or romantic in many ways or existential, or covering events in one’s day to day life or travels

Eg. A romantic poem may engage a lily and a breast analogy

Poems may become historically relevant or having bearing on a particular era eg. Presidents hire Poet Laureates with aim to fame a country or a nation or their term in leadership

Poems are sometimes dramatic and written for oration, eg. A poem may be sung or recited in special ways eg. I once heard a poet (AG) recite while singing, “Don’t smoke! Don’t smoke! Just suck! Just suck!”

Poems are sometimes “tit for tat,” and rhythmic, bouncing back and forth or within beats, like he said this and she said that or kitty ka ka, kitty ka ka or blow, blow, blow! High, high, high!

Poems may be written in older languages or dialect, or rhyme eg. Dumlit, cumlit, bumlit!  or dummy, scummy, chummy, bummy!

Poems may be metered or versed or use specific syllabic sequences like 5-7-5 in Haiku







Existentialism Exercises

Existentialism Exercises

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The great “I AM”

Major players in existentialism:  the soul, art, life, GOD, all of existence, on and on to be everything

Art =Are-T or essence or perhaps the study of existentialism may be what art was meant to be

Some existential areas in art:  human condition, identity, force vitale, social, history, humanitarianism

Existential art teachings or studies or exercises-drawing, painting, sculpting, ceramics, fiber, graphic design, photography

The maker of the camera may be GOD

The essence of you, the soul of you, the essential system, how you came to exist, why you exist and how you exist, what is your condition within existence, the early preoccupation of man with the image of God and a lack of knowledge of himself or how he came to be

Existentialism came to be part beauty in the design of life, part explanation for a man ignorant in many ways of his life, part what may have been intended as life-a preoccupation with essential questions, one may assign a title such as GOD to an arbitrary or unknown or to answer an unanswered question or to fill a need that is unmet, for example if one needs someone and no one is there, many things came to be GOD, even dogs were thought to be GOD written backwards as loving and protectors and named after this omnipotent, or arbitrary or unknown or even known, some will call themselves or others GOD

The discovery of the soul:  The Hole, The Cough, The Light, The Lotion, The Parking Space, The Resume, The Blanket, The Shoe

The historical arts subjects or The Arts:  Medicine, Math, Astronomy

Scientific formula that is existential (eg. a pill):  What to be?  Where to go?  What to do? For how long?

MYW University-Make Your World

MOAU University-Making of a Universe

Sampling Studies, eyedropper

Hollow Penis, solid vagina

Negative mountain

Prosperous Zero

Falun Gong and Yoga practices, existential studies based on a life warrior or fighter or martial artist

Profession or to profess oneself something

Celebration of birth

Metaphysical, esoteric, apothecary

The Care of the Self

A child may ask his father what am I? He may say something like: “You are not a robot. You are 100% bio materials that are living materials and chips and a brain and a soul and organs which are bio materials and run their chips.  You have an animator and it keeps you alive. You have many fluids that lubricate and run your systems similar to a car.  You have a skeleton that maintains your shape.  You have lots of ability.  You are thinking, feeling and seeing. You have a brain tape.”

A spiritual and physical experience


Excerpt from upcoming book “Art Relevant Juncture,” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu



Humanitarianism is always good

Humanitarianism is always good

Things that may not register immediately

Become evident later in life

As if there were some life tallying

You can live unknowingly “positive” in people




(Dedicated to Michigan Sports Teams who have continuously supported the community.  Give to your local sports teams foundation who tend to support all the smaller teams)






Ms. Vielchenblau’s After Death

Ms. Vielchenblau’s After Death

At 830 North River Street across from the Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti, Michigan Ms. Vielchenblau began to plan her life after death while living her life with death or rather with the dead.  A close friend from China had said to her, “you lived your life strongly, you will live after death strongly as well.” The comment created in Ms. Vielchenblau a longing for a beautiful after life.  She thought deeply about how she would die, planned her life, and her dead life or her life after death. She wondered if she would die in the foreign service oversea’s or from an illness? She wondered how she was likely to die?

She aimed to coordinate her life with her death and her porch overlooking the cemetery kept her dreaming.  Shortly after she purchased her house at 830 N. River Street across from the Highland Cemetery she bought a plot in the cemetery and so did her father and sister.  There is a turn off from River Street where her complex lays.

The house she designed was full of life. The house was a complex set at an inexpensive price due to its location across from the Highland Cemetery.  The stairs going up leading to the three bedrooms were extra high as if to heaven.

The complex was laid out in several studios that would come to embody areas where she would have mastership eventually.  A music rehearsal studio was in the front room with an upright piano, an old bi-level organ, an upright bass, a violin, a guitar, a trumpet, drums, bandeer and of course she studied voice.  There was lots and lots of sheet music for the variety of instruments, as well as her own compositions and song books.

Along the left wall behind the rehearsal studio were shelves lined with books, the first shelf was organized into several library sections, followed by a collection of cookbooks in the hundreds, followed by shelves with numerous fine and eclectic dish collections including Italian printed plates, French plates and wooden dishes, fine tea cups with saucers like her Prince Charles and Lady Diana set from Harrods in London.  Across from the shelves she built a small room by adding three walls to the far wall and lined the walls with a fragrant cedar to make a screening room.

The room she built compartmentalized the rest of the adjoining space into areas and nooks.  The dining area was behind it, with a long ovular table that had tall candlesticks and a blown glass sculptural object on top and the walls were full of gold framed paintings, her own.  She had a vision to value the house and create what would become a historic house with a placard on the front as did many Victorian homes in Ypsilanti.

On the side of the table were two buffet tables for serving dinner parties and drinks.  The paintings along with fine art illustrations represented some of her finest works and were numerous and with a variety of themes including drawings of her daughter and historical references to her house and photographs of staged and vintage scenes.  Across from the dining table is the kitchen where many culinary fantasies were manifested from her cook books and culinary research.  She keeps one shelf of binders that are filled with recipes broken down into areas that include diverse cultures and holidays, plus the largest binder that is her treasure, “The Vielchenblau Family Recipes.”

Behind the dining area and kitchen is a small nook that she made into an exercise and spa area.  The exercise and spa area has a recumbent bicycle and a variety of hand held weights, plus mats and a TV for exercising with Falun Gong videos or Gaia exercise channels that sometimes include dance lessons or belly dancing.  There is a long massage table that she performed exercises on as was done while having physical therapy after a knee injury using velcro weights and straps.  There are also some stacked blocks for stepping and stretching exercises and a half foam roll to stretch particular regions of the leg and knee.  At nearly 46 years she had begun briefly to walk with a cane after a knee injury while working in a culinary role.

Directly perpendicular to the kitchen a little on the side is a door leading to the back of the house where there is her outdoor sanctuary nuzzled between the 4 bay garages that house cars and dry and wet art studios including sculpture studios with the main house in the complex.  The sanctuary area has trellises on both sides with shrubs and greenery to create atmosphere and privacy from the road.  There is seating around an outdoor fireplace, a stone rectangular table with stone benches.  There are two grills potted plants and sculptures and a shrine.  The area is both sociable and spiritual.

Behind the four bay garages with art studios above and below is the carriage house in the complex.  The carriage house is used as an office and for writing.  The carriage house is a few feet away from the last bay of the garage and in front of a beautiful cream and red tiled fenced in outdoor area where there is a pool and club house.  What looks strange about the exterior of the house is the common complex color of cream which unites the whole property except for the main house is an older antique color wood siding a shade browner than watermelon.

The main house blended with the Highland Cemetery and was left nearly “as is” to leave it in keeping with both the Highland neighborhood and The Highland Cemetery.  Her favorite place in the house was the porch that had both walls and ceiling, the front door and a view of the Highland Cemetery.  On either side of the steps leading to the front porch were small stone gargoyles, the type one might find in an old Spanish city such as Valencia.  On the porch Ms. Vielchenblau read poetry, drank teas such as macha green tea with lemon that she learned how to prepare from the last restaurant she worked at where she hurt her knee.  She sometimes read poetry with her daughter and they came out with a stack of print outs and exchanged each other’s poems or read their own.  She read with writer friends on the porch and by herself.  The view of the cemetery weighted the emotion of the porch and dramatized all that she read.  The porch had 4 outdoor chairs with outdoor cushions with little rod iron side tables next to each.  The tables she bought large enough to fit a tray with drinks and a stack of writing.  There was barely grass around the house except a small patch in the front that she barely had to mow to keep the house up.  The lack of grass was even a selling point as Ms. Vielchenblau had planned for frequent travel in the foreign service and as a Diplomat and didn’t wish to be encumbered by a high maintenance lawn while traveling.

Ms. Vielchenblau staged literary weddings to a poetry character Little Jinn.  The wedding napkins were embossed in 14 karat gold, “a Chinese lamb, a blue rose.”  The guests stashed the napkins in purses and pockets for later valuation.

From every area in the River Street house Ms. Vielchenblau felt a manufacturer.  She wished to value both the house with history and design, plus all of her work within it.  She wished for after her death the house to remain intact in the hands of her daughter and left as her daughter’s inheritance and a museum.  The quality of the museum would be that of a local social outcast, eccentric, born with royal ties, died while in Diplomatic service and as fine artist, composer, poet and even chef.  She leaves behind many publications.  All of her art work was made into catalogues and left in print.  Her music was also published.  Strangely the entire house was published and the quality was high.  The house was intended to be a museum, book store, spiritual refuge and place frequented by those visiting the dead.

She couldn’t decide whether to establish the house and move and build it as business from the after- life for her and her daughter.  Her dead life took over her living life.  Death becomes her life.

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu


Just Released “The Pearl Reader” By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

To order “The Pearl Reader” and “Magic 8 and The Bone Marrow Sucker,” two delightful collections of poems by Ghanaian-American poet, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu, see below links.  Available from the website, or the publisher on or from or Chapters in Indigo in Canada and coming soon on Barnes and Noble online. Enter your contact information at to receive future notices about upcoming book releases.

Magic 8 & the Bone Marrow Sucker:

In Canada:

The Pearl Reader:




Art and Design

Art & Design

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu


Scenario 1

Traveling with a sewing machine and a tool box of art supplies and paints.  Extension cord from the house to sew outside.  Planning a “taller” pronounced “tie-yare,” or independent enterprise in an undeveloped pueblo.  Climbing in the mountains, getting floral dressed, walking in a dry river bed.

Dying cloth with coffees and teas and traveling one hour by bus to get dyes and bolts of fabric.  Getting a large car size amount of fabric delivered from a distributor in the city to make a large amount clothes.

Having dying parties with made up garments then hand painting them.  Memorizing songs, dancing with bells around the ankles (a musician).

Scenario 2

The “art house.”  Dying textiles on the balcony, making up braided hats, making up hand dyed clothes with a seamstress, then photographing people dressed in the clothing, and reserving sets around town.  Making drawings, large photo prints, postcards, which culminate in the full moon bazaar or events in tune with the full moon. Printing on the postcards the upcoming dates of the full moon. Collecting instruments, hiring models, drawing mostly self-portraits, a dress rack of clothes, shopping for fabrics in old jobbers, back drops and an obsession for color photography, making homemade lip balms while maintaining a corporate job in the stock market. Walking to work to stay in shape and playing castanet rhythms on the way.  Studying flamenco.

Scenario 3

Off to school of Art and Design. A collection of research photos.  A taste for photos with white borders.  Sketch books. Silk screen fabric prints for garments, silk screen paper prints for art. Silk screen fabric prints for art too.  Embellishment.  Fashion illustrations.  Making up garments, taking pictures.  Small mini drawings, making printed boxes to put things in, making shoes, making boots, printing techniques, visiting silks in the fabric district.  Collecting sole prints and deconstructing them into new combined textile patterns.

Scenario 4

A pedestal to draw still life’s or a variety of daily objects.  A stage to draw costumed models.  A stage for prosperous zeros.  Collecting and sampling the entire environment in drawings.  Nibs for the garden paintings.  A drawing board and horse in the house for portraiture.  The home office with 5 stations.





Freedom Song #2

Freedom Song #2

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The key is never to think about slavery or invest in racism

The key is to build security, protection, law, education, technology, creativity, writing, architecture, manufacturing, humanitarianism-constantly with momentum

Count your enemies, count your friends

Not to legitimize or take up brain tape or give power to ideas too ignorant to contemplate

Slavery can exist in Balzac or fantasy books or in the context of love and giving yourself to another

And if you faced dire circumstances or fantastical experiences to build a bookstore to house your pain/ideas and transform it into something tangible


Now Released Magic 8 & The Bone Marrow Sucker!

“Magic 8 & the Bone Marrow Sucker” has a love affair between Queen Serwah and Little Jinn, who is the Bone Marrow Sucker. Magic 8 relates to the book’s investment in the study of a “logical black magic,” and the “8” is specifically for spiders or relates to 81 “magic and flight.” While living in Puerto Rico, Ms. Osei-Bonsu was confronted with four live tarantulas consecutively, all of which she managed to kill. Black magic related Ms. Osei-Bonsu to a fantasy she has about the American South and slavery, where she thinks under duress it may become logical and available basic ideas in black magic. Ms. Osei-Bonsu uses many musical and theatrical voices, and the reader may hear singing in the book. She has written notes on beauty, love, and sensuality that are a part of her New Thought Research. The book represents a meaningful and delightful collection of poems.

“Magic 8 & the Bone Marrow Sucker” has a love affair between Queen Serwah and Little Jinn, who is the Bone Marrow Sucker. Magic 8 relates to the book’s investment in the study of a “logical black magic,” and the “8” is specifically for spiders or relates to 81 “magic and flight.” While living in Puerto Rico, Ms. Osei-Bonsu was confronted with four live tarantulas consecutively, all of which she managed to kill. Black magic related Ms. Osei-Bonsu to a fantasy she has about the American South and slavery, where she thinks under duress it may become logical and available basic ideas in black magic. Ms. Osei-Bonsu uses many musical and theatrical voices, and the reader may hear singing in the book. She has written notes on beauty, love, and sensuality that are a part of her New Thought Research. The book represents a meaningful and delightful collection of poems.

To order Magic 8 & The Bone Marrow Sucker by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu: