We sought satisfaction on the scenery where artists thrived; thinking the prudence of our efforts will reward us for the ashy taste of freedom. We stood burdened by the thought of being better than we were and if greatness was a factor, we wanted everything that accompanied it. We stood at each single stage of poetry decrying how contemporary poetry was sickening, all along desiring to get applauses for each full stop that landed on each sentence we wrote. We admired certain traits that tickled our fancies and with words so sporadic and intense, we leaned forward to find adorable girls. We immediately captivated them by our little knowledge of literature and when they asked about our favourite books, we responded immediately grinning widely. We gazed at girls, sampling and saying, Jesus, oh wait not all of them.

We fell badly for girls. They were many with natural smiles that browsed our hearts for space we were unsure existed. We showed up at most gatherings, studying just how gracious, confident and lovable they were pretending that boring conversations on poetry, freedom, revolution and modern politics were the drive of our poethood. We convinced ourselves that it was a primal instinct and that as long as we dressed up, we would show grandiosity should they decide to introduce us to their folks. But it scared us, that no matter the monstrosity of our lust we wanted nothing to do with their folks at least not at that point. We were unashamed, unbitten and our words worked wonders right through their hearts and some of us got a girl to kiss or more.

It suddenly became therapeutic to feel something grow inside our hearts. It was all girls, girls and more girls with soft hands, smooth thighs, big eyes and gentle smiles. We dreamt of much until it turned into a burden and we cried for the first time in our lives out of what we considered self inflicted pain. We told no one not even our closest brothers and so it mattered to no one else and this is how art robbed us of our image of self. We decided that if tears had sprouted inside ourselves, then we sought to make fire our friend. We never felt ourselves burn until the point we were stunned by the smell of ash that we realized our hands and feet were all consumed while we worshipped one girl or the other. It mattered ferociously at once.

Anyone would have asked how our brilliance turned so pathetic but we had a list of realities we would have sworn to. We could have sworn we wanted nothing to do with love yet the pleasure at times made us feel whole from the thought of love in return. We could have sworn love, tragedy and desire … like goddamn all these dropped on us as rainy stones till we learned to sieve our blood from the soil when it became serious we were dying. Brothers, we could have sworn she was the one and how it ached afterwards was the untamed brutality of love that was unpredictably intense. But how the light fell on her cheeks, like a paint of serene wind upon the borough of a new administrative echelon … the aura countered our sanity. Those tiny bits of pain that pounded our hearts like Chinese acupuncture because we wanted such therapy if only to endure the slight constrictions of an everlasting love. We should have sworn we were already too deep and too lost. 

But we walked with our shoulders flat to each point of the tropics or hugging a new entrant into the realm of our perceived notoriety of moving on and letting go. We chased sunsets, kissing as many girls as we could for the nudging feeling of life unto death and the reverse. Sometimes we endured any mockery or punishment as long as something had been achieved out of it like being with a certain girl and we kissed some more. We could feel we were safe from the girl who before recited our poetry before we wrote any. It was her eyes, her eyes as lips, as smiles but god it was just her eyes any of us saw.
We felt love, god such tragedy until we recounted …

A fulfillment between two people does not guarantee love exists on both sides.

A fulfillment of the soul makes you long for the unimaginable, it brings you hell.

We were in the truncheon and throes of time. Temporary alignments that evaded any ground we could say was ours or if at all we understood what we had become and who we were. We were bastards masquerading as poets for the pride of being identified as one.

Yet these girls we adored wrote heart wrenching writs as splitting their wrists and we admired the colour of their blood and they wrote fireflies, birds, freckles and gutsy declarations of lust and we read them everywhere but their poems landed far from our lips, our names, our love. They wrote everywhere except of us and about us.

Does it count that we now feel tears whenever we see a water body, because a certain girl turned us into a pool and we stagnated like bloody clogged fools?
Stop showing it no more!

(C) Eddy Ongili 2015


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