Dear Poetry

Dear Poetry,

I am tired. You’ve inhabited me for long, but from today I have to make a decision. Perhaps my decision doesn’t matter since you remain ignorant of my needs. Not once have I shied from crying my heart out when I was deprived of love. As it is, I am a yet a man knowledgeable enough to adapt to hurt. I feel abandonment is a metaphor of my existence, an icy rod of my spine or a sentence surgically inserted in my Achilles tendon for derailment, so I plod. You’ve chained my hands with pitiable words, you inconsiderate bastard! How many times must you want a muse and condemn me to sign songs I do not like, those that taste like ash burning my vocal cord with words like, I want you.

I need you to understand. I’ve been a faithful devotee who has explored your forms, enticed language so you would be expressed. I have gone through each of your rites, attended workshops, dreamt and woke up violated forever. I’ve violated others too for the sake of your purity. It isn’t said loud enough, but when a young person turns to a poet, he loses love and remains with the idea. There are times I’ve pledge allegiance to you when you appeared numerously as a woman, as it is, I am yet a man seduced by flesh.

You are no longer a saint, poetry. I’ve witnessed your deceit, the emptiness you bring. The moderate flings, the sex, the damsel in distress. I must admit that I no longer feel enticed by your prowess, yet the more I want to leave, the greater the nuance of your lips, you kiss like heaven. But I am not a believer, not for you. I can’t live with the idea that I am a scourge of something as if I am not privileged enough to withstand that thing you do with your tongue.

Enough! If you loved me would I still be in the multitudes and confines of failed poets? Would I still be crying for your pity? Why wouldn’t you tell this woman I have loved her? Tell her I am destroyed by calm desire. You would know this, it’s better to have violent desire, rave madly about it, have it eat you than do nothing about it. Violent desire can be creative; I can write the millionth poem, it can win me an award, and for the sake of history, I might be inducted into the hall of fame for hopeless romantics who did wonders for love. However, calm desire elicits no response, it’s stilled, it betrays perception, and it doesn’t show nor try to win.
So poetry, is a poet failed when he can no longer fight?

Eddy Ongili 2016


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