#MisimuZangu Review

Perhaps the greatest merit of spoken word is its ability to fuse poetic elements into performance. There is the plain spoken word, devoid of any logical features and while it may be argued the arts do not aim for this, the premise stands, art has to make sense. Mostly, this type of performance baffles even the most ardent and optimistic fans. It gets tiresome with time because content and authenticity are thrown out of the window for gimmicks. I’ve had my reservations towards spoken word especially the one I continue to find in most events, and though the quality is quickly improving, a lot is to be desired.

However, we (art lovers) find ourselves in the quest for something good, something relatable, a striking incident or feature that would deepen our interest with what we encounter in life. A few spoken word artists have managed to enthrall us with pieces that not only entertain us but also build our curiosity regarding poetry; its finesse, the ambiguity, authenticity, and meaning.

Gufy’s manages to create a balance between spoken word and poetry and through the few years that I’ve known him, his art has grown, exploring the hybridity and cross symmetrical attributes of spoken word and poetry. It’s through this path that any hint of his originality and style continues to develop, but others are given. His poetry is experimental, inventive, and avidly attuned to reality which serves the ambiguity of the arts; the imaginative and what is felt and reality and what is thought about.

Gufy’s album MisimuZangu exemplifies the aspect of being imperfect engaging the listener with the strengths and weaknesses of a human being, sometimes narrated from the third person but mostly specified in the first person. The poetry is marked with a deep fascination with the ways in which poetic imagery fuses present circumstances across past happenings and futuristic aspirations. While purchasing the album, I asked him what he hoped to achieve. He claimed all he wanted was to tell a story and if anyone would relate or be inspired then what more could we ask from the artist. The artist primary assignment is to tell a story, never claiming authority, never trying to persuade but hopefully aiming their art does the same which is a complete irony. However outlandish, it provides an expository underpinning of what can be done, as in “Hardships Na Silence” where the poet ponders on the future by questioning the present:

“… darkness divorces the night
the sins of yesternight will be forgotten ….
statistics zikipikwa utapaza sauti lini kama wewe ni
mhuskia wa ushirikina na dirty deals za fitina ….
The irony we associate success with but deep down
we are all slaves to what we appear to be against”

The narrative of this piece takes its idiosyncratic angle which I believe to be the peculiarities most people in Kenya possess. What it addresses is specified in “Ndimu Tamu” as:

nina uchungu wa roho, siasa za kupoteza ndugu
njoo nikuonyeshe aliyebaki na alama ya panga kichwani
njoo nikunyeshe aliyebakwa na maafisa waliyefaa kumlinda …
njoo nikuonyeshe anayeishi kwa hema …”

These pieces question our positions on controversial issues such a religion, politics, and social justice and equality aiming to show the underhanded tactics we use to survive, glorify or kill and complain against our detractors. This is why in Ndimu Tamu, a sort of refrain keeps jumping after each sentence “It’s not the politicians … mafala ni sisi.” The poet urges the people to refuse to be pawns of politicians and other greedy leaders. Furthermore, our understanding of life, the importance of religion (cue the strand of morality), tribal politics, and unemployment versus how we respond to them matters a lot in today’s society. Moreover, we’ve succumbed to artificialness seeking validation at all costs, we continue to glorify appearances and entitlement without considering if the next person sees fault in our actions or proclamations. This does not mean that we should relinquish of our sense of importance but act in the best interest of others while doing the same for ourselves.
Such is what the “So Love” explores. It examines identity politics, weighing our actions and arguments by questioning their level of truth. So Love begs the listener to self-cross-examine before throwing judgment of lampooning another with our prejudices. This is regardless of gender, as suggestive:

“custom made likings that short women are more beautiful
that tall women are hard to curve …
is it true that we’ve reduced the power of feels to the powers of
lightskins and darkskins not knowing that it is 21st-century racism …”

Despite the temptation to dive into a heightened discourse how we claim importance and love through appearances while taking advantage of other’s shortcomings and natural traits, it rests with the listeners to evaluate themselves if they are to experience the vastness of love. Subsequently, in “Nails Deep” the poet confronts his spirituality among other matters. Spirituality as it is strictly personal that I wouldn’t know what to say about it and to this end, anyone who listens to the piece can interpret it as it fits. Conversely, the poet seems to be thankful and to prevent any preachy material from me; words such as these are used:

Teach my knees how to bend again
strip my lips (of) the lies woven by (time) …
reduce my grown self to a child …”

The last piece “Misimu” intersperses a classical appreciation (told by the son) with more fragmented, imagistic recollection that deconstructs and unsettles the tales of a narrative loop. The poet’s memories of his childhood are tangible and real but at the same time incomprehensible and distant to him: “why I do this ni mystery.” Language, words, and performance are limiting. The person matha (mother), in particular, is loaded with strength and perseverance:

kuraisiwa in a family matha ni beshte ya God huwezi ngoja hiyo friendship ivunjike
looking back hizi ndoto ni toddlers kwa mkono ya life
poetry haina pesa, matha aliniambia nikiwa docky ntawacha kutarmac
niende chuo nipate degree baada ya matha kunipea diploma
masomo ni ngumu lakini si kuliko yenye matha amepitia …”

The inability of words to completely thank the mother brings to light those people we can never appreciate enough, those that have supported us through trials, successes, and failures. To admit they are rare would be an understatement and this is why “mother” remains the beacon of hope, for we cannot marvel enough at her godlike presence.
Stories in Gufy’s pieces offers as a counterpoint to try once more to grasp the extent of our lives, what we have, what we hope for, what we ought to think about, and what we hope to correct. It must be understood that this constructed view is self-consciously analytical and at the same time deeply emotionally engaged in his, highly genuine mind’s eye.

Grab your copy if you haven’t.

EPA Anthology Review

Eldoret Poets Association (EPA) started a slow revolt in the literary scene almost two to three years ago with their nascent e-book publication, titled; THE SENTENCE: Behind Bars of Wit. In an effort to synthesize a brand collective, they published another anthology titled; The President’s Eulogy in their annual adventure. As such, EPA has continued to exert its growing tradition of presenting emerging writers by providing them with a platform formerly inaccessible in the traditional publishing realm. The latest collection, LATIRA glows with expositions of candor, lyricism, esotericism, human consciousness, introspection, love, poetry, and the insurrection of language and the usual mirage of Mama Africa. The poets in this collection may not be a match to some of the acclaimed poets of today or yesteryears. To paraphrase Sanya in his Epistle to a Young Poet, there are many of these poets who write extremely well but they will never be known. Verily, this collection is by no means a sparkle of literary wars as the poets’ basic aim is to communicate, such that they are not the ornaments of the literary professors stuck in the bamboozle of parading old tricks to the modern contemporary writer nor are they puddle of senseless entitlement ballooning in the internet in form of poetry . However, like many anthologies, it is upon the reader to read and decide what cultivates his or her mind the most. Such is a matter of aesthetics, and this varies from person to person. It is my belief that the diversity of this collection does not betray its attribute of open contribution.

The poet Dannie Abse suggests that the essence of reading poetry is to start sober and leave a little drunk. Assuredly, most poems evaporate like ice falling on a desert; most of the poets are merely mentioned on people’s tongues, and few may intoxicate. In Latira, some poems will be bypassed for their immediacy, others for their conjecture in delivery and if this seems painful, then it is my wish that poets published herein and others elsewhere exert their attitude towards positive growth. To that extent, it is worthy to note that this anthology ratifies the belief that poetry has never died, in fact, it positions some poets and writers any reader should be keen with now and in the future. I will, therefore, try to examine several entries. In the first title, The Epistle of a Young Poet by Sanya Noel is reminiscent of The Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke published by the Norton & Norton Company as an appeal to a young poet to continue writing despite the odds. Sanya “advises” Sammy that for improvement, experience and popularity for poets /there are those in to the magazines and journals/ /it’s a common way, I have used it too/. While this may be an amalgamation of the writer’s method of growth in the oft-impenetrable literary world, Rilke thought otherwise in page. 18, when he decried the poet Frank from sending his poems to magazines. I think it’s a fashionable letter, and it remains upon the many “Sammys” stuck in their writing to reflect on the pointers Sanya talks about.

The first poem in the anthology, You Know One Day, I’ll Forget about You by Anca Mihaela has an excellent depiction of imagery such as /I emptied even my breathing/ not to pay my customs to life/. This is a type of pulsating imagery that fixates a reader on the ecstatic and almost overwhelming scenery of plush saudade. The poem despite its neatness has an annoying range of ellipsis that the editor(s) could have eliminated. The next poem, If She Were Mine by Clifford Mateh summarizes the unpopular friend zone chronicles where the boy craves the girl but he does not say what he feels and ends up losing her (He he), but the poem is tacit and expressive. I find it impressive. Poetic Love by Calton Ingoi muses on the love between a poet and a poetess by waxing lyrical with such lines /when a poet loves a poetess … it’s like a convergence of heavens in the nuptials of gods/. The metaphors are celestial, and vivid of an ecstatic emotion something like lull into an unending maze of passion. Another delectable line /… their nostalgias denounce inhibitions/ this is a certain paragon of rising and climaxing diction.

As such, this poem, in particular, can pass as my favorite in this collection. In Why Africa Weeps by Emmah Kemunto, the old epiphany of Mama Africa is revisited where the uneasiness of the problems confronting the continent are wailed upon. /Blood with a promise of peace/ happiness drowned her pain/ bad leadership, theft, corruption/ such are the pathological problems that are known to set Africa into poverty and chaos. In Sneak In by Kiambi Mutembei, the poet delves into the mannerisms of introspection. In a philosophical entreaty into the intricacies of a human soul, the poet writes /souls are vicious/ they seek each other by the gravity of love/. Such is a fixation on the component of fulfillment that an individual has to find in another to get the price of contentment as the poet concludes with /blessed be you for letting me/ see you without flesh/. Run Away by Daniel Many is brilliant; it’s all I can say about the poem.

This anthology borrows its name from Latira, by Omondi Ochuka. The amalgamation of language takes center stage in this poem. The poet chooses a clinical approach to communication where life is measured by time in a transitory, sometimes morbid variation of pain lodged into a metaphorical time capsule. In his infrequent levity and conscious creativity, he writes /a parody of library walls peeling out/ the seasons/ then incisions/ is a brief instance of humor before the poet retreats back into a feat of lexical disposition regarding the difficulty in understanding what reward a person gets from time even after suffering under its monarchy. The poem sensations are pervasive yet unfulfilling at the same time; one wonders what entity is to blame for life’s throes and truncheon.  In I Speak Requiems by Redscar McOdindo, the use of unique similes is evident into the nostalgic perhaps longing for what is dead or irredeemable. Throughout the poem, the picketing resonance seems to urge the reader to act or reflect on how terrible the status-quo is at present. The poem, therefore, not only calls for critically accessing the situation at hand, but also decries the state of non-chalancy of people regarding the change they want to experience.

In The Sequel by Wudz, some of the personas body parts seem to die out before coming back to haunt the living. In fact, the personas’ undying love for his mistress suffers a poetic tragedy where he denounces all earthly contraptions if only he can have her by his side. Such is the force that moves the persona to say /how meaningless of life devoid of something to love/ sends man to an abyss of pity and despair/. The persona pursued by the intensity of passion later questions /how can I let love destroy me/ and deflects into a spiritual warpath with any entity he believes is preventing the ultimate intimacy with his lover. After all the struggle through love, then persona remains unbowed and chastises self by proclaiming that /love is my religion/. Go to the Next Poem by Steve Otieno is a lyrical composition which to my interpretation is meant for patronizing people who despite being humans are constantly awash with clues, pointers or information on how other people should live their lives. Steve disparages the invisible persona with sentiments such as /are you the choir that awaits trumpets at the edge of judgment/ then dismisses the challenges the persona /you are lifeless on your own/ to decry the perfection he or she is trying to assume. Lastly, The Role of Poetry in the face of Social Media by Eric Onyango is an essay that assesses the benefits of social media to a young writer, and as any reader would surmise, the benefits have been immeasurable. The chief example of this observation is this anthology.

It is no doubt that all the writings in this collection were knitted carefully and it is, therefore, upon the reader to decide what makes them tick. One must ponder, are the poems worth revisiting? Does poetry manage to cover the hybrid of themes presented in this anthology? What about the choice of words; are they reflective of the poets’ different styles and quality? This anthology is an impressive piece of literature and while there may be instances of laziness by the poets in proofreading their works, it is worth reading, pondering, sharing, and the cycle continues. It is my hope that in Latira, the readers hunger for fresh poetry will be satiated.

 

 

 

Review by Eddy Ongili..

 

Poetic Diaries

When writing is all  you have and the product whether abandoned or finished is the only potent thing in your life, one is left at crossroads on whether to actively pursue writing to its entirety or gobble around with shrewd poetics and lounge in the unbalanced bed of prose. I may be a writer and consistently show my budding self the door of enlightenment by seeking advice and cultivating my pen. With recognition being a lifelong process or a substance of luck rather than hardwork, the shady aspect of motivation dwindles by the day. verily, people will argue like Rilke that if it isn’t something from inside you that commands you to write then you should probably thrown your ambitions into the tumultuous waters of failure.

Some differences arise from the theory of perception; whether you are a ‘conceptual writer living in post modernism’ or ‘a universal writer inured in the theory of humanity.’ the collisions are far more sporadic than the mere aspect of trying to regurgitate a single definition of the aforementioned phrases. The conundrum is blazed with the functional term of being “An African writer” merely from the sheer aspect of birth something to be likened to accidental imprint in the sands of time. I stem out of the girth screaming each time on the compartment-ability (sic) thrown upon and actually embraced by our writers. All these are tolerated because “we should tell our stories as descents of this marvellous continent.” While that is a glorious endeavour the conceptuality of this kind of reasoning rids us of the philosophical argument of want and chance.

In futurology how we advance and record our own stories is the core mandate of writers but something radioactive always pours out when angry African writers implore that they wouldn’t be who they are without having told the stories they told. It’s a good argument but if a writer from Africa decides to write about emerging trends of global topics as love or sex or nuclear technology, why should the writer be frowned upon for abandoning documenting African ever evolving history? This conundrum elevates when one isn’t able to dialect his/her writing or linearly manifest his/her writing in something subtly African. Where is the problem? it grows when we negate that great literature is universal rather than pursuing the conditioned and accepted thread that might get one an award for literature in Africa globally.

Personally, I may be perceived as a weak, culturally tenable but partially brainwashed aspiring writer or no writer at all but how I seek to tell my story is how I feel it better to tell. Awards ferment a writer or no at all and if that is the sell out for the most potent writer then I’d be fooled into laughing in the rectum of a mad cow. I live in the underground shanties with my fellow group of young writers never in the urge to copy paste the standing battle of writers’ identity. The definition alone is a muck we wince at. What we do is write as much and as best as we can, never stopping to practise, share and converse. We however have to deal with the giant serpent of the shadows set with our acclaimed writers who will give us funny writing tips and continually masquerade under one title. I for no doubt castigate their efforts as this is one huge task but seek to help us disenfranchise the giant cloud that has prevented the African writer from staring eye to eye with the sun.

There are stories all over and we have people who are destroying it but people are trying and without a doubt the beauty of literature is currently on reformation and my generation will emerge out of the woodwork. We must learn to disintegrate from the conceptuality practitioners of African writing and work towards telling our stories as we deem fit. Literary criticism is a forte of power and to my fellow young aspiring writers we must collectively pay attention to what critics say but only use what will help us. I certainly think that individually, I have managed to grow in my poetic journey because of criticism but if one were to buy into the whole critic’s theory then one would be in an amorphous ICU.

The Soulful Serenity of a Violin

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I have been in this audience far too long, held in the filth of the purveyor’s sticky hands on my Achilles on this dusty chair I sit on. Fervently unable to unpack myself even in body parts. From the pale chains of an unwitting game, seen from unrelenting hooks of an incessant tribulation to my liabilities to love in the scattered pages of my torn book. My lungs wail a striking wheeze of asphyxiation, it echoes in tumbling fifths of an imperfect melody of a chorused lament, still marauding like hungry dogs boiled by rabies to bless my blood with incorrigible angst, as boiling shards of my impaired lust jumps in the atmosphere of a flooding river. The lipid ink that seeps from the depths of my sinful soul where inspiration and conviction are constant enemies as flaming war into these thorny battlegrounds that ensure I breathe. What became of my purpose and soul? Why even in this molten lake that swims up my feet, my bones are still cold and I tremble to the aridity of conscience. My strums once pounding and therapeutic massaged savages to their knees as they sought to return their swords in their sheaths to prevent slitting my throat because of my sacrilegious sacrifices in my sea of whims. All this time having been imprisoned in my tides of romance tempest where I found no safer shore, no soft spot to spend even a second to quench tribulation that betides me in my folly grasp of humanity. Maybe it is the punishment for subjecting absoluteness of issues to relativity in my clasp of impaired fortitude to life listened to from the broken vocals of a snapping string.

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There used to be such tones flowing through my veins, tones that tuned me in a temperance of a token character, maybe taken forcibly from the tables of gods. They lifted me in my tempestuous storms and filled my pen with juice to inadvertently stay calm and watch nature strikingly unleash her musical potency. They took time to scrap away my sorrow and even in the simplest of terms, I felt such a fleeting peace, soaring to the goodbyes of a heartbroken lover. Such music has stuck in a pit I shriek attempting to sink my hand to scoop the remnants of a broken chords that hauntingly wheeze in the parade of broken beings. In stark contrast to my elevated angst, I have transformed tragically to a mourning person heightened by my inadequacy of control. Then I behold the vultures grumbling stomach to my spiritual cadaver, something I used to hold dear in this life momentous competition in seeking control even to the slightest reality of my imagination. I know how hard it is for some to understand watching the reverberating ritual of your musical instrument trapped and corked inside an indestructible bottle as if everything you worked for is a flimsy aspect of nature’s way to retain balance. To lose your once bubbling faith as everything gigantic in your feeble understanding is but a snapping thread in a land of sharp stones and hot sand. Yet even in the seemingly transformation, nothing seems unique for beings are scattered on every side and you quench your pretension to the fact that illusions are but fragmented realities we dare not to face.

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Evidently I shall collect my strength and fight on, bundle unrequition to the repertoire of my tumbling vocals. I shall master the musical language and twirl in the figuration of a feathery wind towards a bulwark of fire that I shall put off even if it burns me. Somethings can only be stopped only if a certain degree of sacrifice is administered to it. I behoove the harmony of a healing tone as if making fresh amends, I chant my way to the insipid picture of a paradise crammed from the token of sacrilegious understanding, terse in apprehension of fate. I held the bait that staying on was better than leaving all along fighting for persons I should have let walk away the moment they bridled their weapons and massacred my heart. They were never the belief I held on to seeing a future together, maybe in my introversion of capricious mistakes. Perhaps love will rue on the walls of abode and in a desperate resolve it will knock my sonnets of melancholia and recapture me in such abundance. I want to go from persistent pain that bustles inside me. I want to pour in the rain and watch my tears flow away just to understand the miracles of love and blessings I yearn to mould whole. I want to compose a lyrical poem to control storms in a defiance of normality to effectively stamp my presence in the tsunamic waves of humanity’s destruction. I want to appreciate my weakness and journey in revived gait while strutting to the warmth of purpose. I want to touch the shoulders of the wind and leap on them while throwing petals to the fondling of nature’s pentameters to my late awakening of serenity. But I am a canon refilled with incorrigible weaponry of destruction.

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I lament in the journey of contrition, somewhere beneath a canopy of pines humming an artistic revitalizing menace. I am a slave of flesh and I hang on the piers of bolting waters that speed away to prevent my inevitable jump. I calculate my jump only to fracture my last unhurt bone as desires vanquish the ineffectual impotency of my stream of burden as I feel as a scourge of something I am unable to understand. The equation of my system of character and all I stood for have been destroyed by a giant pestle of chance, trial, failure and meager success. I have walked in straight paths only to find myself in a myriad of paths all centering a mounted desire to a woman I yearn to rescue me but whose mind I am unable to translate, whose heart I am unable to bask in. I bled thoroughly in my failure of understanding concepts and in three years I introverted to my misfortune as I smelt the gush of blood trembling in my throat but unable to cyclone itself out of my weak frame. I lost chances while stuck inside cages of loneliness, desperation and depression all the while unable to shed a single tear from the well that stomped its capacity in my life of misfortune. I have been weathered, beaten down and traumatically dislocated by sledgehammers beyond retrieval of any kind. I am exhausted at such assault in my cause of harmony and shrouded intellect I have frowned from bidding depart to the notion of waiting till it happens again.

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I must relieve all the burden of my mistakes. Let me not be the fungi that destroys the bread I long to eat tomorrow. Filter the challenges I incessantly fight to temper in the dandelion of my shroud that I want to step on and slur to the furtive boughs of awakening. I want to learn to cry in all motions touched by even the slightest reflection of storms. Yet still cry some more to the realization of my circular weakness. I want to be born out of these words that campaign for my sanity in the liberty of freewill and measured harmony to others. This boat that takes me on a ride to the channels of my pestilence to the tossing waters of vengeance silenced in the flimsy revenge to the lost moments I must skim from the girth of my crown. I siphon resistance of change and spark my deepening thrust to untangle the York that has wrapped me in the vile pestilence of persistence. I shall go to the stage now and offer my presentation to share my suffocating reality to an audience that will either laugh at my story or empathize with harlots of my woe in the ebbing strings I seek to now compose. I shall go ahead and display my affection, desperation, respect and sparkling pens I have unearthed in the womb of time. I shall strike deceit that prowls me in the condemnation of capricious lust and living I want to taste a little. I shall sin some more but always will be on the move. For somewhere in this theater, I shall find my plateau and walk through mountains and valleys to establish my resistance to control. I shall share my musical form and forever play the tunes of the soulful serenity of a violin.

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“…the violin — that most human of all instruments…”  ― Louisa May Alcott

© Eddy Ongili 2014

Charred Lamentations II

Jinxed spectacles of muddy chapters of fungi swamps
Hidden behind the palisades of glossary in the books of whims.
Shit,
We have been weak in the femoral cavities of time
And instead of healing the theoreticians blasphemy,
We sat and watched.
Poetry cemented in the garbage of licentious holes of rebellious cunts.
Bandits scorched the insatiable phenomenon of cathedral sex
Humped in the loins of symbolic labia’s undressed in fragmented Scylla caves,
While menstruating spikes of devastating dry cycles.

Yoh! Ochuka Spit.

Knuckles are vain
If bloody pulps undo fists to symbolize pulpit grains
Pictures stalked into prism vase full of owls, a dozen
Doves in barrage
And hope that the roads to the nooses’
Shall notice the mirage
There’s every speck of tear smeared on the hinges
Logged in pure filth, and there be life – was let
Last violin violets to wither
Shall flute the pine box
For the sphere’s seed holes to swallow till it chokes
Lying red and bruised and throbbing
Between the sheets
Bones are but straws that suck the skin deep.
These are knobbed hymen
Lined and dripping sincerity of an open sanctuary
Tapping the menses of the sun to sieve a lineage
Spelled in semen quarry
Of the future rocking and imbibing the deepest poetry
Plucked from sweaty climes of the soul
When primal pricks stir the edge of brimming life
Overflowed by lacking
Drilled thoughts of milling only skin hide in
Eyes deepen,
Into the poodle to pick abysses from
Flower beds mounting sleep to dress a crater
A trickle of unnamed ashtrays table their humble cold
As frost of tears bleed to guide caresses of roads
Stemming exalting knees,
For worship to lord the house
Rewrite the prodigal leap of faith
Shall treason
And free thought
Swing Morpheus lower on his deathly chariot
Then who registers every fragment of the opium
Named after cheerleader of the lamb?
Blunt shadows of the moon that lost admiration
To northern stars awed by the owing of myrrh
Smelling out of creased ridges of bodily laps.

But this is stupendous poetry
Marveling like Priapus composing erotic sonnets of form.
(Shhh: Blistered Poetry)
We stand ridiculed for standards
(Spit on)

Barrage of ribs pillaged from Africa’s cage
Of lost footing erecting stolen monuments
Bleak
But finer eye into the past slides faith
Like orgasmic fires peak on a thirsty and dried forests.
And as brittle wicks char their tongues
To brew the skin of a dark nights
The fireflies are canning every lease of life, the siphoning
And massacring
Martyred souls of the soil
Drenched the linens with blood owning their rivers
And its little disguise salting historical wounds.
And naming graves after cityscape
That dug sewer lines to flush every ill and sour grapes
As lame as epitaph honors are abused by flags half mast
Tell the Hansard keeper
To lot the ledger with purple hearts
And Sodom apples reserved like dam
Geysers of sin that feebly rendered our damnation.

We probe the monstrous hubris of entitlement
False knowledge usurping the Hall of Fame Inductees,
But poets consecrated homeopathism in the graves of our feet.
Now we pestle crammed bitch communion
Chanted ahead by cuckolded crowd of rhetoric bastards.
Here in the folly of the Sahara,
We register martyrs and warp vain purloined poets into the rectum of a bloody pig.
We reek as Interlopers
Ours to create potency in our linguistic beacon
Our sparkling art in the legend of Om

Sew every wall
Bandaging brothels to remind a people
Of sutures traced to lead to innermost lore
Where tribal rain is a fertile pour seeding a house
That forgets own nakedness on the pool
Mirrored from the drawbridge
We erect backbones from the closets
Somewhere beneath unmarked graves
Lie the scent of residual mistakes,
Patterned then smashed
Into mirror dusts and buried without dignity.
They are sprouting shambles
Sprinkled like dung-heap.

But whose world bleeds sequel stale
Fart a lungful nomad of citizens
Ruined at a costly tale:
An animal kingdom,
Recall wandering death by poisoned well?
And pens are knives sank to stumble
The rawest meat of hidden bones
Collect the fragments
And stamp it due a salty letter
Before silver bullets are written on my name
And such printed thoughts
Hooked on a blackmail
I have black-listed all that surround a clover
For mere drips of nectarine
And all that hosts the nodes
With hopes eyeing a sugar tree.
It’s the sharpest axe
Wedging a passage that middles
The difference between
Gulping jars and the breadth
Of lean lamb-meat
Forking school,
But these woods are written on
Sand full of papers
I am fanning splintering selves
Forbidden in altarpieces
Yet throbbing like
A wired stem of desires
Waxing and weakening knees
Of a whole empire.

Late orange sunset
And hands are still clasped on divine psalms
Emptied limb-laces find calling to be a valley
Dirty acres
Rusty tax coins enthroned on dried off blood
Where
Fragile pine leaves whistle to soothe the wind
As vultures wade teary minds seated on saltshakers
Wishing the vines grow
To unearth a season of carcass wrinkling
Like visiting foots into temple floors,
Purity and that is an eyeing of an ordained beginning.

© Omondi Ochuka & Eddy Ongili 2014

Charred Lamentations

Charred shores have engulfed the hedges
Of the pages that hid Braille
Liturgy dances,
The thirsty sandstorms drank all the grain
All the unquenched dust strewed
Balanced between the birth of a river
The bleeding earth, entombed in stiffened fever
Brewed
Bruised languages of the pen
That showered the seasons
The history
Of salt pluming from sunny climes
All peeled, the seeds that fallows and gallows choked
On the holes
Survived with torn dress of the soul
And every reward of redress
Lamenting
With blacksmith’s spell of raging fires
Rummaging the tongue
Like orgasmic speck littered with Lilith clitoris,
The bottom was bottled in infernal tongs – the coals
Yearning for
The last filthiest dream to fold a corpse
Can the fashion of seasons unite the roads?
Of the lips into a crop
Crippled by the allegory caves
Remark the tiny luck of lame faith
Waiting for the apple to fall
Just proxy to the toe of the cross
But
The jumps to decapitate roses’ stems
To build a bridgehead
From eternity to beginnings nailed on timelessness’
Death bed.

And I am widened by fat winds
Astronomical and symphonic in recitational magnitude
Celestial poetry,
Born from the boiled hymens of silent virgin stars.
I was there
When the spirit of lyrical composure tumbled on rocks
When Homer couldn’t see but curved in the womb of time.
Sight shadows, power plays and hymnal dances
Sought from bending meadows in the parochial incapacitation
But I am torn as a savage of words,
Moored in my canal of cold flower debris as the wild stem of oddity.
There were flaming ores sheathed from the eyes of humanity
Then griots rose in the pits of darkness.
It was the honey comb in the vaginal fortress
Filled with godly metaphors and sulking similes.
Hearts wilted in sheer agony in the chalice bowel of unrequition
Sinking my soliloquies in the unspoken chagrin,
Saudade charred the shores of the filthy escarpments of expression,
Bulging mediocrity of poetic license and it spread…

Eyes soared to imagine the needle hole
Lit the splintery tunnels
Blades of grasses
Runner-marigold
Host the dew of a schism nightgown
To give the epitaph a palm cover of its own
The pond depth
Sewed lifelines from the earth’s dirtiest sponge
Threads and many colors,
But life is glued from the breast
Parlance sieves
That every chaff called the blackjack gardens
The windings of subtly staple grief
Hidden leaves drank from the ashtrays on the earthen.

Paths- spindle and sash,
Tomb rhythms made templates as standards
Paddle whips strung the backs of wordsmiths in absolute lament.
I weep in the inscrutable womb of the deserted peninsula
Of art moulded as a cosmic joke from filial claptrap
Mixed with haunted sea’s vomit.
Ah, ornamental petals of freedom
But this is my life,
If the cadavers squeal at the genital sermons
Let it be known that we tried to pry into specificities.
We bonded magma to Styx to ensure survival
Having shrouded the lungs of Kit-Mikayi in the quest for ink.

Meadows heaping
Searching through the promise of tomorrow
Dark alleys,
Only key uprooted from the crying sun disc
Became heightened wilderness
Tramped smell of flowers
Found solace beneath the feet
Humbly
Pruning tongues milled their taste
Into rusty night limes
That formed redemption
Bridal curls,
Looking for the shelves for fruition
Locked every creed in bruised wrath seal.

May the jaw that burdens
Mince the burden of an arsenal by its taste
For heavenward
Lean on the fate unknown to the lamb
As the couched knives seek grant,
By the throat?
And the chirping jingles covet requiem send-off
Rattled, the sawyers’ reap
Sprouted serial terraced heaps
Cerberus guard lids
With the scorn of unquenchable rabies.

Hunted by silhouettes
Silky fingers unraveled crates
Dug from certain walls
Transferred humour out the gardens
Slabs narrate the silence than the lawns can engulf
Shelled title waves inside mouths,
Into which seas laugh
Strew fever on the soul’s thighs.

© Omondi Ochuka & Eddy Ongili 2014

The Ballad of Fatwa (IV)

“What happened to me?”

Praise tongues fall in the empty halls of my soul
Clouds gather, God speaks – silence!
It sings, I have been peaceful, not orally
Yet. I have diced tokens into woeful premises,
It has to me sang uncomposed from my dry lips
Shun glorification of altars and robes.
I rock in menial liturgy, lost in my thoughts,
Then I ask
Haven’t I sought life from trembling roots?
Dug the poetry of imperfection
Into my rectitude
But, I am on a journey,
Thus, I dressed fatwa.

Fatwa,
Wealthy flock, must I relent further
Bomb hills at Al-Aqsa to uncover the doom of life,
Sink the whet rooms of pontifical authority
And it shall be known that I shut at the defense of religion.
Fatwa poet of lyrical composure
Fatwa poet of harmony,
Fatwa poet of soil modeled into abeyance of humanism
Rolled in the charge of insulated blessings shooting as quarks of benevolence.
The smooth symphony of celestial violins.
The whistling poet, the composers of the orchestra’s anthem,
A declaration that infinity should adapt.

Ere, infancy bombarded our innocence and conscience
Locked in the scrolls and stones we collected our thoughts,
As Amir-Al-Akwa, words aided our chaotic self
Rammed in the policies of our kinsmen in the counter explosion of poetry.
Fatwa, what was the reaction of God
Vile as regal, Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
Due blessings were plucked from the intestines of time
Formed from blood peeping from the shards of heavens menstrual window.
Fatwa, did infinity electrons occupy the toes of God
That when he ambled, he lost the elementary substructure
Or was it a cataclysmic force that stole his form?

Fatwa,
The sheath of death awaits me, in dark or light
Beautiful shifts, did you declare the boundaries of purpose
Fatwa,
Did Allah instruct humans boo shun the fellowship of poets
Was it a slip of tongue or an emotional reactionary state?
Fatwa,
As we slaughtered camels in the caves of Bedouin
Was there harkens in the scrotum in heaven?
Fatwa,
In our angular momentum of conquests
Was it an intrinsic revelation and did God endorse such
Or he left us to our means?

But I solemn to chaos fatwa,
Even in the foothold of my emptiness and soulful inadequacy.
I shut at the voluminous chants of praise
Clustered in hymnal prayers, I tremble as shit.
I am a companion of nature
For I realize, peace and silence lurk around me.
Thence, as a rattling wave function,
Did God leap in antisymmetric bounds, shattering in infinity?
Where does the truth lie and is it a chorus
Whose words castrate evil in the loophole of life?
Fatwa!
Fatwa!

If I am the timeless disapproval of the hikmah sought from the clergy
If I am the poetry that enjoins fatwa to similitude of hope,
Let it be known that I digressed from the chroniclers of the holy texts.
Let it be shown that I sought earthly phenomena in my magnetic clasp of life
And I was centered by my gravitational cause of harmony.
Fatwa, like stratum dogma – I reckon the geology of fundamental units of worship.
Fatwa, like subatomic sands of time – I lie in the theology of truth
But fatwa, what is the truth?

Incantations,
Fatwa, delusions and fragmented positions massage my jugular
Thus fatwa, how does God sing?
I bid depart to my scavenged knowledge
Formed from scratching chapters in my cathedral of sin.
I bid depart to my seething contempt
And wonder, did God do the same to me?
Because, behold the gush of minarets in the tempestuous voices of Adhan
Behold the deafening screech of speakers twirled in rumbling voices of church vaults.
I bid depart, fatwa!

© Eddy Ongili 2014

All Rights Reserved

Valhalla (Poetic Fatwa III)

F A T W A

Fatwa
Fatwa poet of death
Fatwa poet computed in the chains of Valhalla,
Fatwa poet of enlightenment

Valhalla poet of the dwelling potency of reward
Marked by the silver sword of destruction,
Rivaled by the crown of perfection.
Valhalla poet of tumbling stars
Stroke from the molars of God,
Biting furiously at the mutation of sin
Livened by the spewing air of existence,
Sought by the flaming tongues, aching fingers and rumbling stomachs

Fatwa
Is Odin God, the Lord in the hall of the fallen?
Or Osiris,
Awakened by the gush of blood?
Is God Yama, the puppeteer of death in Naraka?
Or the seductive grin of Ereshigal in the hidden cosmos?
Fatwa why did God need Cerberus as he floated as Hades while lusting for Persephone
Is representation of evil separated from God?
Is evil God or is God evil?

Valhalla, are you the age of awakening
The birth of virgin stars, the dance on the willows,
The bolstering stamp of authority, the fear
A tribulation for dissenters
Or another illusionary stage of human conscience
Will evolution extinct you to a blind rumor
Or will empirical facts conjure solid hypothesis
When will you resonate globally?
Will you mechanize Antikythera and enlighten us
Is logic dumbfounding and mythology exciting?
Why are we here?

Valhalla who gave powers to fatwa
Who tempered with God’s carnage in the romps of ancient times,
To mild coughing as earthquakes to please his transcendence
Valhalla did fatwa atoms compose God
Thereby construing his image and characters
Or was his flaming heart transplanted by the reigns of darkness
Fatwa, is the illusionary face of Iblis, a scourge or a grimaced painting to mock humans

Fatwa
To the bending of wind tilted at an angle, a flame of gist
To sprouting roots by magic fingers of the soil
Valhalla, how does fatwa convince plants to grow?
Or why does reason insist on presence of worms and foliage
Is the universe an elliptical mystery?
Fatwa, does God roll on the floor in our aridity of conscience
Fatwa, then why is Valhalla a beckoning reality

Fatwa! Fatwa! Fatwa!
We sang songs to Om
We danced to the taps of the sages
And drank particles of dust from saints as fulfillment.
We camped at the door of empiricism searching for meaning
Trying to peek inside the robes of God
To see if he possessed the delicious member of man
Or the femoral valley of a woman,
Then we secretly roused in temperance that His imagination was eccentric.

Now we speak bound by the stones we hammered on Iblis
As they toast gleefully rubbing cheeks with God.
Valhalla, since we found the flames is it a kind of Holocaust
Valhalla, should we strangle Fatwa
Or praise its callous approach and photon spark?

Valhalla, we scrubbed stomachs in Timbuktu in our quest for knowledge,
Speared our fellows in the battle for wisdom in Alexandria & Ethiopia
Ate and drank by the rivers of Africa.
We were pure!
We caught up in the renaissance of Greco-Roman and Arabic sensuality and religion.
Fatwa, did God move at our merciless change of Gods?
Was He jealous and humble as the Christians Shout?
Was he adamant and furious as the defenders of Islam?
Was he comfortable in command as Krishna, Vishnu, Rama and the rest?
Or was he the unfathomable human enlightenment of Buddhism
Or the tongue of Confucianism and Taoism, that uncrushable word of truth
Or the potency of science
Fatwa, how do you join all these?
And why is Valhalla an enemy of Om?

F A T W A

Creatix (Poetic Fatwa II)

Om. Om. Om. Om. Om.
Om. Om. Om. Om. Om.

The poet of many colors
Om. I sing praises to the sky
The rhythm of cosmos
The giant lotus stretching to cover the elliptical galaxy of consummation.
The face of God,
The genome of the feet of God.
Protected by Gabriel in the palisade of Eden
When Iblis puppeted the monstrous rod of man,
To behold the fortress in the femoral valley of Eve.
The composed album of the forbidden fruit.

Om. Om. Om. Om. Om.
Om. Om. Om. Om. Om.

I behold the essence of Lakshmi,
The transcendence beyond imperfection
In the inscrutable womb of Virgin Mary,
Where God revived thyself
As ere Kali trampled upon the rustle of the heavens,
Even as Sekhmet tumbled along the waves of the Nile
Om. Are you the songs of Scotia and Caillech?
Or the silver crowned Coateizene
Or the sumptuous thighs of Aphrodite and Artemis.

Om. Poet of dust particles perfected by fatwa
How did God stand out as one?
How did he form an integer, a bubbling spot from earthly dimensions?
How did he form fatwa?
Fatwa. Poet of uncertainty
Before heavens fucked the earth.
Did tantras hands oil the symbolist member of God?
And was the coming a form of universal multiplicity
Fatwa. Did Gods gametes form Allah, Zeus, Vishnu and the legion of Gods?
Or was God born out of Siddhi, that alienable spiritual power.
Fatwa. Why has God transformed from a chaotic cosmic force,
To a gentle lamb detailed in Logos and realized in Jesus

Fatwa. Poet of life.
Is Om the essential songs of wealth?
That was harvested from the fountain of Kundalini,
The clairaudience, superlucidity, ecstasy and potent power
That the veiled gods decided to share with humans?
Or is it the residue of blackholes that centers our thinking
Or the mathematical prognosis of the universe anatomy

Fatwa. Is Om the chant of the wicked?
The religion of bastardism and blood expertise
Or a lore?
Fatwa. How is it that astrology perfects life
Is it a lunar chart of yore?
That slipped out of Gods safe and treasures
Or a book of guidance
Fatwa. How are we to burn pagan literature?
Or the potency of freemasonry and oligarchy?
When a system devised obliterates the people it serves
Fatwa. How should we sing Om?

Fatwa. Is Om the central speech of God?
Is invocation to the distant lush Eden, the eye of life?
Is the hidden horror in the bowels of the earth’s hell?
Is magma a cosmogony and stamp of hells abilities?
Should we be scared?
Fatwa. Why would God supremeness be questioned
Yet the delight of controversy and fear covers his subjects?
Who made God violent then weaned him to a pacifier
When spears were calibrated on religious superiority
To when God reinvented himself in the lamb.
Was the reinvention a simple gene mutation?
Or was it a change of time, a natural selection
To the forbearance of reason and logical summations
Fatwa. Why would you strike my pen to understand?
Cosmos. God. Nature. And the variants of God

Om. Om. Om.
Poet of life
Om. Om. Om.

Fatwa. How do you touch God?
Do you drown your head in a swamp and draw with your tongue
Do you revive dinosaurs to question them?
Or do you sigh at Sufi dancers perfecting the rhythm of silence
Fatwa. How do you kiss God?
Do you dwell in solitude and soliloquize meditation
Do you light his fury and watch the variegations of his anger
Or do you clench the air and blow a kiss
Fatwa. Is the everlasting a piece of glorification
A destroyer of mitochondrial DNA of reincarnation?
How should we illumine the atomic tongue of God?
Oh fatwa, the poverty of Om runs unsustained.

© Eddy Ongili 2014

All Rights Reserved

Poetry meets YHWY

21

(For all those in crisis between faith
and reason) 

Pour ink, the quills of an individual,
a soul lauded as a poet; for what is gazing at the sky?
Is the sky a misfit ground to belabor pain?
Or is it a template for higher awakening?
Come hither my torn frame,
Tempest, a roar in the seas,
Thence wherewith myrrh or thyme.
For many questions flood my susceptible fragility.
Wince, God did you deceive us.

(God did you deceive us?)

Fragility, you call it a soul.
Pray, tell me the abundance of your ash-tray.
No whistling red owls in midsummer gowns.
Today, I reek in my numerous wars.
Losing battles, gaining scars.
Armored by jaded burnt pages.
But I’m entombed by religious putrid guilt,
Hammered by deluded ‘men of cloak,’ crafty and then silence.

(Am I too ignorant?) 

Here’s a peppered seat, Sit God.
(Sit God?)
Think then, is the poet proud with eccentric idealism, Esotericism!
One of spiritual sex, a sort donned at the tip of your crown.
The poet cannot make a stone dance but marvel.
So I submit my sonnets to Sufi tabs,
Engorging Timbuktu lost sheets in my box voice.
Think, observations blood oceanic and occultist.
Rushdie verses and naked suffering.
Then strike me …
of wilted hidden mysteries,
of construed abundance I know not off.
The poet shatters at infinity, scavenging
Think!
God!
Silence!

Clean Einstein’s dice or swallow it.
Fugitive souls; humanity cries for you,
Arbiter!
It’s quite a battle; destroy pangs of selfish gold,
Enhance Rumi’s and Omar’s atoned posture, as the pious monks.
Detonate the town-friers.
The politician, corrupt, greedy, terrorist and bloodthirsty.
Clean the burning orchards of history.
Razor-blade sand and the people lost by promiscuous swords.
Clean suckered and hexagonal rapists.
Clean Borno, Damascus, Gaza, Lamu …
Watch us destroy each other, fatigued God?
(Fatigued God?)

No rhythm, only doubt and a weary soul.

Fluffed in a donkey’s menial rags,royally torn.
Dappled by ghostly mirrors, seductively tempting.
No reflective hammers. No rhyming submissions.
No end to hallucinations, illusions and
false grandeur.
Then what remains of my tepid frame,
Or my whimpering heart, scorned, scared and cold.

Clean, polish my periphery.
Academicians of science, logical summations.
Clean the geography of my soul’s poverty.
Command, clean malevolence in primal sturdy on your hands.
Clean then, my poesy of humanity.
Professors’ poetry, god tamed frame from abandoned metaphors,
Hence I lurk among shadows of appeasement.

A kick, shuffle.
God. Silence. Roar. Temper. Or
Dance at the feet of your children.
Apologize abandoning that child’s swollen problems.
Literal, as a fable – Act.
Annihilate guilt for freewill is a shared
premise.
I ask having known chaos that sets my skin on inferno.

Today, the poet is a parrot
And God is the melodious pentameters.
Clean then the voice of reason and exist with transcendence
Except for the shroud of uncertainty.
That of whittles of Wheatley and nudists voyagers inspiration.
Perfect us in peace of my feeble understanding.
Carnage romped in the Library of Alexandria,
Springs of Rome, Diners of Palestine and Twinkles of Kenya.
Where cometh the whet of blood and riches?
Clean
God
Speak!

The house of poets,
Fellowships from imagination and experience.
(Fellowships?) 
I reckon the gospel of humanity.
God heighten your ears, now!
Let us gather at the construction of livelihood.
Let it begin with us.
Freedom to live a life of love.
I cry the momentum for humans, peace and love.

© Eddy Ongili 2014

(From the collection ‘Purity of Burnt Pages’)