Four Poems

All images by Rosie Olang
The New Romantics

No one forced you to stand in those queues.
You did it yourself.
You were brothers on those queues, you were sisters on those queues, and mothers, and fathers, sons and daughters.
You queued to vote.
There you were in the company of strangers with joy leaping out of your throat and wrapping itself around everybody. Your wide open mouth discharged flocks of twittering sunbirds ready to feast on the fragrant nectar of your laughter.
You forgot the lesson your mother taught you, never open your heart to strangers. Now see; these strangers are as familiar as family.

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Two Poems

The Old Guitarist
(for N, at Pasara)
The narrow stairwell winds up in dim light
while pop culture, frozen in time, watches
or averts it gaze- smoking, dreaming:
Pulp Fiction, Boulevard of Broken Dreams,
Lady Day and them.

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one never imagines to find their body
as part of the night revisions of a poet’s
imagination. yet here i am, living
next to an abandoned cemetery —
the cemeteries of Uswazi have their own lives
outside city council ideals — living outside
& inside the place you’ve come to call conditional.

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Drawing Lines

For Troy and Chibuihe
I’ve got pigeons in my roof
a friend was robbed the other day
in Nairobi, gun shoved to his ribs
— of law books, money and Arundhati Roy

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A Series of Solitudes

Translated by Roland Glasser
Solitude 61
in my belly there writhes a river,
wretched and lazy, vast and dirty, nasty and bleak,
a river in (advanced) state of dysentery …
Solitude 71
jittery like a dog (?)
bored is the river all day long
whining without knowing why
whining since Babel, since old Noah and his flood
since the prophet Ezekiel, since Sister Abigail …
its snot describes an absurd longevity …

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Deuteronomy or Book of Dust

An excerpt from ‘The Poet of Dust’
in the pantheon of words
P         O         E        T          R        Y               R           U           L           E            S

                                                                                                    in the pantheon of words

POETRY is the wind, the clouds of fragrance, the breeze, the breath of GOD, foul odour, the rotten smell of truth, the monstrous phallus, scrotum of the inner corridors of the vagina, luscious liquids, delicious meal, firm buttocks, inviting thighs, episodic fragments of LUST in love, the secrets of the aphrodisiac, the KAMASUTRA of words, the katap, the kitip, the kurup, the expansion of ambitious climes, the white teeth of the brown ZEBRA, the innocence of

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