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Saturday, August 17, 2013

While ASUU Dilly-Dallies

While ASUU dilly-dallies
Making demands that make our eyes
Pop like corn

And FG shilly-shallies
Dragging her feet like a coy mistress

Let's boogie-woogie

Friday, August 9, 2013

When Power Goes Out

In the place where I grew up, power is like salt. When it rains she melts. After each thunderstorm, we knew that, just like a petulant girlfriend, she must have packed her bags and journeyed and wouldn't be returning for weeks, leaving us in darkness.

Mummy would send Junior and I to go and buy blocks of ice from the factory in Azikiwe Road to keep the food in the freezer cold. One day at the factory, I placed money on the table of the woman who sold ice. She counted it and tossed the money back at me.

"You did not read the announcement at the gate?" She asked.
"Which announcement?"
"Oh,small girl like you is asking me cross-question, ehn?"
I looked at her angry face. She would have been beautiful if she wasn't chewing gum like she was and if she hadn't shaved off her eyebrows and drawn eye pencil as if with a ruler.

I and Junior got to the gate and read the paper glued to it:


We walked back home and told mummy. Mummy wasn't happy.
"Ah ah," she said. "Very soon they will start charging the head of John The Baptist for just a block of ice. May God save us in this country."

There were a plethora of other unhappy circumstances that arrived in the wake of power's long sojourn in her new boyfriend's place: no Tom and Jerry by 4pm after school; no Super Story by 8pm on thursdays. We wouldn't be able to turn our morning tea to ice-cream and Uncle Uwadiegwu would put on his blue catapult generator and play loud Celine Dion songs when his annoying fiancee came visiting, suffering the ears of everyone in the yard.

I remember a time he had turned off his generator and everyone shouted, "Thank God!". He got angry and rushed to the filling-station to get more litres of petrol and he left it on for so long....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Trust calls aloud in the streets
She raises her voice in the public squares:

"Don't you get it?
No man can earn me
I speak from the stance of one
Who has come to see man
For what he really is:


I am a gift to be given
Not a prize to be won."

Monday, August 5, 2013

Men From Amongst Us

They are not aliens from Neptune
Neither are they strange guests from Mars
I know the woman
Who bore the man
Whose rear end
seats in power

Was my neighbour
Whose little daughter
Shared a stick of biscuit
With my little brother

Time and chance happened to him
He woke and found himself in power
But the decietfulness of riches
Left a good man salivating
Rapacious like an open grave

They are from among us
Good daddies that bought their kids ice-cream
That sang them lullabies
That took them to the movies

But time and chance happened to him
He woke one day and found himself in power
And the decietfulness of riches
Left a good man salivating
Rapacious like an open grave.

Image source:alams-cartoon.jpg

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dear John

Dear John,

She likes her breakfast warm: oats or cereal with three slices of wheat bread. For oats, she likes it salted, and for cereal, she likes to have it with a lot of evaporated milk.

You are the kind of man that would serve a woman breakfast in bed, I presume. I was not. I am not. And I do not foresee me becoming one. For this cause and a multitude more she left. This was the bane of our love affair, the reason for all the acrimony our union suffered: my person was just not wired with such romantic tendons.

Send roses to her work place and if you want to be a little extravagant, toss in bars of chocolate. I did this once or twice when that hurt look crept into her eyes; when her responses to my "Good mornings" were just a muffled "mmmhn"; when she would whimper so long in her sleep for no reason at all; when I knew her heart was drifting from me.

The roses I sent did no good in our case however, and I love to liken the belated gesture to placing a bunch of red flowers on the tomb of someone you love. They loved you once but they are gone, far gone to lift the roses to their nostrils, to smile as they smell the scents.

Now that her eyes shine and dance with desire for you, now she has walled you up in the innermost parts of her heart, it is wise you maximise the moment. I have spent residency in her heart, and I know its labyrithine routes. But at some time, my life got hectic. I felt our affair had grown to maturity and that we could overlook each others vagaries. Sadly, I lost my map and groped like a child who has lost its mother at the marketplace.

I bumped into her at the bar a fortnight ago. She sat at a table for two, glowing under the red light. You were using the rest room, she said and I was glad I was beered up enough to face her and she was in such a good mood to face her pestilencial burden. Thankfully she held back the venom in her tongue custom made for me, but the way she stared at me could curdle milk; a man in coma could have awoken by the tension between us.

But she looked good, I must confess. No longer beleaguered by her catalogue of woes. I am surprised she found the time to smear on make-up. You must be doing a good job, fella.

How do you find her nightly need to chit-chat before sleep? How do you find her snoring? In the heydays of our affair, it sounded like a sweet symphony until the fire flies died in my eyes and it became the blaring of an elephant's trumpet. How do you find her watery egusi soup? Has she taken your name to Pastor for divine confirmation?

Call me when she bores you.
I will write you again.