the poet in port Harcourt (part i)

In which award winning #Kenyan poet, Clifton Gachagua, ruminates on Nigeria. He recently visited #PortHarcourt, the World Book Capital 2014. He is a member of #Jalada and #Africa39

The Drums Of Shostakovich

my grandmother’s head, wet with blood and incoherence, sits under my bead,

all this time, myself and some friends, waiting for maulidi, walking in black sand, saying, this is how

to love your people. me walking on any kind of bridge to get rid of her head,

the weight of it on my back, language time and fatality, a premonition, like a bag of wild mangoes, or

the taste of snails in lime water, me saying this is the bridge we must walk over,

your head heavy, your kikuyu unreadable, your love for my mother unknowable,

the ocean too far for me to fling this thing, this head, the river black and unmoving.

and all my friends will see the thing I carry – your head in a backpack –

the quiet homage to a friend who says, ‘I love you’. what does medusa dream of?

how is it that…

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