Contents

Editorial:
Pen, Sword and The Society

Interview:
Nnorom Azuonye
My E-conversation with
Esiaba Irobi

Guest Poet:
Rebecca Steltner
About Steltner

Poems:

Rebecca Steltner
Summer Forgetting
Untitled I
Untitled II
Before falling asleep
Chafed
Unoma Azuah
Vows
Song of the Owl
Nights
In Us
Uduma Kalu
To the unheard voice
A mermaid dance
Evelyn
I am still eager
C. Highsmith-Hooks
When freedom come
Through tainted eyes
The Day The Towers Fell
Uche Nduka
Swear
Gleamings
Turn the key
Slow Feet
Emeka Azuine
Reality World
Oppressenergy
Song for Souls


Feature:
Nnamdi Obioha Azuonye
- Profile of the poet
Nnorom Azuonye
The Freedom Clause: Theme and Meaning
in the poems of
Nnamdi Azuonye

Events & Announcements:
StAnza Poetry Festival
Poetry Competitions

Notes:

Notes on Contributors
Glossary

Back Issues:

January 2003
December 2002

Home

MAGAZINE MONTHLY -- FEBRUARY 2003          ISSN 1479-425X

Interview

Again, the market. Festival. Ritual. Sacrifice. Communion. (Poetry is a spiritual experience!) Public executions. War. Courtship. Love. Childbirth. The tatum tatum or tiko tiko of sexual intercourse! Prayer, invocations, perhaps, are the finest exemplars of true human poetry. Farting is also a good example. Anal blasts. Read most of modern American and British verse and you will understand what I am hinting at here. The poets seem to be farting from their mouths and arses with the same frequency and in the same mass producing position. They think poetry is fish "n" chips or McDonald hamburgers or cocaine or beer. They do not understand what poetry is all about. Poetry which is not connected with the metaphysical will always fail.


How Poetry was born.

In the beginning, there was nothing
Absolutely nothing, no universe, no cosmos,
No galaxies. Only Amadioha,
the god of thunder, lightning and rain,
Amadioha, playing with himself , with his right hand.
Friction of frenzied hand on nodding penis.
Stroking the piston, titillating the glands.
Hoarse breathing. Orgasmic abracadabra.
The big bang. The universe. The cosmos.
The galaxies. Human beings. Ululations!
Imitations of the language of a god playing with himself.
That's how poetry was born.

Nnorom:

You have advocated in several places about the need to see poetry as fundamentally a performative art. Could you shed some light on the relationship between poetry and performance?

Esiaba

Until the tyranny of typography, poetry was fundamentally an oral and aural experience. Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" were all recited by Greek bards amidst empty bottles of wine. "Gassire's Lute" was recited by Malinke warriors and written down by the women. Children in Egypt recite the Koran from cover to cover. Irish seanachies recited whole epics as entertainment for their communities at evensong. It has also been discovered by the Irish that piranhas in the Irish sea do not eat the bodies of drowned poets or fishermen who have memorized huge amounts of poetry. Fish revere such bodies. This means that poetry is a bodily experience, throatal , vocal, gestural, facial, tonal and consistently aspires towards song. This is what T.S.Eliot meant when he said that he wanted his poetry to have the lyricism and musicality of "primitive" poetry. He meant "oral" poetry. (Don't mind the classic ar**hole. He was always a retarded political blockhead who mangled verse like an idiot. His initials are an anagram for toilets.) Every modern poet, my mother used to say, is a frustrated musician.


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poetry is a bodily experience, throatal , vocal, gestural, facial, tonal and
consistently
aspires towards song. This is what T.S.Eliot meant when he said that he wanted his
poetry to have the lyricism and musicality of "primitive"
poetry. He meant "oral" poetry.
- Irobi