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

What is poetry , if its worth its salt
But the bread that men can pass
from mouth to mouth
From hand to hand, across the centuries,
When systems have decayed…
when the prisoner circles his prison cell
chewing the one leaf whose music will outlast…

I forget the rest. But will check it out tonight.

Also read Zbeignew Herbert's poem: Episode in Library . It articulates most vividly and dramatically how poetry commits suicide in departments of English Literature all over the world. On the pages on the New York Book Review and Times Literary Supplement. Happily, there is a rumour going around that departments of English literature will soon be closed down or submerged under cultural studies. What a happy day that will be. It will teach the academic motherf**kers to ossify a living art in between the pages of a book with notes hanging out like the paragraphs of their own genitalia when they open their thighs like the pages of the books. 

Nnorom

Some poems are undeniably attempts by poets the exorcise personal demons. Other poems are just opinions written in a self-conscious, self-important fashion prescribing interactional models for the society. What do you think is the highest motivator of poets? What makes you, for instance write a poem and what factors influence your choices of subjects and the way you treat them?

Esiaba

If it was not for poetry I would have been in prison, in the asylum or in the grave by now.

The primary mechanism of poetry I believe is that it is a facility that allows you to live out the contradictions of your life , to balm the restlessness of the human spirit through language and imagination. So many things can trigger of the poetic process. The bitterness of exile. Memories. Memories of an ugly place like Nigeria, the only country in the world that has existed since independence without a government. Maicuntri, the ultimate miracle of the twentieth and the twenty-first century.

Other catalytic factors for great poetry include, a cantankerous girlfriend,. an unfaithful lover. A stupid or absent-mined penis that refuses to rise to the occasion unless you light a black candle and a stick of sasarobia incense. . These are all little irritations that can trigger off the mechanism for writing poetry.

There was a time when I wrote my best poems with full erections. That was when I was walking on the forthcoming collection : The Cry of Orgasm which as you will see when it is published later this year is full of spunk. Then, at a time I could only write when I was depressed. Why I Don't Like Philip Larkin came that way. I was broken open again by pain in Great Britain where everything rhymes with pain. Friend, the four years I lived in Liverpool were the four saddest years of my entire life.


Continue

The primary mechanism of poetry I believe is that it is a facility that allows you to live out the contradictions of your life , to balm the restlessness of the human spirit through language and imagination.
- Irobi