poems

Online Magazine Monthly July 2003  Issue #8

ISSN 1479-425X

Esiaba Irobi's "Kingdom Of The Mad"

Cover Page

Stephen Vincent
Poems from Walking

Interview
My e-Conversation With Stephen Vincent
by Nnorom Azuonye

Emman Usman Shehu
Two Poems

Robert John Helms
Reflections of Spring

Esiaba Irobi
Kingdom of the Mad

Past Issues

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But I continue to sing,
B.J., because, as you know so well,  it is only the homing pigeon
who has left the loft  and journeyed forth, and returned, bloodied
and brained  in the skull,  pebbled in wing and beak,
who recites anew the myth of the land.

VI
Join me Odia Ofeimun, you who were once a poet,
a fine poet, whose favourite poet  is himself .
You promised us , at the Anthill,  to write us an epic titled:
Go Tell the Generals. Where is that great epic?

Who are the publishers? Why do I not have it in my hands?
Reciting it like a mantra  with a rage and an energy
close to violence could have saved me this labour,
this despair, since I know the power of your gifted hand.

Odia, where is that great epic? Or have you  published
and launched it between the thighs of a thousand white women
across whose smiling thighs, thumping groins and
applauding pelvises we all seem only able  to writhe these days?

Join me Benjamin Okri, you who refused to send me a little money
out of the Booker prize to pay my rent in Liverpool.
Ah, the brotherhood of man. My bank manager was looking
for me all over Liverpool with a shot gun and two men
wielding lead pipes at the time I sent that SOS.
So join me in this incantation that wards off evil spirits at home
or in exile: In London or at Cambridge. The flames of the torches
we once carried in our hands are now succulent scallops
in which the wind dips his magic tongue again and again
and smiles and smacks  his lips  so redolent with sweet pussyjuice.

Join me Femi Osofisan, from your office in Ibadan.
As I told you at Leeds, the Monsters of the Deep
are still feeding on my soul like the teeth of a thousand
piranhas. Femi, I hope when I die,  someone will stand
at my graveside and recite  with a tremulous voice,
this  epitaph: We have gathered here today, in Aba
to mourn a stubborn poet called Esiaba, who deeply believed
that there comes a time in every poet's career when he or she must
have the guts to call a cunt a cunt even if it is his own fucked-up cuntry.

I spit upon a country so full of wealth. Yet millions wallow
in squalor and in want. I spit upon the flag that flaps like a rag
above the kingdoms of the mad. And while I spit, Femi,  I weep….

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