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Vol.3. No. 4. July - September 2010





Afam Akeh
Andy Willoughby
Claire Girvan
Christian Ward
Derek Adams
Esiaba Irobi
Hannah Lowe
Hunter Liguore
Ikechukwu Obialo Azuonye
Karunamay Sinha
Kate Horsley
Laura Solomon
Lookman Sanusi
Malcolm Bray
Mark Lewis
Moa-Aaricia Lindunger
N Quentin Woolf
Nina Romano
Nnorom Azuonye
Norbert O. Eze
Olu Oguibe
Pius Adesanmi
Robert Lee Frazier
Toyin Adepoju
Uche Nduka
Wayne Scheer
Zino Asalor

Edited by

Andy Willoughby

and Bob Beagrie


I KNOW A FUCKED UP ENGLISHMAN as clever as a fox

who does the mischief that is done in everybody's heart

anywhere we gather to celebrate the festival of Ogun.

No one ever sees blood on his fangs but we all know,

deja vu, that everytime Ogun is rimmed or nibbled in the arse,

it, most certainly, is by his imperial majesty, King James IV.

 - (excerpt from 'King James Version' by Esiaba Irobi in Why I Don't Like Philip Larkin & Other Poems)




The Returning

(To Esiaba Irobi)


Buried behind blinking seas
Of fire
Is a glance that beckons,
Death-cries of a Lion
Teasing the hyena's gut
Yet retreat in a twirl
A giggling seduction

Seeds of your sowing
Sprung from my soil, questions
The sort of a setting sun
Turning her back, returning
Already sure
Of my speechlessness

Hearts must be brave in wars
Of life, I know; but glints
Of bow'd arrows reveal
Crimes un-committed
My feet remember
Another law of war
The lore of Gomorrah'n
Candle sticks that dared trap
Quills of wind in their eyes

So I flee, a free man
With slave chains to cotton 
Fields; the cracking whips of
Eternal tutelage

Who are we but as errant ships
Sailed from the ports of mercy
Calling onto the other
As to a mother, and you are
The rain that relieves the cloud
The howl of the moon that excites the sea

Sequestered in questions,
Conundrums burst open
Coconut water of undiscovered selves
Penning shadows on pale pages by day
Pilfering snatches into 
Drooping eyes of your night

Are you all one, cocooned 
In this caves of wonder, teeth
Of the same slanted smile?
You smile as though
It was you who first discovered wine

Cast away in the corner rooms
Of maybes, struck in mid-speech
Like eyes caught in the fishing nets
Of Calliope's bust
Your genius illumines the shadowed
Places of my heart

Reeking of inchoate
Desires and shameless thirsts
For the punch of your gin
To which no throat replies
The caress of vines that stable
Drunken tremors of a life without

When all that remains is
Tar stains on Life's aged lips
When all left behind is
Ashy tendrils rippling
Through the desert dunes of Heaven's gates

Who. Will. Tell. Your. Story?




Zino Asalor studied Computer Science at the University of Benin and has gone on to become a Network Engineer as well as an Entrepreneur. No matter where he runs, the shadow of words, both written and spoken is never far. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry, The Diary That Became Man and other poems. Also in view is his novel, Tell Me Something


SPQ #2





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