The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Emmanuel Iduma: 1 Poem Published

Poems by Emmanuel Iduma (Nigeria)

Published in issue 40 of                   The Ofi Press





Staring into Monochrome                                                                                  


After Victor Ehikhamenor’s Adam and Eve


Into monochrome

to find the balance of a voice

I know all things precise must exist

within the lines of a distinctive moment


walking in Ile-Ife

I stared at black bats hanging overhead

and figured they were white misfits

jutting in every direction

yet bearing intricate uniformity


One eye unfolds into another

one circle enveloping its kinfolk

the world around refrains


is testimony

is memory’s scaffold


the first man

the first woman naked

in a recurring world


the artist sees that his nakedness

like everyone else’s

is dangling




public gaze

cannot shun him


he draws it

strings that light bathroom bulbs


pubic hair of history

strands of nature


Like saying in a collective voice

You wear your father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s face

and the artist will respond




he’s moving in a Lagos bus

sitting 49  standing 99

all face and suffering are same


the blank canvas is the voice of a multitude lines

a few lies

it stretches into a dream with nameless figures


The is the outline of 170 million hearts

collected into truncated solitudes

happy sad moments

in the city’s bus


A monochrome crowd is seeking attention


Language must be these grey figurines

that foreshadow incoherence

their arrogant liveliness

their portent harmony


The wedlock of primordial gods

that limp in brokenness behind European sensibilities

the burning pew of brandished Pentecostalism


A rush of lines to the head


The artist knows the world is not flat

its edges have no stretcher bars


things fall apart

for the sake of convenience


we are swimming in a paint bucket

male and female

in the middle of the garden




About the Poet

Emmanuel Iduma is a writer of fiction and art criticism, an editor, and a cultural operator. More:

Image: "Torrevieja Lady" by Les Halnes.