The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction 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

refracts

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

 

so?

 

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

 

naked

 

About the Poet

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

Image: "Torrevieja Lady" by Les Halnes.