i do not know
how to lure souls
from dead songs

how to imbibe loss
how to inscribe intercourse
on the latrine floor

i do not know
the eleventh thing
about God

that neglect comes
with moons of rust

but this is home
where it is safe
to serrate sugarcane

and from your nose
pick mucus with toes…

where it is safe
to forget naked
soles on gorse

maybe watch blood
drizzle from wet ghosts…


i do not know
how to play-fore
how to unknot
the sign
of the cross
how to filter
with a hoax

maybe cuddle
from dusk to dust
‘til the wind
bids us part

but this is home
where we doff
our hearts before
we fart

where love is
too late a road
to roam



Post image by Jim Chuchu via African Digital Arts

About the Author:

Portrait - AnoweJK Anowe was born in Nigeria in 1994. He’s presently a degree student of the department of foreign languages in the University of Benin, Nigeria. He speaks English and French fluently, with a spattering of Igbo. He writes/edits poems/short stories for Parrot, a magazine run by the aforementioned university. He’s working on his first collection of poems.

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “Lament | by JK Anowe | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Celestine Chimmumunefenwuanya Victorson 2015/07/22 at 3:02 pm #

    A few lines that Flow with power down the floor of the soul. You are gifted dear poet.

  2. Fred L.Joiner 2015/08/02 at 3:38 pm #

    nice piece, surprising language and fresh images.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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