Things I Taught You

Time flies.
Days turn to night,
Or is it the other way
I’ve lost track of time,
Or am I wrong?

Like rugby,
Things I Taught you,
A scrum, bodies entangled
You found it funny.
I found it rough. You
Said it’s because I like
to be different. I think not.
Maybe I am wrong, or you.
In my couch, us alone
I pull up the Haka, the
One they call the greatest
The one their opponents
Encircle them. You find
It weird. I think so too.
You tube is like that,
Not the most romantic thing,
But we get it. It’s the third time
You’ve said we are weird

It’s Sunday.
My bell rings.
You are done with church
It should be you. But,
It’s not. You won’t be coming,
Not like last week, or the other
week, or the one before.
This is the new us, coming
home without seeing you.

Like Hamilton,
Things I Taught you.
You said I love different.
I don’t think so.
If you miss out on
childhood scrums, you’d
Love speed. Like me.
You agree, you say it’s why
I nearly killed myself four
years ago, driving at brake-
neck speed. I say it’s life
You agree again. We always
do, except when it comes
to change—change for you.
What does that mean? DRS
zone? Monte Carlo, I told you.
We’d be happy there, that’s
change beyond prying eyes.
A knock—on my gate.
It can’t be someone we know.
Covers can’t be blown
Until we make a decision
To turn the corner or miss the
chicane. You hit the barriers,
To taunt me? Or haunt you?

Like Golf,
Things I Taught you.
I told you Tiger once hit an Eagle
Down the fairway, then a bogey.
You told a friend here is
the route to my place.
“How did you know?” she asked
You hit a birdie!
Hours later you’d tell me,
And we’d laugh at her,
Our secret. None will
Know, or maybe I’m wrong.
Your friend told you:
Can you live with that? A godless man!
Somewhere a nail, somewhere a
Coffin, then a man with a cross.
You can live with that. You made
for him. And sealed our fate.

Like Poetry,
Things I Taught you.
The night we realized we weren’t
Colleagues. I sent a poem
W.B. Yeats, the one that sounds
Like your name. Clothes of heaven.
You said you don’t like poetry,
But you got that. Deep into the
Night, holding off the sleep
“but I being poor have only my dreams
And I have spread them under your feet
Thread softly because you thread on my dreams” Yeats. Or me.
I may be wrong.
Night turns to day.
Love turns into hate.
I didn’t say that,
Or did I?




The image in the post is an adapted version of a photograph by Whit Andrews via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - EbirimEbirim Danvictor Anozie is a physician specializing in cardiology. He graduated from the University of Calabar medical school and currently works at University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers state. His non medical interests are Chess, Astrophysics, and literature. He is currently working on an anthology of poems.

Tags: , , ,

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.

3 Responses to “Things I Taught You | by Danvictor Ebirim | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Jeffery Arial 2016/07/20 at 8:21 pm #

    Impressive. This is the first truly post modern poem by an African I have read in a while. The author shuns the well known style employed by most African poets.
    The juxtaposition of different events to tell a compelling story of love and loss is refreshing.
    The imagery of the love interest sealing the coffin of their love is striking.
    It is at times sad, at other times almost erotic.

    Criticism: a tad longer than necessary, but it works.
    More attempt at lyricism may have helped, but I guess the author intentionally left that.

  2. Sunday Ozoemena 2016/07/25 at 10:13 am #

    “Things I taught you” is very relatable to anyone young . Or once was. And it’s told in a very contemporary way that the past fuses with the current and the immediate past to elicit and sustain attention .it is not just Things I taught you. It is also things she taught me. Happily or sadly, those will never die. Not even with future teachings. This Stands out among the rest.

  3. Constant Ngozi 2016/07/25 at 10:54 am #

    I rarely read long poems these days but I read this. All of it. And it was worth the while. I didn’t say that. Or did I?

Leave a Reply

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


What to Listen to After Reading Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers


Imbolo Imbue’s Behold the Dreamers is one of the most talked about African novels. The novel tells the story of Jende […]

13 ways Nigeria’s Literati Greeted Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Win | by Olaoluwa Oni


By Swedish consensus, Bob Dylan has “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” and a literature prize […]

A Little Judgement | by Michael E. Umoh | An African Story


HOW DO YOU SAVE A LIFE? You go out and buy puff-puff. It began like this: I was walking towards […]

Uniben Boy in Berlin | By Oris Aigbokhaevbolo


  I Beset by love, lust, and other forms of collegial companionship at the University of Benin, my friends and […]

A Book About Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds


Congrats to Yemisi Aribisala! Her essay collection on Nigerian food and culinary culture is set for an October 31 release. […]

Chimamanda Adichie Had a Christian Dior Moment


Head of Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri made a bold statement at her catwalk show in the beautiful gardens of the […]