Book of Flowers – Entry # 1

Infatuation (infatuātiō)

A perfect name for a flower that cannot live beyond the dusk of its first and only dawn. It has the look of a rose, a foolish rose. But it takes on the posture of poppies. The petals are thin. At the slightest touch of the wind, it flaps like a possessed dervish. The petals are broad and red. The red, however, is deeper than a bright red rose.  The red is garish and scorching like a fire. In this foolish extravagance of color, it burns itself out right after midday and turns a sickly yellow. As twilight showers the dying day with the last bit of gold left in the sun, Infatuation is a sad, wilted grey. As far as smells go, a whiff is enough. Anything more could make the average stomach sick. There is never an ideal condition for this flower. It blooms wherever. Nothing can keep it from dying. No amount of watering or misting or moisting or sunlight can save it from itself. To fertilize it is to quicken its death.

Calendar of Care: In the summer, plant in baskets hanging from the attic ceiling and keep far from the window sill. Save the dead plant for the winter. Repot and expose to drafts and early frosts.

 

 

 

Photo Credit : Lunch Box

Tags: , ,

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.

5 Responses to “Book of Flowers – Entry # 1” Subscribe

  1. PJ 2011/10/10 at 17:13 #

    I love how your write.

  2. Ainehi 2011/10/10 at 17:20 #

    Thanks P!

  3. okul siirleri 2011/10/11 at 13:50 #

    Other poems you would like to see on your Web site, thank you from Adana okullari.

  4. Ose 2011/10/19 at 21:19 #

    I love this, there is a blur between the flower itself and the emotion called infatuation. The two merge at some point and become one.It’s like a play on words. Well done!

  5. admin 2011/10/19 at 22:23 #

    Thanks Ose!

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.

Archives

Lesley Nneka Arimah Picked for the US National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” List

Lesley Nneka Arimah has been picked for the US National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” list of 2017, on the […]

The Photographer as an Osprey | John “Lighthouse” Oyewale | Essay

On 30 June, we published Work Naija: The Book of Vocations, an anthology of writing and visual art that explores the […]

Zukiswa Wanner Calls Out Misogyny in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, Takes on Politicians and the Media

Zukiswa Wanner has called out misogyny in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, taking on politicians and the media in the […]

Dinaw Mengestu and Nadifa Mohamed Have New Work in Freeman’s Magazine

Nadifa Mohamed

Dinaw Mengestu and Nadifa Mohammed both have new fiction forthcoming in the new fourth issue of Freeman’s magazine. Titled “The Future […]

The Brittle Paper Literary Awards: New Date for the Announcement of Winners

The announcement of the winners of the inaugural Brittle Paper Literary Awards was scheduled for 23 September 2017. However, a change […]

The Reviews Are In! | Namwali Serpell Has High Praise for Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-4.57.42-PM-e1505944728679 copy

Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is one of the hit novels of 2017. A historical drama, it tells the story of an 18th […]