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Anefiok Akpan - Teteatete

Here you are, gazing suspiciously at me!
Or perhaps it’s the patches of words
I wobbled upon on the eve of last year.

What really brings us together now,
Your desire to listen or mine to speak?
Perhaps we could do both, if you come closer.

So alone now—me and you! Distance, lost—
Time, paused—only prints of your sliding gasps
Tells me secretly of your swelling curiosity.

So while you ponder cuddling these pebbled words,
Curious friend, though far, words comprehend no end,
Long I heard they walked the breath of the earth!

Make no mistake, I see you, as you see me,
For deep down inside, beyond the hugs of logic,
The mind is all seeing, if truly words are gods-

And yes, they are! For I have seen phrases
That ordered genocides and nouns that sealed graves,
Heard moaning dialects between cleavages
And tenacious monologues that stirs revolutions,
For in the beginning was the word and the word is you!

So in the absence of distance as you know it,
Say something to me gently and listen tenderly-
For my reply is between this comma, and your smile.


Anefiok Akpan 4We are excited to kick off our poetry section with this softly evocative and flirty piece by Anefiok Akpan, an unpublished Nigerian poet.

A graduate of the University of Ibadan where he studied advertising, Anefiok currently works as a part time Copywriter and Social Media Analyst at the Nigeria Centenary Project.

Anefiok speaks Hausa, Yoruba, Ibibio, Efik and English. He loves traveling and meddling in people affairs and is an aspiring photographer. He is the 2008 winner of The Wole Soyinka/Dapo Adelugba Prize for Literature.

Twitter: @Anefiok





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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

2 Responses to “BRITTLE PAPER POET: “Tête-à-tête” by Anefiok Akpan” Subscribe

  1. Hamza June 13, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    wow.. this looks good… its almost like its talking to me…but am a guy though…can only imagine how a girl would feel…
    crazy how a poem from a stranger feels so personal.. well written.. is he on twitter…

  2. Ainehi Edoro June 13, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Thanks Hamza.

    Anefiok’s twitter handle is @Anefiok

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