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Art will not survive
in a house like this


A dictator sits on a terrace chair
and considers the years;
he lets the soothing Shabaz
wash over him
and the forgiveness of wine


A poet awakens from the third reverie
and puts Cohen’s
Tower of Songs
on repeat


And thinks of the hills of Awo-Ekiti
the old stone churches by the road
built by forgotten stone carvers.
And that house without pretense:
two windows, one door
wearing its dust smile and its rusty hat
like a national pride.
The silly coronation of cooking pots
how to hold them again.


But Dictators die disappointingly
in their sleeps
in the middle of
exotic belly dancing routines
or in tunnels hiding from full Sirte moons,
not like men at all.
And terror deflates suddenly
like a punctured balloon
in a giddy child’s hands
his mouth still full of sucked in air.


This poet with her capacity for the infinite
and time on her hands becomes perverse.
She revisits the house without pretense,
and takes commemoration selfies.


…art will survive this, no?
And all of its houses
and all of its voyeurs.


Post Image: pictures of a Moroccan town called Chefchaouen where all the walls are painted blue. Images by salahmah. See more photos HERE


About the Author:

kechi-nomu-portraitKechi Nomu writes from Warri, Nigeria. She recently took part in the first regional FEMRITE/AWDF non-fiction writing workshop. Her works have appeared in Saraba Magazine and elsewhere. 


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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.

2 Responses to “Seven Letters to a Poet From Another Time | by Kechi Nomu | A Poem” Subscribe

  1. Oyin Oludipe September 5, 2014 at 3:48 am #


    Am I falling in love?



  1. Featured in: | knnebuchi - February 27, 2016

    […] Poem in Brittle Paper On Art, Dictatorships and Selfies […]

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