Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

14613005894_6f4644ea01_z

My Corner of Town

Houses in my corner of town

have lost shape long before

obesity became ill health

Tell Iya Mujidat her house

has lost all affection for me

and I for it.

 

Water marks on these lowly ceilings

slowly broadening

in opposite direction to the shrinking of Lake Chad trace the speed of my stationary life.

 

Tell Iya Mujidat her house looks like her:

Sprouting mosses the color of faded tar

embarrassing secrecy in unwashed crevices

home to cobwebs way past their expiry date: dust.

 

These bathrooms: ecosystems to lichens,

debilitating in slippery verdant splendor.

 

This is not rock bottom

It is death with swollen feet:

Hobo of no gender

Beautiful walls with soot like the witch’s at Endor.

 

My Corolla

running, with feet at the speed of joyful patter

of toddler at sight of mama,

towards me from the land

of daydreams where it once called home

is broken

down,

axle

broken,

fuel tank.

 

Is there on V-connect companies

that provide tow trucks with audacity

to pull out my dog-eared Toyota

from the land of daydream dwindling in hope

to dusk to this Lagos of sooting dust?

 

The houses at my corner of town

are out of shape…

Lean, my pocket tells me so.

 

Bus-Stops and Philosophy

Westminster, Coconut, First gate:

Time will tell if junctions deserve

the respect to slap buses

stop

like conquering kingdom of erosion

straddled across tarmac.

 

Town Planning, Mobil, Oni and Sons:

I lost the loss of presence to

familiarity.

The end of the goat isn’t the knife. It is

to be born goat,

bleat.

 

Oshodi, Along, Iyana Dopemu:

The way to love is paved with tar

with scarred pimples mimicking in

minutiae

dimples. Adulterating this affection is

a selfie, self-absorbed,

entirely.

**********************

Post Image by Chez Chike-Udenze via Flicker. 

 

About the Author: 

roland-akpeRoland Ndu Akpe finds living in Lagos a sore chore. He is too busy, in banking, to write about it. Performing poetry and reading poetry he likes on SoundCloud is something he enjoys. He writes fitfully, is sure he is not alcohol-dependent and does not have a collection of short stories or poems ready for publication by May next year, or any other May. Maybe.

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.

3 Responses to “My Corner of Town | By Roland Ndu Akpe | A Poem” Subscribe

  1. Carl Terver 2014/10/01 at 11:49 #

    I love this. Language is fluid, permeating..

  2. Amin 2014/10/02 at 06:49 #

    i like it
    i would like it to have a point a direction though seems depressing what about the strength of the house to still be standing .despite all this dirt the beauty and the confidence of your girl to take selfies and bombard people with them showing the world that …dfdkfds. uknw

  3. tomiwa 2014/10/11 at 18:11 #

    Very Rolandish* i.e clever. I’d love to hear the spoken version. Sure that’d would beat the pleasure of reading it myself.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

On Confessional Schizo-Poetry and Finding Meaning: In Conversation with JK Anowe, Winner of the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Poetry

jk anowe - graph

JK Anowe, a Nigerian-born poet, holds a BA in French from the University of Benin, Nigeria, where he was awarded […]

Photos | Pages & Palette Hosts Reading of Frankie Edozien’s Lives of Great Men in Abuja

Lives of Great Men - Frankie Edozien at Pages & Palette -- photo by Victor Adewale (9)

Last December, Abuja bookstore Pages & Palette hosted a reading of Chike Frankie Edozien’s memoir Lives of Great Men. Published […]

Mauritanian Blogger Mohamed Mkhaïtir Has Now Been in Jail for 5 Years

mohamed mkhaitir

In December 2013, Mauritanian blogger Mohamed Mkhaïtir wrote a blogpost criticizing his country’s government for using religion to discriminate against minorities. […]

Read Chapter One of Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities

an orchestra of minorities - graph

Chigozie Obioma’s second novel An Orchestra of Minorities was published this January. As part of The Summer Library’s “selected extracts from […]

Laila Lalami’s Fourth Novel, The Other Americans, Is a Family Saga, a Murder Mystery, and a Love Story

laila lalami - alchetron - graph

Laila Lalami’s new novel is forthcoming on 26 March 2019 from Pantheon, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The 320-page […]

Thursday’s Children: 11 Contributors to Forthcoming Anthology Discuss Experimentation and the Nature of Creative Nonfiction

thursday's children - graph

Thursday’s Children is a forthcoming anthology of personal essays. Co-edited by Adams Adeosun and Bello Damilare, it comes with an […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.