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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




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


like conquering kingdom of erosion

straddled across tarmac.


Town Planning, Mobil, Oni and Sons:

I lost the loss of presence to


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

to be born goat,



Oshodi, Along, Iyana Dopemu:

The way to love is paved with tar

with scarred pimples mimicking in


dimples. Adulterating this affection is

a selfie, self-absorbed,



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.

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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.

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

  1. Carl Terver October 1, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I love this. Language is fluid, permeating..

  2. Amin October 2, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    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 October 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

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

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