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."

22107582171_9e17b641ab_k (1)

IN Calabar, night falls solemnly:
the lulling feets of homegoers call to me,
the smell of exhaustion permeates the streets,
calling to me a remembrance of childhood
now lost in the murkiness of memory.
They retire with the chickens here in Calabar.
Sometimes, my mind strolls through these empty streets,
my feet becoming the feet of pedestrians,
my voice becoming the cackles of hawkers,
my soul filling with the desperation of taxi drivers,
and I laugh the strained laughter of that madman.
Sometimes, I breathe their loneliness which hangs in the air;
their sweat drips into my pores,
smelling of frustration and regret,
and I labour their daily labours.

IN Calabar, day rises slowly:
a revival of urgency awakens the masses,
they all go pecking for distant fortunes –
for happiness only exists in our dreams.
Sometimes, I stroll aimless through these crowded streets,
searching for a resemblance of remembrance,
in the faces of the crowd,
but something different lives with us with the birth of daylight:
someone different;
and with blighted clarity
I realize:
We die every time we wake up.




Post image by Brian Harries via Flickr.

About the Author:

IMG-20160223-WA0003-1Emmanuel Etop Idem is a student of Microbiology at University of Calabar. He enjoys reading poetry and listening to all genres of music and playing amateur chess.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Someone Different | By Emmanuel Etop Idem | A Poem” Subscribe

  1. Catherine O 2017/02/22 at 06:29 #

    Powerful imagery – thanks

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.

Monthly Newsletter!

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


The Caine Prize Is Alright. Right?


Something is happening at the Caine Prize. Here at Brittle Paper, our role has been to support African literary institutions […]

Chike Frankie Edozien’s Lives of Great Men Is a Finalist for the 2018 Publishing Triangle Awards

lives of great men copies

Chike Frankie Edozien’s Lives of Great Men is a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Awards, in the Randy Shilts Award […]

Freedom | Sobantu Mzwakali | Fiction


THERE IS NO need to see the sun in these intense blue skies.  It is foreboding, ominous and could be […]

From “Logarhythms” to “The Hate Artist”: Texts, Sub-texts, and the Art of Naming in Niran Okewole’s Poetry | Tosin Gbogi

the hate artist

Logarhythms is Niran Okewole’s first poetry collection, and it is with this that he established himself as a poet to […]

Lesley Nneka Arimah and Zinzi Clemmons Are Finalists for the $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize

zinzi clemmons - black cultural events

Lesley Nneka Arimah’s short story collection, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, and Zinzi Clemmons’ novel, […]

For Women’s History Month, Enkare Review Is Listing African Literary Women Who Have Inspired Them


For March 2018’s Women’s History Month, Enkare Review magazine is listing the 30 African literary women who have inspired them. […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.