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Sometimes I wake up and my body tastes
like rum; that is how you know I have gone
looking for love again from women who do
not know how to exist in daylight. That is not
the point. Those mornings when my head hurts
from a hangover and my splintered heart gathers
itself back into my split-open chest, the memory
of the nocturnal festivities pours into my skull.

Afrobeat blasting, disco lights flashing, girls
lush in pop dresses, a faithless mixture of genres—
something old died here tonight.
With all distractions quieted down by moments
of aloneness, I allow myself the indulgence of musings.

The story goes that a song got stuck in Fela’s throat,
and he turned it into a discography which haunted a generation.
Not all music is meant for entertainment;
some are created to pacify a burning country,
or to set fire to the garment of unruly gods.
Afrobeat was my love but it became something
unrecognizable, its mouth full of the wrong
languages (it now has a name for each of its many frivolities),
an accomplice to the lustful swaying of sweaty bodies
crashing into one another and birthing a nation of desecraters.

 

 

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About the Author:

kanyinsola-olorunnisola-1Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a poet, essayist and fiction writer. He writes from Ibadan, Nigeria. His writings border on the themes of unease, racism, colonialism, terror and all things familiar to the black folk. He describes his art as that specialized literary alchemy which aims to extract beauty from the frail commonplaceness of words. His experimental works have appeared on such platforms as TUCK Magazine, Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Bombay Review, Lunaris Review, African Writer, Sprinng.org, Authorpedia, Parousia Magazine and Sampad International Journal. He was the 2016 recipient of the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize.

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Post image by Tony Fischer via Flickr.

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2 Responses to “Afrobeat Broke My Heart | By Kanyinsola Olorunnisola | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. shoola oyindamola 2017/03/29 at 21:48 #

    I love love this poem! To think of how our country once had music that made meaning and swept wave of consciousness on political issues into the citizens… Fela kuti among others has remained incomparable.The new Nigerian music that tops the chart makes me cringe, we are drowned and consumed by materialism and a longing to satisfy our sexuality and it doesn’t permit us to think so deep. Today’s afrobeat does not birth rebels against the political malfunction that is swaying the economic functioning of the country like a kite. I think that Fela and our fathers who lived when we had a country, our country has re-incarnated in voices like yours. So powerful, so daunting and so brave!

    Well penned Okimba.

  2. Kanyinsola Olorunnisola 2017/03/31 at 15:25 #

    Aww…I don’t know why I am particularly proud of this poem. Thanks to BP.

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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.

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