Listen

Listen

that is the shattering

of a tempest soul

when it broke,

I realised

that these wall around me

is not distance,

they are covert shields

encasing me.

 

 

Although now,

I see I made an erroneous conclusion.

The guardian became the prisoner.

I banged my fist,

vér trickled down my elbow.

my shield now my prison.

 

My heart rebleeds

and I tremble.

Not in fear, but anguish.

This bitter taste I cannot

bear to gobble down.

 

I’ve lost touch with

the world.

Buoyed on an endless river

of silence and nothingness.

 

Existing,

only to serve my desires.

Listening,

only to the sound of the sweeping air.

I’ve tried to claw my way

through dirt and mire

to survive the way I think

I once remembered

but maybe  it is

a memory

surmised

by me.

 

Raindrops on this crusted mineral.

Earth

beneath my feet.

If I scream now,

no one will hear

If I scream now,

no words will come out

So I curled up in a dome

my only companion,

the muffled wisps of my breath

Listen,

can you hear it?

 

 

 

 

(In case you) Find your ghost

“A Toast,” she said, raising her glass, “to my adorable cousin, may no man ever traumatize her sexually, and physically like my uncle; her father did me”.

The venue went cold with unwavering tension. Out of nowhere, the head table overturned, shards of glasses glistening as they struck concrete. From the side of her eye, she saw her dad lurch towards the father of the day, gripped him by the throat before he could utter a word, his eyes red with fury.

And just like that,  the party was over.

 

********

 

Some secrets are too perverse to remain hidden. Secrets that burrow a hole in the middle of one’s chest. This is the story of a young maiden plagued by the ghost of the repressed emotions that she has never been able to confront.

This is the origin story of Alexander.

Born to working-class parents, the family had nearly nothing, except for a Volkswagen Beetle. Dad was never home; always at work, gunning for that big break that would catapult him to the next phase of his career; and mum, she too was hard at work, holding down the fort. Doing what good mums do.

About 18 yrs ago, on one of those evenings, an uncle visits for a meeting with dad but he didn’t come home that day which wasn’t unusual. At the time in Nigeria, you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call someone, NITEL was somewhat popular but people were adapting rather slowly. He stayed over solely because his village was somewhat far away and the sun was setting.

Her family were subtenants renting a one- bedroom apartment with a shared bathroom and while her mum and brother stayed in the bedroom, she slept in the parlor feets away from her uncle. Sometime between thirty to eleven and midnight, he drew closer and closer to her, then he began fondling her prepubertal body and genitalia…

Like a good little girl who always behaved in front of her elders, never spoke unless spoken to; she remained mute but then again, she was always a quiet kid.

Thought more than she spoke.

Wrote more than she was willing to say,…but that broke her. It solidified her antisocial exterior; her social awkwardness. Until this day, she would never be able to make eye contact or flirt the way normal people do.

********

A lot’s changed, the family lives in a big home, that old beetle replaced by numerous automobile model from Honda to Range Rover. What hasn’t changed is, dad’s still as busy as ever, and those flesh wounds never healed.

If he had stayed where he belonged—in the past, perhaps the ghosts wouldn’t haunt her.

Last she saw him, he came to the house with his then fiancée, to introduce her to dad and get both financial support and his blessing for their wedding. That was her chance to confront him, reveal these ghosts to the woman who probably thought she knew him so well, in front of her dad; so he would throw him out of their lives forever….but she didn’t.

Couldn’t.

Turns out she wasn’t ready. She would never be, but she knew she owed it to her younger self, that poor girl deserved even one honest moment where she didn’t have to hold it all in and pretend it was all okay.

It wasn’t until that day, years later, at her cousin’s naming ceremony when she climbed on that stage and her gaze settled on him, that her ghosts were enraged, threatening to unleash all the emotions of the past that have subdued her physically. Sobs welled up in her throat, her head buzzed with unsettling thoughts. This wasn’t the right time, but then again, there’s never a right time to talk about sexual abuse. Either she’d do it or she wouldn’t. So she swallowed hard, parted her lips and let the words spurt out….

A deafening silence.

A moment of sincere epiphany.

Through all the ruckus,  she swears she saw a little girl, not more than six years of age at the far end of the blinding stage lights whisper, “Thank you”.

From that moment, she began to see herself more as a force to be reckoned with and less like a victim, began trusting herself. She’d given herself the single greatest gift,

Freedom.

Some secrets are too perverse to remain hidden,…..

In case you find your ghost.

 

Element

Love is when you go along with her outlandish psyche

Not because you’re gullible,

Because you like how her brown eyes lit up

So complacently

when she has her way.

 

 

Love is a fragrance so subtle and unique

It trails you,

and it rewards you

by revealing its depth to you

To love is to surrender pride.

 

 

For millennium to come

As long as the tide ebbs

Farther than the eyes can behold

Your love for me flourish.

 

 

I abide by it,

The conjectural element that eludes even the astute.

My pulse grows rapid

my dry skin dampens

my breath is foggy

my stomach tightens

An unwritten enigmatic rule

 

 

Dine with me

Let us lay in the meadow

And gaze skywards

As clouds morph

Into animation characters

Let my wandering fingers rake

Through your brown mane.

 

 

 

A grasshopper chirps

Owls hoot

Dusk dawns on us

A desert storm billows through

Queer sensations lingers in my loins

A dallying experience confronts us.

 

 

 

Love is like a flight

From Nigeria to Budapest perhaps, it’s long and uneasy.

A higher altitudes cause more wear and tension

But the journey is more bewildering

than the destination.

 

Understanding Psychosis

Shut the doors behind you

what I’m about to say,  no one else can hear.

These are not my memories, it is just my subconscious

showing me the deep and twisted projections

I fear, yet hold onto.

The farther it is in time, the less I seem to recall the darkness,

that all too familiar darkness.

However, that doesn’t affect me,

it is the drowning fear that creeps in with it that does.

 

 

I was suddenly in a place that smelled strange, a large hall with concrete walls and high ceiling, tho, I didn’t feel safe.

I could recall the girl’s face, Tina—that was her name.

We sprinted through the endless corridors, past the serpentine marble columns, 300m past the cooling room.I stopped! huffing hard with both hands on my knees.

Tina was breathing heavily too.I reached out and grabbed her by the shoulders.

” Where are the rooms?”

“You don’t know? silence,  “Alex, are you ok? 100m eastbound. ”

so we continued into the room. I locked the doors.

Tina spun around, “what are you doing?

“we need to be safe” I retorted

“From who?” no words.

She started for the door, “this isn’t my room”,  then paused

“Alex, I dunno what happened today”, fixing her gaze on mine, she continued, “are you ok?”

“what is it with you and that question?”

“I”m heading to my room” she grabbed the door handle

“Be safe,” I whispered

“This whole place is safe, just get some sleep,” the door slammed behind her.

********

 

For the first time since we got in, I carefully observed the room around me, the windows were slightly opened, a beaded curtain draped from above the windowpane, shimmering in the night light, a floor lamp divided the room into two halves but the most intriguing was a painting, it was a child’s face, eyes rotated upwards with parted lips, in the middle of his forehead, he had a unicorn’s horn and  bright rainbow illuminated around him. At the bottom right corner of the frame was inscribed: “fuck your psychedelic”, signed Alexander.

I stood there, mesmerized by the painting, having no recollection of when I made it. I didn’t hear the door close behind me

“What’s the problem, Alex?” I jumped when I heard the voice and turned swiftly

I jumped when I heard the voice and turned swiftly,”who are you?’

“Your roommate, Bianca”, she grinned.

I noticed she had green eyes which sent chills running down my spines

” who are you, really? ” I demanded again and I heard a loud thumping noise resonate through my ear canal

“you should go to sleep now”  was the last thing that echoed

*******

who am I? where am I? is this real?

A buzzing noise filled the air and I came to realize that I was sitting on a bench in the courtyard. Beside me was Christopher, my occasional buddy chattering away on a conversation I may or may not have instigated. My head was rocking side to side.The sun-dial was pointing south, which meant it was 4 pm.

I stopped moving when I heard a slow crackling sound.I  stood up, blinking severally, I began to walk, following the direction of the sound to a room known simply as ‘the ephylis”. A sphynx cat lay on its hind leg in the center of the room, it’s body stretched out across the room with its rump towards me. I tip-toed into the room, as slow as I could until it’s full body was within my field of vision. It had green eyes. Sweat was beading across my forehead and my breaths had become heavier and rapid.

“What are you doing?”

I lifted my head up to see Christopher standing at the doorway and when I returned my gaze to the center of the room, the sphynx cat was gone.

I sighed, ” somehow, I feel I may be drifting between reality and an alternative dream land”

“Can’t you tell what’s real and what’s not?”

“Can you?”

 

Thin Line

There’s a thin line between genius and depression…..

Many a night, my mind wanders to these thoughts while I toss and turn around the edge of my bed, fluffing and re-fluffing my pillow and tapping my device in every hour.

Perhaps, there is some sort of correlation between owning your truth and the lack of acceptance which is more than a coincidence. We, humans, hold our social ethics so dearly; it has everything to do with fitting it and concomitantly becomes the source to which most attach their happiness. To be an outsider would mean to reject these norms imposed on one. To be an outsider would mean suicide.

Sigmund Freud was the psychoanalyst who created a theory widely accepted recently in psychology. This theory states that human is composed of 3 components: ID, the most primitive, uncompromising and self-centered. The Super ego which deals with society’s norms and morals. Ego creates a balance between ID and ego. Freud went on to describe five phases humans must go through in life to achieve psychological maturity. Interestingly, neither Freud nor his theories were accepted at the time.He died by suicide after he was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor.

There’s a thin line between genius and suicide. We’ve all seen the movie, the enigma code, which was centered around the life of Alan Turing. By inventing the computer that deciphered the coded transmissions between the Germans, he contributed immensely in the victory against Hitler’s armies in world war II. Unfortunately, instead of being appraised by the Britains, he was rejected for his sexuality.

One lesson the Holocaust taught the world is that not all genius is good. In profound chatter, I dwelled a little on the evil genius that is Adolf Hitler, and Hitler was a man who faced loss and rejection in his early years; leaving him vulnerable to be molded by the people around him. I associate his disregard for human life to the death of his brother from measles. He grieved deeply and his outgoing personality was overshadowed by a detached and rebellious exterior. We know where the story continues from there, up until he poisoned himself with cyanide.

Creatives have also had their fair dose of lows. Virginia Woolfe a feminist and writer invented a theory that entailed the communication with oneself through inner conversations, an art I’m all too familiar with.She was also gravely plagued by depression. One day, she headed down a lake, her pockets filled with rocks and the brilliance that was Virginia Woolfe never walked out again. Her last note read: “I feel certain I am going mad again”.

This draft wouldn’t be complete without shading a light on the relationship between dark-skinned and depression. Like most illnesses, major depression isn’t easily diagnosed in black people because they see it as a plague for the feeble mind and. They focus on fine tuning strength. The story of Albert Alyer, a self-taught Jazz prodigy is indeed a sad one. Alyer was better than good at what he did, but in his time, being a person of color was a disadvantage. His jazz concerts didn’t receive any media coverage and when they did, it was never aired so his art did not get the recognition it deserved so depression took a toll on him, leading him to end it all when he plunged into New York east river.

So, having insight it seems torments even the best, and my mind cross-examines and debates it until I drift into slumber land.