CATHARSIS OR PURGATION OF LUST
“Grief was the celebration of love, those who could feel real grief were lucky to have loved.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Today, we leave the shore for its waters;
the crest for valley
we go fishing in the sea of tears.
The impetus is the hope/ that we would net Proteus/ the elusive chord of attachments/ snapping to spite/ at each fickle stretch/ & squeezing eyeballs for drips/
like tender skins of onions;
like an imp who dines grief like oxygen
& wines tear to stupor.
The impetus is the hope
that cat-fish would slip no more
that we would net love
undulating with the cold hot tide of emotions.
Your memory of Anne & you undressing/ cramming into a duvet/ & purging yourselves of restlessness/ tastes like date in your mouth & you prefer that shade/ love like eating honey with no knowledge of bee’s venom/
In another shade, the Lord wept.
That night, when you thought the robber’s gun
had no bullets, your father’s star fell to ransom your life.
& your mother called it a kind of love
you’re too young to feel;
like the melancholy that wears his shadow/ like your daily bread/ which is her flesh/ barbecued by the embers that roast the corns she sells on the boulevard of Poverty Avenue/ She lets you drink her sticky sweats after your meals/
Before you said: Sonnet Eighteen was a full moon
showing in daylight like Neruda’s Eleven Paul
had had Anne/ You had ejected your heart for appendectomy or removal of the ventricle that made it throb/ You had had to forgive Anne/ The blacksmith had forged your pulse into a bullet of silence/ which was your question to her answer/ when after you took her flower she shied: you now think I’m cheap?/
Catharsis or purgation of lust
is a portrait of love as the placid estuary
that receives the heated flow from River Infatuation.
In this poem, Erato is a blood of Melpomene.
& you came in, remember, as a tourist
riding a black stallion
to an altar of pathos
where Venus solemnly weds Dionysus.
ROSES ARE SLAUGHTERED IN THIS POEM
collects artefacts of blood;
writes the poetry bubbled/ as its flows across the coast/ like the conjugal handshakes/
like what’s bellied by
wild grins that escorted them.
of terror register
from the Bank of Words;
& displacement of dirge
when austerity lured bird-souls away
from the castle of feathers;
when fear sieged mouths/ & rendered tongues brittle/ like hay/ like fingers kneading pain from womb/
Roses are slaughtered in this poem:
f o l k h o r r o r
or blinding reflections of sun on wings
of daggers soaring in our heavens.
Your father’s blood oozed to propitiate
the delicate goddess of a fragile unity Your mother said:
he withered like rose
that’s to say he slouched
& shed his head to wind.
Your mother’s lost her appetite for grief/ She’s turned to you/ calls you your father/ her husband/ her loverekindled / But what you see is too tense to be love/ rapacious/ & too distant from sanity/ But you have no mouth to tell your tale/ & you want to evaporate/ & you rather would ensconce in quilt of atmosphere/
Wear his caligea or gladiator sandal
& trek the mile to synagogue to burn calories of fear
Then visit memory –
through a pub –
to exhume skeletons of your father’s dreams
to cremate them without incense
to smell yourself raw & wear his ashes like an angel’s robe.
To let north wind blow you away
like monochrome wings of a withered rose.
Poetry © Bayo Aderoju
Image by Cdd20 from Pixabay (modified)