Fretwire: Work in Progress – Poems by Uche Nduka

FRETWIRE: Work in Progress

  • in the black marrow
    you spun his habit,
    lent it to the air,
    to a
    quadrille,

    left it voluptuously
    unsandalled.

    #

    even
    your open collar
    can see that tragedy
    whelps&laughs&purrs
    on
    oily sandwiches

    pounded gavels cannot kill it
    psychic parapets cannot
    floor it
    punning bones cannot knead it
    acreage of hooks cannot shred
    it

    #

    how can you promise
    someone a land that
    doesn’t belong
    to you?
    your legs open their door.
    a tinted window veils it:
    the
    bedspread on which
    you lie,fully spread.your
    toes mug knobs.your
    hands
    flex cards.your mind frets.
    the west federates your nest.

    #

    your point is not well taken.
    your celebration is
    antithetical to
    mine.
    i distrust your heroism.
    i curse.i bellyache.
    i belong to a
    nit-picking tide.

    knee-deep in objectifications,
    multiplying junk,

    half-blind,half-charmed
    glazed,slit-doored,
    you grind stones between
    chainsteps.

    #

    the black-brass trouble
    wobbles in its muddle.

    ancient dynastic pains
    declare their lineage.

    tonight no one is
    going
    to bestow consolation upon a mourner.
    this town is saturated in
    riots.
    adversaries dismember moonbeams.

    this is not as i would
    have you stream.

    #

    grading tales,
    comparing whips,
    we
    served,you and i,
    in a sculpted trope,
    hotly,hotly
    a pristine bureau.

    #

    one part of…
    half a part of…
    nil part
    of-

    praise the tongue
    orbiting my thigh.
    your conscientious
    tongue
    on my hair’s end.

    i’m no more the cock of the walk.

    #

    each in your high-tech jail

    to which uprising
    is your
    streetsign pointing?

    one barricade at a time.
    one stone-throw at
    a time.

    how to plant a vine
    inside a machine?

    the last thing
    you want
    is silence in the tunnel.

    #

    toxic waste
    dump
    & foamcore resister;
    solardust,grapes&gongs
    privy to the
    foamball
    of an eggtoss;light& dark
    of sugarcane& mango;
    sounds
    tropicalizing a fifth
    flowersong;cookie-cutter,paper-cutter;
    a jump
    rope’s royal bee;
    ballpoint iconizing the story of a hole;
    the hole
    story in a fuzzy portfolio.

    #

    to say nothing of a tan-line:

    its severe mutabilities;
    the brutal prism of a spirit possession:

    its vertical convulsions;
    a primalscene eyelining skulls
    a couplet
    bird-carving on a page;
    a black chalk taking a walk
    on a white board
    with
    a laughing umbrella;

    and:tortoiseshells in a foreshore.

    #

    tin-and-stucco
    iron-gated rollers
    and their bike-wheel
    jokes

    they are loyal only to housewrecking,
    to cracks in a home-run.

    artifex nigerianus.

    #

    to the light that flows from it,

    furrowing it,turning in it,
    toying with its tangle,crazing
    the
    portal,climbing it,grazing in it;

    and to you that delights in it:

    will you survive the fog
    that denies this arousal
    is grammatical?

    #

    not seeing the trancing landscape
    threading goatherd and
    soil
    how easily the wind
    violates my right to stillness
    being a leaf a
    leaf presently
    quailing against my will
    my mood my need my
    dispensation
    how easily i am debased
    by a cheerless careless motion
    the
    wind forces open my hand
    takes my syncopation takes my interim
    for
    harboring suspicions
    the wind subjects my provision to a
    withering blast
    i am harried
    i am badgered by the shameproof
    pursuit of a savage
    wind
    my votes my notes my half and full notes
    how casually the arrogant
    wind skews them

Written by
Uche Nduka

Uche Nduka is living and working in Holland. His books include Flower Child, Second Act, The Bremen Poems and Chiaroscuro. His first prose book titled Belltime Letters appeared in 2000. The winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize for 1997, his passion at the moment is organic farming.

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Written by Uche Nduka

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