Poetry

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

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