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One Leadless Grappler: Poems by Ejovwoke Ophori

Today Na Today For Delta

To pluck tranquility from her mighty torridity
Is as to taste idealism in the malleable apples.
The parish and sundry are crushed by the drone
Amplifying, wherefore, sovereign of flora and fauna’s.
Those motorbikes jaunt with the imps that hone
Their poise (yet the stern’s untried obliged the facility
Of an athlete to gum hasty providence).
One, auspiciously, may traverse the law
Beaming having raided the acumen of overt reverie-
From day trippers- with each school fee
Proposed philanthropic for the itching score.
When the Ovie’s muscle sleeps, one can afford
Oghene’s seedier ironies. My God to peer a lass, was a chance
To peer yanga and yanch blotting all squalor.


One Leadless Grappler

When Slessor raised those doppelgangers
From the dead, word came to the confederate
That she had obstructed tribute in debt
To Oghene. Anger
Drove him to grapple and the forfeit
Of a breadth of Africa which held
Both his oracle and bondsman.
Ibini Ukpabi razed, would not impress caution
As – he darted for the Aro king to find a smell
Quaint and sacrificial crawling from the stiff.
Oga, what manner of cowardice forced you to live
Among the ruins, Beaker Culture evading your wits
As though ginger smolders from groundnut shells?
Turncoat tracing Oyibo blarneyed you from coffins.


The Beloved and the Bane

Above all else, chin-chin did me long a throat.
On leave, they were wolfed till my brow sweltered.
Muse was purely the interval of madam’s preparation,
Where congealed and hot they sat unsheltered
And thus my virtues were remote,
My decadent fingers singed, the anxious investigation
Of my judgments the product a chef’s procrastination
In her unapprised appointment and that providence’s end.
The bug incessantly gave me away, slack could not
Savor pomp without the woe of moralization
From chops on their pious bent. There wasn’t one Lot-
Like specter I didn’t confer the observance revenge
For my insatiability is akin to the bane of brimstone
And yet episodic with the nub of my heart ingrown.


A Nollywood Soap Attempting Almodovar

There, was the dye still discoloring his bowler,
His cords however enumerable, the vest
He’d wear to shrink his paunch and amplify his chest-
Between her wears chiefly clandestine, over
The piles mounding his shoe after shoe.
Each, effects of a walk-in closet
She labeled a cupboard (Uwheru
Rich.) Open, shut, peered from her disposition
It rather plucked a television’s
Resultant (some vibrancy
In which the dialogue centered on idolatry
For a sex’s sound supplementing, who
But her consort was this idolater, how many feasible wives
Did she beat out of extant). Then, she’d remember, he died.


The Tome’s Finer Points by Way of an Abridger

Pagan, we roved fields gilded with cassava
And slogged for vistas which embraced prospects
Any could scoff. Never did gusts banter
As fittingly as my sister. The fortuitous rogue,
She was meant to be unborn, unless
More than our nocturnal rituals were blowing smoke
Into idol-miniatures. Then the palm-wine-tapper,
Not big mommy’s consort, but papa,
How does one beat around the bush? He croaked,
I would say if opting to put it bluntly, then
Through those noshing fields maundered
In the Brits mainly, their fair tresses. Their logic?
Well that was another. Somewhere there a fog
Was parked- as the story goes- next to a new-fangled God.


One’s Crucifix and its Bounds

I suppose you are mislaid in philanthropy
As though it holds some growth familial.
Oga, indubitably I boast a myriad of miserable
Maternal sagas pertaining to the reason
For your remoteness save the apathy
Of your slipshod letters. This season
Is perchance the most novel ’mid tempest’s
Tang, which cleaves to our quarters
In Abraka, that is, since
Your approbation as Winnipegger. For the
Record there is no verity to a vengeance
As great as my impressing your fallacious death upon principals
Of my secondary school or your native parish
Variation. Such spite being unequivocal.


Of the Superlative

The civility of soaking your hands
Mid water-heaved basins
Before the coarse partaking
In Garri-roofed egusi and
Garri naked (however unplanned)
Grooms your specter. It is a temperament
I must become quaintly incensed
Towards, an act basic, projected, plain
To inclination for any humane
Regarding my weaning, hence
I breezed through latent consorts in vain
For each neglected the courtesy.
Their pang perchance a lone impurity,
Mounding discontents they’d never understand.



Cheating yourself of sleep, you watch
The humorist boorishly requesting “Where dee money?” And one
Even droller’s retort is proverbial “Look am for ground.”
You flip to stills of too many passed since
First light. Anxiously they mount
Then taper a mug with every sense
Of quaintness striking a chord with your own.
You bewail Uniport being so far behind that a phone
To call Mama for self, updating her of your grievance
Is inexistent. Dejection leads you to the flap of an oxidized
Freezer (impelling as childhood love taking you by hand to scrutinize
An item as novel as a Motow.) Desire is static crayfish, scoffed
Until their tidbits soil a runner, each medicinal enough
To lift the nocturnal from your complex

Poems (c) Ejovwoke Ophori

Ejovwoke Ophori
Ejovwoke Ophori
Ejovwoke Ophori is graduate student at  Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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