anamnesis

i.

My eyes flick open

In the darkness

I lay there

Listening to the sounds

The guttural whine of stomachs emptying

The grindstone whirs

Muscled into

Revolutions per minute

Gyrating to

Steady kinetic energy

Centrifuging

From the thoughts

Of

The makers

 

ii.

the day sparks into being

being alive

maybe it’s just a dream

I wield an ax

Still in the dark

No, it’s not all dark

There’s some sun

Sifting through the bars of the too small window

But just enough

To know that

I see

I’m alive

 

 

iii.

The handle is rough in my hands

Hewn clumsily

yet skillfully balanced

I swing

Feel the muscles ripple

In response to

Synapses crackling

Terabytes of data

Shooting in an instance

A single arc of

Motion

The doors clank open

 

iv.

I hear them first

As I shuffle in the semi darkness

Right hand firmly planted on the wall

It pulsates

From the stamping of feet

The slice of metal on metal

Climbs above the din

Grunts

The scratch of well-balanced gaits

Locked in a dance in the sands

Chop

Then a roar

 

v.

I am fettered

The cool metal clinks around my waist

My left leg bound

To a ball

My hands

My hands are free

But only just

Chains snake from my forearms

To my ax handle

I can move

In a clumsy man’s shuffle

 

vi.

Blinded

The searing pain

Sets my pores ablaze

The sun

White

My wrists smoulder

As

My chains burn

Etching themselves into my skin

My eyelids flicker

 

vii.

He strikes first

Instinctively I parry

Then dig my heels in

There is a whoosh

As he swings

Too wide

I duck and jab

Into his solar plexus

A heavy grunt

Then there is sand in my eyes

I hear his feet shift

The ground shakes

From the stomping

I am fettered

He swings

Too wide again

I dance away

And swing

An arc curving upwards

I slice

Through skin and bone and sinew

Warm blood kisses my feet

Then there is the roar

 

viii.

The greater good is a necessary evil

It forces men to think outside themselves

For the ultimate pride

We are but playthings

Discarded when we are broken

Cut down in the bloom of youth

Or old and frail and degenerate

If they try to linger

Maybe one day we will know God

Perhaps not

The cool water washes it away

Everything

Leaving not a scar

Of the day

 

ix.

I am unbound

And a brand

White hot

Is held to my cheek

I scream

Not that it matters

A chuck of spit crowns my head

Accompanied by

A flurry of rotten vegetables

And old man’s urine

I see their eyes

Little pools of judgement

And a sadness

Burning behind

Everything

They are sunken in belief

Of everything but themselves

The curses

Smiting my ears

If only they worked

 

x.

The pain!

It cuts through my back

The whip cracks

Agony!

Oh pain

Sweet unceasing pain

After a while

I feel nothing

Smell nothing

Taste nothing

But the coppery tang of blood in my mouth

I see red

As I am jolted to my feet

Everything fades away

White noise

Nothing matters

It breaks you down

Every time you wake

The ultimate savage

Rendering equality as myth

Life

I am weary

Broken

I am alone

A recollection

Of what was

My eyes shut close

Into darkness

 

©_sena_frost ‘17

 

Old-Man Logan-Wolverine, X-Men. Marvel Comics

image courtesy google.com

 

 

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Singularity

Just for the record I am a heterosexual man.
I however believe that homosexual people also have basic human rights.
Homophobia is a canker worse than racism.
Please enjoy the read.

SINGULARITY
The dictionaries say one of the meanings of singularity is “a trait marking one as distinct from others; a peculiarity.” I snorted in derision. I don’t believe I’m peculiar or otherwise remarkable. I looked at my reflection in the broken mirror adorning one of my walls. Bloodshot eyes rimmed in baggy sockets, sunken cheeks, cracked hairline and bedraggled hair, the slightly twisted features of my gaunt visage looked back. I smiled. The reflection grimaced. The best you can get out of a broken jaw. The jarring pain accompanying it was bliss.
I looked round my cell of a one room apartment. A single incandescent bulb glowed overhead in the otherwise dim-lit room. I was hemmed in by four dingy yellow walls stained black by dirty hands. A furniture set from the 80’s; plainly retro took up a corner. Gift from daddy’s garage junk. No TV. I don’t remember the last time I watched TV. My twitter feed was a rostrum of blow by blow news. Across from the sofa was my refrigerator. It was the same colour as the wall and even nastier inside. It was a breeding ground for cockroaches. It was another throwback to university days. The fading stickers a sad reminder of hey days long gone. In another corner was my pallet and wardrobe. Clothes strewn everywhere, the faded straw of the thin mattress barely peeking through.
I listened keenly. It was high noon. The neighbourhood music was sure to start soon. I could hear the roaches scuttling about in the fridge.the soft plinking of water from the standpipe in the compound. Presently I heard the flare of raised voices. Mr and Mrs Osei-Danquah were at it again. A janitor with gambling issues, and a wife with delusions of a Hollywood life in the ghetto. I went to the window. I had removed the mosquito netting and chicken wire ages ago. I hated it. It made my cramped apartment a boiler room. I’d rather suffer the ignominy of a thousand mosquito bites than the maddening heat of a stuffy room. I turned and looked at the center of the room. A coffee table atop the center table. A bible and my phone side by side on the center table. The bible was a throwback to more religious days and a wannabe lifestyle. The cheap piece of plastic and metal was a knock down I got from a secondhand dealer at Circle. I picked it up and caressed the spider webbed screen. A faint motion caught my eye. I almost forgot. The rope. It swung idly. I smiled.
Then I began the step up. I closed my eyes and listened again. High noon is my favourite time of day. I could hear the tinny blare of speakers from a neighbour’s room across the compound. The shrill voice of Mr Osei-Danquah and the more dulcet tones of his wife. The loud screech of a taxi with worn out brake discs and the stream of putrid insults from a pedestrian who just cheated death. The effluvium of Ga from the kenkey seller around the corner. The rangy cries of children playing “alikoto” in the shade of the Neem tree in the middle of the compound. The Osei-Danquahs had quieted down. I listened more keenly. I could hear the soft slapping sounds of lovemaking, the grunts and low moans. Just like the Osei-Danquahs to make love after war. I rubbed my wrists. The sting of half healed cuts crisscrossing my forearms brought me back from my idyll. I breathed in and out. Then I prayed. I hadn’t done that in a long time ago. “God I thank you for the gift of my life. I thank you for making me who I am. May be I am strong so you gave me a weakness to mock me. May be I am a weakness you are using to mock a strong person. I have tried living in this world. I have failed. Living has become too much of a chore. I know I am hell bound, but it is to prevent more grief and judgment. I thank you once again. Amen.” The words rang hollow in my head.
A lifetime ago I was a staunch Christian. I loved the Word. I sung in church, I gave my tithes and I enjoyed going on missions. I tried to do no wrong. To be a good child of God. Everything changed when I met him. We met on a tro tro going to Circle. I was going to buy a phone, (my cheap piece of plastic I mentioned earlier.) and he was going to fix a friend’s phone. He was streetwise and helped me get my phone. I took his number and boom, fireworks! He is the sweetest man I have ever known. Then the church got wind of my relationship. I was kicked out of the choir. My volunteer services were revoked. Even my tithing was stopped. The head pastor advised me vehemently against such a “harmful” relationship. How could I? Oh Richmond. I have never known love to exist in such a pure form before. We had no sex. I don’t believe in pre-marital sex. I loved his calm demeanor and easy going outlook to life. He loved music, sports and video games. He could score me for hours on end during his so called FIFA tutorials.
Everything went down the drain. Somehow my colleagues at the ad company where I worked as a photographer were poisoned against me. I lost everything. My job, my faith and now my love flushed away. I had been avoiding his calls for a week now. He didn’t know where I lived. I never showed him. I was going to hurt him. I was doing it because I love him. I had to spare him the disgrace I was living through. I felt tears burn down my cheeks. I faced the noose. Dying terrified me but the thought of Richmond suffering in the bigotry of the society we live in was bone chilling to no end. I put the noose around my neck and tightened it. I made sure the knot held. My previous attempt resulted in my fractured jaw. How thoughtful of the previous occupant of the room to install fan hooks.
Slowly I swung forward. I did not fight the choking. The cheap nylon bit into my neck. I always figured dying would be painful. I was acutely aware of my diminishing oxygen supply and the nerve receptors ringing alarm bells. The stars grew larger and brighter. I was dying because I loved a man. I was dying because I did not want a forbidden love to cause any more pain. I was losing consciousness. My last thoughts went to the note in my bible. “I am gay.”
© Sena Kodjokuma 2015

Glenn: a lesson well taught

“When a good thing goes bad it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of a world” – Drake, Doing It Wrong

7th January 2011, I’ll never forget that night. That night a friend passed away. My former class and housemate. Not a close friend but his passing rocked me to my core. It felt like a piece of me had just disappeared for good. The thought that a living person would in another moment cease to draw breath and be declared dead was a frightening one. I had lost a loved one before. My grandfather had passed a few years before that. Nothing though could prepare me for this; a young man approaching his prime hacked down. Death. Very often my mind strays towards that moment and I find myself asking “what actually happens at the moment of death?” They say you know when you’re about to die. I wonder how true it is. I think of what Glenn’s last thoughts would have been like. I look back at my life and I wonder who would bother to show up at my funeral and listen to the nice things said about me. The people I care about, the ones who won my heart. I wonder how they would feel. What if I suddenly died. Would the pain of having to bury a child overwhelm my parents? Not very comfortable thoughts. All too often I itch to start writing my autobiography. I guess I want to have some measure of control in my death. Soon after Glenn passed I used to dream about dying. Each time my spirit passes from my body and I roam; disembodied. In my innate curiosity that dark hole exists. When my body becomes food, an apex predator is reduced to fodder. All the intricate systems woven into me, all the experiences I have acquired turns to mush. It’s a surprisingly calm thought. The struggle to overcome death is why we live. We crave to do great deeds and erect monuments so we are remembered after we’re long gone. Even the intangible dies, so the fate of mortality cannot be delayed. I believe death is the start of a new life. My faith teaches me that. Whenever I interact with my environment i appreciate life even more. Coming to terms with the reality of my finiteness is a lesson taught to me by Glenn. Even in the grave the dead influence the affairs of the living. From grandpa, the first person I lost, the value of living is knowledge.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”- Matthew 6:21
R.I.P

Peter Y. Kodjokuma 1924 – 2008
Glenn Agbana: 1990 – 2011

You are fondly remembered.