One must have chaos within oneself,
To give birth to a dancing star.
The Raven was fly, an overman kind of guy,
Good genes. Loved Shelley, did a piece
On Yeats at the seance.
He downloaded files on a cloned Compaq,
In its seventh life, read Wittgenstein and Wilde
From the open ribs of a Pentium II carcass,
How once, in some out of the way corner
Of that universe dispersed into numberless
Twinkling solar systems, there was a star
Upon which clever beasts invented knowing.
A hammer philosophy, hangman metaphysics,
Killing, not by wrath, but by laughter.
From Schulpforta to Basel, the eternal return
Of the wanderer and his shadow, stateless,
Skinhead prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop
From the cloud. Untimely meditations,
the will to power, blood in the eye of the ego
and a voice that would not be hushed.
She loves to fry the spits in sauce,
The wife, a regular mom.
The cousins come over for dinner.
The kids take the morning train to school.
They’re polite. The teachers love them.
His teachers loved him too. He has a
Construction job which pays pennies.
The first cheque paid for Pa’s herniorrhaphy,
later he did it just to have a blast.
Savimbi’s politics is crap. Neto’s verse is cool
But his politics is crap. All politics is crap.
And then you have to wipe your arse.
The kids play Minesweeper on the desk-
Top PC. Each flash of red light
Is another farmer with his arms blown off,
Or another child limping into the sunset.
In his nightmares there is an apparition
Like Jody Williams, groping for the bedcovers,
Trying to make love to him.
Niran Okewole is a senior registrar at the Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria. He won the MUSON Festival Poetry Prize in 2002 and 2003, and the Berlin International Festival Poetry Prize in 2008. His poems have appeared in ANA Review, Mindfire Review and African Writing. His collection of poems, Logarhythms, was published in 2005.