Writings / Poetry

Adebiyi Olusolape

Humboldt's Gift

He's a very talented bloke but I hope he hasn't come to an abrupt halt with this.
-Hamish MacInnes

When they return from the bloodless wars
no man comes in whole
for these mines
that rip through the mind and shatter the soul-
Every poet comes in, in bits:
some blown to smithereens,
others having lost a limb,
for some, a more vital member

But none come whole
One is always learning,
never apprehending...
I press toward the mark for the prize
Here a little, there a little
Line upon lines
hand over hand, inching towards the sky...

There are no toeholds in the sky.


Mind [psukhe] is a light which the gods mock us with To lead those false who trust it.

That we must feign a bliss [paradeisos]
  Of doubtful future date,
  And, while we dream on this,  Lose all our present state,
And relegate to worlds yet distant our repose?

-Matthew Arnold, Empedocles on Etna


The rounds in heaven are only rounder
The straights, straighter,
and there’s also a jujumajuju
for every deserving person
in heaven


The mind is a reflexive pronoun
An object of misuse is subject of misunderstanding
Emphatic, untethered, and adrift of clause,
it is alright by itself


The psychiatric ward in
the prison hospital is
in lockdown


There, it is written down
with quills,
and in reading or Charentone
of britin or of France
the Normans in europe wrote,
“Unearthe, Sisyphus/Solaire, Universe.”


The grass in heaven is only greener;
the air cleaner
is Blackberry,
no food for saints in heavenbut a reward for persons deserving


A dreamer, after long dreaming of a better life,
left his home country, Now,
to live in a distant land, Future
To his dismay,
life in Future was lived in Now, and
his only choice was to return home
which was Now Past


Kenny played the flute; you did not dance
Rogers sang a dirge; you did not mourn
He told you not to love,
but the mind is blind
Blind, blind, blind


The mechanism of hope
grinds out promising futures
Take a long position


The monotony of staid walls
lulls a native cockroach,
denizen of this prison,
into dreaming of Kafka
in a world without walls


Whether the man, a butterfly dreaming,
or the butterfly, a man dreaming
The dreamer has been victim of a genjutsu
since the beginning
In the beginning was the word,
and the word was Ouroboros.

About The Author


Adebiyi Olusolape is a journeyman collagist engaged in the search for mastery. He is Poetry Editor of Saraba Magazine at www.sarabamag.com. He lives in Ibadan, Nigeria.

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Let’s talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included [..;] Something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It’s a Gigantic project.

– Joseph Beuys
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