Poetics

a second interruption of the songs

soon after love with you

i wanted to write a great lyric for nairobi

in which my inadequacy could be redeemed

by the lyric’s depth and length,

like guitars as extensions of the phallus.

o don’t laugh, you like my pop psychology.

i do want to write a great lyric for nairobi,

for all those cities and towns where i knew love

for what it was,

stendikisa, nakuru, kijabe, mackinon, moshi,

the mountain looming,

the big old block opening up,

somalis sending money from nyakuron

bureaus to bureaus in kimathi street,

buying love in cheap motels in mbale,

drunk with what we thought to be life,

destroying ourselves instead with cheap liquor

and fast food.

this city resists lyric,

it needs it’s madmen

in tutus and chrome.

what is the thing we call the body? what is this dumb

dog we drag around into banking halls and bus stations?

a sanctuary?

if we’ve learnt anything from nations and civilizations

is that the sanctuary is to be destroyed,

villagers must appear in the dark

demanding to rape angels.

& if we are to be turned into salt,

remember the dietary uses of it,

& how such beautiful and sad sculptures we’d make.

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