I remember her. Every day, I see her. The soft-spoken beauty who grabbed my hands when other beauties were still waiting for the opportune time. She reached out, in three words, a paper ironed and slipped in a perfumed envelope.
“Anto Iberna. Aduari”
(You’re beautiful to me. I want you)
I read the letter, the meaning too gross for my mind to process, so I studied her handwriting. Lord, it was a result of routine scribbling. It wasn’t calligraphy per se, but it was nothing ordinary.
Every word smiled at me.
Every word seduced me.
I think I saw her writing them with a ruler pressed on a page as a pen left bits of her soul on the page. She was the letter.
It was an art.
What was I to do? What did it mean when a class 6 pupil wrote a class 4 a letter?
“Anto Iberna. Aduari” this had to be a joke, because I knew ‘beautiful’ boys were not skinny and didn’t have big front teeth; they had round heads, and more meat, and were taller, and were fighters. But I was just a skinny boy. I wasn’t ‘ beautiful’. I was different, I was weak, but I could run, so I ran from her. Ran away from her.
She was the letter, remember? I ran away with her in my pocket, and when I couldn’t run anymore, I crushed her in my palms and chewed her. I killed her.
Fast forward, 15 or so years later. Nairobi homes ghosts. She is the most beautiful of them all. I, the murderer sips coffee that her ghost has paid for.
“I love your locs.” They are four words now, she talks more now. Her thighs fill her skirt. She is juicy. She is the words. I chewed them.
I’m here, I’m not.
She was here, She’s gone.
Rocks ground to pebbles,
I counted the spaces they left
Huge, huge, huge, gaps loom
So I spread their absences on the floor of my heart
Now this heart won’t dance right
But still, more gaps loom
Humans are humans
They come in different shades
That which make us animals
The Yin, the Yang
The Push, the Pull
That keep our empires bleeding
In love and in war
Some still fresh, some worn by time
Headstones bearing sorry epitaphs
Of loved ones lost in the earth beneath
‘Lowo rach, lowo kwalo joherewa’
So we light candles, place new wreaths
Bitter-sweet memories we re-live;
A touch of mysticism they plastered on the cheeks of our existence
A generous love they spilt on pages of our destiny
And warmth of bellies on freezing nights.
Memories of breasts we suckled
and Twins we starved—
Still the hand of time swings
Wringing our souls off guilt
for transgressions against our own—
Sins we committed in absentia.
to body parts we kept!
If you took time to look, you’d see that artists are a very broken lot. We take a lot of shit from people who know nothing about being labelled misfits the minute they realize you’re differently endowed.
It is us (the misfits) they call when they can’t figure their lives out, and we sure know how to help them put their lives back on track.
Shoot! Isn’t there a poem for every problem? Doesn’t a song bandage sores in relationships?
We know how to put everything back on track, but our own lives.
We are safety valves for others. Always preaching optimism, love, and sacrifice, but we hold so much shit within. We hate the person in the mirror. we wrestle daily with our demons. We choke on our inequities everyday, but no! you are strong!
Yeah, you are strong, you will write a poem about it. Darkness is the mother of all creativity. You will overcome as you always do!
I’m learning courage to remind ’em that I am a human being. with broken dreams, failures, a dark past, and a hazy future. I also need help, sometimes just to find a missing pair of socks.
I would have loved to lie
That I miss your company
But insomnia took your place
and we’re doing just fine.
Worms have invaded my mind
Nothing left between my ears
Just here tryna love this hollow husk
But love is evasive
I’ll try living instead
You are a girl who’ll be remembered for soft things;
And most importantly;
Loving the wrong man right
I’m still finding myself
Discovering what exists
missing what’s gone
To know is to be bare
fingers gliding over my body
My skin shivers
An enemy traversing
Isn’t it heartbreaking
Losing trust in self
Gather what you scattered
And indulgent spirit
And the cycle continues
When desires enslave you
remote-controlled by rage
What you stand for tumbles
When ego upsurges
Early this year I had a stint with a lady who kept telling me that I’m too hard on myself. I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t party, didn’t bet, didn’t …my guard was always on duty, never down. We were not in a relationship, I didn’t own her, she didn’t own me, we just kind of made an unspoken vow to be present for each other whenever testosterone hiked.
I enjoyed the simplicity of the game; there were no entitlements, Just shaky expectations, longer erections and fleeting orgasms. Man, for all the yearnings it felt good being laid by an adult–on birth control.
My routines changed and so was hers, we spent more nights awake and more days lost in lust or nursing our tired genitals. Those were the days I could spend 24 hours in my single room naked. We ate and snacked sex. Nights became shorter and so were the days. In no time, the good boy that vowed never to smoke a thing got his first puff of weed and more followed. In short, my 2017 resolutions lost meaning in January.
I made amends quickly, and today 2017 is one of those years that have brought me immense blessings. I won’t list any here though. I made resolutions that I haven’t accomplished, some were silly af, some were too obvious and some just plain boring. I might not be proud of how the year began, but I’m grateful I met someone who taught me how to let my guard down. As crazy as it sounds, I’m thrilled I did stuff I swore I’d never do. Life is too short to follow routines, too short to keep it together, too short to be a perfect son, too short to be a role model, too short to be sober all the time. So even as 2018 approaches, I won’t make any damn resolution, I just want to live as wild as life was meant to be; smoke a little, read more books, make more enemies, sleep more, slap my landlord with a whole year rent, dance more, scream more ( in this life try hard not to be my neighbor) and just be a little bad, you know, I’ve gotta find something to be forgiven for.
My advice to you as you enter 2018 is to do something that freaks you out; something as odd as having a quickie backstage 5 minutes to your cue in a play you’re the main act! Feel the rush, the dum dum in your chest. Yes, remind yourself, you are only human. Happy New Year folks.
Don’t be worried when I shed tears. Be worried when I stop.
When I shed tears, it means I’m dealing with it like a man should. when I stop it means my system is broken, it can shut down any minute.
#MindMyMind #M3Movement #MentalHealthKE #MHAW2017 #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2017
The biggest blunder in life is to look for open doors with a closed mind