Me and Words


I am brutal with words.
I create them an’ destroy them
I build words on grabbed space
privately developed under the influence of tear gas.
Poetry becomes my tearful eyes:
It’s about me and words!

I am a licensed pen-holder
I fight with paper and pen,
In a war of words
the blood of my fingers flow with my pen panting…
like the blood that flows in the veins of the Red Sea
spilled by the monstrous State of the Levant
Give me words I resuscitate the Dead Sea
Immigrants drown in the terrain in the Mediterranean
pulled out of themselves by words invented by sailors
I will give you words to save your mind from drowning in my heart:
It’s about me and words!

I am a blacksmith of words
my complexion betrays me…
I break and fix words to form rings and ripples:
the progression of the poet’s passion…
the saliva of my pen moulds words to form rhymes sometimes:
It’s about me and words!

I mix words with simple poetry ingredients and bake them
Out of words I make menu for hungry eyes to see
I blow words and I pull them back
and squeeze them and put them on track
I dry words and fry them with the poet’s vegetable
served with fish stewed with pumpkin leaves
Poetry is my hot pumpkin soup that gives me
nostalgia for ripe tamarind juice unsullied with sugar
unlike milkshake for which city girls deafeningly salivate
as they lead us into coffee houses for just a cup of tea…
If only words could save me from evening milkshake ceremonies
I’d serve Wanjiku milk an’ make her shake to my milkshake dance
(and that, would be her milkshake!)
I would never experience agony of symphonies of lips and glasses
in expensive coffee houses
with men of little means like myself
struggling to entertain civilized Nairobi lasses
Milkshake and pizza are words every city girl loves
Ice-cream makes them scream the gentleman out of me
If I could I would give them home-made ghee
Or better real honey from a real bee…
I’d still make words twisted like Italian pasta that they love served
with spicy tomato sauce, grilled chicken, mozzarella and salads:
refrigerated foods for the civilized stomachs of the city!
I long for traditional foods of my glorious childhood:
we wrestled like healthy little bulls in the fields.
Our words spiraled with song as we fried fatty flying termites
hunted with tin lamps in the night while some,
sprinkled with water and salt, we ate raw:
fresh fats for healthy farting…
we soured grandmother’s gourd milk with cow urine,
took it down with hot cornmeal mixed with sorghum and cassava,
safe from microwave heat for modern foods…
and when we belched, it was for the good of the community;
when we farted, we knew we were growing…
I pity the civilized of the city
eating pies and pizza, hotdogs and hamburgers with iced tea
or milkshake or coffee stirred with Ugandan sugar…
as I stir words in my poetry calabash for my readers to digest:
It’s all about me and words!