Freely Bound: Heroin Today, Slave Tomorrow

Ginnny

Painted by Ginny Thonson

💉💊🚬
It’s My Death’s Life:
Freedom made love to me
and it was surprisingly good,
even better than I had imagined,
so I did it again.

Again and again,
till my breasts and arms
and hips and thighs were sore.
Again and again,
I didn’t care ’cause I wanted more.
Again and again, and again,
three shots stopped being enough,
so I made it four.
Again and again and again, and again,
“I can’t do without this feeling;
it mustn’t walk out my door.”

We did it till I became paralyzed;
my thighs and trunk were stuck.
I was in complete and constant pain
from all the fruitless fuck.

Freedom didn’t untie me from the bed,
and it didn’t listen to a thing I said.
Freedom didn’t let me go;
temporary tallness didn’t let me grow.

Freedom is the strongest wind,
and no one can catch up with it.
When you think you have,
look again,
because it sheds its skin at that point,
and quickly becomes death. 

Everyone wants to own freedom
but she doesn’t want to be owned.
Freedom likes to own
just as much as she likes to disown;
she makes you a king today,
and tomorrow, gets you dethroned.

In freedom, in complete “freedom”,
“dom”(ination) comes right after “free”.

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My Mind= Field | My Feelings= Ball

Falling in love with fire,
an obsessive, compulsive liar,
was the most exhausting thing
that I had ever done
since the very minute
that I was born.

He would say,
‘Air, you need to come on stronger
if you want to have me.”
So, I would give him more air,
and we would start a fire right there.

Then he would say,
“woah, this is too much for me;
you’re going to blow me out.
If you don’t leave me be for as long as I need,
you will go many days without.”
So, of course, I would withdraw,
until our fire was no more.
It made my soul so sore.

Extremely hot,
extremely cold.
Extremely fickle,
nothing to mold.
Extremely mean,
no heart to hold.
I never told him off;
I was never so bold.

“Us” Died

Our light became darkness.
Our love became hatred.
Our laughter became silence.
Our future became our past.
I knew “our” was dying
the day you came home with “my”.


“Our penis” became “my penis”.
“Our children” became “my children”.
“Our house” became “my house”.
“Our mother” became “my mother”.

Poetree

It’s poetree.
Butter doesn’t help it grow;
dung does.
Comfort won’t make it flow;
chaos will.

You might be surprised at
the number of times you’ll give
hand-jobs to pens in one day
as soon as your heart gets wounded,
as soon as it begins to stink.

Your hand will move across paper,
and back again,
till undiluted pain rushes into your fingers-
pain, like pus,
deposited into your bloodstream from your heart.

You’ll bleed ink and
carve your blood into words;
you’ll come, on paper,
so you can maintain your composure
and manage the hard time,
even if you can’t get closure,
even if the words don’t rhyme.

Rejected

You break a heart
when you refuse to touch it;
you’re guilty of the love-crime
when you refuse to commit.

No Clay for You Anymore

Peju Alatise

Peju Alatise’s Art

I put my heart and soul into
molding a clay pot for you.
You didn’t ask or beg me to,
but for some reason, at that time,
it was the thing that I cared most about.

In the course of molding and shaping,
I asked if you would let me drink
from it when I was done,
from you,
if I ever got thirsty.

Looking back, I’m not sure if I had asked for too much,
or I had said something terribly wrong,
because the resounding “no!” that I heard
cut me deep in the soul.

At that time, I would have become water for you
whenever you were thirsty,
if you wanted me to.
I would have fed you milk from my breasts
and honey from between my thighs if you wanted,
and maybe that was too much.
Maybe too much was asking for me instead,
so he could cut me in the throat.

On my 21st birthday,
you told me to break the clay pot,
and when I was done with breaking it,
you stepped on it.

Testamendo-de-divorciado.jpg

I cried and begged and said
I could start all over again,
and I was sorry,
and I wasn’t one to use clay pots,
and I didn’t really want to drink with yours,
and I loved and fantasized about plastic plates instead,
and my question was hypothetical,
but you didn’t want to hear it.

I got so vulnerable around you,
and I always wanted to tell you everything,
and maybe I shouldn’t have been like that, you know,
maybe I should have kept some things to myself.

Ten days of depression.
Ten weeks of uncontrollable tears.
In ten weeks, I gained so much weight.
In the next ten weeks, I lost so much,
so much weight,
so much happiness,
so much zeal,
so much reason to live,
so much you.

Before the spirits took me away,
I looked for you
and waited for you
and cried for you but
I didn’t see you.

Where were you?

It’s the tenth month, and you’re back,
not for me,
not for the pot,
but for the clay.

You’re going to pretend like you didn’t squish the clay?
Like it’s a sweet new day today?
Like you didn’t send me away,
and nothing happened yesterday?

The karmic tie is broken
and I’m done.
Stay in your lane
and I’ll stay in mine.

I wanted to squish you
the way you did me.
My goodness,
I was a sensitive thing.
It’s not worth it anymore,
those days have passed,
and I’m glad that I, at least,
got to kick you at last.

 

Don’t Forget My Children

Little children who can’t pronounce war yet;
children who shouldn’t know what it is.
Running, their bodies plagued with beads of sweat,
with kwashiorkor and tuberculosis.

“Uncle, where is mama? Where is papa?”
Parents’ bodies are lifeless on the farms.
“Mama, why did you leave me here with master?”
Babies are starving, dying in their own arms.

Don’t try to make me shut my mouth
when I get possessed by pain and cry.
  
But if we return to the past, we’re going south.
Can brothers forgive other brothers if they try?

Take flowers to the sea for my children,
who could’ve been all they wanted to be.
At least, admit it was not okay for grown men
to snatch my children away from me.

hunger

Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970)

Cry Me a River

Cry me a river; 
just don’t let it touch my seat.
I know your tear tastes sour,
although you tell me it is sweet.

Cry me a river,
cry me a river,
I’ve cried a river over you.

Cry me a river,
or you could make it two.
I’d love to swim and play in it
and be free for once from you.

Cry me a river,
cry me a river,
I’ve cried a river over you.

Cry me a river, now;
you need not speak to me.
Sweet, dangerous psychopath,
must I be you to be?

Cry me a river,
cry me a river,
I’ve cried a river over you.

Cry me a river;
let’s drown our selves in it.
You beat me till I bled, you fool,
you crossed your heart you’d quit!

Cry me a river,
cry forever and ever,
I want to feel bigger
and better like you.


💜 “I beat you because I love you so much and when you hurt me or I think you’re about to, I find it hard to control myself” and other shits.
Don’t stay for the children or the anything. Run away (with your children). Throw the whole relationship away. 

Lifeless, but Deathless

Death is the new life.
Death is the old lie-fe.
Although we become lifeless when we “die”,
we become deathless when we leave.


oya-alisa-kuumba

My gentle Oladapo is okay. He fell sick and he left me but he is okay. Bolanle is okay. She was so energetic.

Uncle Ismaila is okay. He took me to write my common entrance exam at ISI and taught me Mathematics the day before. That bread and egg and tomtom though. That year. Immediately after the exam, we began to look for where to shit. It wasn’t until we got to Osogbo where my other family members were before we “shat”. I can’t believe we held watery shit from Ibadan to Osogbo. We should have been on the Guiness Book of Records. The way we were sweating. My uncle Ismaila is okay.

Debra is okay. One day, during one of the social events at the ISI cafetaria, an A-Z list of the junior and senior students was mentioned. “As attractive as so-so-so. As beautiful as so-so-o. As creative as so-so-so. As dirty as Ronke Babajide. I was going to get some food [I stopped going for socials] at the tuck shop when I heard my name on from the speaker that could almost cover the whole school.

Gosh! I ran back to class so fast and placed my head on the table. I was so embarrassed and sad. Whoever it was that submitted my name, I hope it was worth it. It was the exact thing that I needed for the low self-esteem that I had. I, for some reason, thought being different was bad and I had to keep up. I didn’t fit in any group.

Debra was a class higher but we became friends. She didn’t let me get depressed. We would walk to the main gate together and spend our money on suya or corn. Debra even bought chicken suya for us one day. Romance-novel gang. There was always one woman that needed to be “saved” through sex but it was worth it. One day, Debra took me to watch Amos Tutuola’s “The Palm-Wine Drinkard”. Debra passed on after a car hit her. Debra is okay.

My grandmas are okay- Mama Ireakari and Mamee. My grandpa is okay. Jane Davenport is okay. She didn’t stay so I could show her how I tie my scarf, but she’s okay. My cousin’s baby is okay. Gorgeous-eyed Matt is okay.

All our “dead” relatives and friends are okay. They just don’t live with us anymore, they are living, and they are okay.

When Life Gives You Melons…

When life gives you melons,
don’t confuse them for lemons:

Melons Painting

Ovanes Berberian (American, born in 1951)- “Still Life Saturday with Melons”

It’s for your good. Melons are juicy and yummy, although they don’t look like they are on the outside. When you cut them in half? Hmmn…

Not everything is planned to give you a sour life. God/the universe will always find a way to put you in the right place, whether you think it’s the right place at first or not.

Life gives you/lets you keep lemons when it lets you have the things you don’t need anymore, whether it be people or properties or positions of comfort or a kind of peace that might lead to sorrow eventually.

Persevere and endure the painful process of cutting things in half, and into different shapes, when life gives you melons. They are not lemons. You’ll see.