LitPub

What Exactly Do You Want to Know in Tolu Agbelusi’s ‘Locating Strongwoman’

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In Tolu Agbelusi’s first poetry collection, Locating Strongwoman, there’s a poem titled “Museum of Women,” that acknowledges and celebrates the various ways women have affected the growth of the speaker and her ongoing construction of womanhood and selfhood. The poem uses the museum as an austere aide-mémoire of women’s lived experiences, the shifting between dispossession, […]

Home

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  The girl wearing a rose garland holding tulips between skinny fingers    goes to sleep on a cold con- crete slab in the city square. It’s night & here, we are calling on hope. But just what is hope when dawn breaks /& opens up her innocence to this sad world like the gutting […]

In Search of Beauty

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 Even though I walk through the valley  of the shadow of death,  I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.  -Psalm 23:4 On the street where Panseke passes the baton to the uneven boomerang-shaped suburb of Quarry Road where I live, Abeokuta presents itself as a town under. Houses, small shops, primary and […]

before the glorious return

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there we perched at the heels of the rock, as we watched the dramatic retreat of the sun.   with trembling limbs crying guts and misty balls, in silence, we prayed.   caught between wala’s fall and nosi’s rebound, we saw nothing save the glimpse of our glorious return. Mohammed Yusuf-Unyomo is a Nigerian poet, […]

Boy in a Gèlè

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The mythology goes – my father’s unruliness earned him a place at the Ransome Kuti School: Straight into that institution, don’t pass go, don’t collect N200, he went. Abeokuta Grammar School was known for the severe corporal punishments and beatings administered to pupils. Fela Anikulapo Kuti, world-renowned Afrobeat pioneer, once wistfully reminisced on the memorable […]

How to be a Nigerian Scholar in the West

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While any legitimate criticisms of a decrepit system cannot be equated with an outright dismissal of it, there is something to be said to the Nigerian abroad whose narratives about colleagues at home are couched mainly in typecasting rhetoric. Neither a gesture at academic populism nor a hint of empty nationalism, this, here, is my […]

A Great Mourning

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A Great Mourning I am learning to mourn All the parts that lay hidden In the whirlwind of my heart, Parts that were  Too sharp to leave Too alive for a dead world. I am leaving these parts  By the shores of seas And lands that remember my scent, I’m stretching until it feels  Like […]

The Ordinary Events of a Dying Day

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Kofi was getting married in Warri and I had a morning flight to catch. The plane was scheduled to depart Lagos at 9.20 a.m. and arrive in Warri at 10.30 a.m.   The time was 8.30 a.m. The Domestic Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport was rowdy. The queue at the counter was disorderly. A […]

Echo

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What comes to mind when you talk of echo:   Are the abandoned buildings emptied by the noise of wars; Lofty buildings for the tourists and their guides in years to come.   Are boys searching for the voices of their missing parents, Under the heaps of dead bodies, hungry heads.   Are the girls […]

My First Million Dollars

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Translated by Cliff E. Landers          If you think this story is going to end unhappily for me, you’re badly mistaken. Fortunately, I’m the narrator.          Envy is shit. I think it was in Brazil that I first saw that phrase, written on the windshield of a car on one of my many visits there. […]