I’ve never been a sucker for poetry. I’ve always thought it’s corny and ostentatious. It’s not hate; it’s more of indifference towards it. Look at the poets roll their eyes. I don’t mean it in a bad way. I’ve written poems too but I’ve deleted them as soon as I’ve typed the last letter.
I remember in high school’s music festivals how I resented that poetic mood that floated in the air especially during solo verses. I hated how ordinary chaps would turn into pretentious oafs on the podium. A nonchalant chap, who whistles in the shower, takes his githeri with avocado and imprecates the watchman for waking him up in the morning; would get on the podium and attain an entirely different persona. They would come on with no shoes, donned in African attire and prudently go on to narrate how slavery messed us (Africans) up. Some would get into character so much they would shed a tear or two. Their pretensions would manifest back stage when they would say, “Nimeona dem flani wa Lockwood nikiwa kwa podium. Itabidi nimtafute nimuonyeshe mambo.” I mean, lout, you were crying seconds ago about how our forefathers suffered under the pale man’s rule and now you’re here telling us about how you want to get to third base with a stranger! Come on, man. At least let us imbibe that moment in us for a somber serene minute (or two) to spit and tell our ancestors thank you for overcoming the thrall. No wonder he won’t get to full base with her.
Not all folk were like this though. There were ones who genuinely loved the art. They respected it. They could spend preps reading Chinua Achebe’s novels and quote lines goddamn it. These ones would get on stage and you would listen because you knew it was coming from the somewhere authentic. They would evoke emotion in you, and you would cry. But they wouldn’t.
Anyway, today’s post isn’t about my condescension towards poetry and fake poets for that matter. It’s about a poem written by a friend. We were texting some time back. She was in a boring class. I asked what she did when a class gets too boring. She said she writes poems. I told her to send a few. She sent two. I picked this one. It spoke to me somehow, I could relate to it. I asked if it was based on real life situation. She said no (obviously). But I still think it was dedicated to someone.
She’s one of the genuine ones. She used words like patronizing and rendezvous comfortably in conversations at class eight. What a show off (*shakes head*). It’s concise and pithy; it’s why I liked it. Oh, and she prefers anonymity.
Here she goes:
So there’s this guy you want me to like
But I don’t want to,
So can you please stop beating so fast when he comes by?
Do you belong to me?
Or I to you?
Just look at all the trouble you dragged me into.
I told you so
But you wouldn’t listen.
I know that feeling
But when your heart breaks
It’s like all the butterflies just died,
They say follow your heart
But when it’s broken into a million pieces,
Which piece do I follow?
* * *
Work on that aim bruh,
It’s tough out here being a sucker for romance.
P.S: I never cried during those poem presentations. I thought you should know, in case you were wondering.