THE PLOT

Bobo-Tunde was fished out of the lagoon yester-night

And Mama-Tunde wept and wept and wept

Here, she pointed, why did he not use this? At least the fishes would have spared his body

But Baba-Tunde was also staring at the looped rope, hanging un-used from the ceiling fan hook

And wondering why Bobo-Tunde opted instead for the lagoon death-dive.

Not only they: every other hands-on-the-head-in-disbelief wondered why Bobo-Tunde did it

And why he chose the lagoon flight path

Only Sista-Tunde, already reduced to tributaries of salt-water,

 had the answer

In the black box, his brother’s suicide note

Tell, us, tell us, they ask her, tell us why he did it:

why this promising young man blew out the flames of his own sun before his day could call itself dawn.

 Sista-Tunde harvested remnant words from her tongue

like grandma from her herder-ravaged farm

then cleared her throat:

It is not the cost of application forms

for government jobs already given out to the favoured…

O it is the plot, then..

What plot?

The plot that kills faster than suicide:

the plot of the graph of the rise in the price of garri?

No, not the plot!

What is it then? the mourners demanded

Bobo-Tunde is not asking for heaven on earth

His note says simply

 Free#LeahSHARIBU

HAVE A HAPPY WORLD POETRY DAY

(If you can!)

VAL’S TRYING SPORT

I must make a confession here: Imminent River might have stolen the show put up by the top – and not quite top – brass of Port Harcourt’s literati at my three-book presentation 3rd February 2020, but the book after my own heart is The Sea Route to Señorita’s   Heart. The story of Belema, even outside her double life as Señorita, is one that moves even stone-me to tears. To think of her emotional ordeal at the hands of her husband, Mlame, the art-possessed paintbrush entrepreneur! And then to have to clean up your eyes so you can see your own daughter as a teen mum – so rendered by another vanishing artiste undone by his own penile restlessness.

 Come on mate: this single tree does not make a VALENTINE’S DAY forest, but it won’t be for want of trying! Please forgive my self-promotion and enjoy the story.

For soft copies visit konga .com and Amazon.com and enter search for The Sea Route to Señorita’s Heart . For the good old hard copy visit any major bookshop in Nigeria, including:

PH:

*BOOKVILL :  2 Ezimgbu, off Mummy B/Stadium Road jcn;                                                                           –*CUPA BOOKS:  35 Rumualogu/Uniport Road, Rumualogu, P.H.;                                                                      *HOUSE OF GRACE BOOKSHOP:  Woji Road, by YKC, Woji ;                                                                                                               *HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL:  Bookstand,Rumuola,  PH;                                                                                                        *PERAZIM BOOKSHOP:  (HappyBite bookstand), opp Airforce Base

*BOOKS-ON-THE-LOOSE :   35, Uyo Street, off Stadium Road

*CHAPTERS BOOKSTORE:  46, Ekenewon, Oludi Street, Orazi, PH

ABUJA:

*The Booksellers Ltd:  City Plaza,  Area Eleven, Garki II,                                                               *Salamander Café:     5, Bujumbura St, Off Libreville St/Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II

LAGOS:

* Books and More:  Freedom Park, Lagos Island.

 *Quintessence: Falomo,  Ikoyi, etc; 

*Pls also contact Narrative Landscape Press, Anthony Village, or

*The BookFair Trust and

* Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Lagos, office.                                                               

YENAGOA

The NEW EBITARE BOOK HOUSE:

410, Melford Okilo Expressway, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

OWERRI: 

*New Ameiz Int’l Book spot,  34 Okigwe Road ;

*HomeCare Supermarket, 26 PH Road, Owerri

IBADAN:

*The Booksellers:  52, Magazine Road Jericho;                                                                                                                   *Options Books and Info Services Ltd:  142 Oyo Rd, opp. NISER

* Evangel Bookshop:  SW 8/685 Dapo Allied Building, Lagos Expressway Round-about, Challenge, Ibadan

*EKET/AKWA IBOM STATE

BOLDOZ Bookstore

21, Afaha Uqua Road, Eket

ALTERNATIVELY:

(a)

The Commissioner for Oaths

No foreword

No preface

No author’s note

No forewarning –

Just two short stories

For your reading pleasure

For one, I guess, you’ll be fine

For the other: my disclaimer

Should someone crack their ribs.

It was meant to be a seven-lobe kola offering

But 2020 was fast-forwarding schemes to leave me empty handed

Which was why I had to plead with Baba God –

I will not be at the cross-over night, tonight

But please, baba God,

Bear me still on eagle’s wings

Beyond where that one-night stand would have taken me

As I prepare the other lobes

Of the print edition

For the world to chew.

H A P P Y N E W Y E A R