Three Poems from Mbari by Uche Nduka

Mbari 13

That part of the narrative that has the abrupt reversals of sparrows in high heels. The hallway and the staircase went to hell. Each bliss contains life contains death.

A gunslinger of white-washed walls. These red targets are playing backgammon. Where is that guy now? Jide Obi is still talking about front page news. With hat stand, chain-link.

Mud beneath the feet of the sky. A canoe brought in for the coronation of a mother. Each crag of that mountain is a text. And memory is a holy place. We’re the ones not entirely lost in concord.

Don’t empty this silence of its shipwrecks. The lovemaking that reorders the sleepless lineage glows. By trial and error we approach our truer natures. Not all roses are scandal-free. Cleavages calling out to each other. But something is holding back the sailmaker.

That watchword filled with temples waits for you. Among the angels of a urinal. At the edge of a sampling error. Can I hold still inside a whirling word?

We were in a threesome and the ecstatic confusions continued unimpeded. This fugue that claimed them. This gift guide to provenance.

The miserable tricks of a wasted life or the acts of love that get the better of us. We’re getting off topic in the politics of rain. This is what it looks like when you undersell the underhill.

I write “error” across the chest of numbers. The virginal resources of the barricade. This cock spitting blood in a back-country. That pesky bronzing that forgoes gaslighting. You are the one shadows have been waiting for.

It doesn’t matter if we’re provisional. I still like the sweetness of our restlessness. The name-giving chalice of the cunt. Thirst for grace after siesta. Flame trees of the middle earth. Voices misting over the abattoir. Nollywood’s firewood. Dig this earth, dig this earth.

Have you met the yellow milkman yet? Isn’t this about the catch-and-release of first-movers? “Beyond Mombasa”. Carolers lashing out at ash. Beyond the red earth of a foreign land. A macro-lens, a rope ladder.

There is an extent to which a ruined city forces us into a triple level of streetwalking. Dark emerald, a visor, a flying gondola. We’re indestructible. Running around a billboard. A hummingbird to talk with.

This is the misty picture of a hay-stem. A whiplash on the approach. A welder’s crotch. Possible futures do spoil me. Breaking out of the tunnels of the page. The hush of that bright music. A long fall from the fountain.

We rolled to the middle as hard as fast as we could. A wingman came alive in what you wrote. A practice run in my half-sleep. You didn’t know you could cream the shore, did you? Reunions, rebuildings: I couldn’t ask for more. Someplace north of coition.

An unprinted sign. A balloon, a question that keeps dreaming about you. Broken syllables, file folders, tubes.

This is the mortal side of the hayfield. We’re living our own songs all the time. Clear as tests, as wrenches. I’m here to take you on. I’ll smother your maxims with my own maxims. Every aspect of a rough landing.

Brain scans, mechanic, seaplane. Crosstrees of an updraft. She is well aware the morning is upside down. Over the slopes of desire: grindstone, cockpit. Affirmations are already there in the mist.

A lot of time for finding other ways to live. There is no permanent wreckage. We needed lots of room everywhere and I thought of them as we ambled down the trail of sex.

Shelves of books about our flying hours. You’re going to stir it up? Just drink. Mourning is involved in foretelling. 30 minutes max I let the day seize me.


Mbari 14

Wanting the loss between arcade and glass. Can’t be done. Can’t be done. Brava to polymers. Those fangs you call feelings. Bare them. He was strip-searched because he dreamt. Dictatorship of octopuses. The incursion of a goldfish bowl into dolmens.

How I faced you below the dark scar. The humus of childhood that makes us exist beyond figuration. Hoping the mantras know it’s time to leave their rocking chairs. That’s how every misprint gets stolen.

Posting these caresses fed to incompletion. I could just as easily escape from Lower Manhattan. Transferences of lost causes through monogold. Half-charred receipts thrown into a river. The patina of proposition sensitive to monochrome opposition, to horsebladder.

Devoted to fervor and ardor. Everything starts with red imprints. Prevalence of the sheen of pipe smokers. Prescriptions undelivered to your platform. Siskins face the tax. Like it like that. Later that afternoon a fight broke out between the yams and the barn.

A loan for every vice grip. Got funnier when you taught me to read gravelines. In the airbed a woman begins to levitate. You were not there to win a popularity contest. Blight played on the organ. Gave the clock a bath.

Off the bench elsewhere looking at you from space. Loved the idea of getting under their skin. Fresh from the shower, barely private. He would neither confirm nor deny he felt blocked in the wake of being nationally discovered.

The flute swears by the truth of your bosom. Chatting about a coalition under a rug a clique under a rug (contrary to kamikaze android). I don’t want to poke fun at their cool factor. You said you drank vodka to correct the universe.

Empathy is something I’ve tried in a half-assed way. Living as if bliss is the only option.

Targets redactions in a tirade. As well as the failure of the 3Rs- Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reintegration. A half-smoked joint and a telescope on the verge of becoming a road code.

He was, in his own way, still holding on to the insight of discomfort. These things matter to the bright sunshine of lovemaking.

School dogs parenting bold ideas. Every guy in my bicycle team lost. Blind agon versus playlist. Don’t we have enough time to rock? The rusher rushed got avalanched. I’m not sure the talking drum knows what it is talking about this afternoon.

Quicksilver rhapsody of eating pussy. That stone will probably spare a good leader in good leather.

Especially when we lifted our hearts, lifted our skirts. How did we lose him? Take a deep breath. Yew tree, dogwood, snakeskin of her looking glass.

We’re heading to Love in both directions. They brought brass belt buckles. I brought parachutes. Lip servers to the wounds of Christ. Not enough of ampler bosoms behind these wheels. Stroking and making out with African violet.

Didn’t sound like her. Like she was partying with the FBI. How stupid is reality? I did confess my happiness to the Catskills. Sideseed moonsad feel-copping. Love is not a luxury. This shadow full of circling hips. As if it were a fruit of the tumult.

The lion’s mane and the tail of the lioness spotted at the melanin congress. Better check your attitude. The line we must not cross is the line we must not cross.

It’s a matter of grunge and umbrage. Past the halfway point you grind yourself into me. That is all. Take a bath and sweep the sea. While the bagpipes make you porous.

Testing the icicles inside the sacred chamber of love. An auction of salamanders. Those mornings on the sidewalk in my pajamas. The whole damn American myth.

That cedarwatch made a connection and even dared mock rock markings. She loves to twist your nose hairs. Blinking inside memory. Is this how you become the songs you sing? An aura unfurrowed at one degree of separation from champagne flutes.

Diamond rags of the symphonies of Shostakovich.


Mbari 15

Take the doorbell camera, walk by the quay. Go with as little forethought as possible. If not you, then who? This is how to find what you’re not looking for. An attempt to reckon with loving deliberately. Fresh off a flight, seastars shall roll and we’ll follow. We’ll get there one way or another.

As you run deeper and deeper into the floral, elevating the city, bit by bit, into the sky. Between the corridor and window is a phosphorescence that lurks in a kiss. A kiss lifted by our hands. Light can only do so much.

As if we were unlanguaged.

Sometimes in a single day I become a crowd. Starting to tilt is the purple sky under my feet. Laughter wades into weeds. Noon after noon, you marvel at the well-meaning jigs of hillsides.

I bit my tongue. I thought tongue and teeth shouldn’t be enemies.

Rushing around together in the breathing room. The walls sweat and swear. To know what chaos finally is as it tries to trick the world. The weight of the wound is quite global.

You’ve got the transportation figured out right now. Dust, snow, sirens. Stomach’s onion-purge. Green tea’s red hair. Everything you need to know about platform pumps. There are blue skies between the fissures. Mandarins seen through a glass window.

Someone out there is setting a boat on fire. Nightcap, foxglove.

The floorboards leap toward the light. Squaring the lake. I don’t know what your level of rustic living is. A north that has no edges. North of desire.

Nudes and other languages. Curves from which crotch and cactus swoon. Audacities of hue. Points in the ascent of joy. From woodcuts to graphed awakenings of synesthesia.

Oh shit. I left my earrings at school.

Humming muscles we cannot turn from. Fashion studies us. Carve pumpkins, clean the house together. Mini Apricot Brandy.

Exhortation of strings, black lines. The inner necessity of zero gravity. I defend your right to flee. Or shower before you plant garlic. Mostly it’s the strobing that takes you higher.

As if dawn bit into and pulled out a chunk of sleep. A biker and the peregrine. Or the scars of a blue-skinned island.

But I don’t know what else you do but accumulate miracles. There has been so much said about a catcher’s mitt. That morning traffic on your eyelashes.

Living out of a suitcase isn’t the hard part. Variation is also an aphrodisiac. There is no need to hoard gratitude.

You don’t let a coast line lie to you. Wherever you go you see the scratched knees of a truth tautly stretched.

We hopped the railing and barreled into some twisted shit. From scratch the world didn’t stand a chance with us. Reading the island, we got moon-danced. The sculpture behind the scripture.

You look for traces of the argot of piston. He tries to bust your balls. Last fling before hell. Or before the fade-out. Is that a Grey wagtail I spy?

The crash of the cymbal hits the highway. The bursting of the closets. I would not presume to have mended the rifts. From silverware to silverware until nightwash.

A hustle in bonded bronze. Like laying offerings that are not always palatable. Asking questions of the city we see. Be complicated and glad. Rapture has no limits.

This morning; the toast of breakfast. Drilling refreshed with available shadows.

Three Poems from Mbari by Uche Nduka