Literary Zone

Poetry: Mime and Burnishment

16 May 2016 at 01:27 | 4621 views

Mime and Burnishment

By Fayia Sellu, USA.*

Like a cupboard
Was obliged to hold
The overstrained, verging
On hypochondria, scaffolding
The 1860s stench of Petersburg
Sank Dostoevsky in deep thought
Overwroughting the Human Condition
A bespattered Zimmerman’s hat
Minding the rags below, rusty
With age, on sore errands
For geraniums, muslin curtain
Short-changed dreams, gallivanting
The taverns of time, deranged
Concertinas of scornful reflections
Stout in positive hostility
Grizzled dejected, presentiments
Conjunct with grandiloquent sentiments
Jamming eloquent solemnity
In the hushed sentences of neural lottery
"Poverty is not a vice...drunkenness is
Not a virtue...Beggary is a vice."
No sniggering chimps, chinks
Cayotes... wolves can send
High-flown howls, stolid, askew
Enough to glisten Katarina Ivanovna’s
’Drap de dames’ or the swine pen
Of the cleft-prelated Kapermuanov’s
Unvexing the tribulation, beastliness
"What if man is not really a scoundrel,
Man in general,
I mean the whole race of mankind?"

I won’t writhe in thought
As monomaniacs, expostulating
At the unresolvable servant-pieces
Of art or selfies, Schilleresque hearts
Tarred Jesuitry, rather the Casuistry
Or those viler clamourings
Singing the Balalaika with
Thick-throatedness rampant
In the ramparts of peasantry
Where costermongers of all sorts
Tug away the abscessed freedom
Accursed with limbs polio-ed
Eradicably etched on possibility
Is this conscience-prickler
of a perpetuity, drowned in
An ocean of prejudice
Absent speechification, convulsive
Stupefaction, seasons of eclipses
Of reason. "Like playing the piano
Forte with one foot." Beneath
Recurring thunderclap of space and time
Eschatological futilities, sodden mirrors
Fratricidal Ideation: Folie a deux, yonder.

*Fayia Sellu, from Sierra Leone, is a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.