Monday Jul 22

NdukaUche Uche Nduka was born in Nigeria. Raised bilingual in Igbo and English, he earned his BA from the University of Nigeria and his MFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. Nduka is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including Nine East (2013), Ijele (2012), and eel on reef (2007), all of which were published after he arrived in the United States. Earlier collections include Heart’s Field (2005); If Only the Night(2002); Chiaroscuro(1997), which won the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize; The Bremen Poems (1995); Second Act (1994); and Flower Child (1988). Belltime Letters (2000) is a collection of prose. Nduka currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.



a kind of glow,
           to rally for lunch
                      and sponsor love-

more visible,full-bodied,

nerves touching nerves,

still learning from the Minoans,
as shoelaces should,

your muscles, my petunias,
split into doors,

as if bells penetrate
                           our crotches,

filling longing with
sail boats, such is the sight

of your spread legs, up in
the fluids as your soul
enters me,

nor by softness nor by
hypnosis, pulled from

spinning balconies, for without
scars even the light
will crumble,

hand to hand with
                        a flavor of you,

between peaches and pepper
                                 a deep revelation,

there is something divine
                                 about kissing your hips,

you've let me see
the minarets inside your skin

and now all losses concur,

honeycomb, postage stamp,
verdancy of longing
and satiation,

unmade bed, a book unopened,
until a first draft asks
for an office and the mojo
begins anew,

gaffers fly-fishing, singular
grafting, why the hell not,

and rest my hand for
a moment between your legs,

wishing to recover every
tenderness we ever lost,

in the eyes of bliss, to be
fed into the brightness
of our roost,

there's a reason why shooting
up the street is not a conversation,

swimmers on a porch, for
you i will always live the risk
of a broken heart,

share a washpan in a loft.

A Third Time

my grandfather started out
in insurgence
i reassessed ellipses
and got shadows in the snow
leaving my country
is part of my duty in life
to keep the show going
they spoonfed me optimism
which i bluntly rejected
living in color isn't what it is trumped up to be
it gyrated into kicks and the wind cancelled it
i step up attuned to dissidence
right on time for right hooks
totems are screwy i strut my dreams
i stub out a joint on a flag at war with itself
washboard bordello's peace pipe
the capriciousness of heredity untranquil grace
i know that caution is pointless
night as stamp of prognosis
no use looking for one's spot in completion
i am always in formation
without stopping to rest i stroll with my collar up

Out of Pocket

if you do not understand pain
you will not understand joy.

to speak flamingo
& waltz the grape.

or dawn fishing for stars.
lemon-peel watching over
your waterfall of light.

i insist on nothing.
no false paper shall be shredded.

you fall for the gag
of an eclipse testing you.

it's late you're new to an old style.
there's a cloud around a right philosophy.
the solution to losing your mind

is to lose your head.
stop insisting on comfort.
don't delete disaster.