Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 1



Shitta Faruq Adémólá


In A Bird’s Song...

there is a broken lump,
taut memories and the tragedies in our t.v.
one step, two. it doesn't leap - three, wings
clogged in confinement - beaks
chopped for the night meal of witches.

the cage is iron - (Fe), or the sturdy black
metal that was never born with mercy.
hot - shoal - the murkiness of an echoed room.
silence - a little boy’s tears and everything pallid.

the keeper says its wage for sin is hell.
how does a silent boy in darkness buy
an appetite to dine in hell?
hell is fire, angrier than the one that chokes it.
grandma says it does not give mercy to
its lover.

it flies, up, down. its bright wings are eaten up
by worms - warm up - a press up that doesn’t
go down. the only voice it could hear is
the brokenness of its shadow.

now, here and there, it is cloaked in the redness
of a thick blood - orphan - a black child in the Whites -
tossing up, down, left, right, singing in the origin of
solitude. he does not know how to pick laughters.




Analysis of The War in Your Chests.

Prologue:
that artiste is your Mathematics teacher.
in the class, you hold your brush - you break
from the glass of colours - you get stained from the palette
of your grief. you are an elder with bent backs...

Examination Questions:
* sketch the bird & its deafening songs
that gallop in your heart.
* do not fail to be conscious of the epitaphs
& the waves of its elegies - the songs on its lips.
* break its wings like the black man worshipping his
sweat under wicked suns/sons of man.
plus boulders that doesn't want to be filthed.
* label every path of the blood that stains the bird's tongue
& touch every grief in your chests.
*be hyper-realistic.

Note: Answer all questions correctly, as each carries Ten Marks

you begin by breaking your tongue
into shards of the glasses that writhe in your chests
again.
you begin by building the mounds on your forehead
like the stance of the sky scraper in Lagos

***** bottled
fragments
your ex-
lover’s
betrayal
your
mother’s
tears
your father
died last
month
***** debris lumps salts grief.
***** the silhoutte
of your
shadow
the love
story you do
not want
back
your
mother’s
sour breast
milk
your
father’s
haunting
ghosts
***** Blank Blank __________ __________

Note: The penalty for cheating is very severe.

tomorrow, you metamormophose the
bird in you & its songs.
you travel miles and sprawl your tongue out
of your mouth's window.
you break like a river splitted into filthiness.

you - are - a - tout - of - brokenness...

Epilogue:
you want to go home... and you do not want to
go home.




Good God, We Don't Want To Pass Like This.

for the youths that died during the endsars protest - 20-10-2020

periods like this are like trees.
we can not say what bird would perch on its fallen branches & what brokenness
the music of its voice would bring.
some days, especially, in periods like this, when
my mother's milk is an ocean of dusty waves,
i do not stop running, because, boy, you cannot tell what
bullet would come next to your palms if you run. what fists,
what blood would
flow next on the corridor of your heart.
you can never tell when your father would call you a
bastard just because, just now,
on the streets in your vicinity,
your tongue is already a marked scar soaked from the
batterings of illegal government recruits.
last night, when my tears wanted to fume like a mirror,
i killed it from my inside, told the bird in me to pause, pause, bird,
this is not the time to break songs.
this is not a time of shaking your beaks for praise worships.
i do not know how to survive during periods like this,
god, good god, i don't want to pass like this.
boy, do not grieve the death of Jimoh Isaaq & his demised accompalice
& i would also try not to.




My Country as an Artillery for War.

whenever i’m open outside murals, and stripped off

my body-hug fabric - i am a poem of tears - a poesy of darkness. for in 1960, my country became
a saxophone on a rock.
stones on tombs that never pulls - the Jesus that
ran away - women of Marys in the despair of a river splitted into brokenness.


my country is the tears of kidnapped Women and Ladies of virtues, heavy with tears,
the foetus of corruption bursting to filter the streams in my fatherland with the skills of Yellow
artisans.
the fire in Dragons - & everything naked.


War & Peace.


what is war when peace is a lady raped-ripped?
what is peace when war is a god for atonement?


fire is that coin that rolls East West in my fatherland.
brothers are cannibals devouring the fragile tongues of kinsmen: there
are the ceaseless chokes of ups and downs. a mourn
in a morn. fire is blood - it is a thousand rifle my country
carries in the war of her heart...


i see blood sew itself in the loosed hole where she is
a war of thorns/torns. we match with our lungs,
they are exhumed to carry the poems that tastes
blood from the mouth of artilleries - the thousand sores that
never heals - the thousand healings that never sufficed.


in 2014, her blouse was another fragments eaten up
into ripples;
Girls with Hijabs ripped by veiled terrorists - Islamic Jihadists,
who had consumed the world of their innocence greedily.

they are the razors that sharpens the devil’s fang...

in her war battle, she is the tears of a defeated battalion - a retreat in many war journeys.

That night, the night she died, she broke
like drops of ice on the coldness of the ground. Her corpse
was the stench of the carcasses of gluttonous dogs...




Conversation with a Boy about an Ellipsis within words. . .

boy, you do not know well about yourself. Or do you?

i learned the work of a therapist in a psychiatrist near my garden of rabbits,

& i'm sure to tell you how much weight of loss marks like an arrow's thrusts

in the wall of your heart.

you are an ellipsis within words. . . like my biography - that my poems

do not sigh laughters and turn a garden
of flowers.

I want to make an analysis:

that miracle within the spaces between your teeth, what does it find there?

Silence

you won't answer, I know you won't.

Okay listen. Here in my area, a mad man wears his pride as he sings.

do you know the weight of tears he buries every Sunday in the backyard

of his flat? the soils are soft. no shovel will deny its pride.

i want to let you know the burden he worships every secret days

in the temple of his sore throat - how he betrayed himself by

making an atonement to something other than his grandmother's gods,

& how within words, the ellipsis he worshiped was knives

used in butchering festive rams during triumphant periods…



Shitta Faruq Adémólá: “I am a young Writer and Poet with works appearing or forthcoming in African Writer, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, Icefloe Press, Jalada Africa and elsewhere.”




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