Short Story: NOWHERE MAN

Have you ever looked at a staggering figure on a beach and seen someone so utterly alone: an anonymous man swaying to the waves with shoes slung around his neck, linen slacks rolled up to his knees, shirt unbuttoned to his navel?

Have you seen a man like that?

I have. That’s me I’ve just described – or, at least that’s what I think I look like viewed from, say, the bungalows behind the palm trees.

What am I still doing here, why am I not some place warmer, more settled? I ask myself.

It’s the off-season and the beach is dead, wrapped in a sallowness that makes you want to just give up. But this is Stone Town, there’s always something to do, even in the off-season, which this place has been in since October. Since the fire…

This short story was published in today’s Kalahari Review. Find the rest of it here:

Poem: Better Days

I woke up in a sad airless room, 
the smell was nocturnal – –  a lover unwashed – –
eyes as rheumy as the sun was callow.

My bed,  a pallet of sisal and dried tears, 
crawled with plagues and woes
I couldn’t abhor unless utterly sallow.

I was spared,  the desolate walls tell me, 
but I can’t make escape,
my blundering he never seemed so hollow – –

The famine of better days and easier childhood, 
is an illusion us orphans of motherless bastards
harbour as poison too thin to swallow.

The wet bodies,  dead remnant eyes, bemoan
broken biers, dry incense bowls,  wickless candles – – 
God’s meagre fallow.

A bloodied sandal, clipped toenail,
pale lipstick smudged on creaky floorboard,
the tongueless robber says,  hullo.

Poem: I Long For Distress

I admit, the thorn in my
rosy bush of desires
stifles me no longer.
Its prickling, uncompromising
disassembly of nerves
is nothing but brutal coquetry

Over time, with my thresholds,
winced and climbed over,
by ladders of tolerance, intolerable —
my longing for distress
has been cultivated,
and it’s no longer just a garden.
for, comfort is like a blanket
that doesn’t cover my feet fully,
even if it did,
I wouldn’t abide it.

My better self disowns my virtues
for, my baser self brings
the kind of satisfaction
that balms the craving. in my
marrow, my maw.

I admit, that the darkness
strays not from questioning eyes —
for what can they do me?
beyond shunning me and judging themselves
So I let this near-dark fright, fragrance
the impure air of my hypocrisy


Wow. I haven’t written any poetry for the last year or so. I was on some hopeless quest to unfind myself by delving only into prose, can’t say I’ve achieved what I set out trying to do. Don’t even know what I mean by ‘unfind’ myself. Too much Pessoa speaking? Anyway, at least I got to finish the first drafts to 4 novels, THE AWAKENING, HOUSE OF DYES, SUICIDE CLUB & APOCRYPHA. No more novels for me this year, going to polish up these four and get them published. Hooray!
Considering how I much I have abandoned other writing endeavours, poetry mostly, I’m going to focus on that a lot, this year. Screenplays too and shorter prose pieces.

This is the first poem I’ve written in eighteen months or so, it’s a bit rough, but I hope there’s still enough of the poet in me resurrected here. Please tell me what you think.

There are things fixed in this world,
that though unrooted, could never be uprooted.
Then there’s things which are wrought
by the brittle heel of old mythologies
I don’t know which part my love for her falls —
Maybe halfway in the shadows of both.
Or maybe it’s the sun casting a shadow where there’s no light
or light where there’s no shadow —
All I know is, I’m a fool caught in the eyelashes of a blind world
For, love is blind and all that.

Love is also death,
dearth to the enterprising nakedness
of my crass naivety
Love, her love, is a net that catches
the vague articulation of my flair
Her love — not our love — is beyond
the haughty fling of intellectual whimsy
to which, me and my contemporaries — if I can call them that,
indulge with contempt.

Love, her love is rain on a Sunday afternoon,
totally unexpected, but cool to the trickling drop
just chilly, but snug enough to be comfortable,
enough to want just a little more.
Love, her love, if it were a home
it would be a home built on forgiveness given
before forgiveness is required.
A communion of undreamt trespass.

Babishai Niwe Foundation (Uganda) Announces @BNPoetryAward 2015 Submissions

Parrésia Publishers

Our partners, the Kampala-based Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, chaired by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyuvna, just released the Call for Submissions for the 2015 BN Poetry Award. It’s open to all African Poets of all genders with $1000 in the sweet pot. Kenya’s Tom Jalio won the 2014 Award. Parrésia COO, Richard Ali, is on the Board.

See details below.



The BN Poetry Foundation is pleased to bring yet another exhilarating, stimulating platform for African poets world-wide. We strongly believe in rewarding great poetry where we can and so, we are filled with abundant enthusiasm as we send out our 2015 call. #BNPA2015

The submissions will be received from January 15 2015 to May 15 2015. By early July, we will send out a long-list and later a shortlist and the final winner will be announced during the 2015…

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I’m Trusting The Soup. #01

Woke up at 4 a.m. Today. Like finally, after many weeks of setting the alarm at that ghostly hour and never ever even finding my hand at the snooze button.
But waking up was just the first hurdle. Now sitting my ass down and writing, that’s the trouble. Been this way a couple of months, actually, mmaybe the whole year, come to think of it. Skipping days, not finishing what I start, finding content in writing waayy below my usual word quota, like I have the luxury to, that’s why I was setting the alarm at 4 a.m. Thinking I could at least put in two hours of penmonkeyship before the rigours of the real world consumed the rest of my day.

This negligible surrender of my dream of writing has put me in quite the predicament, my day job’s winding up in like a month, almost no savings I can talk of, and a stack of unfinished novel manuscripts. My horizons have contracted, so to speak. Without rushing into despair, and existential angst (which i’m quite sure I’m already in) I had to make a quick evaluation, had to listen to a ton of motivational tapes, not writing resources, but motivational tapes, because along the way, the passion for the dream kinda lost urgency… a bleak thing to say about the only thing that brings you any joy and defines your life, but yeah, that’s how deep down the rabbit hole I’d delved.

These motivational speakers, Les Brown, Anthony Robbins, Zig Zigler and Earl Nightingale have been a tremendous help, really. Enough is enough, I said to myself, I need to snap out of my rut and get writing. God knows the task ahead of my is Sisyphean, but I have belief and conviction and am acting as though it were impossible to fail, I’m doing the work. Everyday, all day, all night, 25/8.
I’m staying primitive, I’m trusting the soup, swinging for the seats(Inspiration Courtesy of Steven Pressfield’s DO THE WORK) and all that…

The problem is all this dread and sense of urgency has now put a lot of pressure on my writing to do quite impossible i.e. Miraculous feats… the process doesn’t matter now, nor intent, only results. This is my own personal declaration that nothing’a going to stop me now.