Friday, 16 May 2008

can't think of a title, the post has exhausted me already...

Ok this is going to be a real post. Afrobabe has gone at me for my latest post of poetry. She made it seem like my attempts at reforming the world through children’s poetry was appalling. Worse she hissed at me. A very emphatic hiss, which came as a separate comment. Now, I’m really distraught with this turn of events. So I determined in my heart to do the unthinkable:

I’ll put up TWO POSTS in ONE MONTH!

Besides this, I’m going to make this post as boring and lack lustre as possible. Primarily this is to spite Afrobabe (sebi she wants to read something? She go read tire today) I’m going to detail my very unexciting recent life and new career I have taken up – banking. Yep, I’m in a bank now. Left the law firm a while ago. If I’m to tell the whole truth, since the year began I’ve gone through two banking institutons. A third offered me a job some weeks ago and even though it’s a much better place than where I am now, I can’t afford the reputation I’m getting. It’s a bit difficult explaining to my neighbours and friends my most current place of employ.

Sample telephone conversation

friend: how’s ur law firm?

Ozaveshe: er..left a while ago

Friend: u’re unemployed? eyah sorry o…

Ozaveshe: no, no. not unemployed. I work in Bank Z now…

Friend: ah! BIG BOI! U be my man! Anyway, talk to u soon.

A week later

Friend: Ozaveshe! Ozaveshe!! Call me back now! I no get credit

Ozaveshe: ok. (I call back)

Ozaveshe: how far?

Friend: my man! How u dey now?

Ozaveshe: good. Whats up?

Friend: I dey find ur branch. I no see am o! u sure say u dey H street? I don dey bike the whole VI and I gast see u bcos na u go help me pay the okada man. I no get kish for hand…

Ozaveshe: I’m no longer in Bank Z. I’m now in Bank S. my bank is on the same street

Friend: u don move commot? Na wa for u o. U dey dodge me abi wetin?

You can imagine how perplexed my former colleagues were when they saw me walking around with a rival bank’s pin on my lapel. The explanations I’ve had to do…

So that was it. I decided to stay put in this place and try to forge the beginnings of a respectable career from here. Unfortunately I’ve been placed in a department that didn’t take into consideration my legal background and outstanding ability at shuffling paperwork. My duties consist of, but are definitely not limited to doling out cash to paying tellers and primarily making certain the account books balance on a daily basis. That has proved quite a challenge for me, especially as nothing in my life ahs ever really balanced – my own personal accounts, my diet…

Inevitably overages and shortages have been showing up. Its taken all my arithmetic skills to keep the entire bank from crumbling since employing me. I’m beginning to think I may be more of a liability than an asset (you can notice my familiarity with accounting lingo. I’ve actually gotten some knowledge)

And then my colleagues are all of the Yoruba stock and insist on their language, and oddly French, as the lingua franca. This move has chased away all non-yoruba and French speaking customers. The French is gotten from the members of the Congolese community in the area who are some of our most valued customers. Yeah, and the French is spoken with an Ibadan accent and limited to phrases like “good morning” and “where is the money?” Nonetheless, in order to fit in I have assiduously learned these phrases and use them in dealing with customers. One walked in yesterday about the end of business hours. He had a large hairy jaw and was wearing a green t-shirt that read CONGO!

Congo: I vuld like tu, how they say it? Open ah account

Ozaveshe: good morning (in French obviously, but with that Yoruba accent I can’t quite get the spelling)

Congo (his eyes lighting up with pure joy): oh! Tu est francais? Excellente, fantastique!

Ozaveshe: now look here bro, don’t get all excited…

Congo (he’s almost jumping up and down now, looking a lot like king kong): Oui! Oui!

My manager comes in: who’s making all that noise? (said in Yoruba as well, obviously)

Congo, spinning round in concentric circles. I’m getting dizzy watching him): Oui! Oui!

Ozaveshe: we ke? No be me and you abeg…

Honestly, how the mighty have fallen. The great Ozaveshe has been exposed to many indignities such as having to converse in the vernacular with people of dubious immigration status. And that’s not the worst. There are those other boys. The ones with flashy cars and teeth. The ones with deep tribal marks running along the sides of their faces who walk into the bank their ID Cards reading names like JOHN JAMES. Or PAUL JAMES. Or when they want to be imaginative JAMES JOHN.

And then there the girls. Or I mean there no girls. No pretty young things in my branch. Maybe they all shipped them to another part of the country or something, but they’re definitely not where I am. there are some who are young and they are some who are things, but none is pretty. The pretty ones are older and out of my reach. I noticed one thing last week during a branch meeting winking at me. I cringed involuntarily. She seemed encouraged by this, probably thinking I was jolted by desire, and she added a smile to her revolting display. To think of it, she bore a startling resemblance to CONGO! ; dull eyes and disgustingly hirsute (I could see thick sweaty tufts of hair coming out from the top of her blouse) I had to hide behind a colleague the rest of the meeting and for the entire day at the office, pretend to be engrossed in a Credit Proposal Memorandum.

I guess with this, its somewhat easier to understand why I havent posted in a while. I've been having a rough time dealing with the realities of my life. It was out of this desperate living conditions I decided to do something for children so any of them in grim situations like mine would get hope and inspiration the way I have gotten hope. Hence my poetry.

P.S Just before I posted this I saw fantasyqueen's comment urging her idoma sister on in her assault against me. I'm sparing you both this time for old times sake. BUT if this repeats itself again, then its going to get really hot and messy in here...

Monday, 12 May 2008

My latest Project

Doing a compilation of poetry for kids ( I love kids a lot and hope they have a lot to learn from these) Its not just poetry but a collection of modern nursery rhymes and Life's truisms. Well thought out and written to guide a child from infancy to adulthood.

Here they are:

All work and no play
make Jack a man before his day
The opposite is just as wild
Poor Jack will always be a child

Mary had a little lamb
her father shot it dead
She still takes it to school each day
Between two bits of bread

Jack and Jill
Went up the hil
To fetch a pail of water
I don't know what they did up there
but they came back with a daughter

Early to rise
Early to bed
Makes a man healthy
But socially dead

Old Mrs Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog some bread
But when she got there
the cupboard was bare
so the dog ate Mrs Hubbard instead.

In the search for Joy (which is futile)
Man finds a mate and walks down the aisle
to repeat that famous curse:
"we'll stay together, for better, for worse"

When I was a child
I spake as a child
Argumentative, obtuse and wild
But when I grew older
I gave up childish ways
And this has haunted me
The rest of my days.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

I think I'm back

Na wa o!

Blogsville has really changed since I've been away. Its been only about three odd months or so and the atmosphere has become confoundingly bizarre. Before i go into that though, I'd like to give a piece of mind to bloggers who didn't give me, er, peace of mind. They kept bugging me for updates and stalking my blog, making me feel positively important (admittedly, these bloggers were quite few and with astonishing oneness of mind all stopped checking up on me after two or three halfhearted tries) Anyway, they did a lot boost my morale throughout my hiatus.

I also want to comment on my absence. I guess I should explain what happened and give some convincing story about me prevailing against all odds and that sort of thing, but frankly I don't really care to do any explaining. It goes against my grain to return to the past. I mean, living in the present is tasking enough and thinking about the future is donwright daunting. Also my past is riddled with mistakes, halftruths, scandalous emotional liasions and dizzying amounts of alcohol and these really are not devils I'd like to call up at this moment.

Finally, (oh jeez, this is beginning to sound like a grammy acceptance speech)...
ok. there is no finally. I just said that to give the narrative a structure.

so i was saying i'd noticed changes in Blogsville since I came back on board. I must have been a sort of stabilising factor because without me around bloggers have gone haywire. new ones, old ones...

first of all afrobabe, besides, giving us an eyeful of humerus in "fuck-me-pumps" continues to plaster her perfectly sensible posts with dirty pictures. honestly these days I dont have to read Ubong Da anymore for imaginative thoughts

and atutu is having a crush on Norah Jones of all people! forget the fact he tried to couch it as a narrative emphasizing an appreciation of her musical talent, I know what he had going on in his mind. I'm not saying she's not fine or anything o! but happened to Brick & Lace, Beyonce...

carlang, unfortunately, has reached the end of the line as he almost has certainly lost mind. despite whatever he says he sincerely thinks afrobabe is Jennifer Lopez, bases his predictions on Nigeria's chances in the Nations' cup on happenings on animal channels on Cable TV and, worst of all, acts a sixth toe in what obviously was a carefully intended menage a trois.

ubong da doesnt seem to have had any sexual experience since december and that's one of the real tragedies in blogsville today.

freaksho's latest endeavour is to write a book, waith for this....with no words of his own! He's asked the whole world to send in some of their best poetry in the guise of getting the perfect valentine couplet. soon as he's complied them he plans to have them published so he can live on the illegal proceeds all his life while we, the real authors, langiush on the periphery of literary excellence. talk about valentine's day massacre! (that was somewhat melodramatic, wasn't it?)

and since supergirl has become a company secretary she's stopped putting up posts

fantasyqueen, on the other hand has been living the life of a queen, being patronised by other bloggers...wait o, what is this talk i'm hearing about fantasyqueen and carlang? warrahell! and these two people decieved us that they actually enjoyed blogging when they were only using this as a dating site...

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Merry Christmas

when i'm in a mood i get sorta melancholy. But i still want to wish y'all a merry christmas. with a poem.

The Christmas Gift
Cashmere is a sweater
mere cash is much better.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Hey, hi...bye!

The above subject refers.

In my not-so-many years of legal practice, and much longer years of letter writing and correspondence exchange, I have never once come across the Perfect Message. The Perfect message is hereby defined as one which has the following qualities: brevity, clarity and style.

I'd have to confess though, that my not coming across the Perfect Message (lets just abbreviate it to PM, shall we?) was not for want of trying. In term papers, examination scripts and theses throughout my secondary and tertiary education I hoped to achieve PM. I would carefully summarise all the answers to exam questions on, say, the Law of Contract as:

"someone has, the other does not.
the one who's doesn’t have
buys from the one who's got".

I didn’t get full marks for that one at school. If I remember correctly, I got the minimum marks available. The reason for this, I guess, was the Lecturer's lack of poetic instinct.

Or take, for instance, my well researched dissertation for an Anthropology course titled "Complex Relationships in Today's Modern World". To aid proper comprehension, my submission was simple and straight to the point:

"She loves me
and I love another
who loves the guy
whose girl loves my brother."

Come to think of it, I didn’t get full marks for that one as well...

Anyway, as you can see, I have searched for PM most of my life.

And then, yesterday, from nowhere, the PM dropped on my laps. More accurately, it appeared as a text on my phone - "Hey, hi...bye!"

The message had everything- salutation, inquiry about my whereabouts and a final greeting. Even the ellipsis conveyed wordless feelings. And it stopped with a conclusive Bye accentuated by as excited exclamation point.

My feelings since then, have been both of elation (finally a genuine PM!) and tragedy (I know what the message said but what did it MEAN?) and I promptly made up my mind to duly insult the sender of the PM. Better still, pay her back in her own coin. Reason being, though a fantastic message, it was way too cruel and cold. So I set out with the task of composing a PM to match hers, expressing my anger and disgust.

I came up with quite a few:

"Very nasty text you sent, why did you even bother?

which I then abbreviated to:

"Very nasty bother."

I took out the spirit behind it and did a final summary in the way of:


So now I was ready and raring to go. I typed the pregnant word on my phone and pressed the 'send' button. Then lay back and slept off.

I was awoken at night by a blinking light. My phone was blinking. A text message! Aha, my PM was better than hers, and it went straight to her heart. Now she's all repentant, isn't she? I smirked. I already had another response ready to her anticipated reply of contrition. She was going to beg for forgiveness for her thoughtlessness and ask me to take her back into my fold. I was going to reply with a well timed: "Bah!" I was elated. In one night, I had mastered the art of the PM. I could see myself writing a book about PM's in the future, being acclaimed internationally, meeting the Heads of State and the British er, PM, awards, cash, endorsements, cute models...

I picked up my phone. The light still blinked. I was indeed a text message. But not from her. The message went :

Message cannot be delivered. Reason insufficient credit...

For now Globacom has the record for the best PM…

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Chain Reaction

I wear a chain. And for some reason this has marked me out as a sort of deviant. Not just in church but also at home. I guess my mom has given up the idea of trying to convert me from the morally unacceptable practice. I’ve had the item for a little more than a year and have been without it only a couple of times. At church, where in a distant time I’ve given my life’s blood to, the staunch believers don’t approve of the chain. The more vocal of them express their views outrightly, while the others merely fix me with glances of utter disdain when I happen to pass by. To say the least I’m extremely depressed about it. People I have referred to as uncle, or aunty since before I was a teenager have now become my most avid persecutors. One, in fact, who my mom insists we should address as mommy (ugh!) grabbed me from behind with a well executed lunge and pinned me to the walls of the church a few Sundays ago.

“Never let me see you put this on, ever!” she hissed at me with stern eyes. I whimpered an affirmative answer, trying to prise myself from her grip.

“Take it off soon as you get home and when you get married give it to your wife.” This time she snarled and I could see the words curling out of her mouth dripping with menace. Marriage, for me, might be a while down the road, seeing as I have no fiancée now, and the only girl I’m ready to give my heart to is thousands of miles away in some other country. Besides that she’s currently in a much publicized liaison with former (?) rapper Jay Z so I’m kinda waiting for her to come back to her senses…
But I didn’t enlighten her on these plans. I just shuddered and nodded my head miserably like a sickened puppy. This tactic must have worked for at that moment she let go of me. I almost collapsed to the ground. She put on her beatific smile, the one she used to charm her way into an early Deaconnesship and sauntered off.

Now you might ask me, isn’t it easier to just discard the chain? Why would I subject myself to such killer moves more suited for the WWE just because of a little piece of jewelry? The object, I should add, is not only inexpensive; it’s also easily and widely available. So why do I still use it?

Beats me.

But as a matter of principle I leave it on. It’s mine. I got it legally. It’s not ostentatious. It’s pretty, small and barely visible. I forget it’s there sometimes. It’s comfortable to use. I haven’t got to take it off because I want to take a bath or anything like that, and it’s shown no sign of tarnish. Simply, I don’t see any reason to take it off.

Now I asked my mom why she was so averse to my adornment.

“Only women put on jewelry” she replied.

I pointed out that rings and some wrist watches were jewelry. I also pointed out that her statement was semantically incorrect because I had seen a number of men with jewelry including, obviously, yours truly.

She sniffed. Once. “Only women should wear jewelry” she said.
I asked, in the most unassuming way possible why.
She looked at me like I had just laid an egg. She began in her most preachy tone.
“When men begin to assume the characteristics of women. Indeed when they begin using the clothing of women for themselves, it’s the beginning of perversion and the end of everything. Indeed every destruction in the Bible – Nineveh, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel and the Flood were occasioned by man’s increasing perversity and desire to change the normal order of things.”

I mulled over this for a while wondering how my little innocent chain would be the cause of the next life threatening catastrophe. It didn’t seem to add up. And the argument seemed ambitious, somewhat.

I pointed out, politely, that she had strayed somewhat off point as she didn’t address the issue at hand. It was at this point she got upset and sent me off on some flimsy errand.

It has become rather difficult, I have found to hold a proper conversation without distracting somebody.

“Is that a chain?” a team leader in my church asked one morning while we were discussing how the plans for the new library were going. I had noticed her staring at a space beneath my throat, trying to get a glimpse of it.

No it’s just a little space in my skin which has distinctive silver tinge and happens to glint when it catches light. Of course it’s a chain you ******!

I managed a weary “yes”.

She avoided my eyes the rest of the meeting and my entire person the rest of the morning.

I’m now hardened and used to prejudices like that.

The upside of having a chain is, in a gathering (not my church, obviously), people tend to see you as urbane, possibly rich and full of interesting ideas. And then girls think you a Casanova, which is ok with me. I’m absolutely thrilled by the prospect of being considered a playboy and have tried to live up to the reputation. I got a pair of ray bans, D Banj style, and have taken to sitting in bars and scanning the surroundings. There usually is some drunk giggly chick who notices me and we begin to make eye contact (I have to take off my ray bans for this activity though I keep them conspicuously displayed on the bar top) my pickup lines don’t seem to have the desired effect though:

“You wanna have dinner? I’ll be dessert”

“Hi, I’ve lost my phone number. Could I have yours?”

Usually they are dragged off by their irritated partners or just move on to meet another (this time a genuine) playboy.

The best thing about my chain though, is the permanence of it. I like that fact of it – a permanent piece of jewelry requiring low or no maintenance and which, if I may say so myself, really does go well with all of my outfits. and the spirit of it - strong, dainty, shiny and pretty.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Diary of a 15yr old girl

Another poem?! Ahh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's not that bad, really, just please read on. I wrote this a years ago and have a soft spot for it. (Rummaging through my stuff has made me see how obsessed with poetry I used to be) Enough said. Oya read. and comment.


The party: felt out of place
Clothes didn’t fit, no make-up on my face
Everyone dancing, having fun
Sat down and sipped juice till half past one
Guy walked up to me in rocawear
Platinum neck chain, blue dyed hair
The CD was blasting Notorious, Nas
He sat down and offered me a glass
And then a dance, but I declined
He shrugged and said he didn’t mind
I had a hunch
He spiked my punch
But I took a sip, and then some more
Seconds later we were on the dance floor
Whispering in my ear, he pressed close
Shoulders rubbing against my nose
Amidst the music dropping like U.S bombers
We sweet-talked and exchanged phone numbers.

Late night calls from 12 to 4
Furtive sneaking through the back door
I feel young and insecure
But he acts so strong and sure

DAY 12
Our first kiss: he smelt of beer
Tongues, spit flying everywhere
He slipped his hand up in my skirt
I went home feeling as cheap as dirt

Inevitably it led to sex
He said “it’s called making love
And it’s not complex
We are in love, and both want each other
Forget principles, why even bother?”

Quick, queer, stilted, awkward sex
Hard seats of his mom’s coupe
I was nervous afterwards
Didn’t know what on earth to say
He chain-smoked and fell asleep
The air was heavy with nicotine
Then I skulked home past midnight
Reeking of sex, cigarettes and sin

Candies and condoms and fast cars
Binge drinking at all night bars
Loud music, rocking raves
Teenage adults, sex slaves…

He used to say, “don’t leave me, please”
And now he’s traveled overseas
In the confusion in which I continue to sink,
I’ve always found someone to spike my drink…

You call all this the teenage blues
Our bodies are broken
Our spirits are bruised
Is this what love is,
Or did we get used?