Three Poems by Prosper C. Ìféányí

Nouveau Sonata

night & the poet plots his                 way in a dark

room. thin threads of                   light spun on his

sheaf of papers.                            windows shut &

grieving with ideas.                       brimming


with tears—                                         coniferous ice

effulgent                                           like small teeth

cascading down                                   a snake-like

wind dredging                                   tremor & souls.


an ashen ghost                                           plotting

a coup on the radio.                           sweet riotous

cry, outside the field.                     fire lining rave;

the song                                   harpooning the crest


of the saint. suckled                       sugar-plum—

fingers somewhere                    the pillow of the

head has refused                               to unroll.

in the forest, a shindig             bereft of din & flow.


tired mouths                                          docked at

bay of sea-spit                                      two hands

large as   airy-wings                    piercing the white

of the   sky.                                    a chiseled anthill


in the memorious                   savannah. all mirrors

in the house                                                   sharded

&     splayed                                   burrowed deep

the tendril of images                drowned by clarinet


hymns.                                            roofs perforated

by singing bullets.                    bodies serenading

the fall                                        like suture of two

bird claws—                                  licked & spat dirt


in a cubicle                                          of bouncing

light. a shepard boy                     in his leanness

traverses the field                       round yolked in

thorns & wolves.                 what tree best he hide?


A Poem to Read From Right to Left

After Othuke Umukoro

you tell I where poem the of part that is This
already you but; father my miss I much How
about talk to going just am I so ,don’t I Know
—man burnt a like is city burnt A .cities Burning
eating force paralysed A .colour without Shade
the under hidden is Rest. blight like hopes All
the for rest no is there meaning ;dove a of Foot
existence natural into city a cry shall We. Restless
we ,noon of repose that In .fire bear it watch and
.tomorrow of flowering the watch and sit will
and ,plump ,fat ;arrive will tomorrow first at How
grief its But .yesterday than Resplendent .pregnant
she say cannot mother my ;bucket a fill Cannot
broke which straw last the remember doesn’t
.him of front in unclad standing is she when ,Her
chest dark Her .irises grows still chest dark Her
musics still chest dark Her .petunias enchants still
Everything .eventually folds Everything .daffodils
.fire of tongue the to bends still forgetting needing



Lamb—body like glass, fragile on the

hardest places. Two children,

kite flying, hands strapped in

a prayer. The muezzins croon

into the gape of a lilac. Holy

bodies draped in a filament of

light. Children latched on their

mothers’ backs. Plural for sad-

ness, escaping the hole of an

alley—who sings into the night

and expects a light feathered

thing? Just when you followed

the Imam into the dusty brown

room, and find that the moist

has swept clean the memories.

The memories of Aisha and Isatu.

You can only rekindle the fire

that was always there. The touch

like a twig erupts the crammed

spaces of metaphors and toads

rearing into the glabella. I would

like to think of myself as helpless

or unfavored, but doesn’t every

miracle begin with a smoke in

the duct? I first have to know I

am alone in the business of

suffering at its pecking order.

Two canvases; two slimy ducks.

Eating their way through frost—

radio bites, and the windowsill

still swallows crust. The footprints

of two stories, in the end, never

adjoin as one. One keeper at a time.


About the Poet 

Prosper C. Ìféányí is a poet. His works appear or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Parentheses Journal, Identity Theory, Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Deadlands, The Shore, and elsewhere.