An Underground Poem (Written by Prof. Remi Raji)


Prof Remi Raji is a Nigerian poet. The winner of Association of West African Young Writers’ VOCA Award for Best First Published Book of the Year 1997. He’s also a Salzburg Fellow and visiting professor and writer to a number of institutions, among them Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, the Universities of California at Riverside and Irvine, University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Cambridge University.
In 2005, he served as the Guest Writer to the City of Stockholm, Sweden.

An Underground Poem:

My body is a temple
Of angry music
Flames in my brain
Itching forms in my blood.

A maddening echo fills my soul
I’m the sole survivor in this hole
Where melodies are made
On platters of skulls.

Even in this hell-hole haven
Of my conscience, I laugh
At the colourful cowardice
Of chameleon and castrated dogs.

I speak of mortal sins above.

I speak against gods
Who refuse to burn or die
Or sink in their own flames.

No more the eunuch, anointed
in a film of fainting prophets.

No more the unwilling wheel
to priests of antic pranks.

No more your carrier of curses
on these wild windy days, no more.

I belong to no bacchanal
babel of Goddam gods;

No more dragons of pain
in the middle of an eclipse.

Against gods whose flesh refuse
to melt or dance
to fires of simple songs
all of me is a household of canine bravery.


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