HOW DEAD MEN COME BACK HOME

by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola

[for Safia Elhillo, after her collection, “Asmarani”]
We only mourn dead men, so why do
you grieve for a man whose name takes
on a life in your mouth? The way his songs
pour you back into a minstrel in search of a
melody is a story I have lived myself. A singer
died the year I was born & [wo]men poured
from balconies [you know the drill]. He went
by the name Fela Kuti [which means he could
never die]. Unlike you chose halim, I didn’t
choose him. He found his way into my poems,
a reminder that my people lost their way a long
time ago with no remorse whatsoever. Both of
us have found a way to bring them back home
even though we do not know if we are their shade
of preference [does he mean you by “asmarani”?].

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a poet, essayist & writer of fiction. His work discusses anxiety, brokenness, [in]sanity, existential torment, grief & the black body as a warfront  – things typical happy people write about.  He has an unhealthy obsession with Ziggy Stardust, Lana del Rey, magical realism, James Baldwin, the Beat Generation & Golden Age Hollywood movies.

A lucky fellow, his writings have appeared in Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Bombay Review, Lunaris Review, African Writer, Sprinng.org, Bird’s Thumb, Gyroscope Review & elsewhere. He is the founder of the SPRINNG Literary Movement.

His chapbook, “In My Country, We’re All Crossdressers” is forthcoming, courtesy of Praxis. He is currently working on his first full-length, “How Dead Men Come Back Home”. Say hello on Twitter/Instagram @K_tops

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