Metamorphosis of the Court of the Black Tsar

This reading was recorded at Radio Ca’ Foscari at CFZ, Venice, Italy, on the 17th of April 2013. Thanks to the Project Manager Toni Fontana and Nicolò Groja at the mixer.

Read by Tony A. Mochama on 17 April 2013

Metamorphosis of the Court of the Black Tsar

In the static electric of the court
of the Black Tsar the silence is so
Something must give - maybe the
olfactory membrane of the brain, or
The ogre eyes me hungrily, familiar
with this feeling, that reverberates off
skeleton; how sunshine use to bounce
off white horizon.
Light off dead bone.

Beelzebul listening to Queen, hoary
head half-cocked, finger upon the
trigger, knuckle squeezed white...
Soon there will be no light, everything
will be devoured - and there's nothing
in the world to do to save Earth.
(Do Marvel Comic super-men still
exist outside caricature)?

I see the devil doing arithmetic using
his fangs as anvil
He suffers arthritis, do I fit in after
Ohhh, he licks his lips sez "tonight we
shall dance the calypso"

Kipling's ghost come in and in an
accent intones - East is West, and
Beast knows Best," and Pyong Yang
shoots a missile.

In Ahmedinejadisblad, bone is brittle
and blood goes bad and the beasts in the
streets sing " blah blah blah!"

For how long shall our songs of
salvation go unheard?
For how long shall Mzee Kenyatta
hold us captive from the mausoleum-ruin?
For how long shall our tongues
lick artificial scrapes off the floors of
Western linoleum?
Idi Amin Stalin still is Queen, and will
send us to the gallows!

"Say hello to all my friends in hell!"
These are the eight words He Knows,
and says them by way of farewell.
I reply in nine: "The metamorphosis
of the Court of the Black Tsar!"

From What If I am a Literary Gangster? (Nairobi: Brown Bear Insignia, 2007).

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