3 Poems by Pamilerin Jacob



my soul is corroded / ache sewn into chest like a badge / I reach out to god with a middle finger / want to chisel the moon with teeth / bite into the only light / I know / I do not know how to name / the fire in my chest but / I / know mother’s tears will put it out / bones thick like bamboo / my wounds speak my mother tongue

  1. naming is how we retain sanity, I
  2. name the wound after the priest, I
  3. name everything…

after the priest     the nightmares    the panic attacks      the syringe   the knife   I want a future devoid of names    of rituals   say    I have a lover ripe    as the sun    a nameless woman   say   our first child   will be born without mouth    without anus   will die the night   it slips out of its mother   die nameless.   wish I could wash   my name off my life    where in the human body   is the delete button 

some of us want to disappear

without leaving a trace…

Please put a Breakup on Your Schedule

how narrow is the vision that exalts the busyness of the ant
above the singing of the grasshopper
Khalil Gibran

say, you are busy        & I am too
a fairytale of entropy
there is no space for loving
in a schedule   full of white noise   
how long this dance, before our ankles
give out      like zippers?

our futures      fraternal twins
no semblance in our tomorrows
how much walking distance, before our
knees are uncorked?

two stars in the sky, we spew distinct
light     diametric destinies      what astrologer
can debunk the prophecy
of our estrangement?

this is why I detest writing about love   

look at my fears       zest-filled
gussied in sweet metaphors
skittering across the page

I am not used to a love
without opportunity cost              please

do not put a breakup
on your schedule do

not flay the awe, glittering
in your eyes.                                        I am a just man
I am just a man

a windowless room & light is a language
I do not yet understand


Stirred Water in a Bowl

crawling through memory looking
for your footprint is a sweet
activity. we have always courted
danger—the first kiss in a pastor’s house
as he prayed in the other room, your
first nut on a Sunday morning, blowjob
in Lagos traffic—how
irresistible our foolishness. your accent
twirls like stirred water in a bowl. I feign
deafness when your tongue moves quicker
than my ears. our first fight—something
about the disproportionate hunger of bodies. you
were yelling at me    over the phone
& all I could think of
was how lucky I was to hear your voice at all.

Pamilerin Jacob is a Nigerian poet whose poems have appeared in Barren Magazine, Agbowo, Dwarts Magazine, Burning House Press, & forthcoming in Rattle. He was shortlisted for the Ken Egba Prize for Festival Poetry 2017 & made the winning list of PIN Food Poetry Contest 2018.  Author of Memoir of Crushed Petals & Gospels of Depression; he is a staunch believer in the powers of critical thinking, Khalil Gibran’s poetry & chocolate ice-cream. Reach him on Twitter @pamilerinjacob.

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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