was it beijing? (or a garbled love song)


once I launched myself to space in search
of something
to hold on to.
it was a bit like robert son of kelly
begging desperate hugs from a poker-faced heaven.
if only he knew the half of it.

my heart, that dubious dibia
pounded about a bit and said to go for it!
mortars! mortars! mortars!
the bastard.
my crafty dibia of a head the king
all by himself of circumspect
ran some neurons
said to chew some pepper
down some wine
and seal myself in an astronaut’s garb
some bleeding evil be wandering space
in search of travellers to devour.
and pensive he added
traveller, set forth whenever you bloody well please.

so there i was,
not saul, cyclop-eyed, padded fat, a fucking four-limbed bug
on the verge of a sojourn
for the salvage of mind, maybe body
but majorly mind
and definitely not soul.
we know at least that the worst possible end a soul can meet
is eternal damnation.

make no mistake about it:
the fanfare that attended the travel of that pointy-nose apollo
back in 69
was a mere mango tree in the presence of the iroko
that attended my launch.
there were drums and egunguns
and a frothing of palmwine
i’m sure no tranquillity ever could dare moderate.
i really put myself out there.
the original apollo would have been proud
that the fifteenth, sixteenth, twenty-second? of his name
could breach the outer confines of existence
without being otherworldly
or possessing,
as a pressing matter of physics,
a pointy whiteman nose.

the coordinates matched
and indeed she was in the general roundness
of what my long-eyed hubble had determined was out there.

this is one small step for a man
and paradoxically, I declared, chuckling,
a giant leap for that selfsame man
(there were no interruptions,
static being long lost to the art of punctuation)
and then i stepped onto…
i realised
this is nothingness
boundlessly bottomless nothingness.
man, that nothingness brimmed upon itself
like a man taming an agbada’s excesses
like poisonous mushrooms blooming post those kabooms in nippon.

mayday! houston
(or was it beijing?)
i screamed frantically into my mike,
no one seems to be out here.
et juste comme ça
a weightless history acquires gravity.

i flailed and grabbed at nothingness like
it was nothingness or my life
desperate for something
to grab on to
as if nothingness were not void and without form
as if formlessness and void did not require some divine disruption
for form and fullness.

before i could say
neil motherfucking armstrong
in hindsight
was a few syllables too long)
solid ground rushed rapidly to welcome me
with an abrupt fanfare i couldn’t refuse…
…and jesus knows i tried.

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