Mental Weather

the mind is sometimes a guest-
book inked in vehement calligraphy,
a map whose north and south

poles exchange seats by the second.
sunlight and syllable shuffle in,
neatly arranged, and return to source

arrayed into a dark disorder.
this, is the simple magic of mania.
cobwebs clog the four corners

of mind, reality-shows auto-shooting
in the staid studios of consciousness.
pills tango in the infinite corners

of madness, bearing the impotence
of chemical light, terse rainbows
guest-appearing in the night sky.

the mind is sometimes a guest
book where words lock us out, sealing
themselves in bunkers of new meaning.

Those Eyes

They examine my nakedness,
Squander time
Gazing at my ancient

Collar-stains, holes-in-socks,
Chipped soles, my forlorn soul.
Those eyes diagnose

My vilest musings, plough
Arid swathes of pocket, mock
My fingers (frozen in air

In the search for a responding
Handshake). A wounded
Mind or eyes that wound?

The Modern Woman's New English Guide

Virginity used to be the definition
Of pure, the safety
Catch for weapons of mass arousal...
                                             -- The Blog of Lamentations.

mutual infidelity is the new english,
the synthetic plastic of purity. Other
required accoutrement include the helmet of Fear
(not of God & disgrace; but of the clock),
the safety-catch (once made from the family name,
but now from rubber), the belt of scalpel-carved comeliness
and artificial nails daubed daily with the brilliance of feminism.

Tolu Ogunlesi was born in 1982. He is the author of a collection of poetry Listen to
the Geckos Singing From A Balcony, (Bewrite Books, UK, 2004). His fiction and poetry
have appeared in Wasafiri, Sable, Orbis, Eclectica, Stickman Review, VLQ, Inkpot,
Mississippi Review, Times Arts Review, Smoke: A London Peculiar, 500 Nigerian Poets,
Sentinel Poetry Quarterly, Camouflage, Pindeldyboz and Subtle Tea among others. He
lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

2007 Underground Voices