Poetry / Kanyinsola Olorunnisola
:: talking to this socialist chick at the lauryn hill rap party while wearing very real diamond studs & wondering for how long this drink will last till i turn the colour blue & start running my borrowed mouth into the gutter. dumb blunt guts & all dirty things crawling out of unacknowledged wounds. ::
bring on the apocalypse already. if the class war does not happen, i’m rioting. i thought we brought our pitchforks & knives to eat the rich. there are hungry black ghosts inside of me, loud & starvin’. why twitter cockblocking those of us who get boner at thought of chaos? just words words words no action. words words words & hot takes that no cut blade, no cut flesh, no call unto blood. make we cut the flesh of dem streets & make the bitumen bleed out it black blood. we bleeding. i bleeding. yeah, i definitely agree. we should totally go pipeline protest. my imported English no co-operating today. no stand still. no play the immigrant game. the good immigrant game. we dying here. we bleeding. i bleeding. band-aid no save us. nice hair. i said nice hair. i said i like your hair. no, these diamonds are fake, i am mocking the gaudy display of excess wealth. thank you, my linguistic fluency decides when to come on. like a switch. it’s a coping mechanism. i doubt they will send me back alive. i am no fortune teller, i just know some things for a fact. so, should we like…get a room or something?
From the writer
:: Account ::
“socialist chick” is heavily inspired by the electric poetries of Danez Smith and Hanif Abdurraqib. It is my experiment at putting my blackness before everything, even language. I wanted to express the very real experience of non-native English speakers, the way the language can sometimes get out of hand, the way the language can be woven (even ungrammatically) to convey the meaning we want at that moment. The major motif running through the poem is a pretentious discourse around performative socialism—a terrible trend I have encountered on social media lately. My poet persona, despite wearing real diamonds, pretends to be one of the struggling masses to avoid liberal ostracism. I wanted the theme to flow seamlessly through a very casual party conversation.
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is an experimental poet, essayist, and writer of fiction. His works have appeared in Gertrude, Popula, Bodega, On the Seawall, Bombay Review, Kalahari Review, Gyroscope Review, Arts and Africa, African Writer, Brittle Paper, and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbook, In My Country, We’re All Crossdressers (Praxis, 2018). He was shortlisted for the 2019 Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Non-Fiction. He is the founder of SprinNG, a web-based literary movement seeking to break the barriers young creators face in the writing community. He lives in Lagos, where he is hard at work on his novel manuscript. Say hello.