Category Archives: Spokenword

PORT HARCOURT: PHLS SLAM POETRY JUDGES UNVEILED

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PORT HARCOURT: PHLS SLAM POETRY JUDGES UNVEILED

PORT HARCOURT HOSTS NIGERIA’S BIGGEST SLAM

As part of its ongoing literary engagements, the Port Harcourt Literary Society will host, arguably, Nigeria’s biggest Poetry Slam this month.

And the Society has unveiled four award-winning and distinguished Nigerian poets as judges for the Slam, scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on May 25.

They are Efe Paul Azino, curator of the highly successful Lagos International Poetry Festival whose recent project was the brilliant Heritage Bank advertisement, and Andrew Patience, spoken word Amazon and one of the founders of the impressive Custodians of African Literature, based in Jos, Plateau State.

Others are Obii Ifejika, winner of Nigeria’s first ever slam, and multi award winner and slam poetry master, Graciano Enwerem.

Chairman of the Slam committee, Edwina Aleme, says the Slam is already receiving entries from around Nigeria, promising to bring some if the best of Nigerian spoken word poets to the Garden City.

The PHLS Poetry Slam, the first major poetry competition in the Niger Delta region, promises it’s winner a whopping N100,000.00. The runner-up will take home N75,000.00, while the second runner-up will receive N50,000.00. A fourth prize, the first of its kind in Nigeria, worth N25,000.00, will go to a winner among secondary school entrants who have benefited from the Society’s PHLS-LIFT (Literature for Teens) programme.

“This is in line with our objective with PHLS-LIFT to nurture a new generation of spoken word poets in Port Harcourt and the Niger Delta,” Aleme says, “so that we help create a new narrative that our youths are not militants. We are a society of brilliant young people and the world needs to hear our voices.”

 

JUDGES:

EFE PAUL AZINO, is a Nigerian writer, performance artist and poet. He is the founder and director of the Lagos International Poetry Festival, and the director of poetry at the annual Lagos Book and Art Festival. Azino has featured in a number of local and international poetry events and is a fellow of the Osiwa Poetry Residency…

ANDREW PATIENCE FINYE, known as AP, is one of the leading voices in creative spoken word poetry in Nigeria, with a debut spoken word album ‘I Am’ to her credit. She is the founder of Custodians of African Literature (COAL), a platform that promotes African writers and their writings. AP is also a broadcaster and media personality based in Jos, Nigeria…

GRACIANO ENWEREM (Sir Grrraciano) is a poet, writer, teacher and media consultant. A graduate of English and Literary Studies. He’s the winner of War of Words (Season 3), YOUPoetry Slam, War of Words Online Slam 1 and other prizes. Cofounder, Figures of Speech movement (FOS), the first online creative group on Whatsapp…

OBII IFEJIKA is a story-teller who made her debut in Spoken word at the maiden edition of Bassey Ikpi’s National Poetry Slam, where she was crowned Slam Champion in October 2012. She has performed in several poetry events such as the maiden edition of the NIBRA Awards, Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday celebration and at the Theater Expedition Metropolis, Germany.

 

*How to enter:

Just send a 1 or 2 mins video of you performing a poem to literaryevening1@gmail.com . Entry closes on the 20th of May by 12 noon. Send the mini version on Instagram, then follow and tag @phls_openmic with hashtag #phlsslampoetry. All chosen 15 finalists will be contacted via email before 12 midnight on same day.

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Poet of the week: Victoria ‘blaq ink’ Botimi

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Poet of the week: Victoria ‘blaq ink’ Botimi

Hello friends, it’s a brand new week, and nothing gets me more excited than having to take time out to celebrate and encourage people in their chosen field of art. I will not consider myself a life coach, but I enjoy calling out the best from every individual that crosses my pathway in the course of their life’s journey.

Today, I will be featuring a young, shy but vibrant spokenword poet. Hol’ up! Let me fill you in from my ‘story bank’. The first time I met her, sometime last year, she struck me as a very intelligent young lady. I made an attempt to scan her, (which is my attitude whenever I am meeting someone for the first time). I loved the slightly loose vintage shirt and and skinny faded blue jeans she had on. The brightness of her face matched the yellow, green and orangey floral scarf she beautifully wrapped on her head. Somehow, I knew I have made another interesting friend.

Several times I had tried to drag her to the forefront to perform her poems without fear on stage, but today, she is one bold kitty before the microphone and prying eyes of the audience.

Botimi Victoria whose alias/pen name is Blaq ink, is a freelance writer, and a poetic member of the “INKERS BREED’. Born in the month of July 30, 1996 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She is a Public Health graduate of Madonna University, Elele (2016). She lives in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. She is also considered a spokenword poet, and has graced several platforms with her thought provoking poems on dating and relationship struggles of young people her age. Currently, Victoria is a Social and Health volunteer, and a strong believer that anyone can be what they want to be in this world. Her all-time favorite slogan is “be you!”

Do enjoy reading her poem below.

***   ***   ***
KONJITIONSHIP
I saw love, or… so I thought
I drank endlessly from its’ depth, yet unsatisfied:
It was sweet, then, salty.

I felt it, then lost it, maybe It was never mine for keeps

But, I could swear it was in every moment we spent together,

irrespective of the distance between our geographical location…
It was in those fights we had that led me right back into your arms,

sweating and panting after sessions of painful, yet pleasurable body wrestles

So, while you walked down the aisle with her, I was basking in pure reminiscence

it all seemed so real, but all a floating mirage above like tired clouds…

Those times under the bed sheet, when we pulled off sheets

put in shit and pull out shit in dark places our eyes couldn’t see;

leaving us to our sixth sense.

Those moments you whispered you couldn’t ‘live’ without me,

because I was your ‘cure’, did you actually mean that I was ‘the cure’ to your Marvin Gaye disease?
Did you mean i was your resuscitation nurse, call me a sexual healer…?
‘Cause as I speak emotional gibberish, I watch you live on, even though you died in me.
When you said that I was ‘the one’, Did you mean that I was just one,

plus the others you had locked in to your side?
This left me counting time on this table, multiplying the number of times you told me this love is able, yet you left me… like broken turntable; a broken lyric note…

As they say, “this table you’re shaking has a lot of Nigerian kings on it”,
but, i will shake this table shaking it till they all fall off like wilted leaves;
their spirits fleeing the sight ’cause my heart stopped beating in sync with yours…
I felt the konjition you put me, now i have lost it;
Maybe, you, all to myself was never mine for keeps…

©blaq ink

 

*Conji or Konji (congeal) is a well known Nigeria pidgin slang word for being left alone for long without sexual relations.

KINGDOM COME

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KINGDOM COME

I could write you as lines of poetry

Racing through generations of untimely feats won

at the feet of self-discovery;

a journey not taken on unsure islands

yet, taken to explore your many side like stanzas of a poem

As the laid out canvases of an artists’ finest works

hung on the walls of your forming days

growing up like abstracts interjecting time,

and spreading your wings; jutting into the sky

gazing at the clouds, and ignoring the grey chunks;

Each definite arrangement; deliberate contours

calling for your attention.

You see them as smoke screens; like fog

willing to make you born again into the hands of the racing clock

Your wings are spread wide

You taking leaping soaring steps like Mario; super

Like a young eagle learning to fly

Learning at your master’s feet; yourself

who’s teaching you to fly with wisdom in your belly

across valleys, and above mountains

Still, you are flying, but with grace’s locket around your neck

This isn’t the first time she kissed your cheek

She promised you more at every flight

Your feathers are flapping through

wadding through each memorable skyline,

like the paddles of a canoe;

arms spread wide, waving at the smile that the ocean

shares with the clear blue sky.

Each dip you take reminds one of baptism; newness

Now your time has come, with your hands clasped,

like a prayer of atonement to the heavens…

Even though the sky be grey,

yes, be it for a season; a period of showers

it will be like angels assembling crying for joy, and

welcoming your announced feat

that time you planted your feet, and set to fly

like the bird that you are, soaring;

cutting through the mirrored blue sky

and the heavens applauding as your kingdom come.

 

© Neofloetry

12:45am

23/04/18

 

Photo Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com

DREAD LOCKED LOVE

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DREAD LOCKED LOVE

My eyes have seen love sown
How it blossoms in unlikely quarters
How two, love struck, dance
to the beaming melodies of heartbeats
How their feet rhythmifies every step
Every smirk on their lips like a singer
whose unsung notes stay alert for many years
These two, like Siamese stay pressed on
Distance remains their connected cord; umbilical
like mother to child,
like months separating them
from cuddles and warmth
like the two yearning for togetherness

Love, I say, is more than just a word
It is pure serene laughter when light illuminated your form; presently
It is I and you drenched in wanton hugs and kisses
Unashamedly announcing friendship
like an applique on a well designed dress
I behold you many times in my wildest thoughts
Mind traveling journeys like a French tourist
asking precise mind full questions
stamping words of declaration; affirmations
too robust for me to fathom
Countless times “je t’aime aussi” soared
Emotions crept through my fingers,
stroking your beards, and
planting kisses on the soil of your lips

I have seen love take long journeys
Organic; connecting two natural lovers; intertwined
a dread locked away in my heart, and taking territories
unafraid to pole volt this journey with you
Though you gave me an unlikely name
I know that this love has conquered a territory
where its walls are Jericho high
through mountains and valleys of my heart
and these two locked in one as a whole.

 

©Neofloetry
27/03/18
6:45pm

Link
YOURS AND MINE

I see trophies in between your thighs
No, I can’t help but crave them in my bench thoughts
Your poise is a voice singing riches with no coins
And the traveler is home no more a wanderer eating stones
It’ll be real, everlasting bond
The moment I want to break with you
So don’t fret, i am no flirt
I don’t deal in lies and dirt
It’s not bad crave, but a trophy in between your thighs
You’ll be forever on my mind
Forever
All I hear from you dear
Seems everlasting and clear
I see you see trophies in between Africa and Jamaica
But my tentacles embrace signals from afar
I won’t fret cos I know you want to commune
With this sweet wine taste on the tip of your tongue
I know you want to cross my twin hills with your fingers as feet
I know I’ll be in your contact lens a perfect fit
But just let my exhales and inhales mark time
With yours and mine
Hoping that all will be fine
Cos this time, my smiles won’t take strolls down no aisle
And may that one sweet day change no clime

 

(C) Neofloetry

THESE MEN OF gods

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They hypnotize the vulnerable
Their members eat grass like goats
They inhale insecticides to kill demons
Their followers are like carpets for their feet
They have ‘Special sewage water’ for healing
Their members are doused in anointing oil
They have small snakes on standby for desperate
members to swallow… Selah

These men of gods
are now gods of their fellow men
They frolic with the devil to pervert the gospel

These gods of men
are con artists; false as the Bible says
Be careful where you fellowship
you might just be in tune with the devil
and his demons on assignment!

 

©Neofloetry
#GodIsNotMan

LOVE IS FOR THEY WHO DARE TO LOVE

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LOVE IS FOR THEY WHO DARE TO LOVE

The three blades of my fan
reminds me of you…
constantly, fanning my embers of passion,
then
sending me to sleep
sending me to sleep
sending me to s
l
i
p
then, I slipped into
seeing your form in my dream; a picture
framing your name at my every unchecKed snore.

In My
D
r
e
a
m,

and in the flurry of mY own excitement,
i pick letters of your name like lavenders
growing happily in my garden.
Like a child, Ignoring love enders,
like a brown skinned lover,
hopping out of danger.

Love is for they who (c)are to dare
and for they who dare to surprise love,
but I know in all, love endures;
fanning off chaff of fear,
gradually waking me up
from my sleep…

 

©Neofloetry

14/02/17

SHE SAYS PERIOD!

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She says a thousand words,
Then ends it with periods…
Over and over her ramblings
ripple like several pebbles thrown in a lake PERIOD

She says periods are tips of pins
Pointing, piercing blank sheets,
and picking out errors in a conversation
when her words stay unspoken.

Periods are RED Period
Periods a like screaming PMS

She says nothing you hear
Your imagination is stilled for peace sake
For when a frown clothes her face
her scaling anger says nothing.

Periods are softly angry 😠
Periods are dual personality

When she says PERIOD PERIOD PERIOD
Receive what she says
For peace to reign PERIOD

 

© Neofloetry
08/03/17
12:18pm

SOCIETAL RAPE

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So, it is heard that D’banj is still making ‘Tongolo’ music
But the koko of this story is that the masters that chase after kokolets make my muse sick
Don’t get me wrong, sexual machismo is now my neighbors’ new identity
When he grabs a bottle of yoghurt, grabs his crotch,
makes a move and smiles at a five year old girl;
This makes me angry and really sick
The rhythmic dangling of chauvinistic phalluses makes me really seek
For the same reason why area father called that orange seller into his batcher at six
Thirty, just to share his putrid yoghurt stored up for months and months in her empty container,
See, this really hurt

Tell me, who’s responsible?
Tell us, who’s responsible?
When the society rapes us constantly

I mean, why would soft porn turn once flaccid directors into stark raving bulging misdirected balls?
Why would Nneka shut her eyes when a guy kisses a lady in a movie?
Why would little James learn to pinch a girls butt; grow up later to become a heart-breaker?
Like Asa said “who’s responsible for what we teach our children”
Is it the same music infested with PORNished dance moves?
Is it the social media that has turned our youths into Jason and Medea?

Tell me who’s responsible?
Tell us, who’s responsible?
When our society rapes us incessantly
Whose responsibility is it
When a dog in heat is found stuck to a bitch
Running around tourist beach?
What a sight, my thought’s in flight
Who’s responsible for the bang bangs of thoughtless actions
The twang twangs of misconstrued strings of words like
“I want your body sleeping in my bed”,
“Baby, give IT to me”,
This makes virtue skip several beats

The society rapes us radically,
Tell me who’s responsible
Tell us, who’s responsible

I dare to ask again
Whose responsibility is when a young lady turns into a semi stripper by day; a full one in GRA by night?
Is it the cashless society whipped in reckless abandon?
Is it the agbada, the ofor or the tribal marks that criss-cross like the third mainland bridge?
Is it the mono De-railed project in Port Harcourt that our hands can’t reach?
Is it the man who constantly rapes his wife’s conscience, beating her black; leaving her blue?
This society may have been raped;
We are victims of governmental rape,
Our pockets driven like mad taxi drivers daring to tax i
False prophets raping us off our Godly virtues; Religious, they are no Rabbi
Parents raping their children’s future because of their futile future
Students raped off quality education
Bosses raping employees off their grants
History books raping us off the truth
Every human is a victim of life-size rape cases
We are guilty
Guilty of this offense
We poke our pregnant dreams, visions and aspirations
We constantly poke in and out of complacency with hard erected truthful lies
We constantly have miscarriages; dreams not seeing the light of day
The truth is, when a once tough bone becomes weak
So, will these outraged phalluses become limp
And our society repent of its charges; our future free from rape of all ages.
© Edwina ‘Neofloetry’ Aleme, 2015.