Who Killed Rora?
Rora is one of those decayed characters who ‘mortalises’ Emmanuel Iduma’s ‘Seeing the dead’, a piece Oyin Oludipe, our Nonfiction Editor describes as ‘a fateful crossway where the swollen soul must shun the hubris of life to swallow death as a complete in-gathering of being.’
In Sarajevo, the young man who emptied seven bullets into Rora grabbed his camera and walked calmly away.
What if you are Rora?
‘…later, your mother blames the bullet your elder neighbor’s grief and guilt leave her inconsolable and silent—prostrate on your grave she rubs rough
earth into her skin as if this surface pain, this process of slow-flaying is penance from which only death can free her, as if she finds her living flesh intolerable now…’ – Laura M Kaminski
Who is Rora?
Maybe, maybe that same being Sen Ihenyen saw in Oyin Oludipe’s Why Do I Pray?, taking ‘a journey that the human mind continues to take in search of answers to questions on existence, and its essence’ and ‘the journey itself—not the destination—provides answers that raise new questions no Mind and Matter can mend’.
So as humans, we keep asking questions: the journey. Until, we answer the final question.
‘…From the corner of my eye, a gray hare leaps into my only concern…where
your promise will lead me to that final question, the one I must answer…’
– Steven Klepetar
What Killed Masalimo?
Religion? Politics? Corruption in the heart of a Bishop? The indifference of a chief to his people’s plight?
‘William Khalipwina’s Masalimo is a satire with a salty sensation on politics and religion. Focusing on the death of a zealous pastor ‘
– Samuel Oluwatobi Olatunji
‘…our souls, carried along strips of muted sun strike a stiff scorched earth and hide, forever, in it…’ – John Gimblett
How old is that little boy?
‘…In those days, almost everyone around me was either a doctor or a nurse, professing solutions and antidotes do my many illnesses. We were always on the move for naturalists, spiritualists, occultists, and of course was known under my first name by most nurses in all neighboring hospitals…’ – Adeolu Adesanya
Little child, I see myself in you.
‘…i can see me dancing, yes, i can see me; dancing in your eyes, right and left. left to the right and roundabout…’ – Ehizogie Iyeoman
How old is that black box?
‘fifty zeros. how old is that black box where we keep our used pubic
hairs…’ – David Ishaya Osu
is a rascal who dreams of ball room.
‘David shows us a nonchalant attitude of a master painter-deeping his brush in colour-bowls and striking, until a portrait rises from within and speak to the landscape where he is silently seated.’ – Saddiq M Dzukogi
As you are reading this issue, we are all somewhere, back to our normal lives. Me? I am running usual errands for my Professors or alone at night, listening to ASA, and trying to finish a collection I still don’t know what to do with. I am nocturnal like that. I am not human. Wait! If you are reading this at night, we will find our planet soon.
You are human if you are reading this in the day. You are safe. But are you really safe? Are humans not termites’ meat? Are you not all hunted by the protruding fact that one day. Like Rora, someone will walk up to you and empty seven bullets into you?
Wale Owoade is a Nigerian poet. He is a Silver award winner at The 2015 Tony Tokunbo International Poetry Prize. His works have appeared or forthcoming in publications like: The Lake Poetry Journal, The Bombay Review, Mapple Tree Literary Supplement, Yellow Chair Review, Afri-Poet, Radar Poetry Journal, African Writer, WORD Up, The Kalahari Review, The New Black Magazine and many others. Wale is the Publisher and Managing Editor of EXPOUND: A Magazine of Arts and Aesthetics and is currently working on his manuscript.