Statement of Record

Three Poems by Uche Nduka

T

THE CAPITAL

between the humming
of things & humming of
a continental swerve

resembles nothing
more than reading southward

i’m disgusted
with my generation’s pursuit
of irony

stand still when the wave
comes crashing down

an intent beyond
the high treason of dolor

am trying to picture it
beyond crepuscular mandala

are you fucking serious

closer to a figuration
without censor

i salute the kneeling players

 

EYESIGHT

partly because love
travels through much
of these lines

ears & glyphs follow

something like a rash move
& various kinds
of self-denial

at the same damn time
don’t surrender your fifties
to the click of a button

queen as king
alternation of tongues
these boots oaths burgers

& those who were born
to porn & scientific racism

their intentional misperception
their culpability
their disguised hatred

 

DISCOURSE

white light into white wire.
lately they’ve become
targets of regret

& exposure to visas.

is the road here
to replace fled love?
no matter how straight it is.

later the plum
in a periplum waits
creaks rocks.

like a suffix
we can’t step into twice.

About the author

Uche Nduka was born in Nigeria to a Christian family. Raised bilingual in Igbo and English, he earned his BA from the University of Nigeria and his MFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. He left Nigeria in 1994 and settled in Germany after winning a fellowship from the Goethe Institute. He lived in Germany and Holland for the next decade and immigrated to the United States in 2007. Nduka is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including Nine East (2013), Ijele (2012), and eel on reef (2007), all of which were published after he arrived in the United States. Earlier collections include Heart’s Field (2005); If Only the Night (2002); Chiaroscuro (1997), which won the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize; The Bremen Poems (1995); Second Act (1994); and Flower Child (1988). Belltime Letters (2000) is a collection of prose.

Nduka’s work is notable for its surrealist energy and political urgency. According to Joyelle McSweeney: “To my reading, all of Nduka’s work is Surreal, and in this sense it is all political. The real is not paraphrased or commented on by Surrealism but convulses through it. The real in Nduka’s work carries the resonance not only of his Nigerian identity and experience of political violence but also the dislocation of the émigré and the frightening power relations of intimacy as mapped onto the lyric.” Nduka himself has said, “So far I just like doing my own thing and not buying into the hype of either formal or informal English; traditional or avant-garde usages. I enact a language style that suits my mood and the subjects I am interested in. Linguistically it seems there are a lot of trenches that have not been explored in poems/poetry. I keep attempting to investigate them. I don’t want to feel like people expect me to write in English timidly.” Nduka currently lives in Brooklyn.  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/uche-nduka

Statement of Record