Cover art by Victor Ehikhamenor
Eze chooses a different direction, honing in first on the personal and the struggle of the individual to make meaning, and to forge a language to contain that meaning in a way that always allows the lyric turn to happen, always allowing uncertainty to live at the heart of things, like the trickster we know as Esu in Yoruba, or Agwu in Igbo. This offers a new and more nuanced way to open up the larger issues at the heart of a culture…The collection also traces multiple contexts and circumstances of the long-term implications of that initial loss—of innocence, of trust, even of faith—as the poet attempts a new liturgy for self.Chris Abani, from the preface
Chielozona Eze, from “The Shame of Empty Planes”
I’ve known the shame of empty plates.
I’ve known the sadism of slow death
that kills the soul first and leaves the body
to coast along
a few more days
like an airplane that has ran out of fuel.