Streets dot skeletoned souls
singing loves tasted in wild places
and shadows of a leaking society
trickling from River Road to Globe
to Beba Beba, where students peruse
manuals for rebooting dead emotions
and old men stagger
like mosquitoes in excito-repellent bedrooms.
At Odeon Cinema
teenagers huddle for warmth
tortured by bruises on their inner thighs
after a tussle with bachelors.
Unhealthy mixes of Guinness and Richot
Masai, Muratina and nameless alcohols
can be raw materials for baking regrets.
Tom Mboya Street gives lectures
on what it means to violate a man’s pockets at 3AM
and the uselessness of a Certificate in Conflict Resolution
when accosted by street urchins with shit in a Kimbo tin.
Think of the nature of silence between strangers in a stalled lift
when cutting through a pack of 58’ touts at Tuskys
if you have anything left on you
change lanes and walk closer to National Archives
scan the news headlines at Ambassadeur
and see who is fucking who in the political scene
‘I am a Bedroom Bully’ blasting at Batis
will remind you of the uneasy delights of seducing a college girl
for 9 minutes between Ngara and Survey
and why men are not going home to their wives.
Tom Mboya Street teaches that reading faces
is like meaning-making on Clifton Gachagua’s poems
or mining PEV biographies from How to Euthanise a Cactus.
Some poems can rocket you to strange cosmoses
and some poems can be legitimate pleas of lust
(like Kookooing to Elani on replay)
or minefields of splendour and strife
(like quadrantid meteor showers in Chelyabinsk).
In a city of Orwellian nonpersons
(un-memoried by suppressed histories)
there is satisfaction in being somebody.
Tom Mboya Street teaches that tears are disposable memories
(like selfies and emoticons).
sometimes life is the texture of a nipple on newborn’s palate
sometimes it is scratches on elephant bones in Serengeti
and sometimes the whole story doesn’t show.