Late Nights on Tom Mboya Street


Tom Mboya 2

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.

4 thoughts on “Late Nights on Tom Mboya Street

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