Fuck Those Dudes!
Four poems by Uche Ogbuji
They don’t work the catwalk for the marathon
Because screw that, I’m supposed to drop
Dead to crown this run so some Athenian
Aristos can rejoice and promptly mop
Our blood up to glory-wash the polis?
What do Kenyethiopian I have to do
With all that Hellenistic Hootenanny?
Bad enough these broke-bottle streets, Athena
Nike elephant footsore of a shoe.
No, it’s the stadium for the strut-up stage,
Christened by that supermodel walk of walks:
What? You runners think you got these runway hips?
You can’t see me from out your starter blocks.
So here for sprint finals, lights! Cameras!
That’s Tashi representing Fine-Ass Island;
She wants revenge on Thea who pipped her, one
Hundredths at Eleusis for the gold garland…
Action! Pop from pistol to fast-twitch clash
And swiss watch finish sorting them out for flash
Then flag capes oh supergirl around the track.
Backstage Hermes men trip majestic, rehash
Their frat-boy stepping in between the stretch
And warm up. Cue the big top ratings, seems
This hoi polloi are still getting used to
Women athletes on the polis teams
Sent to gymnasium at Olympia, home of
The naked, young, and definitely restless.
Exactly right this moment’s equal billing,
Broader than Broadway style for masses come
In every sense to witness the fitness.
The same old nightmare wakes each runner up
Nights long hereafter, frost sweat at the finish
Photo while scores tally up from entrance,
Medals at stake in a strange skirmish
Of fashion sensibility once Eris
The broadcaster dropped her golden apple.
There’s one sleeps easy, Herakles of the games
Whose show-and-prove paragon example
Means even Artemis is somehow not vexed
By his far-shooter pose, and he’s aware
That if he wins the footrace and the dance-off
He can secure the thunderbolt share
From Zeus’s VC fund, and exit with
A myriad camera flashes, each to a clap
That cracks into primetime hoplite rumble.
Even chic new sports with music bumps at breaks
Come bowing to the ancient victory lap.
Late 20th Century Poet Jam Band
Put your hands together for…
DJ Ashley on broken record,
Telling it spent.
Here she’s off, she’ll glue you with womb juice.
Oh smack! She’s wet it with bile by accident.
Okely Copely playing dwarf violin,
Good ally to the oppressed;
He’s fittin’ to chin-check your privilege, Chuck
If he can get his own night hags off his chest.
Then Xiao-Li on Ukelele lead,
Having a right go!
She’s got some psychoanalytic science for that ass
And don’t forget that shit starts with “psycho”!
Up for Sundiata on dead horse drum
Rocking the red black and green,
Sugar Hill born with a Harvard full-ride,
But nobody knows the trouble that brother’s seen!
I’m that hype man from the Iowa School.
You know what it is, we scribbling lyrics all rugged.
This is how people yack in the streets, fool!
Because brevity is the soul of…aw fuck it!
Wit ain’t the what old Whitman whipped up,
And he’s the only cool dead white male.
Get the hell with that old Latin hiccough
We’re knocking the menthol right out your coffin nail!
Drop the needle on the vinyl, Ash,
Shoot! Before I come out my sense.
Um, the next song’s called Experimental Excremental.
(Man, we ain’t bothered we’ve lost the damn audience).
These miserable headlines tattooed
With vileness, just so long before one breaks down yelling “fuck that dude!”
Oh holy man who wants holes carved
Into so-called infidels on YouTube, fuck that dude!
Old mayor using jail to shake
His budget shortfall from the poor’s wallets, fuck that dude!
The diamond merchant slinging rocks
From hothouse ethnic cleansing blocs to WAGs, do fuck that dude!
General kook-a-bury starving dead
First taunted with bread for TV circus, fuck that dude!
Calling for machine guns each one,
You know so we can have shootouts in darkened theaters, yeah fuck that dude!
Demagogue for Europe post
World War I, for nations diced and served in blood stew, fuck that dude!
OK there’s some good in the world
So here’s your breather, here’s your sun still shines down interlude…
But damned birther, wall builder, judge
Slanderer, burnt ogre huckster, motherfuck that dude!
Oh whatevs, Uchenna, if those dudes
Were even reading you know what they’d say: That poet? Fuck that dude!
Uche Ogbuji, born in Calabar, Nigeria, lived in Egypt, England and elsewhere before settling near Boulder, Colorado. A computer engineer and entrepreneur by trade, his poetry chapbook, Ndewo, Colorado (Aldrich Press) is a Colorado Book Award Winner, and a Westword Award Winner (“Best Environmental Poetry”). His poems, published worldwide, fuse Igbo culture, European classicism, American Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop. He co-hosts the Poetry Voice podcast, is featured in the Best New African Poets anthology, and was shortlisted for Nigeria’s Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize.