Poetry & Prose : MOCK SILENCE


Keep playing this chess game of yours,
And the wan hoi-poloi-mathematics
That you dress up for Sundays, and
You’ll soon wander into the crevice,
Shorn of your heart, yet heartily cranial
And tongue-some like a washed flute,
To milk the fulsome retinue of mini tyrants

You’ll wander into the crevice
Shorn of your soul, daring a night
Of fireflies and rumbling talking drums
To doubt your truth;
That yawning truth like a hound’s mouth,
Which comes two-a-penny off the peg
In a rickety showroom of conscience

They will be waiting like the sick of heart,
And the Rasputin in your head will
Be aroused like a bottled yellow phallus
To take their quivering hands onto your chest
And pray for rain like a monastic unicorn –
And that rain will fall in your hallowed footsteps,
By the auspices of a foreign god

But, unlike the sun, you’ll soon wane, unless
Your masterful mathematics calls for war;
Then you’ll swing the scythe from the hip
Like a gladiator, against the sinews of wind.
But the face of glory will soon become commonplace
Like the leaching shilling in their pockets;
Then your mathematics will cease to lead their hearts

You’ll then be called back into that seminal crevice,
Attended this time by bats with raspy eyes,
All with their wings pinned back for the feast,
And you will be shackled needlessly before them
To account for the lost shilling and your distant god;
Failing which (naturally) your flesh and name and history
Will be laid on the very stump you once preached from

A mere child in borrowed gladiator’s getup will
Whet a sickle near your head just to niggle
The adrenalin out of your muscles and eyes,
And the fat-backed women of your seraglio will be shaved
To take the pyre in your wake, though they’ll spit at you
To glean the pity you banned from mathematics –
Then the heavens shall send a red chariot to wait for you

But if before the sickle bows onto your neck,
Your soul regains the equilibrium of penitence,
You’d perceive in that deadly alacrity around you the same
Insane greed for gold and sex you said must oil
The wheels of hoi-poloi-mathematics – at this point,
You may try cursing your hypocritical judges;
Yes, it would be too late, but you’d be rewarded in hell.

by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil (14/5/03, 2 am, London)

Illustration by Ishmael Annobil

Graphic Design by Ishmael Annobil /  Web Development by Ruzanna Hovasapyan