A piercing meditation on life, love, oppression, and freedom…
Taiwo gathers the expanse of human experience of love, life, and death in his debut collection of poems. The images that tumble from the collection are both stunning and uplifting, whether they explore the futility of a lover‘s crushed ego in “Convalescence,” examine a nation weighed down by corruption, poverty, dirty politics, and violence in “Moribund Restaurant,” or—as in “Love’s Soothing Web”—delve into the intoxicating power of love. “Tell the White Man” exposes the utter exploitation of Black nations at the hands of the West, which it does in the name of development and altruism. In “If I had wings like a dove,” Taiwo cautions common man to use their vote wisely as he writes: “If I had wings like a dove,/ I would perch on the roof of your conscience and/ remind you not to sell your vote./ Else, the muttering lips of the next generation would/ submit that servitude was a fine ornament on/ the crooked neck of your soul.” “Uneasy Calm” is a sorrowful meditation on life. Dedicated to George Floyd, “I Can’t Breathe” brings the horrible episode to life. “Dust Arise” explores what it means to love truly. Taiwo experiments with form and syntax and covers a vast range of topics, from love, loss, hope, grief to tyranny, freedom, and Black pride among others, taking the reader on a journey of mystery and longing, all the while capturing the essence of Nigerian people and culture: “the back of Africa can never be put out to the ground/ Like dust, we rise and furnish our hope with grit.” Wide-ranging and poignant, this is a winning collection.
Lagos is Killing Me
by Oloyede Michael Taiwo
The Roaring Lion Newcastle LTD
Pub date February 28, 2021
Price $9.49 (USD) Paperback, $3.22 Kindle edition