Don’t call me a prisoner.

The leaves outside are rustling gingerly, carefull not to awaken the grass, while I, sit here watching the air and sniffing your thoughts. My hands long for your touch..or just a tug at your collar, a tiny brush at your strewn graying beard, but you have become a judge, seated so high in your throne of judgement that a touch from a sinner like me would make you unclean. 

Your fingers hold the green of cannabis and the black of previously lit tobacco. Between your teeth is the occasional Khat, groundnut skins and the smell of  bubble gum, and the occasional hair strands. Your veins stand out, and i can see your mistreated heart beat through your thrift clothes. Your organs are your slaves, but it is in me that you see a prisoner. 

You now preach about the gods, of holy scriptures, saints and miracles.  You talk about Elijah and the virgin mary, angels, Jesus,the holy trinity  and immaculate conception with so much zest, the orators are ashamed. 

While i wallow in shallow disgrace, in murky have found a straw to clutch at.

Across your feet, lies a bible, and a half spilt drink, stale bread, and a rosary at hand. We shall eat no bread, indulge not in immoral acts. Have not thoughts that make us lust for human flesh.

We shall not worship no other god but yours. We shall observe the sabbath, love out neighbours, tell the truth, commit not murder, unlawfully acquire not properties that belong not to us. Your book further says the greatest command is love. Is this not love i have shown you? Wasn’t that love when i saved you a glass of mild vodka, and threw virginity out the windows so you could be happy? 

Now you read out my sins one by one. You accuse a girl of failure to believe. A girl is also accused of fornication, and incest. A girl tempted a boy to sin, so a boy is the victim. A boy was happy too, But a girl will be the only one to burm at the stakes.  

A girl will be judged for her questions on faith. Didn’t a girl give bread to the hungry, visit the sick, sell her sliced peach so her children could go to school and have not empty stomachs. A girl did not overprice her merchandise but now she will burn with the murderers;…and the abortionists.

 I sit here listening to your chants, your ugly sickening chants so crude the walls cry and sob intermittently.  I listen to your tales of  freedom and eternal life which you shove down my throat like a sick toddler’s medicine.

You call me a sinner, a waste of man’s rib, and above all a prisoner. You said true freedom and joy and found in Jesus.

If you untie my limbs, i too will be free. I will crawl and fly if i can, but you hold me here and feed me the word. You shut your eyes to my struggles., the wary fights between what i see and what i have to listen to. The preachings of a god who created earth then went to hiding in the skies. The one who let the good people suffer and the bad people rejoice? The one who sent the hurricanes and the tornadoes. The one who lets infants starve while rich men put fruit in their soap?

So don’t  call me a prisoner when the shackles that bind your mind and soul are tighter than the sisal ropes on my limbs.

Just don’t  call me a prisoner.


Better men?

The believer lures the unbeliever to believe.

The non-believer lures the believer from belief.

Religious wars.

Yet a child sleeps hungry,

A terrorist maims and kills

A leader steals and corrupts

The kardashians strut naked

Cancer patients in pain

Youngboys sodomised

A man kills another,

Countries make atomic bombs.

Everybody fights; to prove himself, the better man.

Dear Daddy,​

I am still caught up in my ​sweatpants during the evenings and really long skirts during the day leading a double life, biting at my finger nails and getting worried about the  mass incercaration  happening all over the world. I am also worried about the amount of cocaine travelling the seas to young people,and no papi, i don’t smoke.

So daddy, we no longer listen to Longombaz. Papa Wemba is dead,so is Chinua Achebe. Mbilia Bel now lives is Nairobi, still aging finely like South African wine, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o came back home. There has been two governments since you left, but the mad man remains the same in the market place. The school syllabus has been changed yet again, and as much as i want to be optimistic about the direction my country takes, i can’t because even the mango prices keep skyrocketing. So is the price of sliced bread.

Barrack Obama became America’s first black president and Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar and now every Kenyan acts like she saved the children of Turkana from starvation.

The politicians have become more political and the nation is now caught between politics and pomposity. This year daddy, i am old enough to cast my first ever national vote, but i won’t be voting.I know all the talk about how my vote can change everything but i    am still not voting, and i have no concrete reason why.

The house you left behind is no longer the boring  place you hibernated in after a long week at work. Everything has been renovated, the old beige walls are now lime ,with an alternation of yellow and baby blue here and there, but the ceilings still leak where they used to leak. I lay by mama’s side everynight, right where you used to lay. Once in a while, my hand finds its way to her shirt up to her belly button. I love to feel her skin, skin that stayed smooth through all this turbulent times. I always feel for the Caeserean scar. It is still right there where you left it. Do you remember the day when yout first pair of offspring came to your lives?

Do you miss mother? And her cooking?  She oversalts the food at times but has never faltered in her chapati cooking skills. She has brewed tea the way you liked it for the past elleven years,maybe she still thinks you will come back for breakfast and sip your tea while reading the days paper and asking us how we all slept. But you won’t be coming back i know.

I saw them put you away. They buried you in shoes. Do you still walk in them. I polished those shoes that morning, and i  feel  so betrayed the adults never explained why. Once in a while, i smell the shoe polish and see polish stains on my hands.I swear i still see those shoes everytime i walk into shoe shops. They are always there, with a lace tied the wrong way. The other shoe is always a size smaller. Was that your anatomy, or did you breed a paranoid overthinker?

Death has become my close companion. We eat breakfast together. He loves his pancakes thick with a sprinkle of icing and a spread of honey  I read your favourite paper to him. He loves sports and  politics, but the orbituaries have always saddened him . Sometimes, i let him cuddle me in my sleep when i reprimand him on your wherebouts.

Your mother cries everytime she sees me because she says that i look like you. She rants day long about her sons death;  woman, i lost a father too. She has lost massive amounts of teeth and now walks with a cane, and still welcomes her guests with sugarless smoke flavoured tea. By Jove! I now know why you worked hard in school. She  lost a bit of her finger last year trying to tie up a calf and the other half nailess finger gives me bad depressing thoughts of a torsoless body.

So father, i have gained all pounds in the world. I have cheeks so well rounded they look like the descendants of my backside. I still have my dark twisted humour and laugh the same way. A day ago, a boy i considered beautiful said i laugh like an old retired man, and i no longer see him in his beauty. He looks like a tax collector from  the colonial days. 

Mother was scared i would turn into  one of those bloggers  who blog about butts and boobs how to lengthen and straighten eyebrows and what colour of panties match your skin colour; or become polygamous. But i am not even dating.

The boys think am either too smart, too enlightened or too emotional. I think they are non-emphathetic, uneducated and unliberal.

 I have made mistakes. I have eaten the forbidden fruit more times than Adam and Eve ever did. I have made mother cry,said mean things and forgotten about you; i have even let my stuffed animals sit on your favourite chair. I have absconded duty, feigned sickness and stolen mothers coins to buy candy.

I have distrusted the Holy trinity  and stayed clear of religion. I no longer pray. I have admired atheists, tried  beer and other drugs, i have lain with men you would never approve of. I have worn indecent clothes, and gone to places where i shouldn’t have. I have become a loud laugher so they think i am a happy person, but i am so sad the cutlery in my kitchen knows it.

Paranoia has caught up with me. So has anxiety and i have self diagnosed for Bipolar Disorder. I am so emotional and impatient long queues at the  hospital make me cry. I have had appendicitis and several pregnancy tests. I no longer do my hair and am all afro now. Neither do i wear make up. I am self conscious i begin to think that mother and i will die of gangrene too.

Its funny how fast time has gone, and am susceptible to the same things you went through. Maybe i will die at 39 too.

I don’t know why you left so fast. Why i never said goodbye. I don’t know why we kept away all your pictures and why we neer mention your name. ,but the cross at your grave gave away to rot and the grass still grows, now even greener than ever.

A stray guava seed gave life to a tree at the foot of your grave and season after season we have enjoyed the fruit in guilt.

I will forget you when i die.

As the whole world loved and made love in beds full of red routine roses yesterday, clad in red lingerie,the type that look like red fishnets, i thought about the red traffic light, the red flag of a country that i  don’t know, i thought of maroon beetroot, blood, misfortune, calamity, and loss. 

    I also thought about death and his friends,and you.

    Many a times i think of you in the weirdest of places. Doing the weirdest of things. A day ago, i saw you on the washroom door as i battled a bout of severe anal fissures and constipation. You smiled cunningly like old times, bit your middle finger excitedly like a child who had just discovered how he was concieved.

    One time, i saw you lying in the grass, jerking away like your life depended on it. I was seated on a shuka besides you playing  My Old clementine on the piano app. Your face was as smooth as ever, your lips lost in that little act of earthly pleasure. There was an amount of unexplainable serenity that came over me as i watched you,and an unsaid learnt lesson that joy comes from within, and that  i could make myself happy even in your abscence.

    Today, i tasted you in nyama choma flavoured potato crisps. Crisp and tangy with a level of salt my mother would approve of .And i thought about you. In another woman’s embrace, making love to her like you did to me. Lost in her, never to be found again. Maybe you were in a bar, with a bunch of your friends smoking high end marijuana straight from Afghanistan while sipping  on a margarita made of imported lemons and local cheap vodka.

    The thrill of teenagehood is long gone and i hear you now have a beard and you only wear African prints. I heard your dad is running for mayor, and that you play the piano now ,and go to the museum during your free time. Also heard that this days, you have become familiar with Pablo Picasso and Henry Matisse and the whole concept of cubism. 

     I also hear that you highly respect women and  you faithfuly cheat on your current girlfriend with enough caution, satan is borrowing skills from you.

    How i wish you were dead,then i wouldn’t have to deal with the thought of another woman with a rounder and well moulded backside than mine, and breasts rounder than the buns in the animation sausage party playing with you and acting like she bore you.

    Maybe today, you and i could be watching 50 shades of grey with our note pads hastily taking notes about the things that aroused Dakota. What was her name in the film again? What e verrrrr.We would critique the movie like Ezekiel Mutua of Kenya Films and Classification Board had asked us to give him a million and three reasons why the movie should be banned in Kenya.
    We would secretly laugh and be amused in turns at the white man’s love making skills. 

    “Look at her butt, ”

    “Psst, cut it , i know you like it,”

    “We should try that,”

    *the tv volume goes up, and what happens during the movies stays at the movies*

    My brother once  told me you were bad company. And you ran around with many girls. I asked him to mind his life. That did not matter. It was me you came to when day rolled up its sleeves. It was me you told about your dirty past of toilet shagging and recurring episodes of  diseaseas my fingers would deny writting down. 

    At one time, we hauled ourselves a hall away from where your senile grandmother sat on a rocking chair. You swore she was too ill to even hear or remember. A week later, she passed away and you eulogised her on your instagram as your mentor. Your toothless deaf and blind mentor. We disgraced her.

    But above all the insanity, i remember the first time we talked, for hours, we laughed and played amature chess, with a couple of drugs tucked inside your jacket pockets.

    That was us. Young and brave. Bold and carefree. Footlose and feeding our egos. You once embarrassed a boy who  winked at me and called him a little frail dick incapable of achieving a massive boner.Then, I laughed. I found it funny. 

    But slowly, your toxiticy caught up with me,like an untreatable cancer. I began to see the selfish patterns, the lies. The cruelty embedded in your DNA. You laughed at street children and dug into grilled goat ribs without a care about the slain goat’s family.

    Then we fought, and fought and when we were done fighting, we fought again about the cause of the fights. Then we slowly kept distance and you called me out on my anxiety and paranoia. Sent your bitch friend with a catalog of hospitals that treat bipolar disorder. I got the message brother,loud and clear.

    So now, my spontainty and random childish acts were no longer funny but acts of immaturity and a skipped childhood stage that was now catching up on me. 

    Years have gone by, you stopped the occasional checking on me,then the holiday wishes toned down, slowly, you forgot me.

    But here i am. I think of you when i can. I wish to forget you, but you are like the taste of bitter herbs in the mouth; easily washed away by  a pint of water but forever printed in the mind. One day maybe,in a funeral home, cold and stark naked, i will try to forget you.

      I KNOW.

      I know God,i know Jesus, i know the holy spirit, the Bible, the garden of Eden and the cunning serpent. I know Jacob, Esau, Pharaohs, I know Egypt. I know religion, Godliness, i know hypocrites, i know liars, i know matyrs.

      I know Kanye, i know Kendrick Lamar, i know rap, i know trap. I know Papa Jones, Sauti sol, Sarabi. 

      I know humanity, i know rights, i know responsibilities. I know social injustice, i know the constitution, i know corruption and dirty politicians, i know stunted policies, i know unfair laws, i know my dabbing president.

      I know medicine, i know drugs. I know illegal importations.

      I know hungry children, angry fathers, overworked mothers. I know raped women and men. I know ignored youth. I know the handicapped. I know cancer, i know HIV/AIDS, i know transgenders, i know homosexuality, i know sodomy, i know incest.

      I know sex, pornography. I know 50 shades of Gray. I know prostitution, i know sex slavery. I know contraceptives, abortion, miscarriages, i know still births. I know maternity wards.

      I know love, romance, realationships,heartbreaks. I know birthdays, weddings. I know relatives. I know friends, i know relative friends, true friends, fake friends. I know friends with benefit. I know neighbours, i know good neighbours. I know hommies.

      I know good food, good music.I know Muthoni The Drummer Queen, I know her ample bossom,I  know Papa Wemba, I know Pablo Picasso,and Da Vinci. I know Mafikizolo. I know Umkhonto We Sizwe. I know Dedan Kimathi, and Tom Cholmondely. I know the year the railway reached Mombasa,the year the British flag came down.

      I know lies,i know trust, i know family, betrayal. I know tears, i know emotions, i know ignorance and pretence. I know lust, and envy. 

       I know you, i know me.  I know you. I know me. I know life, i know the difference between a heart and a soul.

      I know the earth is round. I know oxygene. I know eternal life, i know zombies.

      I know, i know. 

      I know Mars,i know Jupiter. 

      I know were wolves,i know vampires i know lycans, but i believe in Aliens.

      On a night like this.

      As the sun goes down over Africa, and dark creeps in like an unwelcome but expected guest, the owls put their mascara on. It is going to be a long night. Out in the fields, teenage crickets mock the ode de joy.

        Solitude,silence and stealth.

      Somewhere above, the ozone layer is depleting.The political clowns exchange cases of faithfuly new crisp currency uptown. A child yells at its mother and the father walks out. In a kitchen downstairs, the milk burns to charcoal.

      Two kilometers out of town, two homosexual gods make love hungrily. Love is a want and a need that has to be compromised. As the two sink in each others juices, and indulge in the forbidden fruit hungrily,a couple tries for a a child the 100th time, as another wrestle each other to the ground.
      In the next town, in a posh upmarket home, a sad lady signs divorce papers tearfully staining her smooth sagy eyes with eyeliner.Her old skin glitters like it  spent a night in an oven baking and she smells like freshly packed soap. Now she has nothing to look forward to; except maybe spending eternity in  a gold casket preserved like an Egyptian god.

      Two robbers are gunned down by a squad of police officers, and a family of six is reported dead after a serious fire in the hood.

      The night slowly grows on, tired and weary of this mundane routine.

      A young woman lies in bed next to a sweaty child. In the dark, she plays with the childs torn underwear and toys with the idea of the ideal future of this toddler. Suddenly, anger gets to her as a thought flashes her head.

      Paedophiles belong to the hottest and most severe part of hell. The rapists too ,

      and the girl who gave sliced peach to her boyfriend.

      The boyfriend too. 


      ME AT 19.

      Once upon a time,i begged to be understood. I wished  to question the lemon tree’sthorny nature, the sun why it burnt with malice and the tortoise if faiba could pace up its speed.

      Now am old enough, old enough i even lie to myself. Once upon a time, we basked in sincerity, but now, even my own conscience whisphers lies to me in my sleep.