Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu

(16 January 1968 / Umuahia, Nigeria)

Verdigris and Wasted Talents


Verdigris is the evidence of death,
the symbol of ruin,
of waste,
of abandonment,
of incest,
sign of eternal grief...

Dust your BOOKS of verdigris,
of the mould from which penicillin
would dread.

A common vice,
Verdigris haunts!
And with it, the season of paralyzing units.
No éclat resounding from encouraging voices.
It crawls, sneezes out the flu and harms the eyes.
Verdigris stinks.
Green, velvet coatings, like the roasted mesocarps
Of African pears, besiege our fathers’ values.
The crown of wasted talents, the grey hair of Cinderella.
And then come loose papers!
They flutter in the wind’s vagrancy, caparisoning fields
With white clemency.
They witness the banal shaving of the pubis
Of mating trees.
Inks are now darkened rills among the whims of poachers,
Who have washed clean their dirty toes in our cascades,
Which since the morning, has purified our senses.
And verdigris rapes our silver.
Verdigris with fetid.

Among them, the chastised
Among them, the crucified
And so arid, this place!

Such image
Brings on the cadaver of documents
With faded blotches like purpled angst.
Verdigris has blood cells...

The image eludes painters and men of Rembrandt,
Who mix colours with verdigris, the soothing, flailed
Velvet coat of yore –
Blood – alluded to genocide in the recent past.

Picasso and Braque
Could not arraign verdigris before the court of Cubism.
And it mocked the essence of their geometry.

Verdigris!
Where is thy sting?
Where lies your image?
And what is your age?

Between verdigris and wasted talents,
a ceremony of decadence;
a pallid consternation of rituals for pumicing
this threshold, where shameless vultures
and rabid dogs have mated since 1975...

Verdigris is Wasted Talents.
And Wasted Talents, in latent words, are Verdigris.

Submitted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Edited: Friday, March 21, 2014

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