Friday, March 27, 2015

Soulja Story

A soulja battling Boko Haram who is also fighting his personal
demons writes his daughter about his personal struggles.

Dear Daughter,
This is not Father.
Tell you what; this war's been one tough nut to crack;
If we fight the enemy we shall hit our brothers.
There's no telling who got dragged into this joint;
Or who got paid to settle for a human bomb.
I've had nightmares where I woke up totally drenched;
Victory has never before tethered on a more slippery edge.

Who willingly yields up a daughter?
Then turns around and cries, Murder! Murder!
Who can spot the color of truth, color of a lie?
Who discerns a foe just by looking 'em in the eye?
Sometimes, I feel this is a struggle in vain.
I assume it sounds lame and probably is insane.
But can I be positive I ain't sticking out my neck for a traitor?
Can I state with certainty there ain’t secret mass burial sites?

They wear our faces and speak our tongue.
They sniff out the nitty-gritty of our minds.
If I sound a bit off the wall maybe I am.
But when we get down to brass tacks it’s Nigerians offing Nigerians.
Things are never what they seem behind enemy lines,
In this place I wage war and for same I lay down my life.
Dear Daughter,
This is Father.

Akpan



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

7 Day Theory

The earth was created in six days. Nigeria's war against
 terrorism entered its sixth year in 2015. It ends NOW.
2016 is our 7th day and there we will find our rest. It starts NOW.

There’s so much to live for why can’t we start living it now?
Straddle love and courage and faith; turn again our captivity;
Prepare a way and haul in peace like a river that abounds.
This is the year we initiate our miracle metamorphosis.

Lethal explosions have ripped us till we despaired for hope,
The three-fold cord of unity’s been strained to snapping point.
These six odd years we’ve been coerced to walk a tightrope,
Still we rise to every challenge and keep on believing in love.

For six years, we put our backs to the grind;
We sang of freedom and put our hopes on the line.
We got just one more ‘day’ then we rest from this tragedy,
And set the tone for our very own seven-day theory.

Akpan



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

7 Myths About Random Writing


A lot of stuff has been said about random writing (or intuitive writing) and not a few borders on the process involved in the form. How is the style of writing done?; why do people use it or why should they?; who needs its seemingly rich resourcefulness?

If you have a desire to delve deeper into this form of writing check here and here. In this post, I'll limit myself to unraveling misconceptions folks have managed to build around the fine art of random writing.

1. Random Writing is Freewriting
Find out more about freewriting here. While a writer may on occasion, practice freewriting to pull himself out of a rut so he can get on with the actual writing project, folks who foray into random writing know what they're up against. This isn't about turning out the trash clogging the flow; it's about turning on the flow in spite of the trash. It is the project.

2. Random Writing is For Writers Who Are Blocked
Of course, it is a surefire cure for the block but legendary writers like Ray Bradbury for example, will tell you that 99.9% of the stuff they churn out is straight from their mind to paper. According to these accomplished writers, this is something you do everyday, every time you scribble. Besides keeping the block in check, plying this route will keep your juice fired up all day.

3. Random Writing is For Poets/Lyricists
Nope. And not just for writers of the short form of fiction, either. Writers like Stephen King have penned 1,000 page tomes by getting lost in their subconscious.
It comes through much practice.

4. Random Writing is Being Lazy
Yes indeed, if your goal is to write an instruction manual. Writers who affect writing randomly understand the physical and emotional involvement it requires. And while it might look like an excuse to fill up time in your study, writing in this fashion demands dredging deep into your psyche and calling out stuff that ain't.
 
5. Random Writing is Wishing For the Moon
Yes it is. But you are wishing because there is a guarantee you are going to get not just any moon but a full moon. Probably, if you have not been doing a whole lot of writing in and out of the zone, it becomes impossible to grasp this level of creativity. And that's why, this is especially true if you're new to this trade, you MUST write everyday. You're training yourself to sync with your deeper self at a snap because that's where the good stuff are.

6. Random Writing is Premeditated Writing
You have to read a lot so you can write a lot. Remember, GIGO? But with random writing, you don't have to study an instruction manual, memorize some vital points before you spill your guts on the page. That ain't writing intuitively which is putting your pen to paper and letting your thoughts, untainted by needless edits, flow directly to the page.

7. Random Writing is Always a PeRfect JOB
If that means you never have to revise your work then you're wrong. Bypassing your mind helps you to contact the real self and leads to honing your writing style. With intuitive writing, you are creating the real stuff. Keep this at the back of your mind at all times. “Much of the stuff you create will be bilge but the rest... it will save your life.”

Random writing or intuitive writing is the purest approach to creating words because it translates your thoughts in its purest form to the page, totally shutting out interference from your mind. No wonder the great writer, Ray Bradbury sketched it with these two words, “DON'T THINK.”

You should try it sometime, you'll never write any other way if you do. I guarantee it.

Keep your pens bleeding.

Akpan



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cellphone Conversation


This is a fictional phone conversation with the maniac Shekau She-Cow, written in verse. Let’s pretend the evil genius speaks any vocabularies besides Bang-Bang! Boom-Boom! His words are in BOLD type.

Am I speaking with She-Cow?
This is Shekau...
Alhaji Abubakar Shekau
Whatever, Shay COW.
So, what's all the rage?
I said this time and again;
My mission is to cut ‘Western’ culture off this nation.
Isn't that why you're on the internet... to spread the message?
Well, yeah, I needed a medium of expression...
And a ‘Western’ medium seemed most appropriate?
That about sums it up.
That's the kind of attitude that gets people bombed.
Is that a threat?
Because I missed the part where I get scared.
I just want to tell my side of the story and be heard...
Well She-Cow, your side of the story sucks...
I blow up school kids for a holy cause...
Is that a synonym for ‘masochistic lunatic?’
You wouldn't know a thing about my cause
So I suggest you don't insult.
Are we discussing that Devil Theory which warps minds, makes
Men strap explosives all around their waists and make
Waste of everything that breathes within a 10-block radius?
My motives are strictly religious...
Sheez, you got it all sorted out, genius.
Why don’t you tell that to the dead school kids.
You're so full of shit...
Or maybe, your time is up...
This war will not be over until I've bombed you all...
Is that the stink of your corpse I smell as it rots?
That's all empty talk. And you know it.
It's over. Can you not feel...
Ha! Ha! I don't see your armed forces
Putting one dent in my offensive.
It's got nothing to do with sophisticated weapons;
We won because your toys couldn't split a great nation.
How much longer, do you reckon, would that remain reality...?
Listen hard. Don’t you hear the exploding silence of your bombs?
You should feel damn lucky you live down south....
And you really ought to make your last moments on earth count,
Start putting what's left of your household in order, militarized tout.
Because we will hunt you like vermin and we will stamp you out.
You got big mouth...
You’re living on borrowed time, traitor. I'm out.

Akpan


Friday, March 6, 2015

Postikum


I'm just a face in the crowd.
But I see friendships that might have been;
Smiles that would’ve smoothed out the crease on my brow.
I ease my mind into fickle wishful thinking
And let it wander where human dignity still holds a charm.
And right there, at the center of all radiance is us;
Just us two, bragging and shoving and fearing no harm.
Then reality crashes in like foam-tipped breakers on the shore;

I hear your screams rise from within a fiery grave.
I hear you yell out my name but I am M.I.A.
I see you grope with burning rage for aid that never came;
I feel the deathly heat as your lungs burst, from a distant place.
The terror gnaws at my heart and threatens to rip it out.
You thought I had your back but I'm the one who let you down.
You thrust out charred limbs and clawed at the empty air
What I had to do was grab your hand but I was not there.

I see dead people strewn like waste disposed of at a landfill;
I see young destinies six feet deep in a grave of dreams.
So I scribbled a line to you in that place I cannot yet come,
A monument of words flung up through the voice of one.
I'm just a face in the crowd.
If I’m dead to you it’s because you’re out cold;
If you’re dead to me I should hang with Shekau
How I remember you molds how my story unfolds.

Akpan