The Gallery.

  • Blighted

    Blighted

    “Hearts are breaking, wars are raging on

    And I have taken my [rose-colored] glasses off. “

    Rose-colored Boy, {song} by Paramore.

    “Whose life am I living? Whose life am I failing to live? “

    Clothing Dreams [Essay], by Margaret Atwood.

    12:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 23rd, 2021.


    My name is Poe, I’m 16 and I have absolutely no idea where my life is headed. People like to say I’m very intelligent, and sometimes I like to think so too, but then I wonder; “What’s the point of all this? Of what use are brains anyway? “. In where I come from, with academic sharpness comes big shoes to fill: you’ll be relentless in your pursuit for excellence. You’ll be brilliant. I’m not brilliant. I’m supposed to go to med-school and become a doctor because I’m bookish, find the human anatomy fascinating sometimes, and it’s just the logical sequence of events; it makes sense, it’s financially smart, and it’s likely I’ll have little to zero regrets in the future.

    But I beg to differ. You must think it’s futile of me — being so opinionated and fighting to have a say, no matter how little — for you too must be well acquainted with the inescapable gravity of parental expectations. But I don’t want to end up in some rundown, rote, boring job, working my arse off and my brains out and wallowing each day is utter discontent. Infant, with the way things are going right now, everything brings discontent. I feel so… useless. I feel weightless, like I’m floating and all I need to do is let go.

    I don’t think I belong here, and everyday I fear that someone is going to find out that I’m just an impostor, that all the potential and “talent” is just a sham, and I dread it and hope for it too, because maybe then I’ll stop being mortally petrified of getting caught at being nothing. Maybe then, I could finally float away.
    I do not know when these feelings began– I cannot recall their inception– all I know is that they have taken root and, like a baobab tree on my minuscule planet, threaten to rip apart my whole world.

  • Wonder Egg Priority Episode 13 & Final Thoughts

    Wonder Egg Priority Episode 13 & Final Thoughts

    Watched this last night. Whew

    The Glorio Blog

    “My Priority”

    Not like this. Please, not like this.

    Zigg’s Thoughts

    You know, I am someone who likes to write a lot, who likes to take his time getting to the point. But sometimes, you have to put that aside. Sometimes you have to cut the crap and go for the jugular.

    This was awful. This sucked. This was disgraceful.

    Words cannot even begin to articulate how disappointed, how utterly crushed I was when the credits rolled on this ‘special’ episode. Everything that was good about Wonder Egg Priority, everything that I found enjoyable, or meaningful, or relatable, this episode grinds to dust. It is a failure on every conceivable level. It doesn’t work as a conclusion to the plot. It doesn’t work as a resolution to any of the characters’ arcs. It doesn’t work as a thematic summation of the show. It doesn’t even work as a self…

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  • The Idea of Dying

    This is so beautiful and raw 💜

    All Wrong, Nothing Right: A Queer Person's Manifesto.

    I often fiddle with the idea of dying. A week ago, there was an accident on my way to school and I fidgeted all the way forth and home, not that my death scared me. The thought of killing someone did.

    I learned how to drive when I was 16. I don’t remember most of the practice, but I remember my first attempt. I had finally given in to courage and had let the part of me that was scared of failure to try. It had been a success, even if slightly. My mum had reversed the car, after which she’d directed me on where to place my feet. And I’d pushed the clutch, drove a few feet or so, and immediately stepped on the brakes coz I’d gotten excited. Scared-excited. I figure doing it other times got  easier, as long as I was off the main roads.

    Eventually, I…

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  • Funereal Pink

    A pink hibiscus. Note: in funerals, pink flowers represent grace, compassion and innocence.

    Whispers

    Of springtime

    Death in the night.

    A song

    With too many

    Tunes.

    Fragments [poem] by Langston Hughes

    I am washing my face before bed while a country is on fire. It feels dumb to wash my face and dumb not to. It has never been this way and it has always been this way. Someone has always clinked a cocktail glass in one hemisphere as someone loses a home in another while someone falls in love in the same apartment building where someone grieves. The fact that suffering, mundanity and beauty coincide is unbearable and remarkable

    Unknown

    Yesterday I received news that a classmate of mine died. Today, I wore a flower in my hair. It was a pink hibiscus: bright pink, and I picked it from the hedge that grows outside our church’s gate. The sun shone brightly with a heat that was almost unbearable, and I walked on the road singing along to “Bird song”, by Florence + the Machine. I worked and I ate, and now I’m about to sleep. Which is utterly ridiculous, of course, because someone is dead. The world ought to stop spinning, the sand grains in the hourglasses ought to hang mid-air, the creatures ought to stop breathing. Someone is dead. It’s the middle of the rainy season, yet the sky didn’t even have the decency to slam us with a deluge.
    They say she died in the hospital, while receiving meds for malaria. Perhaps the sickness was too far gone, perhaps she was misdiagnosed, perhaps she had an abrupt aneurysm and slipped away quietly in the night without anyone knowing. I wonder what her last moments were like: did she know when it happened, was she aware that she was leaving her body?

    Mlazie Dies Alone in the City Hospital 
    "I hate to die this way with the quiet
     Over everything like a shroud.
     I'd rather die where the band's a-playin' 
    Noisy and loud.
     I'd rather die in the way I lived, —
     Drunk and rowdy and gay! 
    God! why did you ever curse me 
    Makin' me die this way? "
    

    When I got the news, I was briefly paralysed with shock. I also cried a bit. I did not know her personally, but I could’ve. We could’ve been friends. She could’ve grown up and made a huge impact in our world. I did not know her, so it felt preposterous to be devastated by her absence, like I’d be intruding on something deeply personal, that ought to be sacred to those who did know her, but I could’ve.

    Epitaph [1]
    Within this grave lie, 
    Yes, I. 
    Why laugh, good people
    , Or why cry? 
    Within this grave 
    Lies nothing more 
    Than I.
    

    Yesterday I got news that one of my colleagues died, and today I wore a pink flower in my hair. It was a shocking pink, a bleedingly bright pink. It’d been a while since I wore a flower in my hair, but today I did.

    In memory of N.G.A.

  • How to commit suicide: a guide

    A slash of the wrist, A swallow of scalding acid, The crash of a bullet through the brain — And Death comes like a mother To hold you in her arms.

    “Ways” [poem],by Langston Hughes
    I swear to God I want to just slit my wrists and end this bullshit
    Throw the Magnum to my head, threaten to pull shit (Nigga, what the fuck?)
    And squeeze until the bed's completely red (It's too late for this shit, man) 
    The stress is buildin' up, I can't— I can't believe (Yo, I'm on my way over there, man)
    Suicide's on my fuckin' mind, I wanna leave
    I swear to God I feel like death is fuckin' callin' me
    But nah, you wouldn't understand (Nigga, talk to me please, man!).....
    Matter of fact, I'm sick of talkin'
    (Ayo Big! Ayo Big!)
    Please hang up, and try your call again
    Please hang up, this is a recording
    https://ytmp3cut.com/fbJ5FgCwQ-k

    So you want to commit suicide? Perhaps you’re tired of wallowing in your despair and tiredness, or maybe you’re just looking for a novel concept to try out.

    That’s alright. If you were to try googling “how to commit suicide”, most of the results would offer you the nearest suicide hotline, instead of an actually helpful answer. They would tell you that you’re sick with depression, and that you ought to see a doctor. And they’re right of course.

    But that’s not your question is it? So here’s how to commit suicide: I hope it helps you immensely.

    Step 1: The first thing to know is that to take life in the proper way, some careful consideration is required first. We all hold the life of someone in our hands, even if it’s ours. However you choose to do it is up to you; but I beg of you, please do it cleanly. There’s no need for the ones left behind to expend energy on cleaning up your mess that would be better used in mourning.
    So sit still and close your eyes. Hopefully, in this moment you’re clear-headed. The experience of taking a life in your fingertips and sniffing it out into nothingness is empowering and not to be a stumbling affair in a blind haze of fear and intoxicated despair.

    Step 2: This is probably the point where you say a last prayer, if you’re religious. You’ve, without doubt, lived some form of life, however drab and closeted it may have been. Think back on it. Think of your loved ones if you have any. If there is any glee to be obtained from their impending sorrow on your passing away, it’s best to glean it now. The land you’re approaching has no documented characteristics; it’s the unknown. You’d be wise not to forget that.

    Step 3: You must plan the setting for the death now. As I said, consideration is important. We’re talking about the When, Where and How. If you’re one for a bit if sentimentality, a suicide note would be nice (“Ahoy! Greetings from No Man’s Land. I hope you will not miss me terribly, dear mama. But, on second thought, I hope you do: I always thought you were horrid”. You know, that kind of stuff. Or, “Ally, my dirty socks are in the hamper. Don’t touch my stuff”, if you’d rather be more practical. Though, why on earth they should listen to you in death, I cannot fathom).
    If you’re more for the soap-opera dramatics, a hanging would do quite nicely, but only if you have a mathematical brain because you have to calculate the length and strength of the rope in proportion to your weight, in order to prevent a sordid, painfully ineffectual ordeal that only bruises your consciousness, but doesn’t smother it.
    There’s also the pill method that’s mostly effective and painless (if you’re lucky), the slashing of the wrists (gory, and not for the faint of heart. I suggest you do it in the bathroom), drowning and, of course, poison.
    Whichever way you choose, make sure you will be found by someone in a few hours post mortem. It would be a shame for you to be just a putrid carcass of worms and stench by the time you’re discovered; the horror takes the sting off the bereftness.

  • Dysphoria

    I remember all of the things that I wanted to be; so desperate to find a way out of my world and finally breathe.

    Remedy {song}, by Adele.

    Littered around me are
    Paraphernalia of another’s life.
    Luxury__ so nice to live,
    And yet — do tell — what remains of me?

    Hand-me-downs [poem], by Onuoha Kosisochukwu.

    May 26, Thursday, 2015. 5:18 pm.


    Majesty got the visa to study at UConn three hours ago. I was elated. My life has turned into a surrealist painting, a charmed film. In this movie, dreams come true.

    In the pantry that’s my mind, laid around my feet like broken crockery, are all the dreams that I’ve ever abandoned. All the things I’ve put of for fear, all the layers upon layers of cocoons I’ve wrapped my eyes and ears and tear ducts and heart in, for fear of having no wings if I were to burst out, have now twisted around my throat in a tangle of choking silk.

    I was there throughout her application process. I saw everything. And I hoped, and prayed, but doubted. Perhaps because I thought I knew how hard it was for someone with no money and no connections to find her way into a university in America. But now it’s halfway done, and in a few months she’ll be dreaming in a place I’ve never seen before, a place that used to be our collective dream but will soon become her reality. I’m happy for her.
    But am I happy for me?

    “I guess everyone’s happy. Can you look at me? ‘Cause I’m blue and grey. ”

    Blue and Grey [song], by BTS.

  • Purple Heart, Floating Lights: the Fandom.

    And I feel like a river that finally arrived at the sea, ’cause when you love me… I know I’ll be on top of the world, and it’s so beautiful.

    Biutyful {song}, by Cold play.

    “We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other. “

    Song of Achilles [novel], by Madeleine Miller

    My sister Olanna does not understand my enarmordness with K-pop, and the Korean entertainment industry. She believes watching Korean dramas which are mostly of the rom-com genre is a waste of time (she doesn’t believe me when I say I’m learning a second language 😑). But her most pressing peeve with me is my irrational love for BTS, the Korean boy group that is now (objectively speaking) a global sensation. The fact that Cynthia and I can wake up and watch Instagram and YouTube skits about them for hours straight without giving thought to personal hygiene, brain and eye health, even eating, makes her break out in mental hives.
    But I don’t care. I kinda feel sorry for her: she’ll never know that exhilarating feeling of chanting along in time to millions of people in a language you don’t understand, but nevertheless find to be so beautiful, it brings you to tears. To be in a cavernous stadium with a thousand other hearts, even those watching through live videos and social media, your faces lit by purple lightsticks, creating waves with your arms, your heart buoyed along with other people’s.
    To be in a fandom is at once a personal and communal action. When I spend midnights binge-watching ‘Run BTS’, I believe it to be a form of therapy. Though I’m relatively new in this fandom, having just joined last year, watching these guys who are at once famous, untouchable and so relatable and funny, makes me insanely happy (feel free to be alarmed; I’ll admit it might be deserved). I get to have biases and squeal over their posts, and tweet aggressively comedic pickup lines in the comments’ sections. I get to have a passionate love for something bigger than myself without the crush of expectations. I get to know wonderful people, both idols and fans, committed to their lives and to that of others. Music is a universal thing, and BTS’ music makes me feel deeply connected to a web that spans across countries, across neurons and muscle tendons, that has been translated into varied expressions of joy. It’s frivolous and momentous and absorbing at the same time, and I love it.
    So I wear my fanshipping proudly. Call it simping, or eccentricity. Perhaps it’s not changing the world in the way that you expect; it’s not activism, or volunteer work. But I’m a part of the fandom ARMY. Isn’t that wild? Isn’t that so heartening?

    Please tell me in the comments about something you love very deeply. This is a gallery of my thoughts, and of yours too.

    💜💜💜,

    The Minstrel

  • Home.

    Home {song}, by Kristen Bell.
    I'm grateful for this castle, and for everything we've got. Especially my family, we've all been through a lot. I know how fragile things can be; if I lost them, I'd lose me. They're my ocean, they're my shore. I wanna give them more. They're my home, my home.
    
    

    And that orange, it made me so happy, as ordinary things often do just lately. .. This is peace and contentment. It’s new… I love you. I’m glad I exist.

    The Orange {poem}, by Wendy Cope.

    We moved into a new house today. This is the 4th house I’ve lived in in 4 years. But something about this one feels different. This one feels like home. When we moved today, there was a lot of bickering and short fuses going off. But there was also a lot of laughs. The house is more roomy than anyone we’ve ever had before; it’s not leaking from the roof, neither does it get flooded when it rains (our last house tried to drown us several times over the past year, but it didn’t know we were shit-water fishes 😂😭).

    We woke up early and packed our things, and then we spent most of the day settling in. I ate noodles in the afternoon, along with my mom and sisters, and then I took a long shower (where I sang out loud, giddy with the knowledge that I was literally singing in the shower and not just the bathroom). I finished my chores, and beat Chinaza at chess, then ate dinner. And now I’m laying on my wonderful, plush bed in my room where the ceiling is so high I couldn’t touch with my fingertips if I stood on tiptoe on the bed (Ife had to climb Oli’s back to fix the light bulb😭). When I step into the kitchen, the tap actually runs (oh, the luxury!), and my room has a functioning light bulb and two wardrobes. But best of all, I’m not alone. I had a really long video call with two of my sisters who aren’t here with us, and we were so happy.

    I feel so full inside my heart: like all my dreams have true. Of course, dreams are never static, and desire is insatiable. But once in a while, there’s an interlude, a pause in the deluge: this is one of those times, when you take a step back from the canvas and see how beautiful it has become. This is what I feel: peace and contentment, that feeling that is like freshly-minted currency every time it comes to you, that feeling that’s always new.
    My mom is currently in the parlor, baptising the house with fiery prayers and I feel clothed with grace, like I could soar on the wings of her faith (I also feel gooseflesh at how intense she is, LOL). The view from my window is of the sandy compound and the tall, wrought iron gate, and an oily blue sky. Oh, and a dim streetlight.

    My spectres have vanished for now, and I’m so glad I exist.

    Rating: 1 out of 5.
  • Introspection: an epitaph.

    Now we spread roses
    Over your tomb—
    We who sent you
    To your doom.
    Now we make soft speeches
    And sob soft cries
    And throw soft flowers
    And utter soft lies

    “Poem To A Dead Soldier” (excerpt) , by Langston Hughes.

    Everyone hurts, everyone cries. Everyone tells each other all kinds of lies. Everyone falls, everybody dreams and doubts.

    ‘Everyday Life’ (song), by Coldplay.

    A few days ago, an Hausa girl in Sokoto state, named Deborah, was stoned to death and publicly burned for committing “blasphemy” against Allah [see link at https://guardian.ng/news/deborah-northern-governors-condemn-killing-call-for-calm/%5D . The people who instigated the execution, the people who pelted her with rocks till she was immobilised, who heaped rubber tyres on her and set her alight and watched her skin blacken and her corpse char to the chants of “Allahu Akbar”, were not illiterate, Neanderthalic Muslims that abhored contact with “infidels”. They were people who were students like her, who attended the same university and spoke the same language and were mostly in the same age group. And they murdered her on the speculation that she obliquely insulted their religion, an accusation that, based on witness accounts, was either fabricated or grossly exaggerated.


    Now, I have firm beliefs too. Beliefs that I have adopted after much consideration, and will fiercely defend if need be. But to have a belief that strips people of their respective humanity, a belief that allows you to brutally, for no just cause, squash someone’s life, is that really a belief worth holding onto?

    Someone brought the subject of her death up on my class’s group chat, and of course, most people were righteously outraged on Deborah’s behalf. “They are so barbaric, these Muslims. They are so intolerant, so illiterate, so (insert negative quality ‘x’) “[Even the Northern states’ governors publicly (read: reluctantly and hypocritically) condemned the act (several days after her death, I might add).]
    Then someone started dissecting Christianity and the several existent holes in it. And, of course, the group chat went up in flames.


    ” The Quran itself doesn’t help, ’cause it even encourages murder. But you can say the same for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism.
    Christianity is only diluted ’cause of the teachings of Christ which frowns against violence”.

    K

    The above is a quote from one of my classmates, and I wholly agree with him. Most of the rebuttals to the above argument claimed “blasphemy” and said that one ought not try to comprehend the ways and will of God. Does that sound familiar to you?

    Religious intolerance is based on these principles: do not think, do not try to understand. Because if you do, you might become baffled to a point where you are no more religious. Do you think those Muslims that killed Deborah closely examined their actions? No. They believed, genuinely, that it was the will of God. And if Christianity never had Jesus, if it stuck to the Old Testament —which has already devolved into a whole new religion, by the way — a Christian would probably do the same. They’d believe it was the will of God. They’d stone someone to death for infidelity or for having different beliefs than themselves. They’d probably be able to justify murder. They’d be no different than those Muslims, if you ask me. And the fact that they do have Jesus still doesn’t make them better than Muslims, because the Old Testament is still a part of the Bible.

    Religion has always been a touchy subject, and I’m in no way trying equate faith to genocidal tendencies, but I think that this is a time when we have to deeply analyze our beliefs. In the wake of Deborah’s murder, what we ought to render is not self-righteous condemnation or false-sounding condolences. Those will never bring her back. What we can offer her is introspection : by analyzing our deepest beliefs, and ensuring that we never become the ones staring down at another Deborah.


    If you want to be a believer, you should be a thoughtful believer, a consciously thinking believer. Your intelligence is a part of you, and you ought to love the God you serve with that too. Almost all religions have disturbing parts of their history, parts of their teaching that may go against basic humaneness. And almost all religions have the certainty that they are absolute, that their preaching is all there is to spirituality.


    In the spirit of existentialism (A twentieth-century philosophical movement emphasizing the uniqueness of each human existence in freely making its self-defining choices) and the UDHR, I fully support you in whatever you choose to believe in; Christ, Allah, Buddha, Chukwu, Sango, you name it. It’s your right, and it’s a valid belief. But think… Know where to draw the line; when your belief starts to turn into a validation for murder, at the very least. We’re all here together on this planet, a collection of atoms that are miraculously capable of conscious thought. We are no less human than you. Do not ever forget that.

  • Dear Crush: you’re a nutcracker.

    “Do you ever think, when you’re all alone

    All that we could be, where this thing could go? “

    Crush, by David Archuleta.

    “There is no more poetry

    to be written

    of these things.

    The rainbow’s sudden revelation–

    behold!

    The cliché is true!

    What can one say

    but that?

    So too

    with you, little heart,

    little miracle,

    but you are

    no less miracle

    for being ordinary.”

    Ordinary Miracle, by Erica Jong.

    Tuesday 10th of August, 2021.

    1:17 a.m


    Dear Crush,
    I asked Oli if she ever felt stupid after chatting with a person, and she said no, but that if you made me feel that way, then maybe it was time to delete your number and move on. But I underestimated her when she said that it would take a load of preparation; I didn’t know how much it would tear me to click ‘delete’, how bereft I would feel when flicking through your stalker-y album in my gallery (45 photos and 10 videos till date). How it would strike me over and over what a good person you are: kind, considerate, not scared of showing raw pain or foolish optimism, how lovely your smile really is (though I abhor that goatee), with its goofy openness and your large ears. How open you are about your faith, how trusting in a nebulous deity that it makes me wish, makes me ache to feel a quarter of what you feel; to lose my head and self completely in that boneless surrender to a God. But I can’t, though I am trying.

    And it’s foolish, this feeling, because we are too incompatible; I love debates, I’m fairly agnostic and I love to question the status quo. I’m cynical, and you’re a “motivational speaker” (for Christ’s sake), so my sense of humor is quite possibly wildly different from yours. And yet, I’m drawn like a pregnant Anopheles mosquito to a blood meal. I feel like pretending to be a real Christian to get your attention, but that would be falsifying bits of myself, and what about when I decided to strip away the facade; would you still appreciate me for the stubborn, flawed, not quite attractive or selfless person that I am? I don’t even know if you view my Whatsapp statuses! You certainly take your time replying messages.

    This is pathetic, really. I’m made of stronger and more sensible stuff than this, and I ought not to try to get your number back from the group chat. But I think about you and I feel a frisson of excitement; good people are so rare nowadays. And I feel frightened because if I never get your number back and you never chat me up again it will all be over before it has begun. I will never have known what it’s like to be your friend. Is it stupid that I feel this way— cracked like a nut but hoping to be eaten anyways— because you’re a nice person, a genuinely good person, and those are rare to find nowadays?

    ……and now I sound starved and pathetic (cue the facepalm).