Posted in Poetry

Interviewee’s lament

The interviewee’s lament


by Noel Ihebuzor  Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 20:09


When you and I speak in

settings stiff, skewed and tense

in this market place steeped in imperfections,

in flawed assumptions, unequal rates of exchange and asymmetries

judge and jury,

you hold both the yam and the knife


when you and I engage

in these strained encounters

and you must ask me what, how and why,

me, tense, my tongue parched dry,

stiff as wood

my phrases now in patches and stutters

my cool calm flown

my rehearsed composure in rout ,

unraveling, ideas in disarray

and you cool and assured,  must ask me what how and why

please ask

but let the why not fall with the deadening

deafening weight of a ton

nor weighted down by a long dangling darkling tail

inflamed hot by your enlarging arrogance

swaying wantonly,  entangled by accumulated pride

tinged with prejudice

propelled by malice, intent to manacle.


So drill me, grill me since you must,

with your what how and why

 but gently, not a mangling why,

that verges on the arid,

that seeks to ridicule, No,

ask me why and how, a plain why,

simple and clear

nothing of the trajectory of the calculated knockout punch

not a why with vicious and malicious intent,

with concealed traps, seeking to abase,  debase 

to reduce me

otherwise I could defy roles

turn the tables and also ask you

the favorite questions

of the town imbecile,

(him without guile or vile intention)

“how long is a comma,

when spoken with the feigned forced eloquence,

of  the newly turned ajebo?”

“how many grasshoppers will make one cow?”

“how many half truths make one truth?”

questions similar to some of the ones

your assured tongue hurls at me

in our unequal engagement

questions that verge on the sterile, the hostile

straining my patience and

leaning progressively to the irrelevant


Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

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