/you can't save a person who won't participate in their rescue. what if this fire i feel goes out? if you want to go far, go together, so i and my moods reach for the sharpness of the blade. i cage myself daily, doing it scared. death gives time all of its value. i burn at both ends as i write my story into constellations. i am finding patterns to die in the unlikeliest of things. think of death as a gateway to the otherworld, where the sun is blind and all that exist within that space are purple skies and red earth. if you think loving is hard, try forgetting the people you once loved. that abyss of defeat, that place i go to, dismembered, is my mind and in it is chaos and despair. i stand facing the sea; seeking a miracle. you were my song and my sadness, the contemplations or not, of drowning. you were my light, highlighting in the skies so powerfully in blue. the sun is falling across the galaxies, i can see it. the sun flower when there's too much cold dies. why call me a sun when at night i set and die? imagine if i had followed the voice calling me that day into the high sea, imagine being a replica of the sea, my depression coming and going like seawater at the shore. the ocean is the softest place anyone can fall into and not necessarily drown/.
A Poem in Which What I Feel is Lesser than Life and More than Death as I Try to Fix my Mind
3 Questions for Precious
What was your process for creating this work?
To be honest it took two long weeks of introspection, scribbling and editing to create that piece. No, I wasn't very invested in writing it, what I was more concerned about, as I do with my creative writing, is thinking squarely about the idea of my work all the time.
What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for this work?
Nothing beats my imagination more than grief does. I wonder, always, how painful it is, how overwhelming.
And I do not mean this in a way that means, oh, well, I enjoy delving into the topic of sadness and grief, dwelling neck-deep in its poignant, narrative style to grab readership.
I mean it this way: underlying grief—its conditions, its processes and afflictions to a person—in works of art be it in prose or poetry is necessary. We cannot rid off grief or unhappiness because we all try to be happy all the time.
It's time to say it as it is. And this is the significance of my poem: mentioning the unhappiness, mentioning the grief, and showing how important grief, or sadness, or pain is in moulding us into the better selves we are right now.
What is the significance of this work to you?
Most poets (or authors) will mention, at this point, proudly, this poem is about me, but that's not the case with me.
A person of significance in my life back then went through all I wrote in this piece.
To relive pain is to suffer. To not think about the pain you feel is to hurt yourself as well.
So I just wrote a poem that hurts, that reminds me of that one person, that shows how interconnected we all are in life. Our pain, different, yet the same, connected to nothing unnatural like most people say. Simply just grief, nothing more. Nothing unnatural.
Precious Uwen resides in Calabar, Nigeria. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous places, including Eboquills, Eremite Poetry, Afro Literary Magazine, Kahalari Review, Rough Cut Press, DoteofFlane, WRR, The Madrigal Press, Warning Lines Magazine, Fiction Niche, Okadabooks (an anthology titled Christmas and Candlelight), Aceworld Publishers, Paper Crane Journal, Brittle Paper, and elsewhere. He tweets @uwenprecioustr.