Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí is a writer and editor from Nigeria. His works have recently appeared/ are forthcoming in AGNI, Joyland, No Tokens, Agbowó, Southern Humanities Review, the Minnesota Review, the McNeese Review, West Trade Review, among other places. He is a staff writer at Open Country Mag.
Photography by Michael R. Pitter
“Pi goes on forever, and can’t be calculated to perfect precision: 3.14159265358979323846264338 32795028841971693993751 . . . . It is a bloody mess. No apparent pattern emerges in the succession of digits.” — Richard Preston.
wake up, run to the toilet to smoke loud.
enter the room of music. beckon the ghosts.
dream to survive. longing for a living. blue.
or purple. forget the colour of insanity’s eyes.
masturbate. watch the massive yellow birds.
Instagram. masturbate. mark the blades. smoke.
& smoke some more. decapitate the phonograph.
Basquiat or Schnabel. rainboots & lemons.
Open Country Mag. wander. Rwanda.
weed some more. find a word for what is worrying
the body. pain? ache? grief? what is bipolar
doing? pin pi. pin fucking pi to a canvas.
cover the mirror with teeth of greedy gnomes.
Subway Surf. Run idiot run or Time will catch up with—.
who is it in the screen? sync email. reread rejections.
Netflix. reread rejections. sync email. YouTube.
avoid the email from her, Eden’s yellow apple.
Open Country Mag. Google name.
bipolar + loneliness + grief + curse + longing + cruise + christ = ?
[burn my nipples]
burn my nipples with candle water. cover my chest
with wax. peel the wax gently—how a mother peels flakes
off the neck of a boy who hanged but failed at dying.
I do not want to die today—the corn is still boiling.
I have poems coming out in print magazines I long
to hold in these hands that made the music, magic.
what does it matter what I want—I wanted my mother
to live. I want her to rise & dust the grey earth of untime
off her bones. I want flesh on her bones. I want my name
in her mouth, vowels dancing, her voice a boat of love
& love & love & more love. I want to be well. I want to
be well. I want to be well. I want to be well. I want—
tabernacle of longing
the music bears me to you country of cowry shells.
house of saxophones, room of dancing shekere. small
ghosts making mimosa in the sax’s lungs, the boy’s
translucent tooth clinking in the agogo, purple dick
in the konga’s chest. an empty snail shell too. I hear the beat
in my chest. long lost lover, yesterday’s dandelion in my hair
do you hear it? wither the willow makes her tent, wither
the golden butterfly. I still love those legs. I want to go on
dreaming— girl with the wolf-rose tattoo dancing
in shaded light, I want to dance with you. again.
I feast on the blood of the wolf. the wolf becomes me.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
To view the types of work we typically publish, preview or purchase our past issues.
Please join our community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @inparenth.
By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7
32 pages, published 1/15/2022