Night Thesmophoriazusae

By Ayiah Mensah

Now this sex strike.

I grasp for breath.
I replace a body with a heightened voice
and cast doubts on a play I have spoiled with your husband when we scrap and dress for your role.

A riotous party.

We are back to your particulars to make a vast parade of measures for the only street of no method in their proceedings
to carry you to your earlier version of yourself.
Finish this picture in the madhouse we share with the prisons

and bring something out of yourself
and stop knocking the walls between us and them. We demand honesty from colour construction
and everything I see is hardly a new.
I need your fist
which is clenching in my direction,
I erase the rainclouds in the sky tonight.
We spurn every invitation.

I am multiple reflections in that metal mirror
with each in its own right,
one of them tells the rest to melt away from behind the mirror line. Tell them where I am when they think I do not belong to myself.

Tell them when I wear big eyes, painted, flat and dull, a laundry list of questions.

Paint this night with faces
and suggest a persevering man to reveal his full teeth before you for his energetic and highly literate fooling,

I need over eighty sittings to finish this picture behind a mask left under your care.

In this room, nothing further of importance is elicited
when the door is difficult to open and the whole body is bruised and discoloured,
a law is at its best!
The shadow of a clew is apparent on the floor.
The next door heading from here into the passage, where the vigil is

observed, is securely locked.
I turn to the chimneys,
I turn to the impossibility of egress,
I turn to the results that are not unfrequently surprising.

It is not possible now to say how the injuries you have been inflicted in the cellar,
where we hide from the riot police,
I remain a puzzling question,

I am inordinately possessed,
a law is at its best.
A law
becoming the end of a staircase floating, where under pale circumstances children make noise with empty milk tins, falling on each other

from the background, children who refuse to sleep because they have no eyes drawn for them to close, we descend down from a great deal of disbelief,
a phrase-chopper with a new appearance

and these confused young husbands.

Tell them what has happened in the midair
and I am listening.
Tell them the tale stitched with sweat drops.
Tell them when your father’s story is built under a grain of sand. Tell them when everything begins with a name.

We cross Syntax River to Syntagm Island

because you have paid the tickets.
Tell them when their hands are full of menstrual blood
and I borrow these hands to slim or thin
for extravagant cat shows.
This shoulder length wavy hair remaining in the whirlwind will not keep its edge
above the roof.
I keep the monolith
for the mongrel to watch.

Tell them more in monocular angles.
No mimicry, no milch cow.
Just tell them when you mince the meat of this body and the miniaturist mines the space above
without any portfolio.
I carve the voice neatly,
I see your heavy hands at rest.
Let the birdlime path emerge
from this body like a whole song.
Let the statues emerge from your shadow.
Tell them the end, this visitant viscountess,
tell them the end of every sentence.

It is four o’clock in the wet morning and still dark as midnight,
a knocking at the street door.
I go down to open.

No streetlight, no surgical mask,

except this light heart,
I dismember the corpse in silence,
I struggle through the page covered with a mass of figures.

I am a schooner in my whole life out there in the full sea of silence.
I pretend to live at the dock and still wearing this visor and Viyella on the stage in roving.

I divide the semibreve from this semi-conscious semicolon from the chest, I keep my bust from vista.
I am viscous,
vitrifying vivace scale.

I sing my virgin birth from this viol with enzymes. Tell them and I am listening.
I am listening to myself,
I am a question and unanswerable.


Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah, who is an algebraist and artist, works in mixed media.  His poems have appeared in numerous journals. He lives in the southern part of Ghana, in Spain, and the Turtle Mountains, North Dakota. 


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