Pelumi Adejumo

My Lover Has No Face

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Deze tekst kwam tot stand in het kader van een residentieproject van het Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren ( in samenwerking met de stichting Biermans-Lapôtre.

what’s up?

mom carries multiple faces in her bag
each church activity knows a different one
dad lost the remote control somewhere
between five languages and his mind
like the pursuit of happyness
but with less action
of a well-meaning parent
it is well repeating itself
from a dried-up hollowed calabash
sampling the title song of our lives
renunciation becomes
a habit when with every new haircut
colleague’s introduce themselves
reparations for 17EU per head
malaysian kinky curly
aliexpress sells 6 bundles
for only 30EU in total
charlotte adigéry rocks I know I shouldn’t do it but
do it     but
do it     but
do it     but
do it     but
do it     but
with hushed breasts slide
clippers through my TWA while
what’s up? blasts, hair falls, hearts frail
on my wooden floor
our voices are getting raspy
and we drink red wine but I don’t like red wine
which reminds me of my mom
bumping against a train chair on our way back
spilling grape juice
yelling ẹ̀jẹ̀ẹ Jésù!
while I walk through the door
my sister says it’s giving
on a spiritual journey
I’m not as usual as usual
a man working
for the tax authorities, therefore
cannot give me his
phone number, therefore
asks mine
to go out for a drink sometime

not today

one of those     friends howls
like a wolf when his strap-on won’t
and calls his mom
I don’t tell him it’s anonymous
men after complimenting ask
if they could come on my face
all this was way easier as a pre-adolescent
I just had to open
and shut my mouth
charlotte adigéry sings but sometimes
I’m judy, penelope (no home, no phone, no car, no bed)
or sandy on a sunday (no home)
way back when
on stardoll I got advised to go a few tints lighter
if I wanted to gain more friends
well at least this is my true face
when I write it’s not to leave
a footprint, nor for the next generation
they’d laugh at me, is2g
wherever after

I pass by the attenuation well

and a shiver            
   a breath
      a spirit
runs through
my spine
and arrives
at the tip
of my tongue

as though my body

this is how I learned
to speak

to get on the kano
the frog in the pit
of my stomach
commands me
but I get seasick

I feel him bob
as I do on my way
to the land
of no beginnings
of no return

where does meaning root
my frog asks
in language
in sound
in movement
in the rhythm between

all oceans have a connection
but mine


by Dandelion Eghosa

Pelumi Adejumo is a runaway pastor child, writer, (vocal) artist and lucid dreamer living in the Netherlands. Writing on/with migratory grief, African/Black Pentecostal music and alienation. She uses glossolalia, unintelligibility and linguistic plurality to open up disruptive and rhythmical possibilities. She wrote soms ik voel mij zombie, a text exploring multilingualism in grammar. She has a BA in Creative Writing and is enrolled for an MA in Fine Arts. Her thesis explores the relationship between Yoruba praise poetry and the concept of àṣẹ; how these influence the understanding of language and the role of a poet in creating and archiving cultural identity. 

She has written essays on visual art, language and artist books for Mister Motley and Metropolis M. She has written for nY, de Gids, het Nationale Theater, deBuren, Nationale Opera & Ballet, Sonsbeek Biennale 20-24, Tent, and performed at festivals such as Into The Great Wide Open, Transpoesie and Read My World. She lectured and speaks to students on poetry, identity and transdisciplinary methodologies at LUCA school of arts, ArtEZ, Rietveld and Sandberg. This year she joined the programming team of international literature festival Read My World in Amsterdam. Her most recent publication was a letter exchange in response to the Dutch translation of Sick Woman Theory for publishing house Chaos x Das Mag. And the album Public Relations with a collective of musicians and writers.