Poems and Texts

Excerpt from A Stranger’s Pose by Emmanuel Iduma

Emmanuel Iduma & Zahra Patterson
Friday, January 25, 2019

Excerpt from A Stranger’s Pose:

Awake or in a dream, faces and images and gestures from my travels return to me in great detail. Sometimes it is the wind, sputtering against the window of the car I am in. Or an underfed dog, rummaging through rubbish for a glinting bone. Or a boat unmanned in the middle of a river, seen from afar.

I began to exchange emails with a relative who requested anonymity. My first email was a list of all the towns I had slept in during my travels, at least for a night. Towns in which I turned in my sleep unsure of where I was, whether I was bathed in sweat or in tears, or if I lay beside a lover or a travel companion. I hoped, I wrote, that the cities appeared untethered to their countries— an atlas of a borderless world.

In the first response I received, I was urged to recount stories of strange sightings, emotions, and encounters, remembered or imagined.

Take me with you on your journeys, my relative replied. Let me go in your place.

Photo: Victor Ehikhamenor

Emmanuel Iduma

Emmanuel Iduma is the author of A Stranger’s Pose, a book of travel stories, and The Sound of Things to Come, a novel. Born and raised in Nigeria, his stories and essays on art appear frequently in journals, magazines, artists’ books, and exhibition catalogues. He received a 2017 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant in arts writing, and is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, New York.

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