Konya Shamsrumi: What is the process of writing a poem like for you? Is it a lot of hard work or easy? James Eze: Any writing that requires the use of the imagination does not come easy to me. It is often a cross between inspiration and hard work. For me, the process of writing a poem begins with an inspiration and ends with a lot of hard work. Usually, it comes in form of an idea, a thought or an impulse in the deep recess of my mind which could be triggered by an experience, an observation or a flash of insight from a book, a song, a movie or a mere ripple on the face of a stream.
Hence, while the historian's mind is riddled with events, the poet's is bursting with colour, having memory as its minefield. However, there is no fixity to verse. Not in its fidelity to what was or its facility for what will follow. Both past and future are the canvass upon which imagination subsists. Along the way, it rids itself of all ethical sympathies.
Meanwhile, Wanlov the Kuboloro, who joins with M3nsa to complete the rap-artiste duo from Ghana, FOKN Bois, advocates for a young man who has put a coin into the canister: “He has donated for America.” Looking into camera, “Don’t give him troubles when he applies for a visa.”
Still young, you reshuffle positions, change a thing or two, furnish and finish rough edges. This editing process is a continuous loop, much like a refining process of wine. At a point, you just must stop and let time make the poem age into something even sweeter!
But stripped to bare bones, poetry is an art that dramatizes our every day life. It is in our laughter, our tears and the seemingly senseless babble of a child. In turning 'Rainbow' into a song, I'm simply telling the audience, this is the true colour of poetry.
The Gathering is a short but very good work of many to come, initiating that only when we gather, we move forward and make the world better.
KSR Collective member, Richard Ali, hosted the fourth #SoapboxSession in Abuja yesterday. His guest was city poet, novelist and public communications expert, Michaela Moye.
Africa in its potential and realities is me, it's us. It’s a reckoning with ourselves. It’s a becoming. Movement and stillness. Where past, present, and future bleed into each other.