ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF POETIC RELIGION, AESTHETICS & SEX: A REVIEW OF EHI ZOGIE’S ‘MOUNT ORGASM’ By Emmanuel Akor Oche

ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF POETIC RELIGION, AESTHETICS & SEX: A REVIEW OF EHI ZOGIE’S ‘MOUNT ORGASM’

 

Title: Mount Orgasm

Author: Ehi Zogie

Date: February 14, 2017

Publishers: SEVHAGE, chapbook, Pp32, 2017

Reviewer: Akor Emmanuel Oche

Carl Terver declares in a review of Maryam Bobi’s Bongel, that “at the center of every story is a conflict”. Literature from time immemorial has been a clash between worlds and, according to Terver, a conflict between beliefs and innovations, between ideologies and idiosyncrasies, between empires and fiefdoms, between realities and illusions, between man’s tangibility and the terrestrial. Robert Frost would observe, that “every word was once a poem”. Poems breathe, possessing life within the coffers of their word-made-creation. Poems, like stories, are one of man’s earliest means ofself expression and actualization. It seems to prove that it is on this basis of man’s intimate search-for a communication medium between his inner being and the world around him-  that all poets are freedom-bound to express themselves in every way they find possible.

Shaike A, the Pakistan poet of note, once said in an interview with Thomas Outlar that “poetry is personal business that is traded to the emotional socio-economy of people. I have been able to tell a great number of secrets through this from without ever having had anyone revert with a judgement”… in Mount Orgasm (download here), Ehi Zogie breaks every restricting binds limiting his reach as a poet, defiles the rules of the genre and at same time creates a hegemony of exclestials art that cannot be resisted after an introductory taste. The poet pronounces in his afterword “MOUNT ORGASM IS AN EXPERIMENTAL POETRY OF SEX AND THE SEXINESS OF MAN IN A COLLAGE OF UNCENSORED EROTIC VERSES, RAW AND HOT”. Mount orgasm touches all ambits of its central theme -sex- and extends this reach to the religiosity in the God given act of procreation and pleasure. Its thirty-two pages houses twenty poems spread across three epistles sub-headed “sermon on the mount,” “music on the moment” and “mount orgasm.”

The first epistle, “sermons on the mount,” explores the intrigues of the ecstasies experienced during and after the taste of sex; how men and women alike react to this act especially when engaged in outside the four walls of legality, i.e. marriage. The persona opens thus

the river we pretend not to swim in would one day drown us

The first poem on this phase, narrates the sojourns of a male on the body of his lover and the aftermath of their ordeal;

remember how you

on mount orgasm

spoke Kiswahili

like it’s your mother tongue

[…]

how you later prayed to god to purge you

begged him to forgive you from leftover lusts for

scent & sex of certain flowery soaps

Here, religion plays an inept role. The poet opens up a conversation on sex and the religious practices of various believers across the two main religions predominant in the world. The lover and co-protagonist of this poem seeks an escape from the binds of religious culture and yearns for the feel of his lover, yet after the escaped finds herself in a dilemma between “leftover lusts” and a struggle to retain her righteousness.

In this poem, the poet asks: What is the place of natural sexual cravings within the ambits of religion? He offers an answer:

“that you were sorry, perhaps

Not really sorry, for

You almost stoned yourself to death

For cumin too soon”

Language also plays a vital role in this poem from exposing the secrets in the words spoken during sex as a means of expressing the depth of pleasure being felt. On this the persona pens:

god is a goddamn guard

and lord—a lad       

                 der of

sugary exclamations melting in the mouth”

Sex is the bi-product of words, of emotions, of depths indescribable by sentences. Like music, it is deep and sensual, appealing to all the senses of the human makeup, a sonorous resonance of sounds. “music on the mount” the second phase of conversations in this book, explores the role of language in the communication of men, how it affects us, what it does and doesn’t do to us, the aftermath of words which is the essential language we call sex.. It opens with a protest:

you leave and

music becomes noise

In the poem “peel me, ride me,” the poet persona teaches us how this rise of hormones is capable of unleashing the unlikeliest aspects of men and between seconds, humans become both caring and brutal, thereby opening our consciences to the varying dimensions of our being. He observes;

you peel me

            i peel you

you ride me

            i ride you

                             i dress me

                                     you dress you

In “honey” the poets persona wonders

the same fingers

ice your cake

..make you moan & say father, deeper

[…]

and you call me honey

and i’m wondering if its’s me

or the cake, or the bread

or the fingers kneading you

In epistle three, the poet reflects on the theme majorly with his eyes on shapes and symbols interjecting them to create spectacular verses which are most glaring in poems like “dimensions, loci and exploring god”.

Other poems reflecting drizzles of religion and language include..”lucifer was right”, “holy scripture,“mount orgasm”, “exploring god” and “prayer.”

In poems like “peel me, ride me” and “dimensions,” we see the poet communicating with his reader through the potency of his words and at same time appealing to his sense of vision. Graphology is a two-edged sword that both draws the reader to the poems, possessing them and at same time searing the message into his faculty.

Mount orgasm is a pace setter and a lesson to the poets of this phoenix generation. Like asserted by Remi Rajia poets first duty is to make love”, in this book, the poet makes love with his main themes on one bed-space- religion, language, dogmas, sodomy, graphics e.t.c. This love making, done at its apex, is the beauty of poetry which is the only genre capable of condensing the full history of mankind in encoded words together with all its behaviours.

Mount orgasm is the cul-de-sac of Ehi Zogie’s creative endeavour since the graduate of Economics from the University of Benin first ventured forth into the literary scene with his debut collection, FLAMES OF THE FOREST, and his joint chapbook, A HALF FORMED THING, reviewed here . These initial offerings made their way into the arms of the public and were received with ample fingers to streaming reviews.

Poetry is an art of maturity; it matures with its devotee. Ehi Zogie, with this chapbook, declares his understanding of the genre as the poet Echezonachukwu Nduka would say “the poet is an artist on a journey of discoveries”. However, while the book is a masterpiece, a missing salt threatens to spoil the total “wedding rice” (pun intended) which is the absence of a proper cover page which has always been an essential message-sender in publishing, digital or otherwise. Aside this, the collection is a gem worth reading over and over again. I wouldn’t mind visiting it for the umpteenth time.

ABOUT

akor-emmanuel

Akor Emmanuel Oche is a Nigerian art collector, poet, critic, essayist and thinker.His works have appeared in numerous, reputable anthologies, journals and websites across the globe. Some of these include Ann Arbor review, Provocanyon Review, Sevhage Reviews, Artvilli, Mamba journal for Africa Haiku, South Florida Poetry Journal, the e-zine of Los Angeles, Pyrokinections, AFAS review, World Haiku Review, Under the l Basho, Praxis Magazine, Tuck international Magazine, Synchronized Chaos Magazine among others.  He can be reached here 

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