Mad man in the mirror

A mad man attacks a glassman and steals his mirror

“Ha-ha, I’m a badass jazzman,” he tells the mirror

Awed opera audience raved and razzed at his savage art

The ragged jazzman was once a crown prince in no man’s land

who used to smile, rile, and cry to melancholic chimes

No man in that land knew why the prince always cries

This magical mirror of optical art that makes

wishes come true if the holder is over forty-four,

but turns one to a monster when kept on bare floor

In a mad rage, he smashed it hard on the wall and roared

“Get away from me, mad man, I didn’t kill the king’s guard!

“I’m the jazzman from no man’s land, I’m not a retard!”


Six loyal stray dogs picked six pieces of mirror shards

One shard for each bad-mannered master with unkempt beards

The mad man wanted none from his dog for he was scared

In faces on the streets, he sees suspicion and threat

So, he shied from their dark, scary, bloody and blank minds

“Get away!” he says to a drunk alcoholic nun

who wanted to preen at her plump humps and bump for fun

In her unsteady hand, the broken mirror shows a

cracked, unbelievable reflection of the jazzman

“Wait, that’s me in that piece of shit, give it back, please!”

Sadly, he suffers a heart attack in the struggle

and regained consciousness with the mirror he snuggles


Looking closely at the mirror, he felt the ambience

His audience, following their conscience now, breaks silence

with loud admiration, “That’s the prince of no man’s land!”

“That isn’t me,” he says, wondering why he’s playing a ballad

“Badass jazzman! Savant jazzman!” their voice echoes,

his toxic smile playing tricks on the six stray dogs

Again, the chain on his waist and brains jangles and stops

A sharp, hard pain pierced through his chain and flesh,

jolting memory of himself and the dog’s kindness

“Wrong reflection, master! Things ain’t what they seem!” it barks

at two guards waiting to drown him with red wine again

Staring at the shard and guards through his lenses, he wept

(A poem by Irobiko Chimezie Kingsley dedicated to Nigerian voters ahead of the 2023 Elections)

#poetry #poetrycommunity #politics #2023elections #votewisely