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Atukwei Okai: Kperterkple Serenade (excerpt)



make room in your inn for me –

I know:

when karl marx grabbed his bibliography
and ballpen and pocketed his toothbrush
and his shaving stick

he went and bought a ticket to london

when ghandi girded his loin cloth, it
was london he had in mind.
when lenin fled his beloved motherland
his final haven-crashpad was london.

but america

your address book too has memories that yield

the names

of von braun and charles dickens and
marcus garvey and amerigo vespucci and
christopher columbus who boarded the wrong bus
and maxim gorky and mayakovsky and uncle
einstein and mr. carnegie and rockefeller

even your ports


report how
the mayflower moved in to deflower at night
the virgin land
of the red indians –

jesus christ it seems and judas did not make it


you are a funny girl…
everybody dreams of kissing you



1. robert okai quashie - July 17, 2007

the last line is classic

2. maame - June 5, 2008

he is not the best?! man the man is GOOD!!

Gabriel Junior - September 18, 2013

you bet

3. Lost at the End - April 8, 2009


4. joseph keteku - March 19, 2010

i am proud of this man. he is an inspiration to the youth. i wish him all the best in life.

5. emmanueldogbey - December 15, 2010

yes man, you are understood in your in your dress and your speech, a true african genius

6. alex - July 9, 2011

i like your poem by the way i am ghanaian

7. Godwin - November 2, 2011

Your poems inspires all the time

8. Edem - December 13, 2011

what a great piece….this man is really an icon

9. kwarley Erbynn - January 29, 2013

Yes a funny girl indeed. Very attractive and wayward, but everybody longs for her.

10. kwarley Erbynn - January 29, 2013

I miss Atukwei Okai’s iconic play with sounds in this poem. I love his Afajato Concerto for this reason. This man belongs to a class of his own.

11. Charles - October 6, 2013

I love this poem , God bless u

12. fareed gombilla - September 25, 2014

this is simply extraordinary

13. Sunday ugochukwu obinwa - August 28, 2015

I love the narrative, its quit sprawling in richness of history.
Wonderful poem!

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