1-9 by Tendai R. Mwanaka

The number 1 still bores me like James Mukonoweshuro
James Mukonoweshuro was a student in my primary school grades
He always got the top spot, in the class, in the grade
Number 1
Always wanting to be the first, negating out of existence Zero,
or even negating negatives…
Negating negatives was not a positive. Thus 1 minus 2… was… it can’t
They were no negatives or Zero for me at primary school;
to beat James Mukonoweshuro with.
I was always number 2 or worse
2 attracted me, even now. Its angles and curves
I hated 3, because
It wasn’t closer to number 1, like 2 was
It was good to know that even though he was always number 1,
he could feel me at number 2
Number 3 and he would just ignore me
The U in four (4), is yes, gives me voluptuous pleasure. Which u? You!
Are you asking me?
I love 5, even though if you were to twist one side of it,
it would look like 3, the 3 I hated
Twisted untwisted, and twisted…is it crazy?
Is 5 a normal twin of an abnormal 3?
But 5 represent freedom (who is saying that!),
adaptability (due to the twisting and untwisting twists),
unpredictable travel (in the Himalaya mountains),
and abuses of senses (when it is 3); it is 5. Who is twisting it?
It depends with whose hand(s)
Six (6)…and did he say sex…has always been interesting
It looks like an abnormal…I mean, upside down thing swimming off,
to fertile…populate her with abnormality. Pregnancy….
It’s like my father was a virgin when he met my mother.
So mine was a virgin birth, even though I am the second born…
was the second born
I can’t be the second born now
I am not in a state of perpetual birth
I can’t say the second alive, to live
I stop it!
7 is boring, just like some joined kindling, or an axe, chopping off things…like on a news clip when the demented character gets hold of an axe and starts chomping off limps…of people, at a vacation outing, in the deep forests of Mississippi , as they tries to flee his axe, and call the police
It’s his axe, oozing out Mississippi blood. Blue
And we watch it on the news; it is like in one of those movies. We are supposed to feel sorry for these people, but we had been told people on the television do not die
Did they catch the guy?
Nope, it is cold case
Seven is a lot of humanity, to die from an axe
It’s his axe
And we were supposed to feel empathy
Seven is just too cold, seven hells, seventh hell?
It is seven with a small bar on its middle, that’s a bit interesting
If you twist this one, it becomes 4
You are asking me how, really!
Sorry, I can’t answer you for the sanatorium in my head (heart) has
(or even soul)
7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 beds
I mean 7 beds. The first one is for James Mukonoweshuro, mine is the second one, the third one is for you, and that’s why you are reading this. The forth one has a patient in it and he is the only one physically there, a patient who is not a patient, the fifth one has a shadow in it, twisting and twisting, retilting the twists like 5. The sixth one is for your woman, girl or whatever you call her, the seventh one is an object, I mean Chinese food: dogs or snakes meat
8 is curvy. It is the most interesting number, with its sexy curves,
booming out. It encloses things in its two curves
It’s not inside its two circles where I would want to be, but outside of it…licking its curves…
Licking and licking ice cream
9 is a 6 raised to a standing position.
Might not be as productive as sex because the tail swims off rightly,
the right way....
The correct way
That is
The right way

Tendai R. Mwanaka was born in the remote eastern highlands-district of Nyanga, Zimbabwe, in Mapfurira village; grew up there, and did his primary, secondary, and high school in that area. Left Nyanga for Chitungwiza city in 1994, and started exploring writing that year, when he was barely twenty. He has also worked in the sales and marketing field for over eight years, and has a graduate diploma in marketing (GradSaim). He has stayed in South Africa for two and half years, but is now back in Zimbabwe, where he stays in Chitungwiza city. His first book to be published, Voices from Exile, a collection of poetry on Zimbabwe's political situation and exile in South Africa, was released by Lapwing publications (Northern Ireland, 2010); Keys in the River: Notes from a Modern Chimurenga, a novel of interlinked stories, which deals with life in modern day Zimbabwe's soul, was published by Savant Books and Publications (USA 2012); a book of creative non-fiction pieces, Zimbabwe: The Blame Game, was published by Langaa RPCIG (Cameroon 2013); a poetry collection entitled Playing to Love's Gallery will be published by DIP-Press (USA 2014); a novel entitled, A Dark Energy will be published by Aignos publishing company (USA, 2014). Poetry books: Revolution, Logbook Written by a Drifter, and Voices from Exile, were short listed for the Erbecce Press Poetry Prize in 2012, 2011, and 2009 respectively; another poetry book entitled Pearls of Awareness was short listed for the Twoz Creations Chapbook Prize (2012). He was nominated for the Pushcart twice, in 2008 and 2010, and commended for the Dalro Prize in 2008. Work has been translated into French and Spanish. He was nominated for and attended the Caine African Writing Workshop, 2012. Published over 250 short stories, essays, memoirs, poems and pieces of photographic/visual art in over 150 magazines, journals, and anthologies in the following countries: the USA , UK , Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Mexico, Kenya, Cameroon, Italy ,Ghana, Uganda, France , Zambia, Nigeria, Spain , Romania, Cyprus, Australia and New Zealand. He is also a musician and sound artist with a number of songs and sound recordings on websites like Radio Airplay and Soundcloud. This year he has been a contributor to several anthologies: We Will Survive;—a wonderful book of hopeful stories, not just hopeful, but personal, stories of survivors, which all have one common theme: and that is, Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive"; each individual was touched in some way by the song—Splinters of a Mirage Dawn: Migrant Poetry AnthologyFor Rhino in a Shrinking World and There is No Cherela in Zimbabwe.