Two Short Pieces by Uzodinma Okehi





With drawing comics, having to struggle for it, there was an extent to which I felt I could put myself in anyone’s shoes. We were all, devalued by life, so to speak, but in most cases I was the type to largely treat this as a blessing in disguise. Rather, there was no larger context! No wars, no children starving in other countries, nor anything aside from those boundaries separating people that seemed weirdly self-imposed. If anything I felt lucky, and relieved in the more than a few things I had in common with almost everyone I met. On the other hand, this too was the kind of overly-grand thinking that could turn you into an asshole . . .


Constellate That!

And not just those cringeworthy moments you carry around—for what—ten, twenty years? Those times you meant to apologize but somehow got lost, stalled, you couldn’t . . . All those eclipsed moons, those quick comebacks strangled in your throat, or like that time with Aidele Cooper on the back of your Kawasaki bike, and you kept picturing the both of you crashed, screaming, broken against the asphalt. Like Kate Simmons in her pink jean jacket, sitting on that low wall, the ocean behind her, and it was before you knew what that meant. Not any one thing, but those moments together, big bolus, pick it apart, man, con-stellate that . . . No bones about it, no retribution, no real clean-up, just day after day, just days when you recoil, when you wince at all the ordinary life that you’ve wrought. But even after you’ve declared yourself a failure you still have to move, to go from there. Or you can wait it out, just sit, stare at the drawing board, your hands trembling. Or remember what your pal Valdez once told you, remember that, not the situation, just the words, that the only real genius is action.


(New Episode!) Blue Okoye finds himself locked in a fevered battle for inspiration as he struggles, drawing comics in his Hong Kong hotel room: