Gboyega Odubanjo

Gboyega Odubanjo


pastor wet me down. please today undo me.
when i was younger i got pulled bawling from the tub.
i would soak till i was pruned and let the
    lukewarm stew me.
only a matter of time before the lights went out and
    while the generator started up i’d look upon a dark
    blue me.
all this time it felt like i’d been swimming in a drum till
    the lid came off and i was borned a new me.
and it was on this day that it was said that this world
    belongs to me.
and i dare any man come here and try slew me.
promise that when i’m gone
    you won’t let anyone try say they knew me.
the only place of rest will be where i was made
    and came to know myself so please on that day
    subsume me.


remembering the boy
who was named adam
piece by actual piece re
membering him first
his legs then his arms neck
his head name the river
remembered into the channel
the channel into the ocean
the flood remembered in
to the pocket of the gods
the prodigal into the home
the dead remembered out
of their finest suits into
our fresh wagwans and our
thickest stouts our individual
theres into a single here

GBOYEGA ODUBANJO, a British-Nigerian poet, was born and raised in East London. In 2018 he completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He has authored three poetry pamphlets: While I Yet Live (Bad Betty Press, 2019), Two stops short of Barking (The Alternative School of Economics, 2021) and Aunty Uncle Poems (The Poetry Business/New Poets Prize, 2021), winner of the 2021 Michael Marks Poetry Award. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2021. A Barbican Young Poet alumnus, Odubanjo has been an editor of the poetry magazine bath magg and Little Betty Press, the co-chair for Magma journal and a member of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective, culminating in his appointment as a Roundhouse Resident Artist. Adam, his full-length debut collection, is forthcoming from Faber. His UK garage single ‘LDN GIRLS’ with Love Remain is out with Sony’s Black Butter Records. He was a creative writing tutor and mentor on the Creative Future Impart programme, supporting writers and tutors from underrepresented backgrounds. The Gboyega Odubanjo Foundation for low-income Black writers has been established to honour his legacy.