For those about to join in our never-done-before-by-anyone-we-know twitter poetry workshop, we have placed the poem Inua Ellams wrote using the rules given up here, for easy reference. Have a look, familiarise, cuz next one coming up here most likely will be your own…
HOW TO USE FAKE TAN
1. It is winter. As normal, spend days wrapped
keeping cold at bay, to and fro-ing from work,
your skin safe and tucked from the frostbite blade
of winter. Be fully content till your ex invites you
2. Remember the summer’s sunlight, how its touch
kissed your skin golden and you bus-rides were
soundtracked by wolf-whistles. Find a tanning salon.
Bribe the attendant to create a masterpiece of you.
When he is done, acquire spray tan from a shop
– just in case.
3. Arrive home flustered and frustrated your skin
isn’t Mediterranean or latte-like, dip into your
bag, retrieve and walk bravely into your bathroom,
the saying ‘if you want something done right,
do it yourself’ – a mantra on your lips.
4. Layer, spray and turn till you are golden.
You are not satisfied. Fill bath tub with fabric paint,
acrylics, oils, watercolour, dye and dive in splashing
the walls till your bathroom is kaleidoscopic.
5. Rise now, a child of rainbows, a United Colours of
Benetton accident. Walk barefooted, naked, through
snow swollen streets to the restaurant where your
ex sits waiting, pass onlookers and the manager too
stunned to stop you. Kneel crying at her feet, your
tears washing two tracks clear on your face, say
‘I’ll be anything you want, just come back.’