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~Nick Makoha: Botanist~

Nick Makoha

The Founder of Obsidian Nick Makoha is a Ugandan poet and playwright and based in London. His debut Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel prize and 2016 Derricotte & Eady Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. He was the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for The Wordsworth Trust and Wasafiri. His play The Dark was directed by JMK award-winner Roy Alexander and shortlisted for the 2019 Alfred Fagon Award. He has been involved in TV marketing campaigns for Voices Nationwide: Celebrating Fatherhood and the Gillette, Being A Man digital campaign for The Southbank Centre. His poems appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri.

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The Botanist

By Nick Makoha

 

Remember that pub we ran into when we did not have enough cash for the cab fare home? All the barman wanted to know was which team do you support? When I told him, he ordered us a free round. So it began for us: raising glasses in a room while the rain poured. We toasted to Champagne Supernova on the jukebox. You sang the chorus while I played drums with the beer mats. The pub felt like our kitchen with the TV on and fire lit. A couple just like us were playing pool badly while drinking double shots for each miss. The barmaid scribbling our order down as you shook off the world outside. We ordered the special bangers and mash with desert, twice. A blind woman led by her dog into the beer garden rolled a cigarette. A ritual learned. The light that appeared at the end of her stick, a kind of burning bush, began smouldering as the smell of tobacco tickled a smile from the side of your face. I ordered another round as you scribbled my face on the back of a napkin, using this moment as an art class. You have a theory that our errors are better recognised in the eyes of others. The eyes of friends.

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