In the first of my many journeys to heaven
In one of my many past lives
For one of the gods’ many gatherings
Ogun demanded that I be his entertainer
—the audacious Alani alagbẹ́dẹ́ ọ́rọ́, the love child of Akinyẹ́le and Abẹ̀ni
Listen here, in those days only two ways led to heaven
One of them is between a queen’s thighs
& Another is behind the dark curtains of death
But what mere man dares venture between a queen’s thighs? —ah!
What mere man risks the King’s wrath? Does he not fear death?
Now I must chant a salute to my Ogun
O Belligerent One, He is not cruel
Ogun places before me death and says I must reach heaven alive
How does one accomplish this? T’ẹ́ti lẹ́, I will tell you
I, Alani alagbẹ́dẹ́ ọ́rọ́, must overthrow the King
Or the Queen must become my mistress
Which is the lesser evil?
You must tell me or I shall not continue my tale.
1. Ogun – a god in Yorùbá mythology
2. Alagbẹ́dẹ́ ọ́rọ́ – Translates directly to the blacksmith of words. It means wordsmith.
3. Akinyẹ́le – A male Yorùbá name.
4. Abẹ̀ni – A female Yorùbá name.
5. T’ẹ́ti lẹ́ – Listen or Lend your ears.