The Ghetto Smell!


The stench
One house, two houses
Oh there’s a hundred of them
Packed so closely
You can smell another’s breath

What does it smell like?
Is it a fragrance or a scent?
Does she smell like ignorance,
That girl strutting by without slippers
With chapped lips and feet

But then there’s a kitchen
Right over there, next to a bathroom
A bathroom without proper doors
Oh! She takes the pot off the fire
With her wrapper, was wrapped around her

This ghetto smells like struggle
And dust, from kids in a huddle
A dash of happy scent from the content
Unaware of a world behind the fence
The ghetto smells, of joy & resentment. —Hybrid.
The air here is united
Paths in harmony
Eyes are the mouth here
The language of the eyes is protection
Everything stinks of signal and lack

Can you perceive the stench of black and white?
Its the smell of stagnation and the past
The streets smell of roasted crime
A putrid breath of desire and escape
Here we smell fear and sniff happiness

When papa staggers home
We smell mother’s disgust and,
Papa’s empty pockets
We smell the drunk high banks
Where every man emptied his pockets…

A stink that emanates forever. – Omolola
Cramped with noses stuck at each other’s armpit,
The kettles and pots failing to conceal
The secrets of each aroma from kitchen.
Nucleated not by blood but windows
Standing ear to ear we become bonded
To the fluidity of our everyday life.
The sounds of our lovemaking is known
Same as the cries of infant viewed.
No wonder our teenagers get pregnant on the streets when our rooms are stage screens.
Cramped spaces creating territorial warlords
And the youth speaks the language of violence.
We ooze the stench of the ghetto
From the sweat of everyday fight for survival. -Desmond
One by one the community flashes-
Lights go out and a single shadow dashes-
“Get down!” Everybody stays away from the door-
Out! The breath goes chilling on the floor-

The mourning music is murderous
Bang! The funeral hangs another cross
Streets overcrowded, minds provocative
The next day comes and older grows the hating

The scare grows up
The kids grow down
The dearth won’t stop
Until you get out of town

The blackness, whiteness,darkest brightness
Pain is hereditary, nurture is what is heartless.
The secrets stay out there, nothing is left to tell
This is the sound of the ghetto smell. -Leon

On the edges it feels so rough
How can life get this tough
A scented secret mix
Oozing everywhere, the only thing that can’t be fixed
Hood so retro

Cannabis crack dope joint
A passing light amongst them
They got each others back
Let’s stitch all loose ends between them
It’s a way of life in a pack

This adoring smell is
Blood , tears and sweat
The struggle for them is all
The ghetto is life
The upbringing is tough. Hypermind

The stench is suffocating
It chokes dreams

The gutters wreaks
The blot the mind

Foul breaths
Stemming from an endless bender

Boys wear the same perfume
Brewed from 2weeks old unwashed hard labour’s sweat

Gossips-polluted air
With “he said, she said, they said”

Kitchens are monotonous
Food aroma smeared with fire wood’s smoke smell

Well water is strong and smelly
Owing to its perfect alignment with latrines

The smell of rotten dreams
The stench of immortality without age seams
The foul smell of squandered empires
The smell of money burnt in alcohol’s fires
Ghetto smell
Is like the doorway to hell
There is no way survive here
Wear a mask till you are far out in the clear. Tee2emm
Ghetto ghetto
Your stench lingers in my fretto
Wadagwan, sticks raised to break necks
Red ink littered on barren floors

Kerosene sellers
Tenant buyers
Landlord savers
Buckets flung
Objects roll over
Cars, bicycle, tricycle clash in a street called weed.

Mothers wave side to side with double wrappers
Every corner spelt market
Underground gangsters

Father’s protect their offspring from Wolves
Girls guard the backside jealously
Yet, it’s life all around
Perfect Childhood that prepares the child for the hood.
Ghetto ghetto
Your stench lingers in my fretto. – Rachel Charles

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