A Note on Santa In Two Worlds by Mr. Ben (aka Chimezie Ihekuna)
written by JD DeHart, author of poetry anthology The Truth about Snails
As you may tell from the synopsis below (provided by the author), this is a strong story of crime. It is interesting to read a poet who writes prose and poetry, and what I noted here about that transition is the way the story breathlessly uses descriptive phrases to convey its meaning.
There is much creativity at work here. There is crime, certainly, and violence, of course…but there is also a nice sense of silver lining to the book.
Santa’s world was in shambles. Just released from prison, having spent over a year, he was always the talk of the entire Santiago town. His long criminal records of stealing and drug-trafficking were reasons the 22-year-plus-old-man was always on the lips of every Santiagoan. Santa walked the length and breadth of the town in confidence but asked himself: “Why in the world are people of Santiago keeping me at arms length, whereas I don’t mean any harm, I want a change but this addictions of crime wouldn’t help matters?!”
Like the old saying: “blood is thicker than water”, Santa’s family was an epitome of crime. His father was said to have died in a gun-battle with the popularly known Men of Peace, The Santiago Police Force after an unsuccessful robbery operation, three months before Santa was born. His mom, the prostitute and drug addict, was a happy-go-lucky woman; flirting with any man she is on the streets of Santiago and beyond in exchange for drugs and money. Santa, having being raised by single-handedly, grew up to embrace crime wholeheartedly. Santa thought of turning a new leaf; change for good and for the better. He craved for a sense of belonging and acceptance by the people. Santa looked forward to when the people of Santiago would embrace him like their brother. How to go about it was very confusing… There was no he could confide in. Maria knew next to nothing! Her life was all about prostitution, drinking, smoking, despite being hospitalized at the Santiago Maternity Home.
In his ‘blur’ quest for the desired change and to avoid being ridiculed by people of the community—young and old, Santafoot-matched to the forest to the San-Amazona forest, Santiago’s most interior part to think about his life. There, he encountered a strange-looking plant but remembered what his mom would tell him about anything he saw as strange…The Tree of the gods. He chewed the leaves very well and swallowed them. Santa’s sudden weakness turned him to sleeping on the floor, under the canopy of the ever-green Tree of the gods.
Santa saw one thing he has never known—The unknown world of nature—where he saw exactly him in another world under a different situation but one thing connected them: CHANGE! Though they couldn’t get to see each other physically, both of them got what they wanted.
It was a world that would translate as: Santa in Two Worlds.