Friday, February 22, 2013

the punch

the feeling started
above my pelvis
spread upward and
the butterfly inside my chest
morphed into a hummingbird – suspended -
wings fluttered like a zillion butterflies;
SHE whimpered
a nano-second before
the punch
the bird flew into my heart
with a cry and
he stopped.
it was A-okay to torture HER
to relieve his own imperfections
as long as i didn’t see or hear (it);
he fed my little bird
so one day
it would be free
to shit on him

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Belly Dancer In Green Point

The silent ululation of her hips, trembled
through fingers of a tambour player
turning tempo to musk
plastering long ebony hair
to skin

Her hands spoke a language, of grace
not understood by the sly glances of men
or the awkward hearts of women

Yet, bare feet carried the curves of her body
as if she was unformed, a child
handing-out syrupy koeksusters
to uncles and aunties
for love

*koeksuster* a plaited pastry steeped in syrup

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

blue collar girl

why raise a girl

to be a juicy plum

laid on pure white linen
served with sterling silver
projectile vomited
a perfect blue stain

tell her
‘No White Trash’
in Queen’s English
so she’ll smile when
they twist the silver knife
lick the silver spoon

turn up her blue collar
until her blue eyes get that
‘fuck the world’ look

Monday, January 21, 2013

sit at My table

darling, sit at My table
see the white cloth,
grapes sweet and red,
drink from My breasts
until you forget

azizam, recline beside Me
on a carpet  of flowers,
feast on pomegranates
rosy with love and hope

liefling, take your place
the velvet cushion,
let My fingers feed you
sweet promises of milk and honey

don’t roll the dice
don’t spin the wheel

break bread
and I will eat your crumbs
instead of flying away

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

i wanna be (Like Ingrid)

Ingrid Jonker, divine South African poet (1933 - 1965). Tinged with brilliance and madness. Adored and rejected by two writers, Jack Cope ('tried to fling himself into her grave'), Andre Brink ('said she drove him mad with love'). She loved them both 'at the same time'. Mother. 'Sestiger'. Rebellious daughter to Abraham-the-Nationalist. Fearless. She walked into the moody ocean and was gone.

day started

i don’t like
dot. dot. dot.     
i wanna
make like a poet
a writer

like Ingrid
on the brink
in the ocean (just down the road)

b e c a u s e

She couldn’t cope
with dirt
the fuck you
of every morning

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Last Word

How could she have known that simply crossing the street would mean so much? Sirina used the edge of the sidewalk like a tightrope. Her heels hung down while her toes clung on. Through the window, all she could make out were rows of shelves like forgotten soldiers. Above the expanse of dull glass, red letters declared, ‘Closing Down’. A car spun past. Warm air stirred against her caramel thighs, Cuban-style. Instinctively, her arms turned into wings to stop her tipping over. It was time to move. Sirina placed one foot firmly in front of the other.

She pushed on the glass door. A feeble tinkle announced her entrance. Lines of shelves were as dark and empty as the interior. A young girl, out of her depth was mirrored in the shop window. Sirina stared at where she had come from. Turning her back on the sunshine she faced the gloom and ran her fingers along a shelf. It was cool and smooth. Nerve-endings flickered. An obstacle blocked her progress. With braille-like delicacy she felt around the edges. She looked down. It lay, like it had, from the beginning.

The girl lifted it up. The light from behind illuminated the script. Words hung like floating islands. Her finger traced each letter then came to rest on the colorful marlin. The book was compact with just enough substance to rest on a lap. Creamy pages fanned releasing a mustiness testifying to its endurance. A saffron sleeve covered the book like a robe and the swirls and strands of ‘Ernest Hemingway’ leapt alongside the marlin.

Without hesitation, the young girl slid the book under her blouse. It nestled beneath her heart. She turned towards the light. A final tinkle and her green eyes challenged the brightness. Cuban sunshine won and she squinted before once again crossing the street. Her ribs felt the sharpness. Each pierce reminded her. She had to deliver the book.

Sirina walked a
nd walked. She walked towards a small white building on a green mound surrounded by two shades of blue. Peppery heat made her lick her lips and she tasted the sea. It reminded her of the fish her father caught. Shining ovals laid flat against burning coals while pale yellow butter sizzled over silvery flesh. There was no smell of cooking and the door was closed. Sirina knew it wouldn’t be locked. All she had to do was turn the handle. A window allowed her to glimpse the other side.

Her father sat on a chair. Behind him was the turquoise sea. A man stood beside the chair. His dark suit was an offence to the sea and the sky and the sun. It absorbed all the colors of joy. The same way he absorbed every tree and every fish. The pain beneath her heart told her to be silent. It was as if her father placed his rough fingers to her lips. Silence called the fish.

Crouching down, she pulled out the book. For the first time the girl saw the back cover. Beneath golden shards of sunlight a fisherman sat in his tiny boat. The sea was calm and he waited. Sirina waited. Shadows fell. She listened to the whisper of the sea. Darkness came. The moon’s allure made the sea heave. The door opened and shut.

In the moonlight, her father still sat on the chair. The lines were free of dried fish. The pot was empty. She lowered herself to sit at her father’s feet and started to read, ‘He was an old man who fished alone…….’ She read and read guided by the moon and the stars. Her voice rose and fell with the swell of the sea. When she finished, Sirina put the last book in her father’s worn hands. He placed it on his lap.