Thursday, October 29, 2009

we haven't even met yet, and I'm already sure that we won't

This is not vodka, this is gin.
You laughed at my claims,
I smashed the glass in your face.
And without turning my back I walked from that place.

This is not vodka. This is gin.
I said it softly, my head in one hand
As I sat at the bar drawing ghosts
On her dirty, scattered twenty-dollar notes.

This is not vodka. This is... gin?
I doubted myself as I did your intentions.
I believed the best, as I always do.
The worst in me, the very best in you.

Those were my last words as I stumbled home.
I wished I hadn’t shouted what I needed to simply say.
I wish I could believe I will see you again someday.

Do not dare turn your back on me as I try to tell you that I love you!
Do not dare doubt that I feel the way I say I do.
You never believed me, but that’s not a sin.
I wouldn’t either.
It was vodka, not gin.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

you could wait for a lifetime to spend your days in the sunshine

Pour yourself another drink
while you drive into the haze
of a hot summer's day,
while you empty your head to think.

Light me another cigarette
as I lie on my side,
drugged-up but alive,
avoiding the eyes I once met.

One more line, one more time.
Hold my hand as I steer the wheel,
trying to forget how to feel
the stitching scratch these palms of mine.

One more night and then we'll know
by the shrill echoes and black holes
hiding what was once your soul.
I'll follow you, even when you go.

We should stop.
We should go.
We should know
to say no.
But it's me and it's you
and we never knew.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

and in these walls i feel your sadness wane

I miss you.

I miss us.

I won't move an inch away from you

if you promise you will always be within reach.

I will wake you with a kiss, an audible smile,

and watch the sun come up with you every day.

I will make coffee softly as I can, to watch you sleep.

I couldn't stop myself kissing you-

shout it to the world,

whisper it in you ear.

Tell me you won't make me cry, won't let me.

I am yours, wholly.

As for holding you-

I won't let go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

playground school bell rings again. rain clouds come to play again.

Scars on desks are deep blue etchings

scratched onto wood skin.

But scars on a youthful child wrist,

a violated child body,

are a deeper red

scraped and scraped

and scraped

onto tender peach skin.

Burned into brittle bodies

and tattooed inside soft, impressionable minds

with swords

far sharper than cultured spears,

more powerful than

countless voices



and mightier than

the lawless pens

that print



on white,

merely glancing through

the dull

and uncertain


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

only bringing what to carry on so that you know i won't be long

I had always hated airports. The smells and sights, too much luggage, the assistants. People either walked too slowly or rushed, creating unnecessary panic. Leaving, crying, that sick feeling every time upon realising that if something went wrong I would be powerless.

But this time I was excited to go to a city I had never liked much. All through school and -university I had driven myself to departures, been picked up by men whose names I never quite caught. I walked myself out and I always packed too much.

But this time I had butterflies in my stomach as I counted down 36 hours. I could see you, leaning casually on the rail that separated us for one last moment. I would beam and kiss you shamelessly in front of everyone, after which I would casually say that it's good to see you.

Turbulence from start to end. The food smelt awful and the coffee is never strong enough. But I was flying, I was high as a red kite and I allowed myself to fall. I knew you would kiss my grazed palms and -knees better. I opened my arms, no longer resisting my own terminal velocity as I embraced powerlessness.

I will let you know what it was really like.

Monday, October 12, 2009

i read a book about the self, said i should get expensive help

Skaars twintig, het ek reeds geleer presies wat om met jou te doen. Dalk was dit my frustrerende intelligensie, dalk die eindelose swart gat wat sit net daar waar my siel veronderstel is om te wees. Dalk was [en is] ek bloot by nature manupilerend en aaklig om op te maak vir die feit dat ek oppervlakkig perfek is. Dalk was die speletjie sommer net my siek manier van pret he, om te kyk hoe jy uitasem agter my aan hardloop, soos ‘n drawwende oorgewig man agter die gedagte dat daar tog nog iets lekkers is agter die skreeuende wit yskardeur. Soos ‘n hygende Jack Russell wat net nog een keer die bal [wat ek gooi] wil terugbring na my. Hoe dit ook al sy, het ek dit gedoen en geniet, lag-lag voortgegaan, soos ‘n hanswors wat die kindertjies se omgedopte glimlaggies self so maak.

Huppel-huppel is ek oppad na die prikkeltjie dowwe groen lig aan die punt van ‘n eindelose tonnel wat ook nie rerig bestaan nie. Die liggie veg met alle mag, skyn sag, die kleur van die holtes waar my oë eens op ‘n tyd gesit het. In my hand is ‘n stukkie tou wat agter my aan sleep. En jy, soos ‘n katjie wat van niks beter weet, sig-sag oor die stowwerige, verlate ou paadjie, al grypend agter die waardelose stukkie dinges aan. Die fyn ou kloutjies kap-kap na die nuttelose toutjie wat net agter my hakke rond bons. Het jy nooit gedink om jou kloue skerp te maak nie? Daag my tog net uit! Drunk jou doring drade diep in my vel in, maak gaatjies in my skubberige vel. Moenie bekommer nie, ek is nie mens genoeg om to bloei nie. Glo my, ek het keer op keer op keer probeer, met lemmetjie-skerp woorde wat ek teen die spieël gooi sodat hulle terugskiet en my skerp op die wang vang. Klap my so hard as wat jy kan, daar waar dit wel sal seermaak. Doen net iets sodat ek jou kan haat, in plaas van myself- die siek sadis in wie se lyf ek vasgevang is. Sny my oop en plaas my groen-geel binnegoed in ‘n glaskas sodat almal dit kan sien vrot. Steriliseer my, sodat daar nog net nie nog sulke duiwels by my kan uitbroei nie.

Los my alleen en huilend op die koue badkamer vloer, in swart en wit geteël. Staar gevoelloos na my kinder-lyfie terwyl ek my vuiste dramaties heen en weer gooi en nog iets probeer breek sodat ek my dun polse met die splinters kan afsaag. Vra geld sodat mense die skouspel kan kom aanstaar, want dit is niks meer as ‘n mislukte aktrise wie se verval datum uiteindelik verby is nie. Jy tartel my met jou bose glimlag aan die anderkant van die deursigtige muur, so na aan my maar te ver om uit te reik ek jou gesig te krap met die gif wat uit my drup-drup soos ‘n kraan wat nooit sal ophou lek nie.

Ek het iets gebreek, maar vir die eerste keer hou jy die stukkies in jou hand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

and moving lips to breathe her name

I fumbled for a pen. Lipbalm, shopping lists, contraceptive pills; but somewhere there was a pen.

i re-read my own words. How often I am so lost in instantaneous thoughts that I, and they, escape my mind. I took a step back and smiled. i looked up at you, over the crowd, busy on stage. I smiled still, and looked back down. You could feel it. Not at that second, like the perfect romantic story. Always.

I watched the lights dim all around but on you. A hush. We waited to hear you speak. I waited to hear you. I waited to hear the stories, but I had heard them all. And there I stood, for all to see. A story. Ours.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grace Cathedral Hill, all wrapped in bones of a setting sun

The path unfolds before me like a thin, winding ribbon. Overhead, the Jacaranda trees softly drop their flowers, adding to the mass of purple patches draped across my way.Picking my way carefully along the broken bricks, I take care to avoid the flowers spewing their oil, slippery as a thousand tiny purple banana peels. Staring at the colour brought to the moss-covered path, I remember hearing of a couple. They were driving, not too fast, and skidded on the Jacaranda flowers on the road. They crashed into a wall, both dead.

Reaching the end, I flop down onto the grass, shadowed by a pine tree, a tower of needles and strength. My eyes dart with the dancing patches of shadow and sunlight filtering through the thin green needles. I imagine grabbing onto a patterned patch, cutting it out and draping it around my shoulders: a cloak of colour and dancing sun.

I am amazed at how nature contradicts human art. Here, all colours are complimentary. My eyes, clear blue islands in seas of white glance up at the turquoise sky splashed with tufts of white and grey. And as I tread the grass, feel the strong shafts light beneath my bare feet, my eyes become pools of green flecked with yellow then hazel, brown, near-black as I brush my fingers across the gnarled bark of the tree.

Sitting down again, I remove from my neck the cross I wear as a daily ritual. I finger it thoughtfully, rubbing the smooth surface. The pale, pearly white shine contrasts starkly with my hands, brown, orange, pink, depicting lifetimes and loved ones with rings of red, streams of blue.

Somewhere to the right of my mind, children are screaming.

Sitting in the College foyer, I am encircled by a pack of black children, leaving from learning. Every Tuesday they are taught by the rich and privileged and I sit surrounded. They chase one another up, down steps of our school. Theirs is mere flat land. Their pink palms clutch chocolates half-eaten, the remainder kept for sometime before next Tuesday. They wear an array of colourful jerseys over their neat pants, under their yellowed white shirts. Their feet are a rainbow of mismatched socks or none at all.

Though they play games, where has their childhood gone? What are you if your dad is a boy, your mother a girl? When you work from birth, witness poverty and violence as ritualistically as wearing a hollow cross. A little girl walks to her friends, keeps a serious face, swings her hips and I know she could have been a model in ten years. But her hips and breasts will fill and spread and she too will plough fields while her baby watches her back, look after another with pink hands, not only palms.

I sigh heavily as I heave to my feet and walk away slowly. Glancing down, my hands, momentarily, are pearly, pale white.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"do they collide?", I ask you, and smile.

And you listened. Unlike the boys my age, who will not shift their ideas for anyone, any argument or -muse, you took my words as they were. You may be damaged, but there is such beauty in your scars, such rapture in tracing my fingers along the hills and valleys of those blemishes. I am in awe of your wisdom, your experience, your depths. You drink in my innocence, child-like but never childish.

I will help you carry your load, if you will hold me up on my weak knees.