Words

I leave the words behind when I meet you.
And every time we kiss I do too.
I don’t want them tumbling from my mouth –
Carelessly falling about.
I leave the words behind when things are perfect as this.
Words define feelings that may not even exist.
Feelings between us that need time to breathe
Without the limitations of our vocabulary.
I leave the words behind because I don’t want to interfere
With the magic happening between your heart and my ear.

Haemostasis

Stuck in a circle steadily I slipped

Words bled from my lips

My feet fought the trip

I spun into a controlled state of doubt

Re-tinting my world with your selfish clout

I have lusted, I had leased your love but I lucked out

With you I had tiptoed endlessly through tenses of truth and dare

While time, a secret lover, minded her affairs

Years disappeared I was unaware

Of my undiagnosed state while under your care

My heart bled out, my adrenalin neutralised

Enchantment faded with each reprise

This chronic state was wearing me down

I tried getting up and planting my feet back on the ground

But I couldn’t take flight, I had no more fight

So I rescued my heart to nurture it back to life

And just like that your withdrawal kicked in

My happy heart was your medicine

Turns out it was you, not me, who was the patient

But because of you I needed Haemostasis

In fairness you never prescribed me a fairy tale high

Never once made me a promise that you’d be mine

Yet you pleaded for a love of some indefinite kind

And you prince charmed me into giving it up every time

And so I lusted, I leased your love and repeatedly I lucked out

I lusted, I leased your love and now
I am lovered out!

Off track

I want to turn my back on the world

Go back to being a girl

These expectations of how life must be

Is sucking the life out of me

 

The rules so ancient sometimes without a place

Is forced painstakingly into this revolving space

I’m worn from moving in and out of this mess

Like a woman drained from the periodic discharge of her uterus

 

I want to drive far from these pleading eyes

Guilt-trippin’ me into giving away what is mine

On every corner of my life it seems to me

I’m obliged to indulge those who buried theirs under its debris

 

I need to discard this custom-crafted cargo

Custom-made for lost people to live lives borrowed

Consumer-minded bargain hunters of fixes we art

We plaster and paint our fermenting holey hearts

 

I want to rip off this ignorance of what’s right

Fight this mute culture, be contagious with this gripe

Disinfect our words so we can say what needs saying

Do what needs doing, do away with docile obeying

 

When death comes we pray and party away

Part with pain, we give pain, we get it back again

Life carries on, we anesthetised it at birth

I’m turning my back on this world and going back to being a girl

 

This scares me more than anything I’ve ever done before

But I’d rather bleed and heal and brave this cold war

I’m fighting for the return to my ability to transact

I expect confusion and denial ahead but fuck it, I’m off that old track

off track

Dog days

Ghetto dogs chew toes for toys
Run with the boys
Sneak through open doors
Piss on clean floors
Stroll streets like top dogs
Leisurely leave sun-soaked spots
No hurry to appease hooting cars
These are indeed traffic-stopping paws
The world’s a sun-soaked ramp for all furs
Dogs have every day in the hood for sure

Old truths

When exhaustion ails your life-worn frame,
When illness dis-eases and to your health lays claim,
When emotions unsettle and excessively undo,
When loneliness in a crowded place deviously finds you,
Remedy immediately, apply as required –
Home sweet home – it never expires.

Qualified to live

In August I attended POWA‘s Cape Town workshop as part of the Women’s Writing Project. It was an unexpected experience – I went in thinking it would be an informal, structured writing course where I would have no choice but to share personal stories with strangers. Not that I was opposed to sharing – I simply was not prepared for the precious connections I made there with the talented sisters who attended.

The dialogue was stimulating, emotional, sometimes controversial, and always inspiring. We unpacked ourselves; we re-arranged beliefs; we discarded some myths and stereotypes that are irrelevant to our existence. We left at the end of the second day feeling like we had begun something that needed to continue

Yesterday, I met with some of the women again for a few hours. Over sweet treats and personal tales we worked on writing we wished to submit for the 2013 project – the value of feedback from fellow artists is indispensable. POWA provided a cool resource: The Wayward Woman’s Guide to Writing. In it I found this precious gem by Alice Walker:

Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
(Uncool)
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.

 

Don’t you just love when Art plays it’s part: unpredictable like the weather and perfectly-timed for each season.

The edge

They live on the edge:
In the place where pregnancy is no longer miraculous,
Where ambitions are misplaced, where jobless is the son of a loveless affair,
Where offspring is lovingly raised by unthinking herds – no disputing the natural order here.

If you will protest: Down with light!
They’re hooded in enlightenment, avoiding darkness at all cost.
The way things are – they gave themselves away, walking as they went.
They ran out of places to grow, communities to sow and blame it on thievery.

And now, inhabiting the edge, they’re trapped between
The past so proudly own and royalty renounced to monarchies from foreign lands.
Their infinity a loop for their brains washed clean, glued to the sight of the chartered path,
They don’t see the black abyss – their learned fear is powerful: shove them over the edge, return them to themselves!