OppiKoppi, Paradeisos

Excuse me
while I lose myself
In this dome of dusty tracks, history reloaded & reality deconstructed

Misconduct, reconfigured, shamelessly blurred
The docks fitted with stale beer, hefty blankets of smoke and gore 
Smells of sweet guilt
The couch fleas sucking and sipping
Jumping to the same rhythm
The one in their heads that burn
Let this warped congregation sing its hymns
Oh holy, holy, holy
We’re lost, come find us

The dirt, musk, trample with malice
It smells of a shared promise
One we made to the Gods
That we’ll surrender and scream
dance until our lungs need help
Fortitude within us
Unless you’re on your bed
Crying to be taken
Why would you cease this warped paradise? 
One that promises you complete freedom
And one that ends too suddenly
Leaving you heaving for more 

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Your Majesty

In December, I had an opportunity to visit the Victoria Falls. What I had known of it was stuck in history books and hearsay. I knew it as “a big waterfall”, an immense natural wonder. Little did I know that it was so much more than that. That nature cared for no man. That it ran wild and free and beautifully and that it wouldn’t stop. That the visitors wouldn’t stop.

vic

If there was any sort of sign in the Universe to let us know that God or a higher being was around us, then I think the quiet of nature, the loudness of nature, the simplicity of nature and it being complicated at the same time is that sign. There’s more to us than what we know.

And it’s in those moments where we can just look on and feel grateful that we are witnessing, that we can be inspired.

Your Majesty

 

Gliding fingers on the face of steel strings

And Livingstone’s son roars

masquerading as heaven’s pool

but the devil and ghosts and angels appear

swallowing the smoke

hearing it enter your heart

so it can never leave

drowning so words can’t cry

humans mould themselves into a great self

unaware that the thunder hits us all

we make up reasons that this is the only life we have

until the smoke whirls, falls, whirls, falls

no chance of a trapped corner

Vicky with her ten-minute smoke break

where the world is forgotten

Your Majesty, it roars

without an interlude

it growls at the human who thinks

that all of this doesn’t matter

As Africa bleeds hope

 the skies place a cloth over the torn table

The smoke that thunders

falling and yelling

Can you hear me, Can you hear me

Your Majesty, it roars

Platform A

(Me waiting at the Gautrain station; Was feeling a tad bored waiting for my train. Wrote something on a piece of paper and found it in my handbag yesterday)

 

There’s a buzz, a machine

linked to a schedule

and if you listen closely

there’s a muted sense of

 

absolute adventure

 

a cry for the box

four cars that reek of routine

vessels that hold the

one, two, three

Who should I pretend to be?

the deepest gates

where will I go

who will I be

 

The faces

interchangeable

 

pretty robots who seek

nothing but the start

the finish

raindrops that scatter

gather

form their own kind

when so many are off to be one

and make your plans

the bolts will listen

but your mind

it’ll lift off

and decipher the formidable

the minutes pretending

they’re nothing

or everything

 

the carts of comfort

become torture chambers

Die volgende stasie is

whatever you want it to be

where will one go

who will I be

 

The faces

interchangeable

 

 

 

The concert

 

Forty thousand memories

and lips that remember the words

Off radio days, that lonely playlist, the TV at 2am

Hands to the sky in case this moment is gone too quickly

A friend’s glance that lasts for the verse you both know all too well

That breathe-in-eyes-closed-tight runaway instant

the lights fade

and we erupt to another consciousness

Where nothing can touch you but the words

 

Forty thousand reasons why they’re there

Forty thousand whispers to the chorus

A moment where you can scream

your pain

Your happiness

Your ecstasy

In a choir that feels the same way

The forty thousand bodies turned facing

Lights in the dark, a man who grips a microphone

His guitar telling a joke everyone knows

But everyone keeps listening to

 

And in the crowd

A girl pretends she’s written it all

It’s just for her

The man walks away from his friends and raises a head

It’s just for him

The front-row leaps

The back crew crane and are lost

 

It’s just for you my friend

 

And in the echoes,

the encores,

the queues,

the hours that sting of awe afterwards

Your heart is trapped

In the forty thousand

 

And it’s all for you my friend

 

Ptown Plekke, Jozi Jols

There is a stink of Kurt Darren outside Loftus’ beloved walls. The sizzling boerewors en tjops. Lynwood Road traps four schools in proud blazers as the purple pavements stand proud and steady.  O, Liefling! Union.

There is a lady that wears a leopard. Proud, too. Her eyes hidden behind Italian shades. A pendulum that sways with the equal distribution of boutique bags. Reptiles that hold Madibas in their bottomless jaws. Bottomless mocha-frotho-latte contraptions.

 Skinny jeans between okes with sharp khaki. Manicured politician gardens and Jaguars that dodge fevered taxis with the hoot-hoot ego that comes with the ‘GP’ design. A slow grapple on tar towards the neighbours forty clicks away. A promise of the N1 chaos and turnoffs that host skeletal boys who point to their mouths with promising eyes. A minute away, Waterkloof’s gates hold their heads high.

Pretoria_City-view_2242

Houghton – said with an accent that needs practice.
Sandton –said with an accent that needs a stiff upper lip.
There is choreography of models that sweat.
If your pecks ain’t big enough, get out bru.

If you don’t play rugby, get out.
There’s an art class for you.
If you don’t sokkie, if you don’t braai
Then the Capital will skop you out
School bag over the shoulders, barefoot break-time

And the Rolex is pulled back, glanced over
The train silent in its approach
The business deals between business deals
and the media that cracks the stories
of Africa’s mighty Big Apple
the high-rise secrets
Big City Life

jozi

As jy mooi luister, kan jy dit hoor
Hatfield se studente wat stumble
soos masjiene wat drink nodig het
Oiling of the cog
Arcade se rockers
Presley’s se Jackie Louw

Monster hats
and the zooted rims
that need a little shine
The South rises
and there is hurry of fists
dancing to the rhythm of summer

Gamble

The lawn table is littered with numbers and colourful chips

The odds and evens and likelihoods of hopeful dreamers

Gamble_Card_HD_Wallpaper_

and the man’s fat wallet is ready to lose itself for something constructed

the deft, dull, ordered ring of machines that make half-hearted promises

and people believe the colours, Egyptian symbols and grinning faces of polished posters

the car sits untravelled

 

I’m all in

This time it’ll be

One more go

 

while the sky-high, secret cameras catch the lady’s glazed-over click of the button, tap-tap of blackjack

the spinning wheel that holds everyone’s instant future

the man sacrifices his leopards

the youngster serves a right of passage

the coins clink to a destination unknown

and the greying figures will spend their last days playing out to more youthful playbacks

and dreams of everyday buffets and a life of fiction

then tomorrow they will wake in a bubble of dark

no clocks

no fortunate souls

no sense of time

no wrongdoing

 

and do it all over again

 

 

 

Gym

splash

the binding

choreographed

with a push, the fat man grunts

the skinny girl squats

the sweltering box of things and hopes

in a ten-minute shot

the counting to

the counting down

the gain and loss of

our shadows

the measured stake of a man’s grip

a steady dance of happy pain

the ordered flock of traffic mongrels,

the young who tumble in training wings

the old who check their pulse,

a need for their past

and the inbetweeners

who grab centre stage

a flex

a lipstick lady with no order

going through the motions

the pressure to be the dolls that aren’t actually real

the queue for perfect

and the line to leave before the bite into a burger

gladiators with no victors here

the bend,stretch of shameless dressing

the promise that it’ll be like this everyday