Empty flags and flowers.

I stand on ground cracked with divided opinion.
My flesh pale on the earth,
my tongue doesn’t carry this place’s many words.
Only my own lost unfurling.

Outsiders see the wild.
I see the jungle of the city
that wants to eat me
for being outsider inside it,

I’m not forgiven not forgotten.
There is history here,
under my feet are paths I didn’t walk.
But I’ve been lead on them,
heavy under them.

I don’t belong, even if I say
myself as African
in a tongue I don’t speak,

African Afrikan Afrikaans.
Betrayer, I don’t know,
I wrap myself in reds whites blues
of lands I no longer belong to.
Lands in my blood, not under my feet.

My gods are in Hollywood’s hills,
your gods stolen by Picasso,
and in London’s towers,
where they keep your jewels
that they stole too.
The missionaries gave Africa
a new god, but he’s not mine.
So I’m further lost.

Raise me up, I’ve shot
out of this ground from
from foreign blood.
Purple blossomed, alien and admired,
loved and hated.
My people have drained the land,
we’ve Dug our roots new,
stolen the richness in the soil.
I’m a new blossom on this tree
blown off and wandering suburbs.

I stand one leg in Africa, one in Europe,
so they say my penis dangles in salt spray
and so we are all made bitter.

Who is Africa? I don’t think it’s me,
If it isn’t, then on this ground
I fly empty flags, I fly
an empty petal in suburbia.

Us, in significance

I see your brain as this galaxy,
he said to me.
Beautiful, complex,
I’ll never understand it.

I hear my alarm before it goes off
the sun hasn’t come up,
it’ll go down before I’m home.
It doesn’t revolve around you or me.

I’m no galaxy, no saviour.
I’m a wanderer like the rest.
My eyes are still red
from this morning and the next.

You’re pretentious, they said,
but I’m not pretending.
I know that I’m not
a galaxy or some king.

I’m a kid of postmodernism
whatever that means,
but so are you,
not that we had a choice.

Dancing in circles,
like everyone else.
So maybe we’re all galaxy together,
bunch of old star dust

and we haven’t stopped swirling
motes of dust, moving.
Stagnant we’ll lay
and we’ll suffocate.

But we don’t know where to go,
from here, let’s go
and keep the pendulum swinging
between Cézanne and Warhol.

It’s all the same to us,
because those posters hang
in the dentist’s office
on a screech-drill backdrop.

Move [in]significance, [in]difference,
choice maybe beautiful, complex,
maybe you’re the galaxy,
we’re the ones we don’t understand.

Mining inspiration on city streets.

Sucking, ring-mouthed, on exhaust-pipes of inspiration
exhausted I pick-axe my way through soot and darkness
that chokes me up and sits in subconscious corners
cobwebbed clinging on my waking walking
through streets and observations of people
and things to find anything worthy of ink and page.
No rough diamonds or polishing those rough rides
on nights when all it took was a drink and to be taken home
before the morning light could cast judgement on me.
There’s no ore in the veins of jazz and cigarettes,
smokey rooms clinging to skin and sucking you
into their smells and ear-ringing. Wringing your ringless fingers.
Its romanticism Is better left for films
No inspiration to be had sucking on pipes and dreams
and stale cigarette smells
and running from morning light
and forgetting it all
In an afternoon wake-up beside bedside aspirin
and pushed away under the sheets
and washed with your jeans that are worn on the knees
and wear crumpled bar receipts mocking from empty pockets.
Yet here they are, those nights, those receipts,
All laid out, laid again,
In little lines and sighs of charcoal-dark smudges of ink
inspiration on your hands and pages.

Wonderer, Wanderer, Icarus

I will not be bound
by blood, cum or spit.
I will not be kept
by unkempt linen on a bed,
or passion-thrown to a floor,
by light-filtered cigarette smoke.
By knotted umbilical cords,
and strained Christmas dinners.
Untie garden hose and fly,
from nest, from home
when I know my wings
haven’t quite yet grown.
Call me not Icarus
if branches break and
my branches have broken.
I’ll be bound by will
not water that leaks,
or tries to drown,
into this sinking ship.
I’ll jump, I’ll fly.

Touching Confession

Touch me wholly,
tell me your story
inscribe it on my skin
let me taste tales
of where you’ve been
whisper your sins
with no prayer-musty screens
breathe into my sight
your heart drumming
along your outstretched neck
goosebumps wave over
aroused and arisen flesh
I’ll take you in now,
beyond previous sacraments
of the bodies you’ve taken,
and count dots where
The sun has kissed,
and where they have,
but now I do and touch you
into wholeness, holy,
wholly put back together
pieces given and got.

Trees and Concrete

I think they’ll call me
Heretic, or call me when
they secretly want my bed.
I don’t lay with corporations,
conglomerations, companies
that cut our lives
into scheduled shreds.

Put us in plastic, cubicles,
Let our roots grow into
Cold dead carpets
that don’t show the stains
of our slow-rot.

Some soar from rooftops
Like eagles of freedom,
America is bald.
Old, white and phallic,
men and towers.

We have chained,
To trees yes, but mostly
White fences and TV screens.
Bonded to a minted crucible.

Where our lives are,
Melted and pressed
Into numbers and cents,
Senseless and mute we are.

Marched into done-up buttons
closed brief cases
into nooses daily around necks.
Hung as our hope flickers
Like corpse coloured fluorescent tubes.

Resigned to a life of getting
by and told to buy
to escape the getting by. Escape
into dreams, fantasies,
in books and movies.
Into brand new TV’s,
showing same old stories,
we bought it yesterday to
escape today.

Cry out, muted eagles.
Croak ravens of nihilism,
clipped wings, blinds
of indifference and distraction.

Soar, to the sky
where the sun blazes.
Twice burns in purifying pyre.
See beauty, see revolution.
See the Bastille burn again.
See the rise of souls
out of soot and factory smoke
And into dawn,
birdsung from tree tops.

Poet

My life struggles,
does not thrive.
In wonder it waits for
wandering rays of sun.
to soak up and blow
bubbles of memories
that will pop-up
when I’m folding
old t-shirts into a box.
It will laugh,
At the words I wrote
When I thought inspired
because summer rain
has tried to quench my thirst.
And spring brought
butterflies in stomach
and sweet candy-floss clouds.
I stir nostalgia
into my tea, honey.
My life will shift,
Change like oily surfaces
Rainbow outside bubbles
Of memories held on to
but never quite the same.
and I’ve tried to catch
butterflies and bubbles
and here they are
popped, pinned to a page
by a poet, self-proclaimed.
My life does not thrive,
But it makes,
And its little words
have marched onto a page.
So that ants can come eat
The sweetness of
Filtered-photograph picnics
That I posted online
And that I write about.

 

My dedication to books

To Autumned leaves
falling from binding
of sun-shelfed, oak sitting
carbon made thoughts
printed in fading ink.

Dusty, musty treasures
that don’t glitter.
The mind glitters with serendipity
Chance-hand reaches for book.

O sweetness scent
Of what we haven’t
Done yet, seen yet, read yet.
Understood yet, Yet

tribute to you
felled sacred oak
groves of the gods
of the wise.