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June Poetry & Prose

And she wrote and she wrote and she wrote

Having just finished exams, I once again have a batch of short poetry and even shorter prose fragments, which arose mostly during long and tedious study sessions in the library or at my desk in digs. Most of it deals with my inner world, sometimes moving to the rhythm of external influences such as the Romantic poetry I was studying, or the American Modernist dancers I read about. It is mostly raw, completely unedited, and each took no longer than 10 minutes to write. Every exam period (every six months since I was in Grade 8, 2003) I not only compile my poetry, but I also like to look back and see what I was thinking 6 months before.

So here is “First-name basis” dated 2 November 2008:

I will write your name all over this place

I will coat the tables with your initials

And my pages will have you as footnotes.

I will write in capitals, “I Love You”

And in illegible cursive your surname

So that no one will ever be sure

Who I wrote it for.

I will pull off the dictionaries from their shelves

Flip to the right page

And engrave your name

In blue ink

With my definition of you.

Only to tear that page out and regret,

For if there’s one thing I like about you,

It’s your impossibility to be defined.

I will wage war against grammar,

Placing illegal first person possessive pronouns

In front of your name,

Just to have poetic license

To call you mine.

I will hide this poem among piles of scrap paper,

Or in between library books,
with the childish hope that should you ever find it,

You would know at once

It’s yours.

And here is my June Poetry & Prose for 2009:


31 May 2009

I decided to turn off my music, to listen to the natural sounds of night-time; wild winds and shaking trees. And just as I withheld my breath to listen, my housemate’s voice bellowed through the cold, old house, as he imitated the cry of a seal.

06 June 2009

Falling

Into the same pattern

I think I can almost number the stages now

Maybe, even count the shakes that precede the twitches

And the days before I make a move.

Now, is the time in which I hold my breath.

I hold

Myself

In my own hands

And say nothing

But brutal, incoherent s c r e a m s.

09 June

(I wrote this with a tune in it, something Regina Spektor would sing, maybe)

Like a noodle with the grooves in it

And no pasta sauce to fill it with.

Hi babe how are you?

Well, I stopped in the middle of the road for you

And got hit by a blue Tazz in my side

Cos I was thinking of you…

I got a free ride to the hospital unit

They said, sorry lady we gonna have to cut it…

So I’m great, I’m fine, I’m dandy, I’m dying

Thank you

‘Cause I was thinking of you

Yeh, you filled my grooves, innit?

11 June

“If all else fails, at least You will be there to watch over me.”

I think I was afraid of being alone, then, I think the thought of being inexorably – I like that word, “inexorably” – alone… It gave me the chills. The thought of my parents dying, of not having a boyfriend, of being hours and hours away from my best friends… Of seeing the sun set and rise and turn red and pink and gold – all without a person to say this to – it scared me to paralysis. What kept me from falling over the edge was the thought that GOD would always be there. He had always been there, he had held me back by the neck of my shirt, stopped many leaps before.

11 June

(inspired by hours spent studying Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

We set out to sea that morning. Seven a.m., the sun was just rising. Little did we know that the next time we would see a planet or a star, we would be mere metres from them. Little did we think, as we stepped onto that fated deck, that we would come home broken, stunned, star struck…

11 June

In the presence of actors,

Dancers, directors,

ARTISTES EN GÉNÉRAL:

I tend to lean in

When they speak

I watch the muscles in their necks tense

I watch the lines under their eyes when

The magic happens

That rhythm steals in

I could stand up backstage and applaud you even now

Just because your rhythm was worth dancing to.

You take it from the top once more with feeling –

That look in your eyes gets me every time.

A presence on this stage and in my mind.

15 June

(Finally, a good day)

There’s something magical about this

Duncan, Fuller, Shaw and Sophiatown.

The bare feet

The props list

The backdrop.

I don’t think I could feel any stronger

If I was high.

Call it heresy-

But I feel like a fervent believer,

Rediscovering the ancient Scriptures.

Duncan, Fuller, Shaw and Sophiatown.

Take me, take me, take me.

T h i s is what I want,

T h i s is the world I choose.

In fear, and in hope,

I want this.

17 June

You did it again, sun.

It was a foggy grey dawn

But you pushed through

And now a soft blue sky hangs,

Clear,

And you ray on.

You’ve seen these buildings fade and crumble

The plaster peeling, the students grumble,

You’ve watched men hacked to pieces

And you’ve sent rays of light to their sordid graves.

You’ve reflected light off windows in a hospital room

Where a mother cradled her new gift

And another held her empty self, bereft.

You’ve seen me arrive and you’ll watch my life set.

And you’ll keep rising and falling without effort,

Watching men hacked to pieces,

Hacking the earth you carefully warm

Hacking the faces you stroke with light

Hacking at the light you bring, turning away

Burying their heads in the ground

Where they cannot see you

Where you cannot reach them

And then, you will carry on.

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Comments on: "June Poetry & Prose" (5)

  1. I loved 2nd November and 9th June 🙂 the former because it reminds me of how someone used to write my name. The latter cause it would make an awesome sign.

    • sign=song. I just can’t multitask. Listening to someone while typing is distracting.

      • haha one day i’ll sing it and record it, and post it on youtube. One day – when I’m very very crazy and reckless 😛

        I wrote the 2 November poem from personal experience – what does it feel like to be on the receiving end? I mean to have that kind of love shown to you? cos I always wonder how that person would react if they knew that poem was about them

        • everyone wants to feel needed. It’s just exceptional when you feel that way. You’re happy for days, You keep notes in your pocket and pull it out ever chance you get , just to read those lines over and over. Stuff it back inside (safely) when someone approaches, you hold it really dear, that handwriting, the ink, the way the writes your name .

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