Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Copy of New Coin, Two Poems and Three Reasons to Read them

Recently two of the poems I wrote for my honours collection 'her city visions' were published. The literary arts journal, New Coin, published in Grahamstown choose to print 'manning road' and 'she imagines' in their December 2009 issue. These are the first of many more I hope to publish, one day, or not.

And you should read them because:

1. Well, New Coin published them so obviously at least one other person out there other than me thinks they are any good
2. I like them.
3. By reading them you can put off whatever you should be doing for just a little longer.


manning road

the white sun at 12 o’clock slows
their digging, sawing,
drilling. sirens of hadedas
behind the pawpaw tree suspend
in wonder the arms at work.

men in red overalls with rolled
sleeves up to the wrist, cup their hands
at the open tap all afternoon,
one after the other until the cement
is muddy and the day dug.

only knuckles of sweat drop
in the collapsing heat. brown fingers
over the grips of rusted wheelbarrows and
spades come back each morning
to wake the house.


she imagines

his head would fit right into the bend of her elbow
where sticky skin is a creased page and his hair
a signature marked across that catches under her nails
she would look down at his head in a cradle to
see it thinned or grey and her own fingers soft with
washing liquid and years. at the

doorway she would still be with a slipper either
side of the glass had her forehead not witnessed each nights’
kiss above the steps with his back turned to the tea-lights
lighting the city to the indian ocean and the cargo ships
of women’s limbs curling around a map he had
navigated a time before they met. but with

cool lips the forehead becomes irrational
a child too tired for bed but tired nonetheless
especially on saturday afternoons when poems don’t
write themselves and visions of an extended arm with
two elbows at different angles and with two bodies
attached is easier to hope for. young too

with still so much to learn about what happens
behind the ribcage and to the spine when a finger becomes
tarnished by gold and how white really is not
at all but a dust sheet over water-stained furniture loved
by someone else who carved it faultless. in her

mind she takes a ferris wheel up to the tipping top
held back from falling by a rusted bar and
she waits to see each ride rode out by others played
in one’s and two’s some still with cowlicks and school-shoes
others with airport luggage. she sits

blue blanket hung to her knees with no pegs or hands to
keep it from slipping to her shins where a bruised picture of
silver high-heels with straps that snap and manicured
toenails pitches the scenery for an age she has tossed around
from the time she could first blow kisses.

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