July 22, 2014
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
July 19, 2014
i write from the depths
i write from a silent
darkness i write
from the abyss
i am invi
i am the unsung
i have stopped living
i have never lived alive
i am the lament threnody requiem
my own lambent elegy burning incendiary
immolating from the depths
emulating a silent
darkness i never
a seeing child’s
of sun by which
to recite your name
again for resighting me
read the full article here: http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/the-weekly-dissident-a-conversation-with-aryan-kaganof/
July 18, 2014
“As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.” Voltaire
mary corrigall on night is coming – a threnody for the victims of marikana: the full, unexpurgated review
first published here: http://corrigall.blogspot.com/2014/07/when-visuals-fail-marikana-and-art.html?spref=fb
keep reading this article here: http://african78s.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/focus-no-15-dudu-pukwana-on-78/
July 17, 2014
i would like to share with you this little anecdote. it took place in middletown a couple of months ago. mr. stevens, my muslim friend, popped around with his 20 year old son, mohammed. i pulled out the homegrown to get their opinion. the three of us smoked three outsize tossies and whilst mohammed sat there all night with a huge grin on his face, mr. stevens and i did not stop talking, both of us, at the same time – all night long. it was a lovely evening. but that’s not the anecdote i want to tell you.
after mohammed returned to london (where he lives with his mother) mr. stevens came to see me, a little bit worried. it turns out that when they got home mohammed pulled out the LSD papers and they each took one. not much happened to mr. stevens. and not much happened to mohammed. but mohammed took a second and then a third paper. then it all started happening.
obviously it was a profound internal experience but mohammed (not a big talker at the best of times) could not get any of it out through his mouth. he just sat there and, sort of … melted… for five hours. eventually mr. stevens fell asleep and when he woke up mohammed was still there, still melting.
when mr. stevens took mohammed to the airport and said goodbye he felt sort of.. worried about his son.
a few days later mohammed called him from london and told him he had a new job at 45000 pounds a year. something to do with computer programming. mr. stevens came by and asked me about LSD, knowing that i had done a lot of it back when i still had lead in my pencil.
what’s there to say that hasn’t all been said before? i told him not to worry. then he brought out the 4 papers that mohammed had left behind for his father and i.
i smiled, snatched them from his tough old carpenter’s fingers….
… and threw them in the fire.
“we’re too old for this mr. stevens.”
we lit up some of my gentle homegrown and had a very mellow evening.
more information is here: http://www.babylonberlin.de/signesdenuit.htm
lungs battling iscor flames
despite the new leaf arcello mittal claims
i come ridding vaal river waves
rowing over emfuleni
paddling to the vaal bank
i hear vaal dam screaming for peace
refengkgotso is not the cry of fishes trapped in a net
but of human souls caught in the poverty trap
shattered bodies find mental solace
in brash dances, cheap beer and cut-rate spirits
acid from car-batteries add spunk to homebred brew
brothers and sisters drown their sorrows in jazz by the river
but don’t tell them about Mackay Davashe, Chris McGregor & Thelma Segone
these revelers think Coltrane was a train-driver
Nina Simone a madam from the Midvaal
still to the rhythm & blues they swing their hips
the smart boys the cool cats ululate to the symphony of black bodies
with chants of “ check daai ding…hoor net daar!”
a mantra that says: this dog is into jazz
just don’t ask big buddy the man-about-town
what Marsalis said jazz is and is not
don’t bother the sharp man with bookish homilies and arguments
between proponents of fusion and protagonists of unadulterated jazz
or where the hell Miles’ improvisation,
versatility & spontaneity fit in in the whole debate
mister and madam new rich don’t need restless minds
the fiddle class cannot afford unrest
they just want to relax without stress
take a rest at Abrahamsrus
any excuse to shake that ass
even in the name of jazz
play it philanthropic and dedicate the carnival
to the lost fight against HIV & AIDS
at the end of the day it makes logic
to say it really is a massive act of social responsibility
just to offer the masses the comic relief
of a momentary escape from the ghettos & bundus
of Fezile Dabi:
the labour camps; backyards & scrapyards
of lily suburbs, white farms and wage slavery plantations
sasol, safripol, polifin, karbochem
the sweatshops & warrens of unbridled
accumulation of capital & shameless commodification of life