23 May 2018

Poem with a phrase by Bukowski

Cells along my gullet dance to James Brown,
drink the whisky I pour on them and fornicate.
They’ve grown angrier with me over the weeks

even though I resist; they know my life is
done. I’m bound by a power they have over me,
it is their secret, the one ace up their sleeve.

I get upset with them sometimes, and say:
"I know you’re in there". But they crank up
their R&B and fornicate even more, though

they are my cells and I am their kingdom.
I live in spaces they fail to occupy. Needless
to say, I’m also their tomb, poised at the edge
of a life where time emerges and then dies.

—Rethabile Masilo

Diamond in the back, a song by Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield

19 May 2018

Chapter one verse twenty-eight, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it.
—Genesis 1:28

Her flaming hair
is God's own power,
even as heat swells
the damp atmosphere;
he hums a jingle
as he spins
pedicel to fiber, four leaf
clovers, grinning.
'Seven days,' he says aloud—
this has took long enough
already. A motel room
with centrefolds on walls
(from dirty magazines),
and behind her, Adam
waiting with himself
at attention, like an arm
with veins, the brine of Eve
in him, even as she
tosses her hair
to turn him
into a creature
whose need is to mate
with her. In her head
a moon light shines
on flowing strands
which are translucent
like flowers of love,
in a world she shares
with a fruit, this man,
a serpent,
and no adamant
people to curse
the pleasure that shall
deform her face.

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