18 March 2013

Tuesday Poem: "The Men"

Let my lusts be my ruin, then,
since all else is a fake and a mockery
~Hart Crane


Hell with books bound with gold spines
in which bards sound off,
hell with wounds that frankincense heals,
myrrh on the lips of women,
balms of Gilead on their lips.
I’m a man with a lifestyle,
opposed to no sun, wind, winter, nothing
from spring already here beneath the soil of my country
to how we never sing anymore nor jive,
shebeens when mbaqanga starts to play.

Nothing of it is what I believe but what I feel—
hell with Eve, her body on the beach in the sun;
even the sea tells her to grab her towel and go,
take her sandals and her kisses
and make her way out of here—
or there will be chaos on the shore
if water finds her here still when it comes
back, like autumn blowing snow off
where the bloodroot grows.
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This poem is from my first collection, Things That Are Silent