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The RDP Poems: Page 7 of 52

Body: 
 
V
 
 
uMi, man
quick word past another set of pliers.
Yebo, mfo.
We need money for a coffin and money to get to Qabula in
Pondoland
We are frozen man.
There is an investigation
into 3 million unauthorised cash
I don't even have a salary for this month.
We only have a small budget for Tourism
 
VI
 
Hello, Sawubona, Dumelang
Welcome to Durban
We are here to please and smile
we can do poetry in your room
give souvenirs of our smiles and scars
we can dress dashiki or leopard leather
to maskanda or mournful howls
show you our lovely teeth
our words can gumboot through your brain
our mambas rise or crawl at your wish
welcome to Durban
we poets know how to smile at our keepers keep.
I will personally take you past Clairwood
where we used to meet and count
who was alive!
Love you all, love you all
goodnight.
 
Reconstruction
 
Working in the debris, I rescued a hinge
and then found another off piles by the gate
and felt that something was lacking
as I stumbled into the cabin through the caking mud
and the tufts of green, weeding the path
 
On that first night I played with them-
like puppets' mouths between index and thumb
clacking to the rhythm pulsing
the wailing reeds on the stereo
and felt haunted bt what was lacking there, still.
In the morning by the shed
at the pile of bones my sculptor friend gathered
- so much bone left in the fields
he used to say, where the animals get cut,
and cleaned them off the marrow and grime
to work, to work,
I chose two sets, roughly similar-
giraffe or camel, whale or ape-
who knows these days?
And, like an osteo-grafter I set to shape
and connect each set with the hinges
creating elbows.
 
And it was good.
 
Sleep that night was short,
too much dream and mist
restlessness and spleen and
after the fruit-bats bolted
at dawn and
12
13
Description: 
Portions of this work appeared in New Coin, New Nation and in the case of their musical setting "Times of Deliverance"|"RapCrapDidSo" in the sleeve-notes of "Durban Noiseworks" by Jurgen Brauninger and "Cantata" by Dan Wyman. "Bombing Iraq" has allusions to two tunes by Louis Armstrong and Gilbert and Sullivan.