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Tropical Scars: Page 7 of 19

Body: 
cover image

Our Little Tropical Scars

Night parades people on the promenade
  but in narrow streets skirting the fanfare: howls.
Oh yes sister,
                  I heard them registered intensely
I, fumbling-through,
                          a drydock mariner restless:
listening and on drunken nights playing the sailor from Tangiers
entering your life, tattooing mirrors
                                                and was gone
with the room spinning around your disconnected fan
  scrambling-out in the maze of palm, of pine, of plastic
with all this texture spinning
and inviting me
to the whiskeyed life of a decade
torn down there, unconcious of the unprostituted
lives upon the hill
eager to make a bookladder to the top and
     page by page to climb there

And I was told that -
From the hill my dear on a clear day you can see the class struggle
forever
on the hill my dear
      lives get caught in these damp afternoons
          and it's too hot my dear to read Franz Fanon
        you are condemned to consume
to suffer the melancholy stalking of shopping-malls
  but to consume in taste nevertheless
skating past the torpor of palm trees and video vistas.
My dear Zigmund Gumede
I bring you these tropical scars
an overripe mangoe
   bruise marks    scars    sensations
and feelings and stitches and eina...
each day a fingernail scrapes off the miniscule scabs
I bring you these tiny, our little tropical scars
and you speak of the fragrance
of summer afternoons
and it hurts.

The valley rattles its nighttrains like springs
and we lay
listening to prerecorded love-sighs
there is no love left in the city
there are trees
bowing down
in their humble obedience of storms
there are people
felled
the dawn's street cleaners sweeping leaves and dreams
and eina...the sun arrives
in shorts and boxing-gloves.

Cartoons: yes, cartoons
a city of comix and shuffle
eim gonna twisja nose, twist-twist
eim gonna boink joface, boinkoboink
eim gonna poo-pooh your therapist
ja what?
jaa whaat?
but dear Zigmund Gumede when I say good morning to
myself the mirror scowls back, and I have this need to
express myself, good morning how am I, and to learn to
adjust to this cruel, this, this, this. Eim gonna poo-pooh
you therapist if you gonna boinkoboink my face.
And the sun shines in shorts and pummels with boxing
-gloves, over and under tko.

Dear Zigmund Gumede
and they say from the hill on a clear day we can see the
class struggle forever
but how, all we see is this mirror
              the scowl
and we bring you our tiny tropical scars
to crochet around them a meaning
to cover the cracks
good morning how am I dear Zigmund Gumede

And I looked down the hill
a film of mist
spliced-thrugh by factory chimneys
and the mirrors and sun rays reflected spiked at my eyes
and I looked at my bookladder
page after page soaking in sweat
and I tore out a page and fashioned a wing
and I tore out one more to fashion another
and I took my gadgets and roughed up my hair
and drew myself an overextended Mighty Mouse tail
and I flapped off precipice
in search of the swamps
down below
to gather mudwords
to mould again
dreams of slime.

Description: 
Destined to be an important contribution to progressive writing in S.A. - Frank Meintjies