Wednesday, March 31, 2010

for the same reason

think of me as less human if you want
think of me as a heartless being coz you can
think of me as an agent from hell for you are not
think, think brother think

but while you sit, whine and cry over me
cry of a sister long gone, lost and never found
cry for i shall never stop; no i can never stop
stop this talk, this talk of a black woman

a black woman whose life to you belongs
a black woman whose life you run
yes, this black woman who can never be
the black woman who can never be her

because when i get pregnant i am loose
because when i use pills you say i'm fat
because when i don't i can't abort
because the church is god on earth

and the church lives my life
and the church runs my inner me
and the church makes laws for me
these laws that bind me, caught up under my skin

i am a woman, an angry black woman
yes, yet another pitch black bitch you think
and because you refuse to see me
caught up under your laws, oppressing and suppressing my being

that is why i will go on and abort
that is why i seek not your permission
that is why i too shall not see you
for i am a woman, a woman with choices

Monday, March 29, 2010

if i must die

if i must die let it be today
if i must leave make the exit now
for i tire of waiting, wailing and whining

if i must die let it be soon
if this must come make it smooth
for i hate to die like a loser, a pauper and a mourner

if i must die let this be it
if it must be you then take me in
for you for sure death must be a man.

thus the can moved

the breeze starts hard and violent
the can starts rolling in its direction
the wind blows again and again
harder than when it first began

the lights turn, green, amber then red
and the can stops just in time with the cars
this can with a mind of its own
keeps rolling, stopping and moving

the lights turn green again
the can joins the highway
just like the rest of the traffic
but turns right while the cars keep left

lights green on the highway
and I watch the can move on and on
totally undeterred, unstoppable and unmoved
the can pedals its accelerator

still in the opposite direction the can moves
moves then stops right on the yellow line
and with bated breath I watch the can
watching for drivers race with the can

attention shifts, cars, cars and more cars
but no one hits the can and there the can sits
lights turn amber, then red and the can parks
just right on its right and there it stops

the breeze continues; the can starts reversing
reversing into the T-junction right below my balcony
now back into its initial feeding road
my eyes follow this can, strange and alive

back and forth the can moves, up and down
faster, slowly then faster, slowly and faster
and conjures up these memories
memories of this life this life constantly in motion

memories of how often my life is this life of a can
taking risks on the fringes of the yellow line
going against the traffic; never getting hit
not getting crushed by life's oncoming traffic
this life, like the can, with a mind of its own.

faster, slowly then faster

and so I killed him

a quarter a century on, on and on
i grappled with the known and unknown
the known i knew not that i knew
the known only known to a few
but all the same known and no more new.

the knowns that bother me more and more
the knowns that matter so much more
and knowns that my thoughts still shapeth
knowns whose knowing to the unknowns leadeth
the unknowns we know not yet we know we knoweth not

the unknowns that I knoweth not I faced
the unknowns that made me what i became
the unkowns that so much eagered me
to know the unknowns whose not knowing i knew
those unknowns mattered to me no more

those unknowns mattered to me no more
when i stopped trying so hard to know
when i embraced unknowing as knowing
when he no longer was an absence but a presence
yes a presence, the presence of a desire

and in my mind he existed no more
in my mind he remained an unknown that i knew
in my mind his absence mattered no more
in my mind remained the presence of a desire
and so I killed my my mind, mind, in my mind

thus sleep died

a bare back did I see when i turned
denunciation, rejection and refutation
of a child once dear, of a thing once clear
so i watched the bloom of gloom and doom
I watched tight-lipped while off sleep slipped
and thus they left, the slices of death we call sleep

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

death and its other nightmares

death and its other nightmares
I was not sorry when my grandmother died. When I first read Tsisti Dangarembga's opening line in Nervous Conditions I was taken aback by such indifference towards death. "I was not sorry when my brother died", Tambudzai says of her brother Nhamo's death. Like Tambu, I was happy that my grandmother died. For different reasons though. Not because I didnt love her. Not because she never mattered to me. Not. Not at all.

So yes, there you have it. I was born when my mother was only 15 years, or was it 16? Whatever. Now you can imagine what my Gran meant to me. She was my mother. My mentor. My, my, my my everything. The greatest love I ever had. I miss her now that I am talking to strangers about her. She breast fed me even though my mum was her lastborn child and I am telling you those sagging-sacks-once-known-as-boobs had milk enough for me and whoever else would have wanted. So yes, my granny died last month and I am still stuck with this and I am still not sorry. I am sad. No, not so sad but kinda happy.

So mum tells me that Granny was in pain before she died and I have a feeling that she is tryna make me feel better about it but yes, she was in pain, I believe her. Well, wouldnt it be better if she remained in pain and I could still see her? No, that's selfish, isnt it? Ok, so now I am happy that she died and wasn't in pain anymore. This makes me sad.

I spoke at my Gran's funeral and perhaps what I should have said is that I am just a drunkard, a smoker, an ass that my Granny never wanted me to ever be. Perhaps what I should have told all those people is that my Granny always made me cry when I thought of how much she had sacrificed for me. For us. Her grandchildren. I never told them about people she had said should not even bother coming to her funeral. I refused to tell them because my uncles and aunties would have kicked me out of home. Especially now that the only one person who cared for me soooo genuinely was no more. Now that she was gone, I would have been sent to my father. A father I never had. My Granny was my father. She understood my tears. She read the subtext in my smile. Yes, she lives on in my life.

And with this t-shirt hanging on my wall. The t-shirt I wore at her funeral. With her picture and her favourite Bible verse. I see her everyday. I hear her telling me to take care of her family. I hear her so clearly. I look at her and feel the pain but though I cry, I shall not feel sorry.My Granny covered up death's ugly face. I never knew anyone in my family could die. Not her. No. Anyone but her. She was so immortal to me. When she hit 70 and prepared us all for her death, I ignored. I knew she wouldnt die. She didnt. Years, many years after she often went into a coma but I still knew she would live. This immortal woman still lives. To me she is not dead because I refuse to humour death.

But when my Granny died I went to see her at the morgue just before the funeral. And oh what beauty! I want to have a good looking corpse when I die. All the pain was gone. Absolute beauty. Granny made death look like a cool thing. She really did. Her death was exactly as she wanted it. Her funeral just as she told us. Church dress, white shoes, next to grandfather, Bible verses, hymns etc. My Granny buried herself. My Granny organised her funeral when she was alive. And that there is pure genius.