Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It might have been a Wednesday

It might have been a Wednesday

There was a loose button on your blouse and you, bra-less, beneath it. You didn't know, but that loose button unbuttoned my soul, led me through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and brought me, cup overflowing, into the Red House of Everlasting Life. Yes, I know it sounds dramatic; but sometimes it's the little things that make your day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Everywhere, books

She calls it juicing the fruit, says everyone should do it.
"But it's risky, isn't it?" I asked.
"Nothing's risky. Or everything is."
"Banned in the book of Deuteronomy."
"Not in private."
"Here isn't private."
We were in the back of a bookshop: dusty dust-covers, sagging shelves, second-hand books about second-hand love or forbidden triangles. Everywhere, books; everywhere, shelves screening us from the door where the old man was drowsy in the afternoon heat. Apart from us and the old man the shop was empty.
"Do you know that poem by Cavafy?" she asked, "in the shop?"
"I know it," I said.
"And the one in the taverna?"
"A divine July was blazing."
"Yes," she said. "Yes."
"Public places."
"Private passions."
Cavafy, yes. The old man of Alexandria, the great poet of desire, the desire of minds mastered by the heat of the day and the heat of the flesh.
"I wonder if there's any Cavafy here?" I said.
"Don't change the subject," she said.
We weren't in the shop for more than forty minutes. At some point it began raining: fat, moist summer drops spattering the shop's windows and disturbing the dust of the quiet street outside.
When we left I asked the bookseller if he had anything by Cavafy. Either he didn't understand or else he misunderstood. If we wanted coffee, we could get it further down the road, he said.

Monday, February 15, 2010

16th February

Outside, a grass-cutting-machine drones like a giant bee and a lonely far-off bird sings; just next door, a child cries, a mother shouts, and a phone rings; on the page before me Carrol's Walrus and the Carpenter still speak of cabbages and kings; but I, skittish, cannot concentrate on any of these things, because I am thinking of you and wishing you were here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


She was a brown girl, dressed in brown; her friend was dressed in pink. I wasn't planning on staying, but she forced me to rethink: it wasn't the ambience and it wasn't the place--I've always been a victim for a pretty face.

Thursday, February 4, 2010



"You're dangerously pretty," I said. "Dangerous to all, even yourself. But especially to me." That she was pretty was easy to see but the danger that lurked behind her eyes was dimmed, even in sunlight. It isn't right, I thought, that beauty should present such a risk.

"But you're here," she said. "You needn't have stayed."

"You wanted me to," I replied. It was true; it was in her eyes.

We left the bar; went to the car. Then I drove a way, but not too far.

"I hear you're famous," she said. "You're dangerous too. And you like pretty women."

"What man doesn't?" I said. "It's the way we're made."

The shadows were crawling across the park. They were mostly long and thin, like stretched fingers without knuckles and without nails. Already they had reached the perimeter wall and the more-than-two-years-old graffiti that was scrawled there, acclaim for a once-popular political leader who was now discredited. 'Viva X!' it proclaimed. That was all.

In the car, we sat side-by-side, silently, almost as if we were afraid to breathe. Perhaps we were. We were both waiting for something to happen, waiting for life to intervene.

"Touch me and I'll scream," she said. "Don't touch me and I'll die."

What else could I do? I took a deep breath. And. Touched. Her.

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Sakhile Live in Swaziland

https://www.mixcloud.com/ken-rowley/african-jazz-7-sakhile-live-in-swaziland-december-1987/ For me the best South African band of al...