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I’m not depressed

I am not depressed
I’m just deflated
Out of style and over-dressed
At second-best, I’m overrated

An old birthday balloon
(Out of breath, somewhat bated)
I hum my jingles out of tune
One-hit-wonders soon outdated

Like a song without sound
Mourning a muted meltdown
I’m at the point of no concern
For my inability to yearn

I am –
Whatever comes after
The past, the future
The cries, and the laughter

I remain –
Whatever came before
The purple rain, the midnight train
The virgin and the whore

I am a pixelated painting
Understood by few
Inexplicably containing
Little drops of you

You’re my middle C
A sepia photograph
Of my mundane eulogy
And my previous epitaph

You are my bitter half
The gall in my bladder
My nervous laugh
My endless chatter

You’re my history rewritten
My once shy, twice-bitten
My state-of-the-art
You’re the bottom of my heart

The top of my lungs
You’re my talking in tongues
The motivational quote
In my suicide note

And although I’ll never be free
From this heart on my sleeve
I’ll always wish you to be
The Adam to my Eve.

Wonde wonderwerk

Ek het ons storie geskryf
Met ‘n lem op my lyf
Die son was te helder daai dag
Vir my hartklop om langer vir joune te wag.

Ek het die mes soos ‘n kwas vas gehou
En diep snye geskilder – ‘n van Gogh vir jou.

Ons verhaal het verskyn
Op my vel – lyn by lyn
En dit was helder – so rooi, so vol lewe daai pyn
Ek was seker dat die seer in my siel sal verdwyn.

Die letters van jou naam
Het bebloede kuns geword
Op al my breekbare vlaktes.

Soos ‘n straatbrak het ek jou vertrou
Waar is jy nou?
Hoe waar is jy nou?

Daai dag het die son so helder geskyn
En daar was net te veel kleur in ons samesyn
Ek het jou les diep in my spiere gekerf
En my lyf met jou lou-warm liefde geverf.

Cocoon

She spun a cocoon
The colour of a silent moon
Around what remained
Of her lost and un-gained.

She bound bone to bone
Stitched smile to song
And calmly coloured her cries
In the shades of reason gone wrong.

But when she saw
That her loss was a learning curve
And her being
Not a noun, but a verb —

She shed her silken armour
Turned her body to the sun
And remembered the shape of a hug in her arms
In time to embrace her battle undone.

Captivated

Hold me like a promise;

Break me like a vow.

For today I am as fragile as the secrets of a child,

And as desperate as a dream dressed in dust.

Another woman

There is another woman living
In the friction
Between your hips and my thighs

Do you think I haven’t seen
The memory of her
Swimming in the moisture of your eyes?

Do you think I haven’t noticed
The sadness
In the lines around your smile?

Do you think I haven’t realised
You’re somewhere else all the while?

Do you think I haven’t measured
The distance between
What you say and what you mean?

You’re not the first to show up here
With a broken dream
Slung over your shoulder
Heavy with things you never told her

How you’re wishing you could hold her
As we’re lying on my bed
I can hear her broken promises
Resounding in your head

I’m tired of being a consolation prize
I’m tired of soothing away silent cries
I’m tired of picking up the pieces
And wasting all my kisses
Wondering why no one misses
….me.

Should I just accept the fact
That she’ll probably want you back
Once she remembers all the things
That are making me fall in love with you?

Bourbon Street

You and me
We should be poetry
We should be prose
The way our breathing slows
And our hearts beat
Like wings on Bourbon Street.

You and I
We should be together
Birds of a feather
Flying like time.
We always had rhythm, you know
We just never had rhyme.
We committed a crime together
And should’ve served time
Been brought to justice…
But it was just us
Perfect in our alibi.

We may not’ve had rhyme
But at least we had reason
We committed treason together
And should’ve been tried
We should’ve been been true
Me and you
On the corner of Bourbon Street
And Fifth Avenue.

Read them their writes

My words
Are serving a sentence
For mixing their tenses.

While my pen
Pleads repentance
For its pompous pretenses.

Silly little Bic
Went a tad overboard
When declaring itself
A match for the sword.

My words got the slammer
When, as partners in crime
Ignored rules of grammar
And reasons for rhyme.

But what now of me?
A writer no less!
Vocabulary-free
Without means to express?

I beg them, “Come back!”
I pray them, “Release me!”
But the pen’s bruised blue-black
And words don’t come easy.

Fine-tuned

You were beautiful in Borneo
Like a song I’d been expecting
To start playing on the stereo

I was fragile when you found me
A lifetime’s worth of sorrow
And disappointment built around me

But you gave me a standing ovation
A merry-go-round of applause
And cut through my curt conversation
With your musical mixed metaphors

You asked me why I was waiting
For something already long gone
And suddenly all of that aching
Disappeared in the song of a swan

La Danse

You said that I could find you
In the space that lies between
The reality that binds you
And the traces of your dream.

You asked me, “Can you dance
To a poem by Baudelaire?”
“La danse,” said I. “C’est la poésie
Avec des bras et des jambes.”

Your hands made a ballroom of my body
Your fingers tap-danced on my skin
Oh, and how I moved under your melody
Like a waltzing gypsy violin.

You, me, and the sea

I pull the land on which you live
Closer to where I stand

In one smooth motion
I narrow the ocean
Uniting our shores
Until yours is mine
And mine is yours

No more miles
Between our smiles
Just a sliver of the sea
Like a scar in the sands
Keeps you and me
From holding hands.