Sunday, August 25, 2013

At the time of the Christmas cut sales

At the time of the Christmas cut sales
Slash, in red, screamed at an angle
Across the shopwindows behind which lifelike puppets sat
Made festive with glitter and tinsel.
Overnight to everyone's amazement the puppets changed their price tags
And no-one could afford to buy them.
The tinsel and glitter turned into a kind of camouflage.
From their pulpits priests announced that infant Christ
Had thrown an elaborate tantrum
And was spoiling Christmas.
Many Worlds shut down.
All that was left was printer's ink
For fingerprints.
This year many martyrs were manufactured
Not for export.
The electricity bills at police stations increased unaccountably.

Published in Quarry '78-'79: New South African Writing   

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On the ninth floor

On the ninth floor
it was on the ninth floor where they plotted
on the ninth floor
the top of the Baobab Hotel
where the gleaming razors were passed out
to the blackfaced maids
from the ninth floor from the ninth
they descended when dawn was lifting its coffin lid
every throat was slit
from the ninth floor
they walked with silent smiles to the suburbs
they scattered
they threw off their clothes
and leaped into the swimming-pools
from the ninth floor Christ descended
and blessed them with his sword.

Published in Quarry '78-'79: New South African Writing