Behind the Blurred Mountain


He has brought the bakkie to a halt out of the busy road. They were at a T junction that led southerly to Laudium and westerly to MotseMogolo. He had used the busy road from the easterly to this point. Behind them Iscor’s lights shimmered and about them a chorus of crickets wailed monotonously suspending the silence that embraced them.

All were silent now except for the wailing insects and the passing cars to Pretoria and back from Pretoria either to Motshemogolo or Laudium. Silent as if digesting what he had just said. The street lights illuminated their bleak faces, if you were fortunate enough to be part of this entourage you would have seen that none of the boys was beyond eighteen.

Ek sal jou dood maak jong you say the money is not enough. You do not have a right to tell me how much I should pay you. Zeke (he has come to call him that) you think you are a Mr. know it all heh, voetsek man!’ said the Indian man in the bakkie and all the boys sprang back in fear even though he was directing his swearing to Zakhele not to all of them. They knew he had a gun and this made them uneasy.

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The Three Symphonies of a Narratologist


Ant Meditation

As it was customary Old Lefofa sat brooding on his stoep at no 373 Maunde Street. As the blood stream of cars caressed Maunde Street: Taxi’s honking to beckon people going to the city or elsewhere locally and private cars honking in turn in annoyance of the unpredictable drivers; Old lefofa’s ill kept garden smelled of promise as he touched it with his sense of smell, head bowed by time and knobby wise hands clawed to a walking staff. Yes of course I said staff not stick for the device much served the latter purpose than that of the third leg: below where the time etched sage sat flow another blood stream. An insect sphere – a world of ants. More about the ants in a paragraph below.

Time is a leveler. It reduces everything in its path to beg for its mercy which nay it doesn’t grant. And it is in time that old habits are rooted:

He woke up at five, a timeframe enshrined by working as a guard in one of the Indian owned shops in Marabastad. He worked for an outfitter with a penchant for suspicion. If Moosa was stingy to his workers and partial to his watchman: the old man’s wife sometimes reflects, then he did succeed in giving Old lefofa a very suspicious mind.

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A Blues for the Blue Suit

Hands deftly peel-open a peach coloured envelope whose outside is stained by three crimson red fingerprints. And to the opener the fragrant that emanate from it fill the atmosphere with jabs of memories that stirs even a harden heart to a wail. But he reigns in the urge to give into tears despite himself.

Dear Peo

(He reads)

I hope when you read this letter again we would have somehow had worked through the troublesome situation I have created for us. My heart has been heavy with guilt and merry with love for your coming during these past few months.

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Brotherman/le rock

i hack my past to once more commune with you like an *internaut

i hack  my heart to retrieve your essence

so that I can invoke r bygone moments

as time fashion my heart to accept your fleeting

i tiptoe through the labyrinths of my mind to re-enact your clean deeds bredren

so that i can once more reawaken your philosophies

to bring them to utility as like an illusive serpent the present  roll onward.

My first pair of tekkies you bought

& i blended with my peers who had ‘’em ‘ready

guiding me concerning youthful things

& as it dawned to cope with manhood

affirmed in the townshipscape

to stir the remnants of our memories to animation i hack the past

and as your potent teachings echo I remember brother man your fullness.

Dedicated to Tseko Man Dicksy Nkosi (1966 – 2004)

* see Virilio, P. 2005. The Information Bomb. Verso books

Passage 2

Episode 2

The tire fires stories and theatre of pranks and the unfathomable jokes became our sopies, mediums from which we could draw information and laughter and ponder what lay ahead in life, what the world offered and what it didn’t.

And as the preteen years crept upon us the older boys spun out of sync with us and moved on as their persons was absorbed by adulthood. They appeared dressed well and surprisingly courteous. They got together permanently with their sqeeze, their girlfriends or chucked them off for new nonos. On some odd day we saw at their homes a tent and witnessed a lot of signing loudly and outright merriment if we were invited into the white big tent. They had grown away from us.

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Passage 1

Part 1

Phelindaba is where I grew up. Things have changed in that Township. When I was growing up, children played outside in the dusty streets. The boys pushed bricks pretending that they were toys – Putco Buses, Jeeps and Porsches. They reserved their most priced praised toys to their solitude play or with best friends. Presently I an’t speak for the dolls. And when it rained, the rain frustrated us the little ones. Great was our happiness when it subsided. We would trot outside, each taking a lungful of the light breeze that the rain always leaves behind when it has drizzled or showered, and wobbled onward to our tiny childish gatherings. Out of mud the boys fashioned figurines or build tiny houses. And when a chance presented itself we played house with the girls. Playing house, as wives or sisters or children, the girls baked cakes, pies and breads out of mud. And us boys became children, brothers and husbands. Fixed cars, cut the lawn and smoke smokeless cigarettes.

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when I first beheld you esse’ I was a loxion native

searching for beads through your tributaries

to decorate my mahogany-ness

the shackles of apartness had fell

You were far ahead with people of all hues caressing your anatomy

they have converged within your bosom O’ isle of sunny’ O side


u r indwellers gesticulations & apparel shimmer

at midday saturday  to saturday

and their varied voices & tongues buzz like swarming bees

hallowing u r uniqueness.


asserted those wealthy with sensibilities &

jovial temperaments

& by this knitting neatly your busy veins

jeppe hamilton troye and celliers and leyds bourke

consorted they are by your heart muscle mall sunnypark

within the confines of which the famous shoe shop

for the phelendabens & mamelodians, sosha’s, gara-gara’s & the everyoneans

is nestled

where clothing, music, jewelry and convenient stores gasp & gag & gape

with the in-go-flow and out-go-flow of your pips after you have relished the juices thereof

while the transmitting four wheel machines whoosh and screech  ‘round the muscle

the heart muscle

while jeppe crosses your breast bone en route to the movie joint

& the scent of travera market, mag at the corner jep’

kwazi’s opposite pharmavelue not so far from ok

like that of the laboring stomach preceeded by intestines workings

transmutate thoughts to the shadow that reflects the status quo

of our metropolis.

oh esse

within my recollections you are embossed

& i rejoice in you potential – full stop.