matt's poetry pocketbook:
poems and poets

Bedreiging van die Siekes

Breyten Bretyenbach

                                                                  (vir B. Breytenbach)

Dames en Here, vergun my om u voor te stel aan Breyten
                    Breytenbach,
die maer man met die groen trui; hy is vroom
en stut en hamer sy langwerpige kop ombir u
'n gedig te fabriseer                 soos byvoorbeeld:

ek is bang om my oë toe te maak
ek wil nie die donker leef en sien wat aangaan nie
die hospitale van Parys is stampvol bleek mense
wat voor die vensters staan en dreigend beduie
soos die engele in die oond
dit reën die strate afgeslag en glyerig

my oë is gestysel
hulle/julle sal my op so 'n nat dag begrawe
as die sooie rou swart vleis is
en die blare en oorryp blomme gekleur en gekleur en geknak is van nat
voordat die lig hulle kan knaag,            die lug sweet wit bloed
maar ek sal weier om my oë in te hok

pluk my benerrige vlerke af
die mond is té geheim om pyn nie te voel nie
trek stewels aan vir my begrafnis sodat ek die modder
aan julle voete kan soen
die spreeus kantel hul gladde lekkende koppe, swart bloeisels
die groen bome is prewelende monnike

plant my op 'n heuwel naby 'n damn onder leeubekkies
laat die sluwe bitter eende op my graf kak
in die reën
die siele van krangksinnige maar geslepe vrouens vaar in katte in
vrese vrese vrese met deurweekte kleurlose koppe
en ek sal weier om my swart tong te troos (kalmeer)

Kyk hy is skadeloos, wees horn tog genadig.

Threat of the Sick

                                                                  (vir B. Breytenbach)

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Breyten
                    Breytenbach,
the lean man in the green sweater; he is devout
and braces and hammers his oblong head
to fabricate a peom for you                 for example:

I am scared to close my eyes
I don't want to live in the dark and see what goes on
the hospitals of Paris are crammed with pasty people
standing at the windows making threatening gestures
like angels in the furnace
it's raining the streets flayed and slippery

my eyes are starched
on a wet day like this they/you will bury me
when the sods are raw black flesh
the leaves and jaded flowers snapped and stained with wetness
before the light can gnaw at them,            the sky sweats white blood
but I will refuse to coop up my eyes

pluck my bony wings
the mouth is too secretive not to feel pain
wear boots to my funeral so I can hear the mud
kissing your feet
like black blossoms the starlings titl their smooth leaking heads
the green trees are monks, muttering

plant me on a hill near a pond under snapdragons
let the furtive bitter ducks crap on my grave
in the rain
cats are possessed by the souls of crazed yet cunning women
fears fears fears with drenched colourless heads
and I will refuse to comfort (soothe) my black tongue

Look he is harmless, have mercy on him