Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Ninth Floor

Enlarge poem

she ran across the parquet slipped the flokati mat
crashed the window

no

she stood at the window prism looked up at sky bruise night
spread her

no

she tilted dived swanning spinning
tip-toed ink air broke fingers first

no

she climbed the small gap the window gave
hung her finger joints clotted the view with frightened breath
fell ligament torn and sorry

no

she wandered to the glass hatch to watch tranquilised lights sputtering
leaned too hard fell faster than a bottle of Jack

no

this is how it was:

drunk screaming she crashed the parquet with grief
roared the ungiving window frames which gave

she spangled spaghetti-like ribbon-voiced
street lights crashed on her

no.

She did nothing.

Karin Schimke

Featured Poem:

Sham-shack

Enlarge poem

you
mr politician
you
with your gaping heart
your spiked wrists
call your driver
tell him to fetch
you
with his car-black-as-evil,
his full-combat sunglasses.
let him drive these pot-holed
snakes-you-call-roads
with their gangster traps
and child-swallowing corners
let him rescue you from
this folly and open the door
to your comfort. Get in,
mr politician, drive back
to your double-story ignorance
away from your puerile gesture
of a night in a shack. Go and
entertain your busy busy
business suits, ties, cracked-laughter
homeboys, ex-prisoner cronies
couldn’t-give-a-shit-about-tik,
those armoured takers and
baksheesh people-leavers. Go,
mr politician-fat-wank-
I’ll-sleep-in-a-shack-for-a-night
sanctimonious money magician.
Take your sound bite and fuck
Right off to your underfloor heating,
your rys-vleis-en-aartappels. Get out
of the way of the women,
the givers-without-end,
the feeders and shit-cleaners,
the find-a-blankets and soup-kitchen-on-R10-aunties,
whose hearts don’t bleed, but whose feet do, whose
fingernails are ragged with empathy. Let them
get on with what they do daily without your
help, or thanks, without rest, or caption or column inches,
without the cold-slapping, arsehole-cramping arrogance
of your one-man-show-‘em-I-care-bullshit.

Karin Schimke

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  • Sadness (1)
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Biography

Karin Schimke is a widely published journalist and columnist, and the Cape Times books editor. She also works as a writing tutor and mentor, an author of non-fiction – including the best-selling Fabulously Forty and Beyond, co-written with Margie Orford – of children’s books and of short stories. She edited Open, an anthology of erotic short stories written by some of South Africa’s best known women writers. Her poetry has appeared in South Africa Writing, New Contrast, New Coin and Carapace magazines. Bare & Breaking her first collection of poems won the Ingrid Jonker Prize in 2014.

Karin Schimke

Karin Schimke
Karin Schimke

Biography

Karin Schimke is a widely published journalist and columnist, and the Cape Times books editor. She also works as a writing tutor and mentor, an author of non-fiction – including the best-selling Fabulously Forty and Beyond, co-written with Margie Orford – of children’s books and of short stories. She edited Open, an anthology of erotic short stories written by some of South Africa’s best known women writers. Her poetry has appeared in South Africa Writing, New Contrast, New Coin and Carapace magazines. Bare & Breaking her first collection of poems won the Ingrid Jonker Prize in 2014.

Ninth Floor

Enlarge poem

she ran across the parquet slipped the flokati mat
crashed the window

no

she stood at the window prism looked up at sky bruise night
spread her

no

she tilted dived swanning spinning
tip-toed ink air broke fingers first

no

she climbed the small gap the window gave
hung her finger joints clotted the view with frightened breath
fell ligament torn and sorry

no

she wandered to the glass hatch to watch tranquilised lights sputtering
leaned too hard fell faster than a bottle of Jack

no

this is how it was:

drunk screaming she crashed the parquet with grief
roared the ungiving window frames which gave

she spangled spaghetti-like ribbon-voiced
street lights crashed on her

no.

She did nothing.

Featured Poem:

Sham-shack

Enlarge poem

you
mr politician
you
with your gaping heart
your spiked wrists
call your driver
tell him to fetch
you
with his car-black-as-evil,
his full-combat sunglasses.
let him drive these pot-holed
snakes-you-call-roads
with their gangster traps
and child-swallowing corners
let him rescue you from
this folly and open the door
to your comfort. Get in,
mr politician, drive back
to your double-story ignorance
away from your puerile gesture
of a night in a shack. Go and
entertain your busy busy
business suits, ties, cracked-laughter
homeboys, ex-prisoner cronies
couldn’t-give-a-shit-about-tik,
those armoured takers and
baksheesh people-leavers. Go,
mr politician-fat-wank-
I’ll-sleep-in-a-shack-for-a-night
sanctimonious money magician.
Take your sound bite and fuck
Right off to your underfloor heating,
your rys-vleis-en-aartappels. Get out
of the way of the women,
the givers-without-end,
the feeders and shit-cleaners,
the find-a-blankets and soup-kitchen-on-R10-aunties,
whose hearts don’t bleed, but whose feet do, whose
fingernails are ragged with empathy. Let them
get on with what they do daily without your
help, or thanks, without rest, or caption or column inches,
without the cold-slapping, arsehole-cramping arrogance
of your one-man-show-‘em-I-care-bullshit.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (2)
  • Jubilation (0)

Ninth Floor

Enlarge poem

she ran across the parquet slipped the flokati mat
crashed the window

no

she stood at the window prism looked up at sky bruise night
spread her

no

she tilted dived swanning spinning
tip-toed ink air broke fingers first

no

she climbed the small gap the window gave
hung her finger joints clotted the view with frightened breath
fell ligament torn and sorry

no

she wandered to the glass hatch to watch tranquilised lights sputtering
leaned too hard fell faster than a bottle of Jack

no

this is how it was:

drunk screaming she crashed the parquet with grief
roared the ungiving window frames which gave

she spangled spaghetti-like ribbon-voiced
street lights crashed on her

no.

She did nothing.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.