11 Jul

I know

pen

I know you’re going to want to see this letter
Wishing for comfort
Feeling misunderstood
Feeling confused because they said they love you
Feeling used
Feeling like you have everything to say
but no one has asked you,
Or you’ve run out of people to tell,
Or people to call,
Or people to take calls from…

I know you’re going to come out of this
And go into it again
And ask yourself
If you are,
And who you are,
And how you came to be
And what it all means…

I know it feels like
They all eventually leave
(Keep a door open)
I know you have to get up
And sit down without
Witnesses and enquiry

I know you look for affection
I know it feels unfair

I know you’re looking for this letter

Well then write to yourself
Write for yourself
And find out you’re enough just the way you are
And soon,
To your pain,
They’ll come back,
And you’ll wonder why they do this all the time

You stay
Let them be as they may.

I know what you want to hear
You go too long a time without the words
You go too long a time not saying them
(Who would you say them to? Would they be worth the yolk?)
I know you wish the one phone call
Would come and never cease coming

I know

And while its not, and the hours go by
And so does your life
And you ask yourself your value and your position
And your relevance and your worth
And a new haircut and polished shoes
And a new week by the sound of the alarm
But the words or the phone call
Or the misery or the doubt
Or the consequent self-loathing that go along with it

I know.

There are no answers but to answer yourself
I would rather you run without looking back
To a place of fresh start but you’ll always be running
I’d rather you beg but you’ll always be begging
I’d rather you end it all but it will always be over

I know you’re stuck in-between,
in-betwixt,
encrusted and enveloped,
Wrapped tight and chained
And when you say “help” they ask “come again?”

Its funny

But I know if you overcome and survive
You’ll not only live but you’ll know what its like to be alive.

– Thibedi Mokgokong | 2015

03 May

On Booze and Being a Writer

Lord Bryon said that “Man being reasonable must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication”. The regulars at clubs as well as authors seem to concur, so maybe I lost some memo along the way. Literature is peppered with heavy drinkers. From the Fitzgeralds to the quieter, lonelier drinkers like Charles Bukowski, there has always been a need to intoxicate in order to create. Is it because, as Lord Bryon would have us think, that truth and the best is only attainable when drunk? Being uninhibited and less self-critical sounds wonderful to me. Having some grand confidence and believing my laptop will be the birthplace of the next South African novel is not too shabby either. Should I pick out my poison of choice now? Two glasses, please.

So, what is it about the writing community and booze. Having read a few articles on the subject I think I have found the truth. Then again I was perfectly sober when writing this so can I be trusted? Writers write for an invisible audience. We create without really knowing who for, and that makes us anxious. We become self-critical and in questioning our talent, we land up questioning a lot more. We curse the human condition and never believe that anything we write will be good enough for the ghosts. Alcohol is that quick fix, it makes us little arrogant creatures that can scale that wall, hook up with Timothy’s brother or prove that there is no human endeavor we cannot overcome. But, I am not convinced that ghosts are the answer.

Do writers drink because they are so conscious of the human condition that to be away from it, distanced by a foul breath and a hangover makes writing about it easier? Do we have to ‘forget’ in order to write and in that forgetting find ourselves? I recently took a course on writing for children and what took me by surprise the most was the notion that the modern writer is a lawyer, a doctor, a kindergarten teacher with time on her hands. The idea of what ‘a writer’ is is morphing and with it are their drinking habits. I am not suggesting that there are not drunken authors, just that what an author ‘ought’ to be like is changing. Writers can be people who write for 2h a night and then cook and finish their statistics work before bed. Too often do we paint this somewhat glamorized picture in our heads about what it means to be an ‘artist’. We imagine that we, like Hemingway, we must be tortured and drunk in order to write. That the apartment in Paris and the empty gin bottles are welcomed signs of greatness. That in being drunk we are ‘most free’ and what we write will be most fine. I have never written drunk, and there is nothing about the looseness that comes with the state that I enjoy. I am a writer of notebooks, of keeping the margins clean and my water bottle full. Call me prudish but I don’t think that drink is the answer; I think reading is. By reading, we engage with others troubles, their small hopes, and their voice. We can find ourselves in the pages of other books or write ourselves into ones. Drinking may make us more confident, more self-assured but does it make us more talented. I don’t think it does. Confidence should not be in the bottle for if we look hard enough we can find that our confidence is sprinkled across the literature that came before us.

19 Feb

I WANT MY HEART BACK

The day you dumped me, you forgot to give me my heart back, I was not aware that you did that with intentions of breaking me down.

You kept it in your hands and whenever you saw me smiling, heading to my happiness you smashed it bit by bit to an extent that I never felt its beat.

If only I knew that you are so noxious, I wouldn’t have loved you in the first place, you brought nothing but tears on my face.

I had to prove to you that I am a girlfriend material but still it was not enough, you wanted to turn me into those girls who wear make up and expensive weaves, something which I am not.

Here I am, I come to you, please give me my heart back, I really need it, I want to move on, you broke it yes! But someone is willing to mend it.

19 Aug

Blackberryphilia (2010)… pt.3

previously…

Me: Hey
[beep]: (chewing) Hey.
Me: Eh, it’s Coin. I’m so effing stressed. Calisto’s dead, like remember in Jennifer’s Body where Chip said his mum was catatonic like a  zombie-mannequin-robot statue? Like that dead and what’s weird is that when he does come round, this really disturbing icon that’s not even in the manual shows.
[beep]: (chewing) uh…

Effing [beep]! Why’s he always chewing when he’s on the phone? And anyway, doesn’t “catatonic like a zombie mannequin robot statue” kinda sorta explain what’s happened? Argh! What an idiot!

Me: So, like, I was…

I took sip of the screw-driver and explained what happened – well, not exactly what happened, just the parts that [beep] needed to know – he’s the last person that needs to know that I have a mini-meltdown over a dumb-ass smartphone.
Me: What do you think it is? Do I like need a new battery or is it like totally kaput? Which would be like a real disaster because I have work and stuff and  I won’t have time to get a new phone or battery and I’m gonna miss all that stuff that I’m gonna miss.
[beep]: (laughs, almost chokes then continues chewing) FOMO much, Coinizzle? OK? Sounds like you just have to wipe the gold bits on the battery and your phone with one of those cotton buds and Bob’s your uncle.

Me: Are you serious? I hope you’re not like practical-joking me like on Modern Family.

[beep]: Nah, but it usually does the trick.

Me: OK, hold the line.

I hurried to the bathroom and looked in the mirror cabinet for cotton buds. There was one left. I took it out and dismantled Calisto and wiped the metal bits with
the cotton bud and tried switching the phone on.

Holy crap! If this works, I’m giving up alcohol for like two months, starting today.

Me: Well, I just did that and it’s rebooting, all right.

[beep]:(chewing) Sweet

Me: Anyway, while I wait, [beep], why are you always chewing? It’s kinda disturbing and creepy.

[beep]: To keep my blood sugar levels up.

DOH!

Me: Oh…

[beep]:(chewing)

Me: Anyway, looks like it’s working all right. Thanks.

[beep]: Aite, later.

Me: Co-

He hung up! That bum-rush! Can I still call him a bum-rush if he’s got low blood sugar? Anyway, LED light flashing red? I’m gonna need a drink.

– end –