Anger is something you can hold in your hand.
In the mornings, when you’re asleep and you lean towards me with your bottom lip puckered, I grip the edge of the sheet and my knuckles go white. My knuckles are bony and, in between them and the thinning, stained fabric of the sheet, is my anger.
You have a line in the middle of your forehead which squashes up a little when you dream. You have a habit of reaching out in the night. You have small hands and wrists, but they’re terribly strong.
I don’t mind until, one day…
When I count
teaspoons of sugar into coffee, tea and other things
which stain your teeth,
I always add three.
You have surprisingly strong ankles and
in the knowledge that no-one will ever be my friend.
When I pour milk, I think
about how you hate cream.
When I put my socks on, I think about
how I hate myself
how you look at me
as if I am less than human, when
I look at you and don’t want to admit I am scared.
People are made to hurt people, and
daily, we refute our natures.
[are you out there are you listening can you hear me in this very quiet roaring that is probably only inside my ears do you read me on this radio, like the ones they find in horror movies, where you speak into a keyboard and you write your message for piano keys but the gist of what you’re saying is the same please can you help]
Me? I don’t know the address because I’m in the woods but there’s snow on the left sides of the branches and I think there’s someone crazy with an axe—
[behind me please…
When I look at power lines, I think of platitudes—not because of the crackle and snap of electricity, but because of how they sag. It’s awfully sad but it’s not as if we could get rid of them, could we?
Imagine abolishing trite statements and switching our computers off at the same time. Would we mind, at all? Sometimes I believe that only people who would die without trite things to say need computers to let their brains talk.
I’m looking up at the ceiling and somehow I don’t seem to get all the way there and my eyes are…
Jacques is a pretty normal guy. He’s 5'8" with brown hair and blue eyes, lives just in between the suburbs and the city and enjoys driving. He doesn’t always aim for a place to go: he just settles his average-sized butt into the slightly scratchy seat of his 2006 Toyota RunX and goes as far as he can. Oil prices have climbed since he set this habit (he’s been driving back and forth like this since 2005) and he doesn’t always go as far as he used to.
His problem isn’t really money (Jacques has more than enough) but an…
The way people look when their shoulders shake is the same way animals seem to feel when you try to feed them and all they want to do is puke.
Like baby birds dying.
Like half a plate of baked beans on a place for one at an old man’s table — the residue of having lived with death for years longer than is strictly necessary and not having acquiesced.
The animals acquiesce. They simply lie down to die.
We burst into tears and take another handful of vitamins, eat the moldy bread left in the kitchen cabinet after whoever…
I think that everyone should look at our city. I know that you do, often — you look at fabulous pictures of the Johannesburg skyline and the Radisson and the Michelangelo advertise on the internet and a lot of people have been to Sandton City.
We’ve built a new Johannesburg, and it’s a good place — a very strong place — and we’re proud of it, and we’ve made good money.
We have also started telling people who don’t live here that Joburg is a very large place and has some very different parts, and it’s very important to look…
I think of you when I change things.
Having changed something recently, I feel the signs. I’m forced to drive slightly different routes to different places at different times, and people in cars I’m not used to seeing look like you. I watch them a little too closely, because I’m terrified, and everyone in them looks like you.
I’m so frightened that I make myself more frightened, thinking about what would happen if I actually saw you in traffic and lost control of my face, my life, my voice, my mind, my car — myself, in that order.
I just want to matter.
So many say similar things.
I just want to be more than I am now.
It’s a horrible feeling, when you’re not sure that you matter at all — exponential growth on a zero cannot help anyone and zeros are all we make, here in the city when everyone we care about lives in the suburbs 10,000 miles away.
I just want to make an impact.
I made an impact when I let all of my formidable cleverness out in one go and won prizes and impressed little people and became so incredibly popular among…
Today, let’s ponder the origins of the savant. Let’s think about how it became a ‘thing’ for clever people to be crazy, and how I will never be considered ‘normal,’ and how you will always want me to be more and less than I am.
I don’t mean that anyone discriminates against me because I have funny ears or big feet. I mean the way you people look at me like I’m some kind of mutation because I know things without learning them.
I mean the way you splutter into the word ‘intelligent,’ emphasizing it until it turns purple in…