Tatamkhulu Afrika, Johann Nestroy, Friedrich Schlögl

De Zuid-Afrikaanse dichter en schrijver Tatamkhulu Afrika werd geboren op 7 december 1920 in Egypte. Zie ook alle tags voor Tatamkhulu Afrika op dit blog.

 

The knifing

Black workers pass
me carrying their tools.
I call to them for help:
the stone
masks of their faces turn
aside,
do not look my way again.
He flails the blade
across the top of my skull
(does he see it as a fruit,
splittable, spewing seed?),
slashes, then,
the tender guardians of my wrists,
drives the knife-point in
below my left side’s bottom rib,
and runs.
I leave a spoor
like a wounded beast’s,
make it to the little Indian shop
that sells boiled eggs with mayonnaise,
sway,
falling about in my own blood,
eyes shouting “Help!”
They carry me to the ambulance.
The clouds sweep
me with their sad sides:
yet I hear someone speak
of the bright day
and what a shame it is that this should be done
to anyone on such a day.
A face stares
at me through the wire-mesh
of a police van.
It is his; he sees
my wretched body pass,
blood leaking at every seam:
blood that is also on his hands;
turns away, then with a suddenness that says
more than any tongue,
burrows his face into his hands.
What does he see?
They stitch and stitch,
let my head hang down
when the lights go round and I feel
sense slipping from me like a skin,
and I am the unadorned
genitals of my need.
She screams and screams,
like a cat on heat,
like a little girl drumming her heels.
But she is seventeen:
he beat her until she was all
broken up inside.
I stare at the fluorescent tube;
it shrinks
to a filament of fire in my brain.
Blood still sees
from the black Khayelitsha youth’s
panga-riven-skull;
black bruises prowl
over the old man opposite’s
white-as-his-sheet-skin.
Only I do not sleep.
Time is a pendulum that swings
unlinked to any clock:
only the black window’s scowling back
tell of night; pain writhes
through me like an eel.
I watch the glucose drip,
drop by dizzying drop,
into my veins, wake
to sunlight on the walls,
starlings flirting past the glass,
Khayelitsha mopping blood from his neck,
grinning, saying
I can borrow his pee-bottle if I want.
I sag on the bed,
glucose mellow-honey in my veins,
small pulse of reluctant life
kick-starting way back.
Khayelitsha takes my hand,
hopes I’ll soon be well;
goes out then,
moving slowly amongst the slow-
moving coterie of his friends.
Desultory Xhosa clicks
snap like trodden sticks,
fade down
an inner tribal trial.
I face him then:
his neck nuzzling my palm.
His face still hidden in his hands.
What does he see?
I think to set him free.
How shall he be free?
Or I?
Testicle to testicle, we are trussed
by the winding round
us, rambling plastic coils.
Roaring down each other’s throats,
bellowing of our need,
we are skewered on the sharp
white lightning of his blade.

 

Tatamkhulu Afrika (7 december 1920 – 23 december 2002)

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Gabriel Marcel, Noam Chomsky, Willa Cather, Samuel Gottlieb Bürde

De Franse filosoof en toneelauteur Gabriel Marcel werd geboren op 7 december 1889 in Parijs. Zie ook alle tags voor Gabriel Marcel op dit blog.

 

Uit: Awakenings (Vertaald door Peter S. Rogers)

„This summer day of 1899 was a terrible date in the life of a child, asI learned that we were going to leave Stockholm and return to Paris.How can I ever forget the heavy heart with which I received thisnews? As my father suffered somewhat from the Swedish climate anddidn’t much care for the worldly and formal aspects of diplomaticlife, he was going to switch positions with a senior member of theCouncil of State, Monsieur Catusse. This meant first of all that Icould no longer hope to spend vacation in Finland or in Norway.What may seem peculiar is that nothing, or almost nothing, attracted me in the Paris where we were to settle definitively. I also felt that ourreturn would be, sooner or later, followed by my entrance into thelycée, something I vaguely feared since, until then, I had been educated at home. I can’t recall whether it was immediately before orafter our stay in Stockholm that, for some months, I attended classesat Rue Royale where my fellow students were mainly young girls.

What had I most appreciated in the Swedish capital? Without hesitation I would say the landscapes. I remember a discussion with myfather on the topic during a boat ride on the Saltsjön. He was essentially a man of the Midi, the French South, and this somewhat uniform and sad nature bored him. Yet there was something in it thatexalted me. But what words could I use to translate that emotion?

I must have expressed myself rather awkwardly. But when I thinkabout what I had lived during that year in Stockholm, I see this: itwas as though I had been removed from the humdrum life I was to suffer from so much later on, by the fact of being far away, and onthe edge of countries that were still farther away and which attracted me.“

 

Gabriel Marcel (7 december 1889 – 8 oktober 1973)

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