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Topics - Mark T

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Review My Poetry / Uncertain
« on: July 03, 2018, 06:27:37 PM »

If I had super powers
I'd hitch a ride
on the wing of a jet,
go see what is what
with Rin Tin Tin.

Review My Poetry / Amplification
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:16:31 PM »

Does dust muffle the echoes
abandoned in silent hallways?

Review My Poetry / waxsome is new
« on: December 28, 2017, 04:45:04 AM »

summer snap

salt sidewalks fried as holiday am/pm
time stepping in sideways slices towards
the warm-blue saturday suburban throb
of fresh-cut petrol grass & cold beer on a tray -
               - a waxsome moon drip-cools a blackened beach
                 slick as star-shells pinned on freighter horizons
                 cascading foam lines of hiss-kiss fretwork neon
                 behind breezes thick and forward through the air

Review My Poetry / Original revision
« on: December 12, 2017, 04:45:15 PM »

I stop to watch them fall,
those swaying skirts of rain
swept overboard from dirty clouds
patrolling across my god-green valley.

I hunker down surrounded by colour; fynbos,
proteas, ericas, heathers, tussocks of helicrysum,
as a wet grey blur spitfires needles along the ridge. 
Stoic, I absorb the squall, edged with a bitter winter.

It passes as a halo. I stand, cut flowers in hand,
a fleeting double rainbow coalescent in the air
and reflect how near this time last year
we thought she had the flu.

Review My Poetry / Flux
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:29:04 PM »

A different sun was my grindstone
of days. I remember a drunkard
raving at the skies, mad-eyed.
I chose a forest road to escape
black-frost lakes, rusted gates
and petals I’d pressed in haste.
A blood moon rose in the dust
behind me, swirled with furies
in eerie pursuit of recognition.   

Her lonely house stands askew
with neglect and derelict light
webbed in threads of poverty.
Her tarot eyes linger on my
heartbeat, fingertips on lips.
Outside, a cold star inhales.

Review My Poetry / Betrayal
« on: November 23, 2017, 03:58:23 PM »

When you were finished
swallowing a thousand meals
of truth and speaking in placebo lies
from behind the opaque mirrors
of standardized eyes –
then every pore slammed shut
on the love so artfully spread
on velvet plains and valleys.

Amidst chattels and crumbs
measured in tired numbers
and stale-cliché cliches
toxic lumps of razor pain
mock from yellow corners
of twilight in your rooms.

Review My Poetry / hamba kahle
« on: November 20, 2017, 05:24:33 PM »

Sizwe is dead.
He didn’t show up on time
and then his brother phoned.

I rolled a cigarette
and wondered about his death.
Strangeness of life.
The stuff we were to do today
I left undone.

In the evening
I drive into the township,
go pay my respects in cash.

The Gallery / Catty Chaos
« on: November 07, 2017, 04:41:00 PM »

I have a secret life. Oh, it’s no big deal, just some moonlighting now and again. But it has to come to an end today.

My name is Rebecca. I’m a former police officer. Last year, I injured my back rescuing a fat woman from a fire. All because she kept looking for her stupid cat while her house went up in flames. It was really the woman that was stupid because any cat would have been gone at the first hint of fire. But what could you expect from someone who put catnip into candles and lit them on the cat’s birthday.

As the responding police unit at the scene of the fire, my partner Dave and I were waiting for the fire engine and using the loudspeaker:
   “Occupant, please exit the building. You may be in danger,” he boomed.
    I grabbed the handset. “Get out, stupid! Your house is on fire!”
But she ignored us and continued searching for her cat. The police radio announced with a crackle that the fire engine had gone off the road en-route and was stuck halfway down the embankment above the river. The driver ― yet another cat-lover apparently ― had swerved to avoid some crazy cat.
   We bravely ran into the burning house to persuade the overfed cat-fanatic to leave before the place collapsed. She resisted so I zapped her with the Taser and down she went, a slight mistake, because now she was just a deadweight, although more weighty than dead.
     Dead, we could’ve left her behind but instead we dragged the twitching body out of there on a smouldering carpet. Both the cat and the carpet were Persian but I didn’t care because I was suddenly in searing agony from straining to haul the fat woman.
Dave handcuffed the woman to a mailbox and ripped my uniform open to give me CPR, claiming later he thought it was a heart attack. After slobbering on my mouth and kneading my boobs, I had to stop him with a punch to the groin.
Fifteen blocks away, the firemen had uselessly tried to lure a singed Persian cat out of a tree. Then a tow-truck arrived and attempted to pull the fire engine up the hill so they could resume their emergency trip. It was a big tow-truck but the fire engine pulled it down the hill anyways, after the hand-brake failed. Away it went, accelerating backwards, and knocking over the tree with the cat in it. The tree fell on the tow-truck driver as he jumped clear, the cat landing claws first on his head.
   The fire engine was left balancing above the river. Then the tow truck came down the hill and bumped into the fire engine, from where it rolled into the river and half-sank.
     At the house, the firemen finally arrived with another firetruck but the building had burned down, leaving them to deal with a handcuffed fat woman screaming for her cat and a topless police officer sprawled and moaning on a smoking rug.

I was on medical leave for months after the Great Fire Fiasco, thanks to my injured back. Perhaps I misled the orthopaedic specialist and the physiotherapist a little but what the hell, I deserved a good vacation, especially as my back soon got better on its own thanks to gardening, lifting weights and jogging on the treadmill in my home gym.
   Despite looking fit, healthy and tanned, the next thing I knew, I received a medical retirement with full benefits and 80% of my salary as a monthly disability pension along with a hefty lump sum. It was like winning the lottery. My colleagues threw a big farewell party down at the station and seemed really happy for me.

My secret life began a year later. I was bored, bored, bored. To keep my disability benefits, I had to lead a sedentary life in public. One day I saw an advertisement online for a Clown Package Deal. What the hell was that?
     A phone call later it was a complete clown business for sale; including a clown car, crazy outfits, magic tricks, wild props, and so on. I realized this was perfect ― I could hire myself out for kiddie parties and do pratfalls and tumbles in clown makeup and nobody would ever know my identity! Sight unseen, I bought the clown package there and then and Bruno ― the seller― arranged to ship everything to me by rail, to the next town, where I planned to base myself as a secret clown. I was going to have fun and make money!
At the railway station, I got out of a taxi and found my goods. The clown car had no roof and was ridiculously tiny; I thought Bruno must be a midget, a small one. The crate of accessories was much bigger than the car. An unexpected problem as the lock-up garage I’d hired for my secret clown HQ was on the other side of town. How the hell was I going to get it all there?
     Luckily, a beery group of men emerged from the station’s bar to help. Joking happily, they wrestled and heaved the giant box onto the top of the little car and tied it down. Then we discovered I couldn’t get in. Grumbling, they pulled the box off and I got in and they put it back on again.
     It was very cramped under the crate and now the car wouldn’t move because the weight of the box had pressed the body against the wheels. I was stuck in the car and the car was stuck. The men began swearing and drifting off for more beer but one clever fellow called Jack returned with a forklift he’d found and picked me up in the car with the crate on top and off we went.
     Eventually we made it to Clown HQ, picking up a police escort along the way. I used the makeup kit in my handbag to apply a clown face so they couldn’t recognize me. Jack and the cops unloaded the box so I could get out. After the cops left, Jack suddenly became amorous in the garage while I was bending over the crate. I had to hit him twice with a giant clown shoe before he cooled his jets and limped away.
     Excitedly, I put on a clown outfit and took the little car for a test drive. People waved and smiled until I pressed a big red button on the dash and sizzling fireworks began shooting off big explosions in all directions. Pedestrians ran for cover and I heard the serial crunching of a multiple pile-up behind me. Well, it wasn’t my fault that Bruno hadn’t included an instruction manual, so I zoomed away.
   At home the following day, I began practicing my clown routines and slapping on the clown makeup. My husband unexpectedly came home during his lunch-hour and I quickly put a paper bag over my head, sulkily pretending I was depressed about turning thirty, until he left again.

The following week everything was ready, including the advertising flyers. Soon, there was a phone call; but that booking turned out to be a misunderstanding. After my late arrival in the clown car at a rowdy bachelorette party, the guests somehow thought I was Bruno the male midget clown-stripper. I tried to explain as the drunk women angrily yanked and smacked at me until they discovered my breasts and then started hurling cake, snacks and insults at me. I ducked as a snarling blonde Amazon took a baseball swing at me with a massive purple dildo that launched a little old lady off her feet instead. I kicked the giantess and lost a clown boot before making a getaway in the Clownmobile using the fireworks as a smokescreen as they all started fighting with each other like crazy monkeys running amok in a shooter bar.       

A new batch of (edited) flyers went out. Another booking came in and it was definitely a children’s party this time. To add a twist to the forthcoming show I gave a boy who was going to be at the party ten bucks to pretend to be afraid of clowns.
     Immediately upon my arrival at the party, I began chasing this kid around and terrorizing him with my evil clown face and a pair of gnarly hedge-clippers dripping with tomato sauce. The kid put on a good act, crying and screeching and even wetting his pants.
     “HELP ME! MOMMEEEE!” he kept screaming, which wasn’t part of the script.
     His interfering mother became hysterical but I calmed her into unconsciousness with a choke-hold. One of the dads tried grabbing me and I responded in self-defense, hitting him in the nuts with a giant plastic hammer as he curled up on the ground. Things were getting out of hand, and worsened when the kid wouldn’t drop the act. Then I realized it wasn’t really the same boy and this one might have coulrophobia, the irrational fear of clowns. 
I didn’t know this condition could be contagious but apparently it is ― now all the other kids were also screaming in terror every time I moved. I decided to leave because all these bad parents had such unstable children, but not without the rest of my fee!
The parents must have really liked the show because they all lined up and gave me so much extra cash and valuable souvenirs that I had to tuck the hedge-clippers under my arm to fit everything in my big funny hat.
     I quickly left in the Clownmobile before they changed their minds. At the corner, the driver of a  Mercedes somehow banged into my car but I generously let him go with a warning as he was a child psychologist on a call-out.

Well, that’s the tale of my secret life as a clown, up until yesterday. Now I’m fed up with the clown business and have decided to get rid of everything and go back to gardening. There was also an article in the local paper this morning about some psychopathic clown committing armed robbery and I can’t afford to be associated with people like that. Not as an ex-police officer with a disability pension.

Suddenly, the secret cellphone I am using for the clown business rings. I’m shocked to see on the screen that it is Mitch, the commander down at the police station, and frantically search for something to disguise my voice. All I can find are a couple of mini-tampons in my handbag and I shove them into my nostrils. Ow.
     “Bruno the clown?”
I listen to the commander. It is awful, tragic news. It makes my eyes water or perhaps that is the tampons. Mitch says that a piano from the music school upstairs fell out of a faulty window, landing on a sergeant. The medics say it is hopeless, once the piano is lifted off him the sergeant will die. Meanwhile, he is conscious and taking whisky for the pain. According to Mitch, the sergeant is an orphan who grew up in a circus and his dying wish, before they take the piano away for repairs, is to see a clown again.
     “Bruno the clown, can you please come down to the station right away?” 
     “Let me dink about id,” I reply.
I think about it. If I go down to the station there is a good chance someone will recognize my voice unless I leave the tampons stuck up my nose. But I can’t do that. Or can I? No, I can’t. I could take the helium canister for the balloons along and breathe that to make my voice squeaky ― but what if it runs out before someone comes to take the piano away? I could claim another appointment but it might seem rude to leave before he dies.
So it will be a big risk to go there. On the other hand, this is a dying policeman’s last request. I really don’t know what to do. Ignore or go? Then I make my decision.
     As always, I will do the right thing.

Review My Poetry / meme
« on: October 30, 2017, 05:17:36 PM »

troubadour liar, for falling of the flaws
and laws flailing the failing of feelings
feeding the folding fortunes of beings
fleeing in ruins, on fire from the moons

a lot of ings, I know

Review My Poetry / Harvest
« on: October 14, 2017, 02:23:18 PM »

I cannot see
what the mad painter
saw in those wheatfields
in another place, another season.

Here it’s just stubble as the wheat 
falls to another shimmering summer.

And, the sheep have lambed. Crows
on barbed wire await their road-kill.

The tar ribbon unspools, as the sun
flattens the hills in folds of afternoon.

A slice of sea in West Coast blue,
and surf-white houses up ahead.

I travel this road a lot. Once, I walked
all the way home from some other place. 



Review My Poetry / Dave
« on: October 09, 2017, 04:33:00 PM »

A tribute from the NaPo files.


It's Saturday morning.
I'm walking through crowds to the market,
fruit and vegetables, perhaps sausage and beer too.
Sometimes my bones feel that patina of another decade added
in a half-step too low for the familiar stairs. It doesn't worry me,
this exchange of life for time and the entropy of unwinding days.

My trudging feet are winter-pale, daring in old leather sandals
at the first hints of summer that unfolded in the city today.
The street scene is lively, for a moment I wonder about
the population of my neighbourhood, it seems more polyglot
than usual and my imagination rotates, hesitating between gears.
I shrug and keep moving, a burly fish patrolling the canyons of his reef.

At home, in my apartment, I have student books to review. Today,
I'll set out my work on the dining-room table, the light there is good
and the silent study can enjoy its weekend illusions. Later,
she'll come through the doorway, her presence familiar, welcome,
a home within a home. In between our companionable silences,
in the interaction of inconsequential things, we weave unconsciously
upon the fabric of marriage, friendship and yes, the love word too.     

Review My Poetry / Stages
« on: September 18, 2017, 04:32:50 PM »

as surreal as it seems, this is the safe part
of the netherworld; this whole shaky world
is a patched facsimile of mass memories
downloaded and broadcast organically             

a million dead on the internet
but the pain in his fingertip
is worse than genocide
for his uneasiness

he feels no nostalgia these days
for the dazed nights of insomnia
waiting for the haze of daylight
and the tight ways of paranoia
a red cocking knock on the door -
it’s her from the floor above,
her whore’s minutes offer
more than sucking love

she counts money inside her head
and worries about the swarms
of bacteria alive in her eyes,
staining her neon vision

ice-cream man needs food
she thinks, within her aura
of last night’s rubbery pricks
and pheromone tobacco sweat

the elevator cube smells of fire
like black rope across an alley maw,
the mouth of the machine grins sinew
and descends into bone circles of silence       

words on glass, a clash and clatter
steaming between levitating plates,
the globular walls stream acid yellow
eggs and the heads of laughing pigs

the ice-cream man doesn’t know he’s dead,
and the whore thinks of somehow escaping
goatish men, her tortures and the brain wires
But all the edges here are pinned until tomorrow. 

The Gallery / Turnabout party
« on: September 16, 2017, 03:25:54 PM »

There I was, a hairy-legged fellow,
in a yellow mini, high-heel boots
slutty makeup & blow-up boobs.
My ass had a wiggle,
my chest had a jiggle,
my voice had a titter
my wig had some glitter.
It felt just fine to cross the line,
to be a transvestite in the night
with a breeze between my knees,
so I cracked a beer and tried a sneer.
Lucky for me, you see, I had this buddy,
also dressed up as a tart that could spit and fart;
outside for a little smoke, we thought it was all a silly joke.
Some dudes in a bus slowed down for a suss, we lifted up our hems
and showed them the gems – they swerved in horror and sped away again.
Back inside the bar, where the fake men had real tits and socks for cocks
and boot-polish faces with fat cigars, things were going a little too far -
a drunken lumberjack on stilts with a short kilt and a bad back
caused a bizarre disaster that cracked the wall’s plaster
with a wire thong, a gold Zippo and a giant rubber dong.
I was too dizzy to think, my pink drink was too fizzy,
all this mixed-up X and Y made me try to flirt
with an arm-wrestling lesbian in a skirt.
I couldn’t stay, I had to get away,
so I jumped on my gnarly Harley
and hit the road.
No, I mean I really hit the road -
Shit, I couldn’t stop the paramedics from taking photos.

Review My Poetry / Hoofing the spam
« on: September 11, 2017, 05:28:28 PM »

Sorry - got rid of the Chinese spam by replying (inanely) to everything on the board. Have kept in same order.
Back to sleep, everyone...

Review My Poetry / Four
« on: September 02, 2017, 11:05:28 AM »

Dry reality sauntered in like a tardy waitress
with a menu of black and white memories
curled up and patterned with nostalgia,
awaiting the patina of another year.
I saw all the colours of light
suspended in a water droplet
poised on the edge of a petal
tucked into your river-wet hair.

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