To fish out a bad memory.
Feel your heart’s song,
and measure six beats.
Luring it out;
clapping your hands along.
There’s no right or wrong.
Just a silly song…
…conducted by your soul and flesh;
a fish for the slaughter: fresh.
Grasp at the thought from your gizzards,
and gut yourself like that salted sardine;
pulling the tendrils of pain out.
As you lie there raw, but clean.
Then after eighteen,
if you’re not back on your feet:
clap your hands six times,
rinse, and repeat.
Glossary: Hex is an interesting word. From the Germanic it means an evil spell: to put a hex someone, to hex someone. From the German ‘hexe’ meaning witch. In Greek the word means six, as in hexagon. Apart from where they meet in English, the two words don’t really share a common history. The notion of six being an ‘evil’ number seems to be a coincidence too, finding it’s meaning in the ancient Hebrew numbering divination system known as Gematria. A spell such as this relies a lot on what is referred to as sympathetic magic: represent the evil as you understand it, to drive it out.
Charl Landsberg is a South African poet, artist, and musician whose work often focuses on LGBTQIA+ issues, feminism, anti-racism, etc. Their work often looks at fantasy, myth, science fiction, and often a bit of the weird history of the world. They studied theology at UKZN and did their masters in the Bible, Feminism, and HIV.