THE BEAUTY OF WAR by Mbongeni Khumalo

Mbongeni Khumalo | May 22nd, 2023 | poetry | No Comments

Poet Bio

(rub-a-dub for lesego rampolokeng)

My poetry my death warrant
Rubber-stamped in the Dutch man’s African koerant
Interrogated on Freedom Day
V-day or D-Day
Each a venereal disease
The self-enslavement of false emancipation
Dripping saliva
Where men in funnel flannel pants spill
Liberation down the drain
And call it a brain gain
Grant me a reprieve
My mission a black child’s dream to retrieve
I’m heading for leadership
To captain the revolution
Charcoal-black steeped in crime
And stained in grime
Sun-tanned in grease and dirt
To service apartheid’s immoral debt
In oversized knee-length shirt
A brotherhood glued together
By sniffing benzene & glue for glucose
Top shayela high class cherry
Not a low-laying fruit
Too high to be trampled by township tramps
Poetry is filth cleaned and celebrated
Savoured in top circles
From cocktail parties
We re-invent the molotov
To Black Power a stuck generation
Written off the syllabus

Growing up
The only white people I saw
Were the ever-intrusive eyes of the law
To this day
My paranoia has me soul-searching myself
For any incriminating piece of evidence
At the sight of a white face
When I riffle through pages on stage
In apparent confusion
It’s the same old irrational fear
Making me want to tear you apart
Just for your love of art
Staffrider marijuana-spooked
Surfing trains without a ticket
To sell scrap metal in West Gate to Miesies
Unkempt hair running up and down escalators
At Carlton Centre
Squeaky-clean white kids shake their heads
And shrug their shoulders
Pointed noses hooked out of shape
In clear contempt
I am the poetry you love
And yet despise without disguise
My dreams are peopled
By ghosts and gun shots born unfree
Pistols pointing at my temples
Pale hairy arms lifting me by my belt
No time for silent prayers
Or to consult soothsayers
Every time I go through scrap metal detectors
Sirens go insane
It’s the metal in my gunshot wounds
Refusing to heal
An overdue death wish
Or an ill will to kill if you be a racist
Each rhyme a self-restraint
Locked deep within my brain
So when I pick the mic the pooh heats
My fan base
My style becomes a craze
It took me years in fact decades
To learn to speak to whites without boiling
Or an inclination to puke
My anger is anthologised in a book

I am the arrogant Guevara
Dignified unkempt
Laying dead in state with open eyes
Vision earnest

No one interrogates me

Poet Bio

Mbongeni Khumalo: Author of poetry collection apocrypha.

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