Tuesday, October 31, 2006


In the beginning of time
There was silence
When thought was original
And the workings of man
Resided in the divinity of the gods

Time ticked
The days crept through the residues of yesterday
And became today
And today thought is recycled
Our words have become imitations of past genius
Mere attempts to carve our place in the memories of our fellow being

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This technologically driven world is filled with possibility and some confusion. The Internet and, by extension, the created ability for all of us to make our thoughts felt has me twisted. Sadly, it is this space that has suffered for that. As a poet and writer seeking to build a career beyond the invisible borders of my current place of residence has me chasing every possibility. This was my first blog. I then created Imperfect Poetry (http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com) where I continue to post my poetry from my daily writing sessions.

In the last two months I have discovered My Space which, from the perspective of getting heard, has come to serve as my main space. www.myspace.com/kojobaffoe. At the same time, a few months ago I started sharing my thoughts (ramblings) with a group of friends via email, which I also post on My Space. Creating and keeping some sort of electronic presence is hard work.

I am making the assumption that there people out there interested in my words and thoughts. Please visit my space and imperfect poetry for regular word. Easy.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


This is all very confusing. I am being consumed by the possibilities the www provides. I am finding myself in so many spaces that I am starting to lose track and it has become a job in itself trying to keep all spaces updated and current. The cliche about 'spreading oneself thin' comes to mind.

The list continues to grow. There are the two artist sites:
www.artistswithoutfrontiers.com (Writer's Section) and
http://othervoicespoetry.org/vol8/baffoe/index.html. My new excitement is that the Other Voices Project is coming out with an anthology and there is possibility of one of my poems being included in this. Also have a poem in the SA anthology Words Gone To Soon, celebrating two young writers who have passed on, Sello Duiker and Phaswane Mpe.

Anyway, I also have this blog and my Imperfect Poetry blog. Finally, I've been sending out Daily Ramblings, my rampant thoughts, out by email to a group of friends. Chaos. Well, a friend recently suggested I look at www.myspace.com as a possible 'venue' for consolidation. Trying it out so check me out on www.myspace.com/kojobaffoe and let me know what you think.

Poetically, things have been up and down but there is progress. In the last two weeks, I was MC/poet at the Joy of Jazz Festival that happens in Johannesburg every year, and performed at Sunday World Women's Celebration (a tabloid newspaper - made it into the paper without traditional 'bite' that seems to come with that privilege) and at a function for Ernst & Young. Flurry of activity I'm hoping will keep going.

The hustle continues.

Easy runnings

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The word

In the middle of a week's madness that, one day, I may look back on with some joy and humour. Last weekend was treacherous but exciting. I MCed at the Joy of Jazz Festival and, despite the cold, the chaos and the long hours, it was an experience I will always remember. Standing on a stage at a concert is totally different from performing as a poet. A poetry audience expects that and, therefore, it is easier to find a connection with that audience. Talking and doing poetry at a jazz festival is before people who seek music. Think it went down well enough. Tomorrow is another crazy day. I perform at a women's celebration for Sunday World and a corporate for Ernst & Young. Really looking forward to it and, hopefully, I will be able to do them justice. Anyway, just wanted to share.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On the edge of something

The days add up. Time keeps ticking. Life happens to us and we happen to life. I find myself setting new goals and finding new dreams but the word continues to flutter in the shadows whispering to me, urging me on. I've been quiet on the poetry front but active poetically. I write nearly every day and dream every night.

I have always felt like I'm on the edge of something. Like all I need is a little push. A little luck even. I have been performing and actively writing for about 7 years now, but never seem to make it beyond a particular point. The last few months have forced me to re-think and re-determine what it is I'm doing. This weekend I perform at the Joy of Jazz Festival which is a level above which I have been operating. I am also performing at an event for Ernst & Young. What excites me about all of these is that I had to write specifically for the events. It is always a creative challenge to write on brief; how does one control and direct creativity? When it actually works, it is a beautiful thing.

I have decided that this is the momentum I need to move things up a notch. I look to the heavens, I believe. In Word We Trust.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Daily Ramblings #8

Balance. So much about life relates to balance. Creating harmony between the different sides of who we are. I am a great believer in the faces we have have. Who we are depends on who we are talking to. When talking to a parent, we wear a different face from when talking to a friend or a lover or a person we meet on the street, etc, etc. There is an essence to who we are. There is a core essence to our beingness. But we change faces to protect that core. Some closer to who we are and some further. I do not consider it being fake but rather giving emphasis to a particular characteristic of us. Like Shrek and ogres, we are like onions - we got layers. The better we are able to find balance between these, the greater our peace of mind. And the greater our balance.

Balance is everything. Calm. It's like standing in the middle of a seesaw, shifting weight to ensure that the seesaw levels out. Balance between work and play, between serious and frivolous, etc. The greatest difficulty I find, as a creative, is balance between artistic endeavour and the formality of livingm

Find balance. The extreme, while eventful, can create chaos and confusion. Find your balance.

Just a thought.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Daily ramblings #7

I realise that a lot of what I think about is not new. It's not some innovative thought on the progress of mankind, but I do hope it has some relevance in being the thoughts of another human being. We do not share enough and without dialogue, there can be no progress. I believe in relativity as a state of existence. While there are universal 'rights and wrongs', much of what we think and do is in relation to where we are at a given point in time. Truth, your truth, depends on what is right for you at that moment. It is not written in stone and how often does one find themselves putting forward a thought that they once contradicted. The best you can do for yourself is acknowledge what you have and work with the information at your disposal. If that changes, then review your decisions and move forward. Truth is your own to decide. Stand by it.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Daily ramblings

I've gone and created more drama for myself. In addition to this Blog and my Imperfect Poetry blog, I have now added another task to my list. For about a week now, I've been sharing my 'thoughts' of the day with a small group of friends. As the easy way out, I am going to be adding some of thoughts to this space, so below, please find the first one:

Please allow me this indiscretion. For some time now, I have been encouraged to share my thoughts with those around me in a manner that might provide some element of clarity in this crazy reality. I do not assume that my outlook is of any relevance but I have been told, by some, that it does not hurt to share one's limited wisdom. I will be honest and say that this attempt has also been prompted by something I have seen.

Anyway, the people I am sending this to are individuals I consider friends and / or family and the intention is to share the odd thought, every now and then, around my moments of clarity in the hope that it might provoke some process. I do have my blogs http://infinitepursuit.blogspot.com and http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com which serve as release points for me, and now I am adding this. If you do not wish to receive these 'thoughts of the day', please do not hesitate to inform me. Also feel free to pass them on, should they seem relevant.

Thought of the day

How do we define success? For those of us living in cities like Joburg, society seems to dictate a commercial and material outlook. It is becoming about 'the money'. How did our ancestors live? Did they define fulfilment in monetary terms or otherwise?

Somehow I feel we are losing our souls in this pursuit of financial gain. It seems like that gain can only happen at the expense of others. I believe otherwise. Definition of self is an individual thing. Therefore definition of success is about the goals you set for yourself and not what society dictates as being success.

Decide what it is you want to accomplish in your life. Determine where you want to be in 5, 10 years and work towards that. It may not always happen as you wish but that is life. It is hard enough without adding the shallow perspectives of this undefinable creature called society. Definition of your success can only be done by you.

Easy runnings


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Voices shall be heard

Life is taken some crazy turns and work has drained of moments of reflection. Add continued technological difficulties and my silence makes sense. But I don't really want to talk about that - though I wonder if this will actually make it through. Was posting to my other blog for a week before I realised stuff hasn't been posting.

Anyway, all fired up again. Went to Urban Voices Poetry Festival this last Saturday and was reminded of why I so love the Word. Urban Voices is always a difficult time because, while I have serious reservations about supporting an organisation (well, an individual) that continues to perceive and treat local poets as irritants and inferior beings, it is always an awesome experience because of the international poets that come through. I boycotted two years ago, out of principle, and then went totally my principles last year by performing. My reasons: it gave me the opportunity to meet Carl Hancock Rux (who I am in awe of) and the Last Poets. This year I actually bought tickets but that was because I had to see Suheir Hammad, Sekou Sundiata and Saul Williams; and I wasn't disappointed. I have the whole Def Poetry Jam and Suheir was one of the few poets I actually liked. Sekou Sundiata has quietly built a legacy. And Saul Williams? There are no words. Beyond ......

I must put in a word about Afurakan, a young poet I have worked with on various projects with and someone I believe has a great future ahead of him. He had to open the show and set the bar. He was off the hook. I have heard him so many times but Saturday he took it to another level and showed that we do have a voice and relevance as locally based poets. Maybe, one day, we will be allowed more than 3 - 5 mins at Urban Voices, compared to 30 mins to an hour for the internationals.

Funny thing was that there were so many faces that you would never see at a poetry event out because of the internationals. It's like saying that one's truth or words are more important because you are not from South Africa. Hell, that would mean that I should qualify as an international poet because I'm not from here. But I'm just from another African country, around the corner. And I consider myself a part of and representing South African poetry. It's all good. We shall find our place and space. Those who doubted the local poetry movement shall be the ones clamouring to establish their relevance when we reach those heights. And they shall talk about how they contributed to our development because they threw us crumbs once.

The life of an artist is such a funny one. How often do we hear about overnight successes when a person has spent a decade building the profile, working in the trenches, struggling to get their voice heard. And when they finally break that invisible ceiling, they are 'discovered'.

The hustle continues.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Don't stop

The duality of this physical existence continues to inflict me with its distortion. It's been four weeks since I started working full-time (Content Producer for TV magazine show, Zwahashu, on SABC2) and I feel blessed and cursed at the same time. The comfort of a regular job provides me with room for breath that I have not had in over a year but that space has yet to settle so I continue to struggle with the consequences of my freelance lifestyle. Technology is crumbling around me and I am not in a position to sort it out, at present, and with the second burglary of my home, the lack of resource feels even more pronounced. But, I am optimistic. I am still in the part of the job where everything is new and challenging and, therefore, exciting. Also, it's really cool to have short-term milestones to accomplish. Working on long term goals can be a loveless experience without clear definitions of success and accomplishment. Working on poetry endeavours that may only bear fruit in the next 2 to 5 years leaves the soul drained. How does one determine whether they are moving in the right direction or not?

Talking about poetry, there is progress. Firstly, knowing that I can do it when I want to, on my terms has relieved me of the pressure of achieving. I can be poetic whenever I feel like it, and when I'm not interested, I can forget about it. Secondly, I can approach it with a relatively clear mind. It is easier to figure out exactly what I want to do and when.

Started working on my next collection for possible publication mid to late next year. Thinking of publishing poems solely from my Imperfect Poetry blog (http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com). While it is getting harder to post every day, I am building a decent collection of scribblings and hope that at least some deserve some extra work and re-writing. Any thoughts on how viable that is as an idea? Actually, anyone know how I could interest MTV Books in publishing some of my work? For some reason, they are a publishing house I've always thought might take a risk on my writings (we can all dream).

Anyway, beyond that, the calls for gigs are starting to come in and, for once, I actually have a plan to increase this. Also working on actually getting gigs confirmed. Have had a few, including a gig in New York, that were cancelled. In the next few weeks, I should actually have at least 5 confirmed over the next month. It's invigorating to be provided with new spaces to share my words (and the remuneration doesn't hurt either).

Well, that's it for me. Finally posted. This space has become very directionless. Not quite sure what to do with it so I guess it is becoming a bit of a personal journal. Aluta continua. Easy

Monday, July 10, 2006

Normally, I post on the run. It's usually one of those moments when something says - oh, I need to post - and I take a second or two to rattle off some irrelevant words. Today, I have decided to call it a night early and have crawled into bed with my 'crackberry' to post. Not that it means I will be anymore coherent than normal, it just means I'm chilling when I do this.

Last week I started a new job, doing content and research for a television programme called Zwahashu. It's a new challenge and taking some getting used to but it is nice to have something new to try and figure out. I have spent a lifetime jumping between industries, never really settling in one space for too long, other than in the Word. Television production is an area that has always fascinated me. As a creative and corporate hybrid, I find that television is the one place that possibly allows me both. I have also been a TV junkie and drifted around the edges of the industry for some years now. Now I have one foot in and am hoping that I will find a place that allows for expression. Project management, writing, conceptualisation, creative thought - these are areas that inspire me and gradually I will have opportunity to explore all of these. It's also nice to finally have some stability.

I read somewhere that, over the centuries, there are few poets who have actually a living off their Word. I am consoled by that. I have learned that I do not need to exist in a space where the hope of my future lies solely in poetry and that seems to have released from a cell I had confined myself within. I love the Word, simply. I shall submerge myself within it till the end of my breathing days and beyond. But, my success shall not be determined by how many gigs I get or how many books I sell but rather by what my heart says.

A few weeks ago, I was featured at Xarra Books. It was humbling to sit in a space where people had left home just to come through to listen to my words - no back-up dancers, bling-bling, etc. Just a room with people open to hearing my truth. I have often wondered how artists who have reached greater heights feel. What that moment is like when you feel like you have attained some level of 'recognition'. Does one even know what that point is? It's all very confusing.

Okay, looks like this sitting to write breeds incoherence. My thoughts spill out randomly - very much in the way I actually think - and I start to lose myself.

This week is going to be another interesting one. On Wednesday evening, I will be on SABC3's 3Talk With Noeleen, with other poets. 3Talk is a talk show that flights every weekday around 17:30 (I think). On Sunday I perform at Constitution Hill at an event called 100 Men Stand, organised by EngenderHealth. It is part of a programme called Men As Partners and I am looking forward to finding out more about what the programme actually entails.

I was supposed to be going to the US for a gig but that seems to have fallen through. Really frustrating coz I really feel like I need to get beyond my current poetic space and share my word, but the time will come.

Phew, that was a mouthful. Easy
Blog: http://infinitepursuit.blogspot.com
www.artistswithoutfrontiers.com (Writer's Section)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Round Two

So. Life is a series of moments that add up to something .... or nothing - whatever makes you comfortable. I think I've been down so long, it's becoming hard work to stay there. Went home (to Lesotho) this weekend for my sister's wedding.

Note: don't know about elsewhere in the world but in Africa, no matter where you decide to settle, home is always where your people are and where you come from.

While away, my home (in Joburg) was broken into (again). This time the bastards left with my dvd player, playstation, clothes & jewellery, and the stereo I got for my 21st birthday. I have trekked around southern Africa with that stereo & I am definitely going to miss - wherever I went, that stereo was with me. What really pisses me off is that they took my Prince CD (which was in the stereo) and my Pumas (bought in Tokyo by my brother.

Now the security gets bumped up even more. Sat in a meeting this morning with security company & discovered that there are two drug dealers & two brothels in my complex. Aah, don't you just love Joburg suburbs?

But I still love this city - and I hate this city. Crazy thing.

Just venting, but still feeling poetic. Really starting to feel like a poet - tho it probably doesn't seem like it on the Imperfect Poetry.

Damn, running out of words.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Poetically Inclined

Another week crawls slowly to an end and I am a bit more enthusiastic about existence. Last Saturday I performed at Xarra Books and it was wonderful. The audience was gentle and open, and the Q & A brought up some interesting discussion. For once it went beyond 'what inspires you?' which is, sadly, the stereotypical question media always asks.

On the same night, I performed at the Sowetan / Snowflake Bridal Couple of the Year 2005/06 which was also fun. In line with the spirit, I did only love poetry and got a mention in the Sowetan (newspaper) during the week. Oh, got a mention in the Sunday World (weekly paper that has tabloid section) but they, at least, didn't give my name.

The Y FM June 16 celebration I posted about previously got the full brunt of the Shwashwi, which is the tabloid section of the paper. They felt that the event opened up with dreary, depressing poets and since there were only two poets, I guess I now qualify as dreary & depressing. It's funny to be rated by journalists who focus on the lives on what are called 'celebrities'. Obviously doesn't hold the same weight as the thoughts of Don Mattera or Nadine Gordimer, so will try not be too depressed. Actually, considering my mind state over the last year, it was probably relatively accurate. Ah, the joys of being recognised.

This weekend, I head home to Lesotho so the results of my daily writing sessions (posted on Imperfect Poetry) will probably be very irregular until Sunday. Won't have phone signal, so can't use my Blackberry & it's a mission to organise to get to email.

In a way, it will be nice to be unreachable for a few days. Keep on procrastinating on getting my cellular service unbarred for international roaming and I suspect that it is because home is the one place where I am run away from big city madness.

That's it. Easy

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kojo @ Xarra Books & other ramblings

I seem to be struggling with words so:

Xarra Books present the poetry of Kojo on Saturday, 24 June at 15:00.

I will be sharing my writing from my collections 'Voices In My Head' and 'And They Say Black Men Don't Write Love Poetry'. May even do some edited stuff from my Imperfect Poetry Blog - have started re-working pieces from that space.

There will be a Q & A and I will try sound intelligent and coherent.

The whole getting up on stage in front of people has taken on a new life. My self-enforced hibernation has created a new fascination with that act - feels kind of new. We'll see whether that is a good or bad thing.

Anyone out there willing to fund a few poets from this side of the world to perform at events out there in the big bad world? If yes, holla. SA, and Africa, have been hiding creativity for too long. Busy sending out packs to international festival and poetry event organisers. They say the world is a global village and I am getting tired of seeing wonderful poets, writers, people languishing in the depression of inertia.

Okay, that's it from me for today. Not even sure I made any sense. Easy

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More irrelevant conversation

Another mildly eventful weekend. Friday was a public holiday in South Africa, Youth Day, which is to honour a significant moment in this country's history, namely the anniversary of the bloodiest days and the symbolic start of the June student uprisings. Sadly, like so many public holidays, it has become more about a day off and an extra day to party.

I spent Thursday nite at a Y Fm function to acknowledge the strides the youth have made in bringing about the widely covered and dramatically positive turn-around in SA. For those of you who do not know, Y FM is the main regional radio station in SA, covering the Gauteng province with Johannesburg as its heart. Y Fm is also at the heart of a lot of entertainment and youth-inspired events, concerts, etc in the region and its DJs have been at the forefront of music development and celebration in the country. Anyway, I was invited to perform to open the event, setting the stage for speeches by the Station Manager and performances by Tuks and Bricks, and DJs, including Monde. Not my usual audience and it was strange standing before a group of people who were more interested in getting their party on. I did have to compete with the bar a bit but it went down quite well, I think. I am always open to stepping out into new spaces and this definitely felt like a new space so the journey continues. Who knows, maybe I get to feature on the Y Fm website.

It's a funny world. The theory is that increased profile means increase in gigs, but the profile continues to grow with the gigs only trickling in. 2006 has been one of my quietest years and I am hoping it ends with an explosion. I could do with the good news. The future looks bright but it is today I am trying to deal with. The beat goes on.

There is a small show happening at Horror Cafe tomorrow evening at around 6 but I think it is a private event being organised by Myesha Jenkins. Building up towards next week Saturday at Xarra Books though I still do not know what I am going to be doing. You want to find out more about the store, see www.xarrabooks.com.

It's 1am and tomorrow is a long day. Moto GP and the World Cup continues (yeah, I'm a professional sport junkie) and still have to fit in actually interracting with people. Once again, I blabber unnecessarily. Easy

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Words too can take up space

Another day, another post. Don't know if anyone has noticed, but this becoming a regular occurence. My lengthy moments of silence are getting shortened.

With the birth of my poetry blog, http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com, this space has become one of confusion, namely what is the purpose of my regular blog. Like so many things in my life these days, there is no answer and so I flow with it, stumbling through irrelevant thoughts in the hope that there is someone out there who finds some form of relevance in these ramblings. I have learned to write without saying anything in particular, thereby filling available space.

I am a writer and I am a poet. I am really starting to believe that again and so I shall write until I have something to say. Sometimes the power of language is being able to use it for its joy, rather for the desire to actually say anything.

I ramble as usual. There is an error in one of my last posts, namely my performance at Xarra Books will take place on June 24th as opposed to this coming weekend, as previously stated. If you are in the Joburg area, please do come out and support. I am told there will be one or two poets to set the stage for my attempt at being deep so, even if it is for that, come out.

In terms of further 'performances', the calls are starting to increase so something should stick and I will probably become a lot more visible. In my own weird way, I have been in hibernation, seeking inspiration and enthusiasm. For those of you who read my words regularly, you will know of the mental blocks I have been battling to break through.

Anyway, I will try to keep all updated on whatever I hear about in terms of shows and the like, as well as where I shall be.

Enough irrelevant rambling. In the middle of the Germany versus Poland game and getting frustrated as ........ See my poetry blog for results of watching this game. I am obviously supporting Germany and Ghana in the World Cup, though I am realistic in my expectations. Okay, that's it. Till whenever. Easy

Monday, June 12, 2006

Move aside dorothy, this rabbit-hole is mine

Every day I get more and more excited about the Word, yet I seem to step further and further away from being able to actually write anything. I have deadlines for all the things I seek to do, but these seem to pass without much fanfare.

I started the year off with a plan. A plan that was about evolving as a writer and performer. A plan that involved the exploration of all possible avenues available to ensure the growth of Word, in particular, my Word. This plan has been implemented purely in my head and now I seek the inspiration to somehow manifest it in the physical world. I am tired of living in my head but struggle to find the way out of the cranial rabbit-hole.

I see the path to the light, but constantly close the curtains to avoid being reminded of how much I have thought and how little I have done. I seek the spark, epiphany, the proverbial moment of clarity. I feel like a weed head, forever stuck in theory. If only I could clone myself and assign implementation to my twin, thereby allowing myself to comfortably wallow in ideas. It's all very absurd, this I know, but we are allowed dreams. These are our sole possessions in life. Our bodies can be bought and sold, our minds can molded and directed, but our dreams are rivers of smoke that continue to exist even when the naked eye cannot see them.

There's the answer. I shall continue to dream. I shall continue to dream of climbing poetry's everest and I shall continue to dream of fulfilling dreams. That way I succeed, regardless of the outcome :-)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Blah, blah, blah ..... I ramble

This is such a weird space.

Every day I convince myself that poetry holds no future for me, beyond merely an expression of passion, and nearly every day something happens that creates doubt as to whether I should flee the Word without looking back once or keep on keeping on.

Often, I feel constrained by the borders of my small world, truly believing that there is more to this and that I have more to offer to a wider space. It is the inability to break beyond the bars of this self-infliced cage that frustrates me, has me questioning, has me disillusioned. Am I silly to believe that one can build a career as a poet? Am I wishful to think that I can establish myself as a poet? Is there a future in being a poet? Do I have what it takes? Is my work worth it? Do I have potential to grow, evolve and establish a legacy?

Ah, the questions.

I wonder whether I blog to expand my reach as a brand or to express and share with my fellow beings. All I ever seem to do in this space is question.

Ah, the questions.

Anyway, my poetic journey continues. Next week Saturday at Xarra Books in Newtown, Joburg, I shall be performing a selection of my poetry. Every weekend (almost), they feature a poet, provide an opportunity for the audience to ask questions, and have the poet shares their thoughts on whatever.

As to what I will talk about, share or even offer to whatever humble audience may arrive is as unknown to me as it is to you. I have reached a point where I find comfort in entering a 'poetic' space without a plan. Without intention other than sharing. At some stage I became a 'performance poet', meaning I spend weeks on end memorising poems, agonising about the writing, worrying that the audience won't feel me, etc, etc.

Now I work with what I have. I work off the page when I don't remember the words. I am finding a new respect for Words on a page and I am humbled when it is my Words I speak. Sometimes I speak other people's Words because, at that moment, they are more appropriate than mine. When I am in a space of sharing, I do just that. I do not 'perform', I am not a 'spoken word artist' or a 'performance poet'. I am just another human being defined as poet.

There are moments when I 'perform' and I am a 'spoken word artist'. That is when someone is paying me to be one. That is when someone seeks a novelty and I provide. That is when I am playing a part and I am no longer, for that moment, Kojo, but rather 'Kojo the Poet'. I am learning to be comfortable with that. I am learning that, as a human being, I deserve to be as comfortable and as happy as the next person. To dream of perfection as an artist does not imply a comfort with poverty or suffering.

Damn, that is a long post. Typing on my Blackberry, while convenient and easily done, does make it harder to truly speak. This is a moment of unhindered verbal vomit. See my other blog: http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com. Today I seem to be caught up in moments.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Who am I?

We spend a lifetime dreaming of what we want to be and do and how we want to live. A doctor or lawyer goes through educational processes that enable them to achieve career dreams. They study hard, become 'professionals' and, through their work, are able to achieve their personal ambitions and desires, whether it is to start a family, become a partner, have their own practice, or whatever. While the career consumes them, who they are as a human being is defined not merely by what they do for a living but also other aspects, ie. their hobbies, their character, etc.

As an artist, it doesn't always seem like it is a liberty we have. Our art defines us as human beings. As a poet, I write about the essence of me and, therefore, am defined by what I write. Don't know if it makes sense but just my thoughts. Sometimes I actually believe I am more than just a poet and writer, but those thoughts are fleeting. Always seems like, without poetry, I am nothing or no-one. Often I wish for the liberty of just being a human being who can come home from work and, when possible, can leave career behind. But poetry stays with me, when eating, sleeping, making love, sitting on the toilet, etc. It is in my pores, in the strands of my hair, on the tip of my tongue, everywhere.

I cannot run from it even though I wish I could. I cannot give up coz even when I am not pursuing a future in poetry, I still write, sometimes with glee, sometimes with reluctance and sometimes painfully.

Just reaching out. Just speaking out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Late night sermon

They say there is no rest for the sinners and so, here I sit, at something to one in the morning, presuming that writing these words is of enough importance to justify them, when I should be sleeping. Every day I promise myself that I shall sleep at a godly hour and every day I fail to fulfil that promise. I love the night. The darkness. The silence (well, as silent as it can get in a city like Johannesburg). But society is so gung-ho about being functional from 8 to 5 that I constantly find myself out of synch and unsettled, rushing to deal with daily realities when I'd rather be sleeping, and forcing myself into bed when I'd rather be awake. And I've been that way my whole life.

Anyway, just wanted to share a bit of my evening today (well, now yesterday). Oh, please let me first apologise for my posts taking forever to show, will try figure that out - received a comment from someone who says they are only becoming visible days after I've posted. I will try post a bit further in advance, particularly around events coming up.

This evening I was blessed enough to be invited to participate in a broadcast by BBC's "World Have Your Say" in collaboration with Y FM. Imagine about 40 people (primarily youth) representing a cross section of society discussing issues that we, and listeners, felt were pertinent to the progression of this country. It was hard to get a word in but it was a fascinating journey into the heart of some of the more important social ills and stars. We delved into xenophobia, youth development, politics, etc and also had the opportunity to share in the thoughts of callers from around the world, as the show was broadcast on Y FM and BBC. Radio and TV shows are always difficult spaces to debate and share views due to the time and structure limits but every little bit helps. I also believe stuff around the discussion will be on the BBC and Y fm sites, namely www.bbcnews.com/worldhaveyoursay and www.yfm.co.za. There is not enough room to go into all the views expressed and my mind is racing, but my conclusion to the whole thing is that, in some form, the youth of the world need to 'wake up and step up'. Today I was surrounded by people who are taking responsibility and people who continue to point and expect government, their elders, God, etc to solve their problems. Time Magazine did a feature on the youth in Italy, the youth in France have been rioting, etc and it just seems like we are constantly looking to others to solve our problems. The only people who can do that is ourselves. We continue to stand on the outside and gripe, while others are finding ways to bring change. I have no complete answers but this experience has forced me to question my own contribution to the development of mankind.

We get so caught up in the differences between us, we forget how much each of us has in common. Whether black, white, green, purple, the youth throughout the world are grappling with similar problems. And we continue to wait and whine rather than getting off our butts and trying to do something, however big, or small. It is said that "once bitten, twice shy" but as a species we never seem to learn this lesson. Everyone is caught up in their little island. Just thoughts. It scares me sometimes. There is so much work to be done and the day we stop talking (yeah, and look at me blogging away .... Blah, blah) and actually start doing, there will truly be a future. I give praise to everyone who has stood up for a cause that they feel strongly about. Let's just remember that the potential for extinction is not impossible with the levels of creativity involved in dividing and destroying each other. I'm starting to sound preachy but I do belive posivity starts with one person and each of us does have the potential to create true change. Whew. Let me sleep. Easy

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I try to, as much as possible, use sunday evenings to introspect on the previous week and prepare my mind for the week to come. This evening the thoughts have some optimism to them, which is a refreshing change from the general stress and confusion I often find myself bogged down by. The highlight of my week was performing in the presence of President Mbeki, the President of South Africa, and an interesting mix of people from different parts of society, at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. A lot more nervous than usual, it ended up being an awesome experience with positive feedback from the President and the people there. It reminded me why I probably won't ever be able to stop. My words are always personal and when someone shares what they feel from your words with you, it is a fulfilling moment. It is not about the external, physical or outward but rather about being able to connect with another human being on a soul level.

It was also awesome to listen to the President talk and answer questions from the audience in a relaxed setting. There were some high school students in attendance from various schools around Joburg who are part of a programme at GIBS called Spirit of Youth and, to hear them talk and to listen to the questions they asked was tap into the hope that our future, while possibly difficult, will be brighter. It humbled me.

All of this goes a long way to understanding the true nature of what it is I do. The rewards of the Word go far beyond the commercial in this world of brands. As a brand, 'kojo the poet' has things he wants to achieve but those will be nothing unless coupled with the understanding that there is an element of pure human interaction and sharing that cannot be fulfilled if the Word is approached with blinders on. Reality demands its slice of flesh and so does the spirit. The challenge is to give those willingly while ensuring that there remains enough to keep on going. Easy#
Blog: http://infinitepursuit.blogspot.com
www.artistswithoutfrontiers.com (Writer's Section)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Usual ramblings

As I fade into the poetic shadows, and drift onto the fringes of poetry, I am less in touch with what is happening on the scene in jozi. In seeking balance between the realities of modern day existence and my passions, I am finding some element of peace and direction. That said, there are still some wonderful things happening on the streets that shall realise the vision many of us see. There also continue to be avenues for successful of one's financial needs with the spiritual needs of poetry.

I love sharing my work, and this week, I shall be allowed the privilege of performing in the same space as the President of South Africa at the Gordon Institute of Business Science - Dialogue With The President Forum. As a business school, they continue to explore the merger of art with the traditional subjects of business.

A few weeks back, I also had the privilege of sitting in on a business discussion forum and I was tasked with both writing a reportback and scribbling some poetry-influenced thoughts on the discussion. Seems to have gone across very nicely.

The balance between passion and reality, for me, lies in finding a way to explore all possible relationships between corporate & creative writing. One day I shall find the perfect balance, but it does feel like I am getting closer. I am a lot more optimistic about the future and feeling less pressured by time.

Anyway, other events taking place in poetry are at Xarra Books in Newtown, which continues to push the written and spoken word in Joburg. Check out their calendar of events at www.xarra.com (I think). Will try get the full calendar for the rest of the month and share.

I will be featured there in June, which should be interesting experience. Busy developing the results of my daily writing sessions which are posted on http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com. A lot of the stuff doesn't work, but I do think there are some with some potential. Time will tell.
Blog: http://infinitepursuit.blogspot.com
www.artistswithoutfrontiers.com (Writer's Section)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Running in one place

As poets, writers and people of the Word, one of the most exhilirating moments we can achieve is to see our words in print. The publishing of a book, for me, is as much for the writer (if not more) as it is about the desire to share and make one's voice heard. Unless you are writing a best seller or something of high demand, one cannot get rich, or even comfortable off the sales of a book. This is more so with poetry.

I published two collections of poetry as the achievement of a dream, the reaching of a milestone that I spent over 10 years pursuing. I also discovered that the achievement of a dream is not always as it is dreamed. There was an anti-climax that has driven me into a rut I am still attempting crawl out of. The first thing that hit me was 'now what?!'. I have toyed with many an idea looking for that next hit, that next shot that would re-inspire me and still I search.

My next book is a year or two away, so I need something to nourish myself with something else. I still haven't found an answer but I am getting closer and that comes from re-defining myself and re-discovering why it is I write, or at least attempt to write, poetry. This desire to write is a desire beyond merely poetry and the next stage for me is about improvement and evolution as an all-round writer.

It is easier said than done. It means more work, hard work. Writing, like any other career, requires an unwavering devotion to perfection. Devotion to craft. Devotion to experience. Devotion to living life, which serves as the foundation for great writing.

Sometimes it feels like too much. Sometimes it seems fruitless. But, the desire to write is like a drug. I cannot stop.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


For those of you who keep up with my Imperfect Poetry blog, you will probably have realised that I have become somewhat disillusioned with this whole poetic existence. Funnily enough, I have still been relatively regular with daily poetry postings but haven't been up to conversation on my Imperfect Poet blog, namely because I haven't known what to say.

So much internal dialogue going on that it is damn near impossible to translate all of that into written word. But here I am, still plodding along. I have spent the last two months systematically withdrawing from the poetry scene here in Johannesburg. I need a break, particularly from the whole 'performance poet' state of mind, and I am taking all the necessary steps to free myself from expectation, both mine and others.

This decision to hibernate has some interesting side effects. My focus all along has been on the overall development of poetry, in addition to my growth as a poet, and I have reached the point where the development work was draining my energy, drawing it away from from my personal growth. As I withdraw, my enthusiasm for the written word increases.

Where all of this is going, I do not know, but all I have is time to figure it out. The moment I stopped stressing about time and my definition of what is success, I started re-discovering why it is I enjoy the written word.

Meanwhile, I am still doing the occassional gig, in addition to all my business writing work. Tomorrow night, I perform at the National School of the Arts, a high school that emphasises the arts. We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, just wanted to reach out and touch. Easy

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Love the darkness

Poetry. Spoken Word. Finding space and seeking pragmatic progress in an artform that does not lend itself to illusions of material grandeur. If you seek the comfort of comfortable living then perhaps you should pursue other avenues. My evolution is born of reality and truth. "In Word We Trust" does not answer all the questions, experience is the key.

I have travelled through the phases of poetic life: enthusiasm, excitement, passion, pragmatism, disillusionment, denial, acceptance. I have travelled and now must accept the truth. Poetry as a 'career' is a long and winding road and, at some point, it must be put aside for more realistic endeavours. I shall always write but it cannot be the only thing I do ..... That is a truth and I accept. It is a marathon as opposed to a sprint (as cliched as can be). Today I rest. Tomorrow, perhaps, I shall become a poet once more, but today, I rest.

My comfort is in my notebooks. In these moments I shall bask in the silence and breathe the chaos that exists internally. I shall let the voices dictate what tomorrow holds. I shall no longer attempt to pre-empt them. The beauty of the future is that it is unknown. I lower myself into this pool of mystery and embrace its cool, calm waters.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trying to get from here to there

Last week has been disastrous. Have become so dependent on my Blackberry to post and, for some reason, my email hasn't been working ... BUT, it's back. Although just posted 3 times to www.imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com, so still a bit shaky.

Anyway, life as a poet has been slow, though my mind has been in overdrive. It's my birthday today (soon to be yesterday for me) and I am doing the whole 're-evaluation of life' thing. Once again, I wonder what it is about The Word that continues to have me turning down opportunities to work in other genres.

It is time to put my poetry development projects on the back-burner and focus on actually making a living. A difficult choice to make but, at some stage, pragmatism has to take over. I do it willingly because it is frustrating blindly pursuing dreams and not enjoying the journey. I have issues with the idea of an artist as society's martyrs in touch with humankind's suffering.

As an artist, I believe we are all entitled to the pleasures and joys of living - emotionally, physically, mentally and financially ...... especially financially. Creativity and innovation, for me, require calm and focus. When hustling to connect ends, there is no time to devote to the requirements of perfection in craft.

I dream of spending months writing, reading, exploring the beauty of the written word. But need to know the bills are paid.

A journey all artists have to take and one I am feeling less and less enthusiastic about. Damn, it is irritating being a dreamer

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Been a while

It's been a while since I've posted - that seems to be a regular occurrence. Have been keeping my imperfect poetry going regularly, though finally missed out on a day. It is getting harder to maintain my daily 10minute writing session and haven't had much time to actually develop what I have written into finished pieces. Feel like poetry is drifting away from me. The pursuit of 'life' and its trials has me pursuing reality and questioning the ideal of 'living for my passion'.

Things have been quiet on the poetic front generally. Hibernating from the running around and focusing more on a number of projects to carry it beyond this mini-treadmill. I am feeling stifled by my 'home' environment and would love to break out a bit. The world is big and it is starting to feel like I need to start exploring other parts, ie. Europe, the US and the rest of the African continent. Budget is low so looking for funding opportunities to that regard. Would love to do a tour of the European and American summer art festivals. Time will tell my success at that. Watch this space.

Just venting a little today. Easy runnings.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We speak words

This feels strange. Due to technical difficulties, I am unable to go online and check my blogs which means I am unable to respond to comments, although I do get to read them. Feel detached.

But I can still post.

Last week's been surprisingly poetic. Did national adjudication of poetry category for Department of Water Affairs & Forestry's Baswa Le Meetse Awards for 10, 11 year old kids.

Did two radio interviews last thursday & this morning and the next few days busy with:

1. Press conference for Jozi Literary Festival - tomorrow
2. Gig @ Mzansi Orleans in Norwood, Joburg @ 19:30 - tomorrow night
3. Performance @ Jozi Literary Festival Gala event - Friday night
4. Performance @ Jozi Literary Festival - Saturday afternoon

All of this makes me feel like a real poet. Yeah, I'm easy to please.

If you in Joburg area and interesting in coming out, then drop me an email and I'll send details.

From there, it is a much needed trip home to Lesotho.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Nothing new

Okay, this isn't anything new but:

1. How is the NBA champion the 'world champion'?
2. How is it the 'world series' of baseball?

Basically, why are champions of American leagues always called 'world champions'?

Was watching a documentary on John Wayne who was referred to, by a friend trying to motivate for him getting a medal, as 'America'. Was a big Duke fan growing up and I had most of his movies on video but learned more about his right wing leanings ... He referred to minorities as 'double barrelled Americans' who should be grateful for living in a country that is the best in the world. What did that say about the rest of us? Does the 'world champion' thing not imply that the rest of us are just taking up space?

Just thoughts ...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Soul on Ice

I have been re-reading a book I first read while still in high school - Soul On Ice, by Eldridge Cleaver, former rapist, convict, Muslim, Black Panther Minister of Information, etc.

It is fascinating to be able to read it with a greater awareness of the world around me, having lived and experienced more since my last reading. What scared me about the book is that there are elements that still seem so relevant to the world order we reside in today. At times, it felt like I could substitute places and names from today with those of yesterday.

I am one of those people who believes we are all doing what we should be doing in the spaces that we are supposed to be in - the cliche 'everything happens for a reason' comes to mind. Finished the book this morning and ended up being convinced to go to the movies with a friend of mine. I say convinced because I very rarely step into cinema houses; I prefer to wait for films to come out on DVD and watch them in the bosom of my own home. Everything is cheaper there and I have more control.

Anyway, we ended up watching Syriana which, through pointing the lens at issues such as the power of oil companies, the ruthlessness of multi-national business and government, the world of 'terrorism', etc. At the core of the movie, although a bit disjointed and confusing to follow, I found it delved into some of the causes behind the actions of people controlling the puppet strings, touching on some of the things that Cleaver discusses.

The world today can be a frightening place and, for those of us living outside the US, it sometimes feels like we are being pushed towards a vision that does not incorporate us and we serve merely as collateral damage and the numbers required to push certain things through.

All I know is that if US politics and business operate minutely similar to what is shown in Syriana, then we truly are in trouble.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


i have been so busy trying to maintain my Imperfect Poetry blog that i haven't had the time to actually post here.  i am glad to say that i have been able to post a poem a day as planned since i started - some go out after midnite, but they do go out.  it does get a bit confusing trying to figure out the purpose of each space and come up with thoughts to share.  i spend so much time bogged down in ideas and good intentions, which often never get past 'head space' and into reality.  it is said that an idea is useless until implemented and i have thousands.  can one ever have too many ideas?  how often do we seek 'visionary thought', assuming that when you are able to see the great possibilities, you will have accomplished something?  i find that i see the possibility but i never seem to get anything done ... there is never enough time, and the time available is usually used 'chasing paper'.  it's a weird catch-22 situation to be in and the day i find peace in the madness is the day i fulfill my wildest dreams.
today, on radio, they had people phoning in to talk about the artistic endeavours that they always wanted to pursue but never did because of 'reality'.  there were people in business talking about their dreams to be dancers, actors, etc.  sometimes i wonder whether people ever realise how tough it is to actually follow your passion.  i smsed the statio to say that i wanted to be a powerful owner of a multi-national, forget being arty.  in that situation, i could do anything i want.  i always figure that if i won the lottery, i would be able to finance, produce and distribute books, CDs, etc, all tied to my passion.  that would be fun.  this... this is stress.  stuck in a place where it is your passion that drives while starving you.  one day it will all make sense.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just got home from a gig. If I take myself seriously, is it unreasonable to expect others to do the same? Have I spent the last seven years trying to build a concept, a brand, only to be treated like I am being done a favour? Is it unreasonable to expect to be treated like a professional or does being an 'artist' mean that I automatically exist at the bottom of society's food chain. Is it me? Arriving at a gig and discovering you are not even in the programme and staying to perform; am I the problem? Should I have left? Questions, questions, questions......

I have recently discovered
That I do not exist

A lifetime of laughter

An existence extensively laced with experience
Wiped clean

Tears lived
Dried up

Blood running through arteries

Why bother when it is a world that does not see me
That defines me

I have become the invisible man
Walking the streets without presence

I am no longer stopped

I think
But I am not

I have become nothing

Free from responsibility
Free from duty
Free from being

Monday, February 20, 2006

Beyond the glass ceiling

After banging my head on the glass ceiling for what seems like forever, I have finally chipped enough of a hole to taste the air above. Dreamers live with the weight of failure on their shoulders - the dreams stopped when achieved or when the soul gets too tired of trying. I am not yet tired but it often seems close; then I have days like today when the smallest thing ignites a flame that has the potential to become a fire.

Following years of procrastination, I finally recorded some poetry for a poetry video concept that I am working on with a friend of mine. Thanks to Kurt & e-poets, I have finally done something and, in doing so, remembered why creativity is such a beautiful thing. Beyond the materialism and the trivial is creativity that feeds the heart and inspires the soul.

The end destination is not to achieve immense wealth, but rather to build enough of a financial base to do the things we love to do. A simple act of recording a poem with a clear purpose in mind re-awakened me to this. We spend so much time trying to deal with day-to-day reality that we often forget what gives us pleasure. It's a beautiful space to be in.

Just wanted to share. The Imperfect Poetry Blog, while hard work, is coming along nicely. I've been able to, so far, maintain the daily posts (some days in the wee hours of the morning) and some of the writings are actually coherent. Would appreciate your constructive thoughts.

Easy. Sleep beckons.

Friday, February 17, 2006

When the words won't come

In my other life, I do business writing for a variety of clients in different industries. Right now, I have my hands full with work for TV production houses, which is nice, coz having been dormant for the last few months, I finally have work to do.

But the words won't come.....

Creative writer's block is easier to deal with. This is frustrating because I have deadines and invoices to submit. The irony is that, creatively, the mental pistons are beginning to pump. Now if I could get everything to function efficiently and effectively at the same time, I could build visions by merely breathing. I keep remembering the phrase "if it was meant to be easy, it wouldn't be called 'life'". Little consolation at the start of another long weekend.

Anyway, I will battle my way through it, like everything else. In the mean time, if you are in Joburg this weekend, come through to Xarra Books in Newtown for a Poetry Dialogue with the Italian Publishing house, Avagliano Publishing. They are looking to publish an anthology of young South African poets, to be translated in Italian.

The book will be accompanied by a DVD of the gathering tomorrow, which will include an informal poetry session.

It is great to see the interest in our poetry building beyond South African borders. Getting tired of being limited to our space and want to now grow into a global artists - hence this Blog and the Imperfect Poetry Blog which has started off well enough, I hope.

Come through if you around this space. Enjoy your weekend. Easy runnings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

instant poetry

Like thousands of writers in a bid to improve the words we put on blank pages, and to awaken the muse, I am building a little library of poetry and writing related books. My new 'toy' is a. Penguin Rhyming Dictionary I picked up today to replace the one that sprouted feet, jumped off my shelf and strolled out my house.

Anyway, this mini-collection includes a lovely book called A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeves, which has quotes and tips on writing, with the primary one being around writing practice. It is recommended that a writer must set an appointment with him/herself every day and just write. To facilitate this process, the book has a 'topic' for every day of the year as inspiration.

I have, over the last few years, tried to maintain this habit, to varying levels of success. I have a poetry journal that I write in whenever I get the chance, which is not as often as I'd like. To improve on this, I have often tapped a few lines into my phone just before I switch off the bedside lamp. Well, now that I've had my mind opened to the capacity to post by email, I've been toying with how to take advantage of this, in the hope that it will have some relevance.

I have created a new blog, Imperfect Poetry (http://imperfectpoetry.blogspot.com), on which I will attempt to post my midnight ramblings on a daily basis - starting tomorrow. It will be raw, unedited, at times interesting, often nonesensical and confusing, but also a peak into the stuff that often sits in my notebooks, never to been seen. Would be nice to hear your thoughts / comments on whether I should go with this or not.

Blog currently blank but link already on The Imperfect Poetry, will start posting tomorrow. Easy

Friday, February 10, 2006

the sun rise

This has been a good poetry week for me. The shift in direction is opening up a whole new world of word and I am loving it. Firstly, I have been invited to adjudicate the poetry segment of the Department of Water Affairs & Forestry Baswa Le Meetse Awards. The Awards are for kids of about 10/11 years old who have put together creative expression of clean and healthy living in categories like poetry, theatre, praise singing and fine arts.

Also, yesterday I performed, and was part of the panel with Lebo Mashile, at the launch of a wonderful collection of poetry, An Infinite Longing For Love, by Lisa Combrinck. I was humbled by the beauty of her words and inspired by the passionate discourse that took place. The launch was at Xarra Books, a black-owned bookshop that gives space to so many african authors. We struggle to get African written books in most bookshops & Xarra has come to the rescue. They have a monthly programme of literary-related events so if you want to find out more, email them on info at xarrabooks.com.

Things are getting busier & I will try to keep you updated on events so, if you in the johannesburg area, check them out.

FOTOSAFARI is at the Market Theatre Lab tomorrow (Saturday) night. Using a mixture or poetry, video, slide projections, song and dance, the FOTOSAFARI theater experience breaks from traditional forms of plot and character and paints a picture of cultural fusion. It starts at 7h30pm, costs R30 and features Napo Masheane, Debra Leshika, Makgano Mamabolo, Nomena Struss and Paul Mojalefa. FOTOSAFARI cultural exchange is a collaboration of 120 participants from South Africa and Germany who used photography to capture and share their stories and lifestyle.

Hoping to be there tomorrow night. Was also happening tonight but wasn't able to go. Anyway, let me get to bed. Still loving this email thing. Just realised I do need to go online and clean stuff up.


I was born a poet
Speechless, my poetry was in breath, gurgles & laughter

When I cried
The tears sung lullabies
Tracing the innocence of my face

I was born a poet
But am a poet no longer
I am in the infancy of a poetic reality
And one day
I will be a poet once more


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

while the world sleeps

Who decided that the world needs to operate from 8am to 5pm? Who decided that there was a system we have to follow to be considered a functional element of society. I love the night, especially after 10pm. The world goes quiet and, at about midnight, one could actually believe they were alone in this world (well, if they ignored the trucks and streetcrawlers outside their window - I live next to a main road).

Sitting here trying to be creative, working on proposals for clients and trying to develop my own concepts. So much to do and I am expected to wake up tomorrow morning. Sleep all day, write all night - that's the way to live. In addition to working on poetry, I am trying my hand at scriptwriting for television, film and theatre. My dream is become the person to call, regardless of what you want written down, from creative to business - new cause.

Oh, and I am looking for pictures. If you have any pictures lying around, please share. Would like pictures which I can use for inspiration to write and include on my blog. So much synergy between the various artforms (Helen does it beautifully on Box of Rain - see my links), and I hope to explore every one in the search for the perfect poem. I have a painting on my wall that a friend (Peter Oellermann) did a while ago, inspired by one of my poems.

So much do
So much of life to get through

The night is the soundtrack
To my dreams
The rhythm I dance to
While I knit words
Soul coming apart at the seams

Why find the answers
When it is the questions
That truly matter

Just words. Just thoughts. This is what happens when the sun slips into the northern hemisphere and the south embraces darkness. Mental masturbation.


Monday, February 06, 2006

wet & wonderful

It seems to actually work. Don't know whether I should be troubled by my initial ignorance or excited by the discovery (Roy, you the man). I promise this is my last post for today, just thrilled by the powers of technology.

A warm rainy night
It's 1 in the morning
Mind wanders randomly

Today has been a day of discovery. In the more positive half of my schizophrenic self today and the future looks bright-ish. Have a few things in the pipeline that may provide impetus to my search for the perfect poem.

Will share more as things fall into place.

Starting to write again, following a few months of frustration. As I find direction, writing becomes more fun. It's a beautiful space to be in. Working on the craft but will continue to share the words. Hopefully, they grow as I grow.

Alright, let me go sleep. You know I'll probably be posting again tomorrow.



One of the difficulties of the blogging experience is having time to sit down in front of my PC and actually put down some thoughts. Thoughts that often come to me during the course of the day.

My blogging 'mentor', Roy, just drew my attention to the fact that I can blog from email. I am fortunate enough to have a Blackberry to keep me company, while also forwarding my emails to me, while on the road, this discovery has me excited. I have dealt with the necessary 'setting up' and this is my first attempt at posting sans PC.

Apologies if this does not come out the way it should, or is all twisted. It is all for the sake of progress. This way I can bombard this space endlessly.

Blog: http://infinitepursuit.blogspot.com
www.artistswithoutfrontiers.com (Writer's Section)


it seems this mail-to thing is duplicating some of my posts. please be patient with me while i figure the whole thing out. have posts on that are not reflected in my 'dashboard' and posts that aren't making it. :-(


Alone is not loneliness
Lullabies sung to oneself
Carry the same melody

Words unspoken
Carry the same meaning
Something to break the silence

Chaos begats violence
There is no self
In the rules
And so I break them

This morning I awoke
And heard a lone bird whisper my name
In a conversation with itself

And found myself
Blog: http://infinitepursuit.blogspot.com
www.artistswithoutfrontiers.com (Writer's Section)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


this week has been schizophrenic. i seem to fluctuate between complete optimism to downright pessimism and back every few minutes. i must say that it is some of you that have been responsible for the moments of hope through your comments and, for that, i am truly grateful.

the one advantage of these silent, quiet times is that i am spending more time looking at life in terms of what i want to achieve in the long term and what the elements of my life mean to me. it is often said that we must look at what we are grateful for, think positive thoughts and it will all work out in the end. cliched but i am a believer... it is just easier to say than actually practice, so i exist in chaos.

anyway, i found a piece i wrote a while back (in one of the many notebooks that serve as reference points when i am struggling to write), which I would like to share. as part of my whole quest to find the perfect poem, but going 'back to basics' and exploring what has come before me, i have been browsing these notebooks in the hope that there is growth and also identify room for growth. this poem 'stereotypical mumbo-jumbo' was merely a release of emotion and so i do not consider it something that needs to be worked on. if i had not discovered the blogging experience, it would probably never has seen light of day.

writing great poetry, for me, is balancing the emotion, thought and feeling with the craft. i seek perfection in both but some words are meant to be pure emotion... i apologise for the language ... although i can cuss like a veteran sailor, i tend to feel uncomfortable when incorporating it in my poetry but... here it is:

what’s all this shit about failure?
this illusion that beginning and end
must follow some archaic plan
I start, I travel, I climb
the ladder of false success
or I stumble and fall

what’s all this shit about success?
pursuit of material wealth
the money, the fancy car and the girl
seems to travel down some linear road
to a where that has
no real destination

what’s all this shit about right?
implying that your way
is the only true measure
of options available
to exist

what’s all this shit about wrong?
blindly believing that any state of mind
that is beyond
your narrow minded comprehension
cannot be right

what’s all this shit about…. ?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

writer's lock

in the attempt to redefine myself, as a poet, a writer and a human being, i haven't been writing much.... out of choice. let's call it "writer's lock". the occassional scribble does take place and, in the interest of continued sharing, below is a recent, incomplete, one. i committed to sharing to process as opposed to merely the final, polished 'product', and so:

throat clogged
heart choked
eyes glazed
mind hazed
hands tremble
spirit confused
early morning blues
i ... i ... i have so much to say
the words get in the way
i stutter
forget how to form structure
i know this
it's there
i think
i can speak
i need a plan
i think therefore i am ................................................

i am cold
very cold ..................................

starting over

This dependency on an old PC and an extremely slow dial-up line is becoming more and more frustrating. Plus the cost of logging on and surfing the web is more than I can handle right now, hence my extended periods of silence. Having found / established a home within the Blogging realm, it is difficult not being able to speak one’s mind and share in one’s thoughts on a regular basis.

The one positive is that, during this period, I have spent a great deal reflecting on ‘the meaning of it all’, especially since lightening fried my telly. I am a member of two poetic electronic discussion spaces and the last two weeks have been riddled with extensive discussion on various aspects of poetry, particularly around performance and writing.

I do feel that, within the ‘movement’ I operate, I have reached a relative ceiling in terms of my ability and evolution as a writer and spoken word artist, and, as a result, have been looking for what could be termed ‘the next step’. The discussions I have been privy to, have given me a clearer idea of what I need to find that direction.

At the heart of this epiphany is that, for me to comfortably call myself a poet and a writer, I need to delve deeper into my forms of choice and create context from the wealth of work that has come before me. In doing this, I am in a stronger position to be able to define and identify what it is I do and how it fits into the general scheme of things.

There is a sad belief, especially among young aspiring poets in my space, that what we are doing transcends what has been done. The question that has come to the fore is ‘how?’, to which I personally have no answers. To answer, I need to know WHAT HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE.

These discussions are too lengthy to detail here by if you do a search for UCT Poetry Web, as well as visit E-Poets Network (link available on my Blog), then you might be able to access some of the discussion. How I am able to take the words ‘spoken’ and translate them into better writing and ‘performing’ will be the gauge from which my body of work, in years to come, is perceived. A scary, but exciting space, to be in, but that is how important it is. I feel like I am only beginning this poetic journey. Easy

Monday, January 09, 2006

fake celebrity

Lately, I have become fascinated with the whole concept of celebrity - probably from watching too much of that blasted 'Entertainment' channel. Celebrity, which my trusty Oxford dictionary defines as 1. well-known person 2. fame, seems to have become extremely tacky. How difficult is it to become a 'well-known person'? As a result of my forays into the poetic scene in Johannesburg (and the fact that I have friends in strategic spaces), I have had my fair share of 5 seconds of fame on the telly and radio.

Even today, I shot an interview for a TV show called 20something (don't tell them I am way beyond that), where I was given the opportunity to rant on about my theories on inspiration, poetry and life. I have done enough of these to feel comfortable with a camera in my face and people in my home town now believe I am rolling in the cash and living it up in the big city because of these brief appearances.... you all know how that is going (see previous posts). Oh, if you do want to see the interview (for those in SA), it is on Sunday at 1pm.

Anyway, the point I am trying to get to is in the form of a question: because I have been on telly a little bit, does that mean I am a celebrity, or is my level of decadence not up there enough. How is celebrity truly defined? Should it not be based on one's accomplishment? Today I was asked what do I feel my accomplishments are as a poet.... my answer - I still have a long way to go so I can't really answer that (okay, that and a nice spiel about contributions to the artform and the publishing of two books).

It just seems like celebrity has become the new religion, with American culture being the dominant feature. Very little is said about the people who are actually making things happen. I love film and music as much as the next person- if not more - but shouldn't we be celebrating the people who are in the trenches changing lives positively. How does 50 Cent's house party compare to an HIV/AIDS hospice run by volunteers in the middle of rural Uganda? Yeah, I admit that I am as guilty when it comes to where I place my attention, but I am trying to change that.

My new theory is that we all need a cause ... something to drive us beyond the triviality of this material physicality. Something concrete. I am searching for mine. One of my favourite poems is by Miguel Pinero 'Seeking a cause'. Easy runnings

Sunday, January 08, 2006

another beginning

Greetings. We have finally made it through the usual festive madness and, tomorrow, everyone starts crawling back into the office.. well, everyone except for me. I am officially self-employed, following a few months of unemployment. The end and beginning of every year serve as periods of introspection, re-evaluation and resolutions for many of us. Never been big on the resolution thing, but I do try to take the opportunity to re-examine my life and determine where I am going. My biggest decision was that, the minute we hit 01/01/2006, I would re-define myself as self-employed. It is said 'we manifest our thoughts' ... this is my way.

Truth be told, that is as far as I have been able to go in developing a plan for 2006. In fact, I am probably more confused about my future than I have been in a long time. Is poetry in my future? Should I just get a normal corporate job? Am I on the right track? What am I doing wrong? It's the questions that define us. And I still struggle to find the right questions that will give me answers that inspire peace of mind.

Anyway, have been doing a little scribbling over the last month. Nothing complete, some things slightly coherent, but lots of ideas. Thought I would start off the year with this. May your dreams be fulfilled.

the answers are not in the lamentation
the tragic memories of yesterday
they do not come to us in blood
that runs through ancient rivers
or in the tears and pain that paint the sky red
coating the clouds with a twisted crimson

the solutions are not born out of repetition
recycled words of a past & present reality

history is not washed clean by a never-ending chant
babylon will not be defeated with hollow words or idle dreams

the revolution HAS been televised
and we missed it
fingering remotes
flipping through channels

the revolution had more than a cat's nine lives
and still it died
because tomorrow was never built on a lack of hope

hope implies looking into tomorrow and not yesterday
a future implies working towards something
not drowning in a past riddled with hate
living implies clarity & vision & dreams
beyond the haze is infinite discourse

the future is in the hands
of those who live the revolution in action
each brick carefully laid
each word carefully spoken
each battle ground carefully chosen
each action transcending reaction

when this happens
the revolution shall be reborn
and live again