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excerpt: Voice Over

bw101125voice_over.jpgVOICE OVER

a nomadic conversation with Mahmoud Darwish
By BREYTEN BREYTENBACH

archipelago books

Copyright © 2009 Breyten Breytenbach
All right reserved.

 

ISBN: 978-0-9819557-5-9

 


 

Chapter One

when you die, Mahmoud  
   when your aorta thrashing  
   all sluggish and crinkled  
   like a purple snake bursts  
   because the lines can no longer  
   slither the perfect metaphor,  
   and your heart as poem spurts  
   the final blood 
   in that hospital in foreign parts  
   of the barbarian land, 
   when your heart is at last  
   a sundered vowel 
    
   a moon grows above the island  
   among scudding clouds 
   of this 'little winter season'  
   which soon will spill danker ink  
   in long verses over the waves 
   so that crows and goats and dirt-poor children 
   in song may plash in the madder  
   as if celebrating birding 
    
   three, four, five days and nights  
   cordage by day invisible like dying  
   or the grope surfacing stitch by stitch in a stanza  
   to unbind darkness 
   when time has its tidal time as reaper  
   with the fields of the body 
    
   until the veiled fleece fades  
   to shrouded likeliness 
   and schedules over the nacre land  
   fall away like rags of rotting flesh  
   and the mandolin moon bloats virginally full  
    
   a sloop of bone 
   your skull, Mahmoud

(Continues...)

 



Excerpted from VOICE OVER by BREYTEN BREYTENBACH Copyright © 2009 by Breyten Breytenbach. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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