Photographed by Yusuf Karsh


I hold you like I held Malcolm before he went away. Before Robben and Mecca laid claim to brilliant, roaring bonfires and hushed them to quiet embers. I remember you as the man who said “it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, as the man who led Umkhonto weSizwe (mama le papa), as the man who said we must arm ourselves to take back our land and dignity, as the Black Pimpernel, the boxer, the lawyer, the one who survived on Madikizela’s devotion – when you were all fight and fire and flame – this is how I love you.

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A Blues For My New Muse or, Sometimes I am a Sad Peach

A saudade. I woke up to my heart shattered all over the kitchen floor of my body. And it hurts everywhere.


As it goes, she only ever fell in love with men who reminded her of a Coltrane A-section at high noon. Everything before the brazen sax. Of melody and mahogany. Sir, you are somewhere between Pursuance and I Want To Talk About You.


Girl, you funny. I said, I don’t know much about Love On Top but I can tell you all about middle-shelf lovin’. About how this inside joke is an inside truth. About not quite. About not enough. About how irritation distorts my face when these catchy, R&B songs play. About how you’ll stretch yourself senseless to achieve some kind of ascendancy. About how fragile things summon disaster when placed on unsteady surfaces such as sleeves. So it’s more mess than magic, really, how I am always able to charm bereft and lonely into some kind of therapy. See, I own my broken, dutifully. Three times over so I never forget. I am this confession. I am this house. Continue reading “A Blues For My New Muse or, Sometimes I am a Sad Peach”