Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Scriptures of Saint Simon

Posted by Simon Halliday | Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Category: |

Standing 01.03.06

There is a wreath of madness on it

cutting crown of thorns deep

and allegorized down down

passed down


the scars on my forehead

the tattooed path of blood

down my neck

placed in ceremony the

wreath curls its way around my head

cutting the tendrils of sanity

separating skin and mind


the dark hours spent in

light and the half light

damaged, thrown beneath feet

The trial was held at midday

the laughter of the law

and the giggling whores

making imperceptible my

flickering eyes forcing

the recusal of my innocence

it pulled itself away it did

then claimed it was guilty

to much satisfied applause

A Passing 08.03.2006

Strange to miss

the pain instead

of missing you

to be aware of

an addiction and

to dismiss it

as to miss the

intoxication and my

vibrant self-destruction

I missed you and

pained and missed

pain and missed

my own passing

from no longer missing

to that which is gone

Heard 17.03.06

I wonder if you want me to interrogate you

to uncover events and feelings I did not

know or did not care to understand

it is a plagued existence to be unsure of

my own questioning, of whether there is

need in you to be understood, for you

to feel as though I have recovered you.

But all is not as it would be, the uncalm

me picking my way through the leaves

and sticks of the paths you've left behind

for me to follow. Here and there I see an

indication of what you want, but I remain

unsure, uncertain as to your intent and my

role. Friend I have been and always am

but you felt information would change that

which surrounded us, revelation and dawning

knowledge. But it cannot prevent the growing

closer, the tightening of old bonds better rooted

now, now that I know, now that you are free

at least so free in the knowledge that I am here

that I support you and that should there be

those who would despair, and should you lament

I know and I will hold myself up for you. You

can and must be free with me dear friend, and I

will do my best to question you, and to listen

Memoirs 18.03.06

I saw them coming from behind your teeth

that space where the mouth and incisors

hide one another, they slipped down the

side of your mouth and crawled their

way towards me, unattached to your words.

They were so nonchalant in their damage

so unforgiving in their intent, but still

I would do my best not to bow down

beneath their weight – the weight of

overwhelming histories and dreaded

forgetfulness. Because, I see you have

forgotten and that you have passed by

the past that was once present for us

in this here space, this bed, this chair

and the photos gazing on us in their

unknowing audience to all that would

follow – to conversations, crying and

moans of rapturous guilt that it had been

you and me and the destructive spiral

of shared un-knowledge. Thank you.

Embrace 18.03.06

You know that I might

hold you, that I could

be holding you tight

against my chest, bare

as it would be with its

hair against your cheek

and you listening for

the intents of my heartbeat

for they are sometimes

disinclined to communicate

themselves in the natural ways

but letting you know them

through your touching me

through your knowing me

and reading the litany of

skin, the raptures of my hair

Corralled 18.03.06

In the space that separates denial

and assent lies an area of vanished

acceptance and unuttered rejections

seeing it some have thought that

the light that shone was that of the

moon through thin clouds

others thought they felt sand beneath

their walking feet and others grass,

soil or the dustiest of stones on soles

and none of these follow some implied

conclusion, nor do they necessitate

shouted concurrence nor a sighed renege

it is difficult in the shallow light to

know or not to know, or to be certain

that uncertainty is pervasive

instead inner turmoil is calmed and

the outer emotions of befriended space

belie the temptations that stand there

Withstood 18.03.06

I do not stand well here.

The angle of the ground

does not support me

nor does the incongruity

of your speech.

There are jarring sounds

in my ears – the screeching

halting train too many people

full – moving from your

mouth and heading

towards me standing

bent-kneed and

confused and almost

knocked down by its

pressure on my skull.

But it was insufficient.

I was neither knocked

down, nor shaken. Reality

corrected itself and I was

no longer crippled in sight.

The scripted 19.03.06

I see your legend, the

mark of you branded

on me, it is a raised

mark: you burned

yourself on me and left

your scriptures on

my body, fueled and

flamed on by ignorance

the wind of mine was

pervasive blowing it

all, blustering you up

until all that was left was

the inevitability of your

implosion and how its

shrapnel would sever

any and all connections

that we shared, share

and ever could share.

I do not blame, neither

do I accuse, I accept

the raised skin on

my arms and the branded

notation of your distrust

lingering and dissonant.

'tatious 20.03.06

Are we callous that we

engage in these fruitless

games? This hopscotch

of juvenile words and

glances – intimation.

Brush my hands closer.

Say my words smoother.

The flirting of it, the

wordless tension that

tightens its fickle grasp

to emancipate us, bring

me nearer, distance you.

Confining in human space.

Defining in rhythmic pace.

Her lips curl back in an

attempt to avoid smiling

but I catch their misstep

and laugh to myself, glad

I could witness satisfaction.

Natural intimacy 21.03.06

The wind flirts its way beneath

the denim of my jeans an

unembarrassed lover exposing

me to her openness

luring me into her cold

yet her hands so easily release

their grip leaving me

unsatisfied but still gracious for their

momentary engagement for

a chance at natural intimacy

shivering I close my jacket around

me wondering on loves lost

and the allure of cold liaisons

tightening my skin, exciting me

but leaving me less warm

When we are burning 22.03.06

when we are burning bright

and hard in the summer's light

that is when you arrest

me, that is when you

capture the flaming fields

of my lips and douse

them quickly and smoothly

with your irreverent touches

and left so grounded and

so flushed with the colours

of flame and water and

steam I clench my fists

my lips and my eyes

tightly, tightly, tightly lit

they are and burning still in

the waters of your mind

Autumn Hymn 23.03.06

The jacaranda sheds it

wilted flowers in a serenade

to the morning wind

the dancing lilac of it

overwhelming my sensitive


I see our children feet

here, smaller and

catching on the brickwork

our chasing-games in

the cacophony of falling

leaves and a shower of purple flowers

we are neither running nor

barefoot any more, my

feet are closed off and

invulnerable to the vividness

of crushed flowers underfoot

the crinkling of soft histories

lost child moments in the

chaos of falling flowers

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