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.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Continuity of Contrivance

Posted by Simon Halliday | Friday, April 14, 2006 | Category: | 2 comments

Arrivals 08.04.06

You are sharpened for me

in the distances that

separate us

although threatened by the

habits of my myopia

you resisted

the inclement weather of

your arrivals and departures

is shuddering

I hope it rains so that we can

stay indoors and I shall

look at you closely

African Revolutions 08.04.06

It is startling

you know

to see the formation

of it to

see its structure

spring up and

around me:

burgeoning civility

it is in the habits of

words their

seemingly instinctive


movements from the

mouths and

hands of mayors, MECs

and presidents

there is a photo of a

handshake between a white

man and a black man

another with

the hands of two

black men clenched in

'Comradeship' (pat

on the back strong)

it's about histories I'm

told, that they're constructed

and aided and abetted

by the evility

of Europeans who stole from

us Egyptian heritages

or in the momentous

let-downs of colonials

who colonised, sucked

dry and left messes

of institutions and hazards

of politics

but the limelight, green and

brown as it should be,

has yet to fall at

the feet of

any who accept guilt, or

at least responsibility

for to do such would be

truly revolutionary

and no one really

wants to start

yet another

African Revolution.

Leather Cuff 08.04.06

I carry you in the

oddment of velcro


you slip off quite easily

the rip/tear of


had it always been

that easy for us

we may

have left each other

in slightly less


Translation 11.04.06

translate the moment:

take the language of it

the commentary, it is

all contained, inherently

worded the structure


the aphorism of it

is in the explanation

the interpreted moments

translated for you

principled and hoped

formal, hoped complete

but the missing: the

apothegm - the

completeness is flawed

the circle slashed and gutted

in its formality, its attempted

grace – causelessly

imperfect and its

arisen nature and I

incapable of translating

this: these times, these

gonenesses these missings

these nows

Taken 11.04.06

delved and dug

out the thrown soil

of that which

so sustained me

I was beneath it, held

under the earth

roots lifelong deep

and reclaiming water

this is the ideal, taking,

feeding off of the earth

quenching the dry

landscapes, dusted

as they are with but

the raindrops of my

consciousness, seen as

I am the morning dew

falling off of the grass

bodies and reentering

the earth as I would setting

roots down once more

Chromatic 13.04.06

and the rush of it through my veins and

blurred pumping in my head

and the idea or persuasion of stars

in my bloodshot eyes

“it's mounting you know the tension

the excitement of how people are

reacting to it, the meaning of all

these people, the famed and acclaimed

moving around in our spaces

we see them and know we

can ultimately be like them”

and it's the lights, the mirrors the fuck-off

fast-moving shiny cars

and the breast implants the good ones that

actually look touch-them-real

“I saw her you know, the red-head

with those gorgeous breasts and that

CK dress, but for the Donna Karan watch

she would have looked really, so

awfully damn good, the watch should've

been Cartier you know and maybe

the shoes by someone better and that

fragrance she was wearing...”

and I see them waving and I wave back 'cos

that's what you have to do

and the shit-skew walk and credit card credit

card jack-lime strong babe

“but I'm not sure if he's straight of

if he is not, but he dated that

girl, you know the model, and she

was highly sexed (I know) and

he wouldn't have pulled it off if

he were gay, but maybe he likes

that stuff too much and I always see

him with that guy you know...”

and it's the short skirts, the ones the 12 year olds

are wearing sweetie

and the hair back tight and Beyoncé front curl

and the tight black so-80s retro

“and the mirrors sweetie, they're

fucking everywhere, it makes you

feel narcisississitisic... vain you

know, but ok really, because we're

hot and other people want to see

us like this and it makes it easier to

make sure that we're hot and not

looking like something dragged in”

and, truth be told, I couldn't give a shit

about it anymore.

I observe a Picasso 13.04.06

the idea of three people

beneath the idea

of a tree

neither a complete

concept nor an

independent one

there are three figures

sturdy, brown and


but they are the concepts

of people, the imagined,

the gone

beneath a mark of nature

that neither resists

nor deplores

its changed state, its denial

or its restructured


mostly, what disturbs me is I how

am stirred by three figures

beneath a tree

Savanna 11-14.04.06

windswept grasses on

the plateaux, baobabs

grown from the deepness

of waters that run beneath

the scratchy tarmac on

bare feet, buildings

erected from the dirt

the dusts and sinews of

rain-warmed rivers

tumbling into the sewers

of my dreams and beneath

bridges arcing over

what is my mind

what is this loam

what is this land

that is my home