Yellow Shade , livre ebook

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2021

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Yellow Shade evokes the stark textures of township and rural community life: the beauty and passion, the cruelty and humour, the noise, music and stillness. Sedite�s poems are constructed from unpredictable images � �a rain-sniffing wind�, �the knuckles of chairs�, a cupboard �wailing like a dog left alone in a garage� � in a gritty language entirely her own.
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Publié par

Date de parution

02 août 2021

Nombre de lectures

1

EAN13

9781928476399

Langue

English

Yellow Shade
Yellow Shade
Dimakatso Sedite
2021©Dimakatso Sedite
All rights reserved

ISBN 978-1-928476-38-2
ebook ISBN 978-1-928476-39-9

Deep South, Makhanda
contact@deepsouth.co.za
www.deepsouth.co.za

Distributed in South Africa by
Blue Weaver Marketing and Distribution
https://blueweaver.co.za

Distributed worldwide by
African Books Collective
PO Box 721, Oxford, OX1 9EN, UK
www.africanbookscollective.com/publishers/deep-south

Earlier versions of some of these poems were published in the following journals, anthologies and writer blogs: Aerodrome, Botsotso, New Coin, Brittle Paper, Teesta Review, Kalahari Review, Poéfrika and Hello Poetry.

Cover art: Sam Nhlengethwa, “My Grandmother’s Kitchen in the 60s” hand-printed lithograph, Published by The Artists’ Press
Cover design: Gugulethu Nangamso Mtumane
Text design and layout: Liz Gowans
Contents
I
Middle-town
Far from home
My mother’s skirt
The lure of liquid delight
The convent
Purple dance
Coke and coffee on 5th floor
II
Slipping from me
Love on fire
Lokshin pleasure
When women are train stations
Bone of beauty
Ugly
Your magic woman
The shape of a man
I once had dis babé
As you keep running
Pain
Depression
The day she disappeared
Soldier in a black dress
Hanger
One-way ticket
III
My mother’s house
Old houses
Old timer
The War Up North (1944/5)
A bus for the dying
Clothes peddler
Mamboshwa looking for work
Slay queen broken on heels
Mashonisa at dawn
Basket’s day at work
Looking for Bra Satch on payday
Payday at Skoti Phola
Don’t die like I did
The looting
Manana is cold
Geelbooi’s homecoming
IV
First words
The reading
Yellow shade
I had plans
I want to live
NOTES
I
Middle-town
Born from my mother’s warmth, I seemed to amble in this egg
that scrubbed pots and rode a bicycle to work.
I’d suck my fingers till they tasted like cloth.
Growing up in middle-town, clouds looked for an excuse to split
and flee my plainness; my cropped carpet hair echoed my muteness,
which crawled into a classroom filled with whipping canes,
and many songs we sang to make us forget we had no textbooks.
After school, we’d stop by Ntate Moruti, to speak more songs,
about Bethlehem, Judea, our cartilage selves breaking locust legs
of his bench, as we waited for peaches on his tree to redden.

Being homesick means looking through your keyhole of childhood,
to find shiny water buckets missing you.
You become a box breaking into pieces to squat
on a sugar bowl, on a time-washed table, on melamine floors.
Faith hangs like a spider web on Jesus’ Cross,
next to the arms of a dead clock that guards these mute things
that refuse to die with us. Limbs of an apple tree
whip the roof’s gutters with stories, as the sun’s wreckage
lands on the buttocks of dishes in the sink.

Feeling empty is returning to a textbook of friends long snatched
by an illness so ruthless, you could hear their young veins break,
leaving the wind alone to deal with a lorry of grief.
Growing old is a basket cracking your mind everywhere,
sniffing at an hour when friends stopped calling,
as they intrude into your memories like trees.
Ageing is watching your children needing you less and less,
as your bad poems sink into themselves,
as your cloth of defeat trails behind.

Being helpless is watching my mother forget how to
button a shirt – how to hold important things together –
as time stands between her and the mist.
It’s hearing a night with my man tear up into a glass of day,
or watching his heart crash into a younger woman’s chest,
and knowing there is nothing I can do about it.
Far from home
The monsoon Gautrain carries phantoms to work,
shatters a night-clock hanging from the sky’s roof.
Commuters are hard-boiled yolks inside this soundless bullet.
Eyes melt Tselane’s phone screen, it changes with landscapes,
her face mole-less, skirting the edge of a seat.

Later they froth out of the station’s ears, in a stillness only seen
in underwater zones. Buildings reeking of deadlines suck them up,
morph them into desk muffins. They prod the wagon westward,
dragging the hours mounting its horns, to get done, get paid,
and start the cycle again, the next day.

Images on her phone are faster than the train.
She video-calls her father, realises how cold her hands are,
like those of a woman who’s found love late. Dirty dishes
do the fighting for her: forks sticking out, bowls squatting,
as she sinks the weight of her office clock into her sofa.

In Matatiele, the dying sun warms the knob of her father’s thôbane,
his palm gripping its scratchy wood, to steady his frailness.
A fedora hides the grey bush growing on his brows.
As they video-chat, dusk clings to his window frame, healing its crack.

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