Anthology for Listening Vol. I. I SPIT IN MY PALMS AND RUB THEM TOGETHER
I SPIT IN MY PALMS AND RUB THEM TOGETHER
By MATHAPELO MOFOKENG, GABY BEYERS & CLAIRE COETZEE
This poem was created through a collective listening and collaborative writing process:
Each writer chose their favourite line from a piece of writing done during the 8 months of writing together. They were paired with another writer, and swapped lines. Each person then did a free-write with the line they received, then underlined 10 phrases from their free-write. These 10 lines were passed on to a different writer who turned them into a poem. The initial line (which is the title of the poem) was supplied by Gaby Beyers; the free-write & 10 lines were created by Mathapelo Mofokeng; and the arrangement of the final poem was by Claire Coetzee.
But still they prepare for the wedding banquet.
The rocks, the shrikes and the trees:
Here to feast.
– My body is cold and wet;
It’s my secret, our secret.
Of my breath lingers on my hands.
– I lift my palms and place them;
On the shoulders of those I love.
Of alcohol oozes through my skin.
– The brown sand:
an uneven aisle runner.
Of fear once oozed through my pores.
– I grasp each guest;
On the cheeks and,
Pull them in for a kiss.
In places I would rather not be,
Touched. The red mimetes here:
One part dead,
– The other alive!
I am a bride long married to your final breath.
But still they prepare:
For the wedding banquet.