Writer

By HAIDEE KRUGER

I keep my tools
hidden,
until the sun rasps
its black breath over
the suburbs. Only then

do I edge from
my demure murmuring disguise,
carrying my pen like
an axe,
waiting in the underbrush for
the first bloodwarm faces
to appear. I like

to slaughter the meat out
of them, to space
their soft stomachs across
the page, to stretch
their sinews into
stems and curves,

or else
to pull their wet skins tight,
nailing them down around
the white silences
squirming. I never
wash my hands

after—the whimpers dry
to innocent ink under
my nails. And besides,

I keep my tools
hidden.

 

 

Haidee Kruger is a senior lecturer in translation at the North-West University in South Africa. Her debut collection of poetry, Lush: Poems for Four Voices, was published in 2007.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

Writer

Related Posts

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature: Bruce Bond

BRUCE BOND
I was just another creature crawling from the mausoleum, / and I thought, so this is it, the place in the final chapter / where I am judged for all my cruelties, blunders, failures of attention, / and I waited for the furies to take me, or some such host. / But it was just another morning.

Sky full of comets

Poems in Translation from Bestia di gioia

MARIANGELA GUALTIERI
And he soars / saved, outstretched / untouched by the gravity that pins us / down / we deserters of empty spaces and heights / shadows cast / into modest taverns for a bite. / Heads in capitals / of rust. / A lifetime annuity of darkness. / Only a cry can save us now.

poetry feature image

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

DENISE DUHAMEL
Where was I / when I was 20? I’d already been accepted / as an exchange student, taking my first plane ride / to London where I’d catch a train / to Wales. On that first flight, I sat next to a woman / in a shawl—how old was she? It’s hard to say.