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Bernat Kruger

Pantaur  |   Infinite | Never |  Space  |  Kariba   |  Archetype   |  atavist Subsaharan-style   |  In the Arctic   |  Cognizance   |  His Arrogance   |  Mythmaker   |  20cm

Pantaur

Needing to feel some sense of anticipation being wholly incapable of doing so
because neither of us can manage escaping ourselves so caught
within ourselves so desperate so asthmatic
The air-conditioned Menlyn air thicken to mucus with passing shoppers an omitted audience Wakes of smoke trailing from the clothes on our backs that darken and rumple with heat
{November 2004}



Infinite

His fingers against his son's spine under the shirt.

Where his son's flesh should there's nothing.His own frame only
taking space below the bedding, on its own.
There's the emptiness inside him.

Inhaled air echo down a cavern that feels wide and cool like lying
on a block of ice a blanket-wrap cool onto ice and skin keeping things dry.

His hand underneath, the linen touching his emptiness trying to fill it
with his own flesh.His abdomen
refusing him access to the cavity starting below the skin the cavern dropping down
round his spine through the mattress through the bed frame through the floor.

With his teeth he rips lumps of hair from his dog swallows the hair, the dog
sniffing disconcerted by this new madness.
He snaps glass off a beer glass chews the glass, swallows, the splinters lodged
in his throat cutting gashes into his tongue at the back.

The iron taste of blood filling nasal cavities. The emptiness
that remains

{October 2004}



Never

I stop the car to wade the knee-deep air light fluff, this curious relic left by a burst of rain lasting less than a minute. The heat making the moisture evaporate from tar now in trailing white wisps that leave the overbearing smell of humidity. Almost like a sauna out in the open.
As three cyclists pass shouting to each other something about cycling straight through cloud

{October 2004}



Space

A uniform knoll rises waist high from grassland.The surrounds
treeless giving clear views of a single cumulus cloud one giant

bleach-white popcorn lumbering silent as stone overhead, its passing shadow
the effortless glide across grass.
And nothing but me and air and above me the blue summer sky
that rises becoming atmosphere thinning to vapors of ozone

that trails off beyond the gravity field and into cold hard black Space

{November 2004, published New Coin December 2004}



Kariba

The moon floodlit and colossal.A flood of stars dimensional over pools of pitch-black sky. The cement straight lake horizon, at distance the Capenta trawlers their net booms tree-shaped and luminous.

The chorus, coming from invisible multitudes of frogs floating on the lake's surface like corks. Nocturnal sounds trailing from bush on shore where the hushed shape of elephant move their hush broken by their slow rustle through reed beds.

That Zimbabwean vacation.That one we never take.Never seem to get round to. Fifteen people on a house boat, one of those extra large ones built special for cruising Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. Like a house welded onto a boat. The Mugabe-thing now giving us the convenient excuses. What makes us not go? What keeps us, restrains us from getting into our cars, driving over there to go lounge under an earsplitting sun with a single colonially dressed steward doubling as the house boat's steersman in brisk white shirt, black pants, black leather slip-ons, filling seriously cold Club Specials in glasses that seem to get cleared and washed by god alone knows who.

An inscrutability peripherally solvable at least by the massive hornbills resting on house boat regalia and seaworthy looking scaffolding.The birds snapping orange beaks blinking jet black eyes oblivious of us immobile below and listening to acid jazz that lull the mind to that blurry siesta in between sleep in between waking in between wanting to come down on something, anything, and not wanting to come down on anything, as the afternoon drifts into that hour when the sun starts burning through glass leaving all the bunks and stools uncomfortable, hell, if it weren't for the air-con and the sun block and the reassuring grunt of hippo

{July 2003}



Archetype

Great American Dream. Lingering visions of stumbling wide-eyed as The Big Winner carrying cash-thick wads stuffed tight down empty Johnny Walker boxes. From the stale chaos of a pre-dawn Las Vegas casino, a dream permanently imprinted on post-1980s greed-consciousness, pure archetype: castrating

Hippy Dream. Quintessential flabby heterosexual couple naked, long-haired, missing K9's, big black gaps. Lips skin-natural, lips hiding disfiguring K9 gaps passively kissing flowers eating rice having sex only ever out of love and never ever out of pure fuck-drive; like the latter never exists, simply cannot because snakes too must surely have that indelible capacity for Vegan. If only snakes tried hard enough. Or allowed us to kiss them repeatedly on the mouth like fuck fat labrador puppies

{January 2005}



atavist Subsaharan-style

Dinner. Boerewors.Cold as plates the toast. Pulpboiled mixed veggies. For flavour
Steers-branded ketchup. And the break

simply had to had to this violent bullet

running this stay-here-die-here temple this trashyard-roof covering office junk vacation
driftwood cement rubble leaking hose connectors drains repeatedly clogging
her edgars trash jewelry the pinewood frames stashed for her rotting suspended

for that silvery future godknows

(December 2004}



In the

in the million haikus of birds in Karoo bush the sun setting over hills keyed-up

at the slow arrival of twilight. It's in the wishing to have a thousand children in the wishing to be dissolved by their demands and their unfiltered energy. It's in the wishing to blow two thousand rand daily at Ibiza on food and real E with friends incapable of being downed. It's in the wishing to meet a thousand vacationing European women in the mornings leaving them little morning poems they carry with them in carry-ons to new places.
It's in the beaming eyes of brunettes in clubs I wish I could meet and drag to quiet places to kiss for three days until their bodies become etched to memory. It's in the wishing to meet that one woman to build a life with to know this is it as permanent as rock.
It's in that cult-like watching of The Osbournes wanting houses to have that same verve.
In the watching of John Edwards learning the dead live along with us inside us until they fade to something more than just silence.
It's in the startling speed dogs learn to live with wild animals sharing their yards with them. In the crisp startle of being woken by someone when the morning's still dark.
It's in the washing of the Weber on a Monday morning after spending that Sunday with friends. In the cleaning of ash trays and the clearing of bottles from garden beds.
In the watching from a cliff over Llandudno the waves from the Atlantic
roll as slow concentric rings in an expansive pond. It's in the wanting to have

a thousand children in the wanting to be dissolved
by their demands and their unfiltered energy. It's in the wanting to be
at one with the sun in its light
filing into hills

it's in the million haikus of birds in Karoo bush in the wanting to be in that bush
                                                                                                              forever

{November 2003}



Arctic

Cantankerous his raps on the glass inlays, I sneak a glance down to see
if he cracked some of them. I show him through the foyer on into the lounge.
He looks bored from the outset, gives
my chitchat the attention of a nomadic fly in a room.
Within minutes things get uncomfortably austere.
As He leaves the apathy trails his graying head like cheap cologne, the glass inlays
that vibrate as his arctic-white Volvo backs from the drive. The plunger coffee lukewarm still;
heard it said once

that atheists such as myself cannot trust in their own integrity anymore

{December 2004}



Cognizance

We the spirit touchers touched a bird with the palms of our hands
And we the spirit catchers caught a bird inside the palms of our hands
And we the spirit makers became birds inside the palms of our hands
And were struck silent
by the clarity of it all

{April 2002, published donga.co.za June 2002 /part of"Christ"}



His Arrogance

Christ explains he can walk air clear through schism because he has 7 eyes.
That I on the other hand have only 2
eyes.Bending forward he shakes me by the shoulder like I am a slow headed shaker
in dire need of shaking. In less time than the blink of an eye, both me & him
are inside this river its water temperate & alkaline & soft. And hours on

after what feels like thousands of sedate strokes piking placid river
we sit on coarse chalk-sand sun drying feeling that humming reverb
of swim vertigo wong inside our heads.I feel as if I've arrived, somewhere
at least. Sunlight warms my back and the river is this quicksilver vein shimming
with hues of trees and light.

As I sit watching pine needles some tan colored some green submerged
and fanning in river water this lucid.

{April 2002, published donga.co.za June 2002 /seminally part of "Christ"}



Mythmaker Early-seventies beatle-paraphernalia. He has a full beard
He's dressed in white

Like a white tank spray-gunned
full length in Expensive Tailored
white.

(and aeons before any beatle-paraphernalia a man dressed blatantly standard walked

to jerusalem knowing hed get slaughtered there)
&john &yoko

Walked to new york.
if they knew johnd

Get shot there

They would've stayed in Britain.
And john was the high mouth who said he'd be bigger than christ. At abbey road
he took yoko to toilet with him cause he was afraid george & paul
might steal her with a quick render of
Hey jude.
& christ dressed unassumingly
standard thought
he walked on his own without assistance

Into Jerusalem knowing

{January 2003, published donga.o.za June 2003}



20cm

A morning mist leaving colors in blue tint.
20cm from a window pane and any of my movement forces my left shoulder against glass.
I'm hunched with a mug of pungent filter coffee in hand, at a work bench plying wear and tear.
Stark and incidental, this humming bird flints into view. This living thing juts
and hovers a hands length from the glass pane and my shoulder. The smudged
blur of lawn through its wings, its eyes the alive blinking, flashing of jet and olive. It hovers
this soundless recognition palpable momentarily.
Then its off as a dark colored flash nipping over yard bush. And always the activity the compulsion
out-sprinting itself as I ask Johan did you see that? and he shrugs not sure how to respond.
As he hammers his newly done weld the metal ringing out clear and wanging and vibrant

****

Evening and this nail sized moth leads me home.
Flies jammering and whirling in front of my chest.
Leads me on to the front door where it goes and sits on lingering, waiting
on the door wood.
For me to enter

(January 2004, published New Coin December 2004 "20cm"}