from a corner
© Farouk Asvat
We, the Guys at Jupiters,On the corner of Mint and Bree,
Dream about dating saucy film stars
Driving posh cars
And playing soccer like magic;
- But the Groucho Marx son of a businessman
Fully dressed in paintbrush moustache and rimmed glasses
"Believe you me"
Comes to expound on the virtues of Islamic socialism -
While we go on chowing
The famous fish an' chips
- hot and halaal, with masala,
from the famous Solly's Corner -
Unable to limit ourselves to a Gandhi diet
- You should know that
Here we know the Sheriff and his Junior sidekickWho know all the cops by name,
So some try smoking a joint behind the classrooms
Even though they wouldn't be found dead
With a cigarette in their cupped hands
By their orthodox fathers coming from the shops
Chiqo, Gaff, Faqir and Bra Frooks are the regularsPlaying "There’s one of two possibilities” -
Expounding on the fate of a piece of paper
Sending it on a fantastic journey
From scribbled schoolbook to discarded cigarette butt
From classy serviette to embossed toilet paper in heaven
After the movies at the Lyric Bioscope on Friday Night
There's always toasted steak-and-cheese from Kentucky
Before we go dancing the night away at the Matador
On Saturday Night we wear Arnold Palmer cardigans,Arrow shirts, and spit-shining Jarmans
- For we wouldn't be seen dead in a Gandhi suit -
To go slow-dancing at the Chezgay
With Fataar and The Flames
Perennially singing "For Your Precious Love"
Before we take the girls from Bosmont home
After the inevitable smooching at the Zoo Lake
On Sunday MorningsWe’re all dressed up in Levis jeans, BVDs and Tigers,
For the match at the famous Fietas Grounds
With drunken Scoba and her motley crew
Enthusiastically cheering along with the excited crowd
Up the Callies!
Up the Dynamos!
For in soccer we never play a Bhamjee shot
Always making the perfect pass
© farouk asvat
composed: 1990 [Johannesburg, South Africa under apartheid]
Fordsburg: from a corner was previously published in:
The Wind Still Sings Sad Songs (piquant publications, p60, 2006).
© farouk asvat. All rights reserved.
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