Tuesday, March 11, 2014


© Farouk Asvat

Muezzins cry
Into the humid grey maze of the city
Competing for clients,
Where shopkeepers blare Indian film hits
From Madressa Arcade:
Standing on the corner with me
A lonely man watches the world go by;
A hunchbacked midget ambles along
In a red shirt and yellow tie
Smiling the clever smile of the wise;
The naughty streetcorner kids
Take an eyeful of the nubile schoolgirl
Shyly hurrying home in her short uniform;
An unkempt fellow in dirty overalls
Says he loves the Indians
- of America -
An ironic glee in his eyes;
A dishevelled wench throws a casual kiss
Into the late afternoon air
To nobody in particular
Lazily walking along with her albino pimp,
Hiding a flick-knife under his lumberjacket
Heartily responding to the foul obscenities of logic
Gushing forth from the drunkard staggering by;
The smartly dressed troubadour singing
            Is this the life?
            Is this the ghetto
            We wish to preserve?

© farouk asvat

composed: 26.08.1982 [Grey St, Durban, South Africa under apartheid]

[] Acknowledgements:

The Imperial Ghetto was previously published in:

                The Wind Still Sings Sad Songs (piquant publications, p86, 2006).

© farouk asvat.  All rights reserved.

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farouk asvat can be contacted at:                                  farouk.asvat@gmail.com

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