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Two poems by Christopher Mlalazi

In Christopher Mlalazi’s two poems “The Trophy Hunter” and “Potbellies” men are in focus. Men, showing their disgust by clenching their flaccid fists in the TV couch; isolated men, living in their own couch-universes. Mlalazi, poet, writer, and dramatist, hails from Zimbabwe but is currently living in Mexico. Mlalazi has written several novels and plays. His novel Running with Mother (2012) has been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish.

Credits Text:Christopher Mlalazi 10 november 2020

The Trophy Hunter

He sits at Weirdo’s
brooding over a mug of beer
the TV blares in the background
arrays of bottles with lewd promises
He has been sitting for a while
and outside the frosted window
the city is beginning to stir

He keeps swearing to himself
every time the TV does it again
mocking him with those bloody posters
he licks froth from his red mustache
belches and raises his mug
a toast at his other self
staring back from the cracked mirror

The TV in the mirror hurls another poster
Black lives matter what
He ducks and swears
that he will continue hunting them
those damn animals
deep in the jungles of the old continent
and continue kneeling on their necks

The TV crackles
another poster scythes for his neck
He ducks and bangs his mug on the bar top
a voice yells from somewhere at the back
take it easy pal will yah
there is still plenty of room
for one or two more on the trophy rack

The Potbellied Ones

Beware a new uprising
deep down something is stirring
social media is the new hurricane
touching every corner from city to village

The people are now aware
that those thugs they put up there
have been conning them ever since the revolution
under cover of reclaiming sovereignty

But you cannot hide what has horns
so my grandmother always used to say
wise brow furrowed and eyes looking far
into the future of this abomination

Sooner or later someone will notice
what is really going on dear grandchildren
under all these revolutionary songs
that we are forced to sing as if they are food

The potbellied politician
in his SUV with big buttocks
drives into the village square towards elections
resplendent in party regalia like Doink the Clown
he is sweating rivers under the burning sun
shaking a buttery fist from his podium as he shouts
the west is evil and wants to recolonize us
we must keep fighting hard for the motherland

He later drives back to his mansion in the city
leaving behind starving you and me in the village
fighting tooth and nail for the few crumbs
that the SUV disgorged from its exhaust

Potbelly is talking on his smartphone
please don’t ever think of coming back home
he is telling his son in the west
things are so terrible over here

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