March 15, 2017


Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 9:30 am

He’s always laconically late. But he always arrives.
Most of what he’s achieved in life is based on this fact
in combination with the ace up his sleeve: He never disa
grees. Not even when he was getting tortured. Not even then.
His torturers in fact became quite fond of him. He screamed
a few times, but that was understandable under the circum
stances. He gave nothing away. They respected that.
They always lost respect for anyone that spoke.
That ratted. What they never found out was
that the reason he never said anything
was because he knew nothing. He
was entirely unconnected to the
rebels. The hipster guerilla
outfit he wore was a fa
shionista statement.
He was always
ahead of the pack
like that. When the torturers
staged their own tactical defeat
and placed the guerillas centre stage
they legitimized the staging by allowing
the people to vote. The foregone conclusion
was fistuck. You could vote, yes, but the choice
was between the best of the worst, and the worst,
and, indeed, the worst of the worst and those even more
worser than the worst of the worse. The torturers called him
up after the elections and offered him a post at the top echelon
of state. They felt they could trust him. He was someone who
kept his mouth shut, someone who did not break. He said
he would think it over, asked them to call him back the
next day. He fingered the finely stitched hemp cloth
of his guerilla jacket. Walked into the kitchen wh
ere his mother was preparing his dinner. He
smiled at her, kissed her on the top of her
head and said, softly, “I’ve arrived.”

March 8, 2017

blues for a nine

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 1:45 pm

I remember that moment well,
looking down the barrel of a 9mm
pointed at my face. In those nano-sec
onds of the encounter taking place I was
thinking to myself “Is he going to have the balls
to shoot a white man, is he bluffing?” and then calculating,
literally calculating, very quickly, I am talking QUICKLY here,
that although my whiteness might protect me in many situations it
would be unlikely to protect me here with that 9mm barrell so close
to my head and my head so full of ideas about what I would like to do
in the future, and my wife at home with her belly full of my baby, and so
instead of saying “Fuck you and your mother” I put my hands up and said
“The money’s in my left pocket, my cell phone’s in the right.” I did
not mention the 9mm in my left ankle holster…

December 7, 2016

the manager

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 10:39 am


an amazingly bleak word

on its own

just like that

managing – always implying its opposite, always threatening that things are actually not under control

how you doing bru? managing.


November 28, 2016

Tenderloin Passage

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 6:13 am


From Alcatraz to Robben Island is a page
in my notebook away.
I said goodbye to the Devil last night,
bought her one last bourbon.
Tho’ we parted as friends
I won’t see her again.
She’s got a mean streak, is not to be trusted.

From Robben Island to Alcatraz is a
tightrope walk away.
Hope I don’t slip or get busted.

Well I walked up Haight looking for my dream.
What I got was a row of shops selling me packages of a scene.
Now anarchy’s on offer and the Anti-
Christ’s marked down,
it’s a post-Apocalypso special.

But what I don’t understand
is why the bars all shut down
at 2am in San Francisco.


The Devil ‘n me we hung out
on Mason, just jazzin’ with the deadbeats,
listening to their squalor, watchin’
the tables get turned. Changing of the
guard took place about six so we rolled in
to the Punjab. Waiting for our curries,
Devil got listless, start in to breathin’ fire
all over the place.
Damn! She irritate me. I mean
we buddies ‘n all
but this flame-on shit jes draw attention
to the fact that we strangers in town,
who need that ferchrissakes?
Devil she jes don’ give a shit, she say,
“I is Lucifer. I do what I please.
God knows I do. God knows.”

I think about what God knows about
me. All those ladies I abused, especially
the ones that loved me, them the most.
Lord yes, God knows all that. Still shines
her sun down on me. Still breathes her
cool breath on me when my brow be
sweatin’. What about the Devil?
She got a conscience?
I ask her. She say, “All God’s
chillun got a conscience. Conscience
like a sell-by date of the soul.”
“But you the Devil. You got a soul?”
“I’m God’s favourite Angel, niggah,
I am ALL soul!”
Devil snuck outta da Punjab.
I finish my korma. Sip that mango
lassi. Whoopee, Devil sure
one touchy sunnoffabish!


Captain Hook is a veteran.
Usedta believe in the Marlboro
Man. Now he’s not allowed to
smoke in public. Captain Hook
says to me “I think we’re both
insane.” I reply “Aren’t we all,
Captain Hook is snoozin’
Under his bowler hat.
Now can you top that?

This is how it started
In the beginning there was
no beginning
Just the time before time
No space either
Nothing you could touch,
walk into or out of
Then the goddess got lonely
wanted some company
a mirror to reflect in and on
Youniverse came birthed as
electric and magnetic energies
call ‘em male and female
harmony, melody and rhythm
these are the keys to creation

Well the sun’s shining brightly,
it’s almost Spring equinox but there’s
a cold wind blowing so I stay wrapped
in my pony skin.
I just ordered a second cup of coffee.
It’s drinkable; my license to sit in
this lonely corner diner on 9th and Lincoln
writing this summons to you.
What more can I add?
Wish you were here to hold on to
when they kick me out of that bar
tonight at 2am in San Francisco.


Sitting in the Blue Front Café window
watching Haight Ashbury’s multicoloured
petals of innocence unfold with the accuracy
of a razor blade or a judicious helping of
Louisiana Hot Sauce.
The world is cool now in the late
afternoon breeze and even the
trees can’t be bothered to take
shelter from the man in the moon
and his candy coated darts of loneliness.
There is no cure for the underdose
of affection that’s an inevitable side-
effect of the strychnine kick from
the tabuloid and the download bug
that pretended to communicate while
you got on-line. Then before you knew
it we were all in line for the sales pitch
fix that hooked us up to the brain-
machine that thinks our thoughts
for us while we go endlessly
shopping at the identity bazaar
looking for the requisite garments
to cover up the scars that were left
when they stole our souls.

I was walking up Eddy,
turned left into Divisadero,
found you this birthday card
in a shop called Gargoyle.
Gonna mail it tomorrow.
When you get it I want you to know
you’re my hero.
Yeah sure, I can go it alone,
I’m self-sufficient. I’ve got my pony
skin jacket, my boots made for walking.
It’s not that I’m needy.
I’d simply prefer to have you at my
side tonight when they call last round
in all those bars that shut down at
2am in San Francisco.


OK. Now check this. I’m sitting in
the Cha Cha Cha on the corner of
Shrader ‘n Haight. Minding my own
business. Sipping on a bottle of Cerveza
Pacifico. Waiting for my black bean soup
to arrive. Dude walks in. Ferocious looking
Afropessimist. Face all chewed up like he been
through something real bad. Napalm.
Walks straight up to me. Big loud voice.
Muddy Waters big.
“You know what?”
he barks the question at me.
I sip my Pacifico slowly. Set the tempo.
Regain initiative. Read the label while
he eyeballs me. Government warning 1)
According to the Surgeon General women
should not drink alcoholic beverages during
pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.
Time to reply.
“No. What?”
“You an asshole. That’s what!”
I’m surprised by his perspicacity.
He turns to go.
“How you find out?”
He stops in the doorway. Faces me.
“You not only an asshole. You a snake!” –
yelling now – “That’s what you are! A snake!”
Afropessimist shambles off into the busy street.
My black bean soup arrives. It’s tasty.
Ragga music starts booming out of a system
I sip my Pacifico. Study the
bright yellow label: 2) Consumption of
alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive
a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
Waiter tries to short change me five dollars.
I deck him. Damn!
Cha Cha Cha.


Well the Devil was drinking Bourbon
when I sat down right beside her.
She didn’t look up. Whispered straight
into her Bourbon glass, voice hoarse ‘n
raspy like Miles Davis.
“I know what you’ve come for, I know
why you’re here, but there’s no getting out
of this deal. The contract’s long-signed,
I’ve fulfilled my part of the pact. You’ve got
your fame ‘n your gold, leave your soul
in the box at the door.”

You know the Devil was sippin’ Bourbon
when I delivered my impromptu speech.
“Mrs. D when we last spoke
things hadn’t been going too well.
I’d done gotten out of touch with
myself, lost track of who I was.
Thought that I needed silver and gold
and silken clothes and my face on tv
to be someone. Now I’ve had all of that
– thanks for the help – I realise that
I only needed to get it to find out
I don’t need it. See I was born without a
wallet and I’ll leave this world without a
stitch on my back. Everything you offered
me is incidental. What I am is Me.
And all I wish for is to be free.
So on our deal I must renege.
Here’s your silver, your gold, your cape
of silk. My soul is precious to me,
it’s the one thing I can’t afford to lose.
Sorry for the inconvenience,
but your malicious arrangement
I must refuse!”

Well the Devil gulped her Bourbon
down, looked up at me with an evil
frown etched all over her ghastly face.
This is what she said:
“Look here punk, you’re as good
as dead, your soul is mine and you must
deliver or you’ll pay the fine of 9000
lifetimes in purgatorial damnation waiting!”
She ordered another Bourbon with
a maleficient smile curling over her lips,
started in to sippin’ it, steam rising
out of her nostrils. The devil’s drinking
Woodford Reserve. Labrot & Graham
Distiller’s Select. In Woodford country Kentucky,
on the site is now Labrot & Graham Distillers,
Whiskey was first produced in 1812.
Woodford reserve honours this almost
200 year old Landmark on Glenn’s
Creek and its legacy to the distilling industry.
“You guys have to finish ‘em up: time to go.”
The barmaid’s voice from
the depths of the bar.
We stumbled out of there, the Devil an’ me.
She held my hand; we hailed a cab.
She fell into the backseat.
I whispered to the driver:
“Take this bae back to her hotel.”
Held the release form under Lucifer’s nose.
“Just sign over here.”
She did with an “X”.
As the taxi sped away I smiled up
at the full moon.
Her ‘n me ‘n Woodford Reserve
done got the better of Satan!

March 20. Spring Equinox.
Last night I drank Bourbon
with the Devil. At 2am they
chucked us out. The Devil
cussed and threatened the
barmaid with eternal damnation.
“That may well be but still you have to go.”
“Lady, do you have any idea who you
talking to? I am the Devil.
Lucifer. Beelzebub!”
Barmaid look The Devil straight in the eye,
“Sistah, you could be Beyoncé
for all I care, Federal law requires
come 2am I haveta throw you outtahere,
‘n that’s what I’m doing!”
Barmaid upped The Devil’s glass over her head
and suddenly two burly thugs appeared
out of nowhere, manhandled the both
of us out of that joint.
“Let’s party. Take it to the next level!”
the Devil’s gravelly voice rasped into my ears.
“Shut up bish. You’re giving me a headache.”
It’s 2:02am. Me an’ the devil tryin’ ta hail a
cab on the corner of 16 and Valencia.
Cabs ride by, drivers won’t look us inna eye.
We stumble on down to Mission.
“Hey bish, if you the friggin’ Devil
how come you don’ snap your fingers,
summon us the archangel’s chariot?”
She clicks her fingers.
Boom. Woosh.
Gabriel’s fire chariot standing on the tar-
mac. Huge motherfuckin’ dragon bristling
at the reins. Devil hops on board. Grabs hold
of the reins.
“Whoa boy, easy.”
Looks down at me, smiles a wicked
toothless grin, “Hop on board gringo,
we heading for Obituary drive!”
She laughs the deranged laugh
of a womxn who doesn’t have to be anywhere
in the morning. Clears her throat. Spits.
I haul myself in. Next thing we’re hurtling
through the cosmos like the friggin’ Silver
Surfer. My hair catches fire but I don’t
notice until my head’s burnt
down to the


In a hotel room on Mason and Eddy
the Devil sheds a few tears
Holds a few more in
sun peeks through a gap in the curtains
Devil looks up says “Hi”
sun gives the Devil a wink
they’re old buddies
go back a long way
good ole days
Devil shuts the curtain
puts the tv on

…and déjà vu is a place that I’ve been
in a time to come or before
where that trumpet swells from a Sousa march
(or a funeral dirge by Ornette)
whatever the source, it’s the one perfect note
the root and the fruit
of the tree of my knowledge of
God and the Devil
– the realm you have to go through
to discover yourself
and when you do
you’ll find out that
you’re all good –
even your evil…

I’m sitting on the corner of 9th and
Lincoln, got a Vegetarian submarine
#2 and lukewarm coffee spread out
before me and I wondering where
I’m gonna do my drinking when
the bars all close tonight
at 2am in San

October 30, 2016

3 white poems in new contrast, volume 44 spring 2016

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 8:28 pm


October 21, 2016

a semantic fuck

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 3:12 pm


October 3, 2016


Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 2:30 am


call me

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 2:16 am


an angel

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:33 am


love song

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:23 am


holy ghost

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:16 am


a suicidal tendency

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:10 am



Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:06 am


September 20, 2016

the inheritance

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 7:25 pm


whiteness again

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 6:50 pm



Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 6:48 pm


another simulacrum

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 6:42 pm


the return

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 1:32 pm


charlie mansions

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 1:30 pm


on what has been?

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:49 pm


1994 for dummies

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:46 pm



Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:43 pm



Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:37 pm


shitpigge blues

Filed under: kaganof,kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 12:33 pm



Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 8:38 am

When you sat down next to me your eyes immediately started killing me
killing me. “Howzit” you said Joburg accent Aahh bae, I fell for you
fell for you, O sweet bitter lover with your eyes full of kisses but
you never called back to explain. So there I was nursing my
aneurysm watching Abandonment grow like a flower. By
the time I found you again there was someone else
tending your wound. Now my back’s to the wall
I’m Humpty after the fall, you dumped me with
your eyes full of kisses and your tongue full
of tears drowning me, drowning me, So
Buddy deal me another bourbon, no,
make that a double, my bae and
me were playing hi-lo but my
full house was a dead
man’s hand, three
eights and two
aces were be
aten by her
four nines
now I’m
not one to
bear a grudge
but not twice of twice of all
the darkness
you could
Is even half
of half my bitter
load So barman,
deal me another bourbon
make it a double because the
Logos had begun to be when she
threw the book of Kings at me the book
of Judas too, Aah sweet bitter lover, my other
in the ark, I was dealing in the dark when you drew
the wild card but I trumped it with the Wheel of Fortune
ran my lines past you and lied right through you in our musty
corner room on Carisbrook Avenue. Now once again the Logos
has begun to be instead of your tattooed arms wrapped around me
Aah sweet bitter lover, was that really your tongue in my ear
whispering its final discourse on the last eschatology or
a Serpent? How could I refuse you? Well I couldn’t.
So here is your Book of Kings back, your Book of
Judas too, Oh, and here’s a little something to
remember me by Aah sweet bitter lover who
never truly knew me – A Book of Psalms by
yours truly on the sad subject of the Logos
that’s begun to be, my final discourse on
the last eschatology. Today in my read
ing the Lovers came, the Knight of S
words too, and the Page of Cups
today in the park I met Burgess
18 years living on the street
only one sandal between
his two feet, he told me
he was going back to
Joburg I told him
“never go back,
go forward”
Burgess laughed
at that, said it reminded
him of St. Paul, we talked
for a while about Abandonment
I assured him that when our paths
crossed again his sandal would be on
my other foot. Then I walked along Beach
Road to Sea Point P.O. opened my postbox
Did a double take. Did it again. A letter from heaven
Written in your script.

I once read a short
story that made me cry: The Most Beautiful Woman
In Town by Charles Bukowskeye. He wrote “I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that “no”

What else can I say? I think about you night and day.
The gypsey fortune teller dealt. I cut the deck. The
first card that she turned over was the King of A
bandonment. I could feel her leathery fingers
while she so accurately assessed the grisly
condition of my soul. The second card
that she turned over was the High P
riestess of Scorn, yes I know I de
served all that I got but that did
n’t stop me turning over the
third and final card Oh! s
weet bitter lover, how
you grimaced when
I pleaded Your ey
es always spell
ed disaster for
me You’d al
ready mad
e the judgement call
but don’t you remember
Jesus said “judge wisely,
If ye must judge at all” Aah
my soul’s aching for you baby
and I’ll never let you go, I got loaded,
I got lifted caught off-balance by your eyes
Now I can hear the sound of bells that might
be a funeral in the distance, which is it, yours
or mine? Don’t you know light travels through a
vacuum meaning there is no such thing as nothing
and I’m not one to bear a grudge but not twice of twice
of all the darkness you could imagine Is even half of half
my bitter load as I trudge the streets of these strange cities
searching for you I’m still bewildered by your absence cars hurtle down Abandonment Boulevard missing me by inches but I re
main unscathed and unimpressed by miracles, have my
actions caused your loss? Or does your loss explain
my actions? There is no fair weather to befriend
I am disgraced by the total lack of you, neither
trace nor sign nor outline, no imprint of you in
the stars, no shadow, no photograph, even
the pornographic videos have been erased

The fortune teller called me Judas, she
was a feeling you had last night, and
the reaper greeted you by ringing
bells when you visited me last
night. You wore your new
dress to the exclusive
party, You danced all
night to show the
crowd how hap
py you were
Your stockings
got laddered Your
breasts flopped out
of their holsters. As you
walked up the stairs ahead
of me I noticed your stockings
hanging laddered outside your shoes
“How come those stockings hanging outside
your shoes?” But you deigned to reply. You never
let me know the reason why You said I wouldn’t under
stand. Now I’m searching for you baby, on a highway made
of bones that goes by the name of Abandonment Boulevard.

Did you have any substances?
Did they make you forget?
Did he serve you strong liquor?
Did it help you relax?
Did he ask for your star sign?
Did you get your own back?
Are you satisfied now?
Are you feeling much better?

I’ve heard the ocean call me from the inside of a bottle
I’ve seen my name engraved in the dregs of an empty glass
I’ve crawled through countless ashtrays on the journey from butt
to butt but I’ve never been this far down bae, since you’ve gone
“Why aren’t I at the party?” you asked me with that tiny smile
curling up your disdainful lips, well no one invited me but of
course I wouldn’t be attending even if someone did and
everyone who knows me knows that which is why they
didn’t bother and why I didn’t go, so now you know,
what good does it do ya? And just in case it bo
thers you, no, I’m not suicidal I’ve just never
been this far down bae since you’ve gone

So here’s a song from all of my rivers
The ones that flow out into the sea
The ones that still swirl inside of
me, The ones that your loving
set free. Here’s a song from
my roaring waterfalls may
they never shut down
I’ve done my best to
inundate you Irri
gate you cont
emplate and
you but it will
never be enough
I just don’t got the poetry
bae to express what I feel
My love flows in rivers unfolding
in you like several thunders written
in the Book of Storms. I want to take
you swimming bae across the channel
made of me into me dive deep girl butterfly
breaststroke or crawl but mostly do the crawl
I want to watch you crawling bae across my bed
room floor.

And now you gonna wait the whole day for her to phone you
just so you can tell her not to phone you again, you want
the calm satisfaction to replace the abomination of your
passion play of Abandonment and need, of how she
left you nursing the poison that she brought you
how she left to go strike up a conversation
with some villain in the lifetime adjacent
then you walked on in like a miniature
hero, said “I’m going”, waited outside
for her to follow. She did not follow.
You walked the long slow route
home. Tore down yesterday’s
Got tailed by an equally slow-moving cop van.
Hit your bed alone.

Here’s another verse
Here’s another sentence
Here’s another deep wrinkle
of regret. She never called to say
Goodbye when she left, and I still don’t
know why she left. Here’s another thorn
you can place it in my crown, here’s a silver
coin that I bled last week when she left, and I
still don’t know why she left. There weren’t any
flowers and there weren’t any clues not even a fare
well note, just an ashtray full of cancer and some hair
in the shower, that’s all that she left when she left, And I
still don’t know why she left me here on Abandonment Boulevard

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