Butterfly

January 28, 2015 § 3 Comments

Observe the chrysalis.
Like a fruit
suspended, pendulous,
obscenely full.

Observe its hot globe
its green curve
the mystery of
its bulges.

Is it still?

Is it silent?

Observe the chrysalis.
Like a prison.
What entered once
will leave, flayed
raw.

Observe the chrysalis.
And what terrible
beauty is wrought
by change.

Nicole Best

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On Our Edges

January 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

My ankle
and the razor
cannot seem to part;
much like us. I want only
to bleed with you.

Nicole Best

Cut Scene

January 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Limpid pools of yellow light
like honey on slick tar.
An empty bottle, label
ripped mindlessly.
Jaundiced morning sun on
the stained floor of a nightclub.
(In)human debris.
Nothing has changed, but everything is different.

Nicole Best

Green Thumbs

January 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

I spend time, for the first time
gardening with my mother
in the twilight after a storm threatened
then hurried away.

My fingers seem to sprout smudges,
powdery soil claiming
bookish hands unused to dirt. And
I enjoy it.

She shows me how
to dig beneath the weeds, loosening
their desperate roots. Up close
they are like rivers seen from space.

We pass over the marigolds and
the delicious monsters – biblical
in our extermination.
The weeds cower.

I ask her
“Have you ever wondered who
decided that these are weeds,
and those are plants?”

The question doesn’t seem to capture
her imagination. She is silent.
With filthy hands, I ponder the nature
of right and wrong.

Nicole Best

Studies and Books and Cats and Life

January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hello there, all of my beautiful readers – old and new!

We are almost done with our first month of the new year (fancy that; it feels like Christmas 2014 was just last week) and I think a little personal update is long overdue. I know you’re all mostly here for my adventures in the world of poetry, and increasingly rare reviews of various bits and bobs, but I like to think that sometimes getting to know the person behind the posts makes the posts themselves seem so much more interesting.

So, here’s what’s going on in my life right now!

Last year was the final year of my BA languages and literature degree. I have completed my initial foray into tertiary education, majoring in English and specialising in creative writing, and I may very well have done it cum laude (but I’ll know for certain when UNISA finishes auditing my degree). What’s next, academically-speaking? My BA English honours degree at the University of Pretoria this year. I am thrilled to be finished with undergrad, terrified by the prospect of postgrad, and eager to learn and get a taste of real university life. I now have both a car and a legitimate driver’s license, so that should make the endeavour a little easier on everyone after my long struggle with everything personal-transport-related. Look at me, growing up and stuff!

In terms of make-up artistry, I suspect that my studies are going to keep me too busy to be dashing around Gauteng beautifying people at the drop of a hat, and it may have to take a back seat. We shall see.

However, I have started accepting both editing and copywriting work from various clients, so I have high hopes of that picking up as the year progresses. I enjoy both jobs more than any one person reasonably should and all I want to do is edit and copywrite more, which is undeniably positive.

In the midst of all that, Jan is now working as a full-time graphic design lecturer at The Open Window – yes, he finally got the job! This means that adult things like saving and budgeting can occur (woohoo) but also that fun things like outings and holidays can occur (woohoo!). I am ludicrously proud of and elated for him. Every day is the first day of the rest of our lives…roll on, 2015.

Merla is happily settling in to our new place (yes, we moved, but moving is a hellish experience so I’m not going to dwell on it) and has even made a new kitty friend called Muis (Mouse). She sleeps a lot, eats a lot, and occasionally bites our toes just to show she cares.

And, well, that’s my update! All the important things have been covered. 🙂

One thing I really want to try to do in 2015 is write more. More poetry, more prose, just more. It’s a skill I need to work on, and a vital outlet for me, and I cannot allow myself to neglect it no matter how I feel or how busy I am. So I have found a bunch of poetry-writing challenges to use as prompts when I’m feeling a little uninspired, and I will truly endeavour to post at least one piece of writing a day. I need to scatter these little snippets of my thoughts out into the universe to be perused by you lovely people – there’s too much going on in my head to keep it all locked away inside. I hope you’re prepared for the inundation. 😉

May we all grow as creative beings this year!

I am happy to have you along for the ride. 🙂 

Human Duet

January 22, 2015 § 2 Comments

I like poetry
because
all the world’s words feel
like shivering splinters of me,
and whatever’s inside
this flesh yearns to gather
them like fragrant leaves, and scoop them
up, and fling them exulting
into a patient universe.

I like poetry
because
it marches inexorably onwards.
and
it. stutters.
And it flows along like a midnight flight of fancy, full of fluted flutters
and it wraps rhythm round me, snakelike,
fatelike,
then snatches it away.
And both wrap and snatch feel good.

But mostly, I like poetry
because
I can stumble upon a stranger’s writing
and have an experience akin to
watching thousands upon
thousands of transparent sheets, each
containing a single vital dot
piled onto each other to create
an image
that suddenly resolves into sharp
relief much like someone grabbed hold
of the edge of the world and gave it a good hard flick
to set it straight again.

And I can read a simple poem about
walking in the garden with a child
or trees after a hurricane
or falling asleep next to somebody
and have all the layers of my consciousness
match – for a few gilded seconds –
the layers that somebody else
laid down.
And I can see their image.
And I am its mirror.
And the gap evaporates like mist.

Nicole Best

Push-Pull

January 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Needles terrified me, once.
In a frenzy, I’d
clamber away, claws bared:
outright feral.

Lately, I go willingly –
enthralled.

Nicole Best

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