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Kwanele Sosibo Reviews Head on Fire by Lesego Rampolokeng

Head on Fire: Rants / Notes / Poems 2001-2011Verdict: stick

If writer Lesego Rampolokeng was given to overt off-stage narcissism, he would probably compare himself to a Johnny Dyani bassline. In a country in which populist guitarist Jimmy Dludlu just took a South African Music Award for best jazz album, Rampolokeng’s increasing obscurity is nothing if not symbolic.

In 2007 the journal Chimurenga put out its 11th issue, Conversations with Poets Who Refuse to Speak. Had that volume been released this year, Rampolokeng would have featured in its pages, reiterating his “difficulty” with being thought of as a “performance poet” while throwing in some caustic humour about bards who sell petrol and body lotion.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    May 16th, 2012 @10:21 #
     
    Top

    'it's the age of the automatic storyteller machine
    & the rent-a-poet enterprise you can talk conscience / mission station
    but every walk has a price every talk its lies
    like talking head-bopping toe-tapping
    walking decapitation amputation
    that's not rapping that's diarrhoeared crapping
    that parley in parliament

    NOW poet is pose with a rose
    backyard bard becomes long-distance poet
    pontius pilates the WORD in the poetorium
    i'm talking prose

    between assimilation & alienation they don't ban
    they throw the switch on communication
    & from selling-out to buying in is a grey-matter line
    the monstrosity is regent
    now poetry is beauty pageant
    jump the class fence & land in affluence
    but what lies beyond the prettiness of the performance
    when gangrene sets in after the applause?'
    - Lesego Rampolokeng 'Talking Prose' (excerpt)
    fr. 'Head on Fire'

    in other words, Kwanele....

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