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African Writing Archives


Anton Krueger


Anton Krueger

has won numerous awards for his plays, which have been performed on four continents. His poetry has previously appeared in Botsotso, Itch, Litnet and the Kagablog. He lives in Grahamstown, South Africa.


 Six Poems



reading on your skin,

that you wanted me to try

to get in...i pushed forward...


and yes, i wanted more,

wanted to get to the core.

and yet, how much closer

could i get?


in the effort to reveal

the concealed,

to get to the part

you've defined as your heart,

what muscles must i move through?

it's in these sinews that i lose you.


how to get beyond bone?

is there a question no-one has asked?

can we ever move beyond

the words our language masks?




polemic # 11

nine of ten crimes,

they say, are committed

by someone the victim knows...


which goes to show –

you should be good

to those you know…





“boy dies playing rugby


does this mean they’ll staunch the

flow of the billions being wasted

on the rugbification of the nation?




“boy dies while on ecstacy”

does this mean they’ll increase

their funding to keep fighting

the war on drugs?






thanksgiving day blues

(u.s. army talk)


permission to speak, sir

that’ll be all

answer the question


that’ll be all

permission to speak, sir

answer the question


answer the question

permission to speak, sir

that’ll be all




flat ladder

the numbers

keep on climbing




you can choose

to make them move

higher & higher


                                        … o yea


you can work

harder & make

more moolah


so that


yr food can

have more spices

at higher prices




you can take care

of your flesh – pamper

it to make it live longer




you can

quantify yr power

in terms of the number

working under





the numbers will                                ...and climbing

keep on climbing,     ...and climbing

           ...and climbing




white guys can’t beg

white guys can’t beg,

they haven’t learnt the ropes yet.

you see them standing at the robots,

their signs limp in hand,

looking stolidly ahead

while the zimbabweans work the crowd –


“even for you only R50.00″

says the one at my window,

“i need a ticket to bulowayo”…


the whiteys just stand there, morose,

as if the audacity of having ended up

on the street is outrage enough…

there they stand,

unaccustomed to need:

“single mother…out of work… asseblief.”

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