Howl Marikana

Announcing his intentions with a howl that echoes Ginsberg, Aryan Kaganof offers a funeral march to fallen comrades. Is it possible, he asks, to find hope and beauty in the pain and injustice, the waste and the loss, the bones, cinders and blood?

 
 

And they cried with a loud voice,
saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the earth? (Revelation. 6:10)

 

Colours were simpler then. Meant
less. At least it seemed that way. Before the
burning. Millions of colours. Burnt alive. At the stake.
Roasted because of their toxicity. Poisonous colours. Then
the beginning. Again. After the end. Fewer colours. But
meaning more. 2300 colours. All that was left. After
the colourcaust. Colour burning. Only the strong
colours survived. Pure. Survival all that

ANDRIES NTSENYEHO killed by police.

mattered. Matters. A smattering of
beautiful colours. Colours to re-
flect on. Reflectivity. The
depth of colours.
Colours for the
shallow
waters and
the deep. No

ANELE MDIZENI killed by police.

muddy colours.
Muddy colours rendered
redundant and left out of the
lexicon. Deprogrammed. If your
colours start acting up then you take
their friends. The colour now. The colour
girl. There’s not a colour that I can’t fix. I can
do it in the mix. In the beginning again the colour

BABALO MTSHAZI killed by police.

flesh became the colour burn.
And the colour stoned me.
The colour gassed me.
We were given again and then some. Offered up. Sacrificed.
To the one god that punished us. Open and shut. Closed. Circuit.
Colours were simpler then. Beginning again. Not meant less. Billions of
colours like bytes. Megabytes. Gigabytes. All of them. Lost and burnt
again. Terrorbytes. Ashen colours. Colours that were taken out in

BONGANI MDZA killed by police.

body bags. Colour bags. Sanitized. And if your colour starts
acting up then you bag her friend. Body bag. And the
colour body was made flesh. Flesh bag. Hand bag.
Colours were simpler then. Meant less.
Meaning less. Meant to mean less.
At least it seemed that way.
Seeming
less.

BONGANI NQONGOPHELE killed by police.

Bursting. At
the seems.

And the waters parted.

With a staff. Thy rod
and thy lexicon
shall convert
me.
Convertible.

BONGINKOSI YONA killed by police.

Thy shalt not
convert thy neighbour’s
colours. The word thief. Asymptote.
Acolyte. Colourbyte. White. Colours for
Whites-only. Red meat eaters. Survival. The
word survival surviving. What a scene. We saw
the great colours of our generation mind blown. Coloured
up.

CEBISILE YAWA killed by police.

None of it meant to be. Not for me. Marikana democracy.
A guilty name not an alibi. Subconsciously. Inevitably.
Ready or not for colours here we come.
Meaning less. Meaningless.
Guillotine. Cellophane.
The colour wrap.
Claustrophobe.

FEZILE SAPHENDU killed by police.

Phobic.
Millions of
colours skinned
alive. Only the strong
colours survived. Say it
again. Say what? Say colour?
We heard the colour say our names.
And in the beginning again the colour

JACKSON LEHUPA killed by police.

god was made one with the colour son.
Now
I’m a believer.
Like this. Like that.
Like me. In the beginning
was the Coloured Light. And the
Coloured Light was good. And the Coloured
Light was made flesh. Flesh wounds. 78 wounded and 34 dead

JANAVEKE RAPHAEL LIAU killed by police.

on the battlefield like meat eaters. Stuck on meat.
Carrion. Vulture days.
I saw the
best
colours
of my generation
getting eaten by vultures.
2300 colours. Then the sanctuary

JOHN LEDINGOANE killed by police.

will be reconsecrated. Stop! Say no more.
Silenzio. Whites were simpler then. Meant less.
At least it seemed that way. Before the burning. Millions
of whites. Burnt alive. At the stake. Roasted because of their
toxicity. Poisonous whites. Then the beginning. Again. At the beginning.
Fewer whites. But meaning more. 2300 whites. All that was left.
After the holocaust. White burning. Only the strong whites
survived. Pure. Survival all that mattered. All that

JULIUS MACONTYWA killed by police.

matters. A smattering of beautiful whites.
Whites to reflect on. Reflectivity. The
depth of whites. Whites
for the shallow
waters and
the deep.
No
muddy

KHANARE MONESA killed by police.

whites. Muddy
whites rendered
redundant and left
out of the lexicon. De-
programmed. If your whites
start acting up then you take their
friends. The white now. The white girl.
There’s not a white that I can’t fix. I can do

MAFOLISI MABIYA killed by police.

it in the mix. In the beginning again the white
flesh became the white burn. Why Marikana God?
We were given again and then some. Offered. Sacrificed.
To the one god that punished up. Open and shut. Closed. Circuit.
Whites were simpler then. Beginning again. Not meant less. Billions
of whites like bytes. Megawhites. Gigabwhites. All of them. Lost and burnt
again. Terrorbytes. Ashen whites. Whites that were taken out in body bags. Sanitized.

MAKOSANDILE MKHONJWA killed by police.

And if your white starts acting up then you bag her friend. Body bag.
And the white body was made flesh. Flesh bag. Words were
simpler then. Meant less. Meaning less. Meant to mean
less. At least it seemed that way. Seeming less.
Seams bursting. At the seems.

And the waters parted.

With a staff. Thy rod
and thy lexicon

MGCINENI NOKI killed by police.

shall convert
me.
Convertible.
Thy shalt not
convert thy neighbour’s
whites. The white thief. Asymptote.
Acolyte. Soundwhite. Words for Whites-
only. Red meat eaters. Survival.

MICHAEL NGWEYI killed by police.

The white survival surviving. What a scene.
We saw the great whites of our generation mind
blown. White up. If your white starts acting up then
you take her friend. Apostrophe. None of it meant to be.
Not for me. Surely no Marikana possible in a Democracy? Subconsciously.
Inevitably. Then the cancer. We come as whites. Simpler whites.
More complex whites too. Simpler then. Meaning less.
August 16 2012 what does it mean? Does it mean?

MODISAOTSILE SAGALALA killed by police.

Meaningless. Meaning more. Before the beheading. Guillotine. Axe me
no questions and I’ll tell you no lies. Drowning in a sea of doubt.
Cellophane. The white wrap. Claustrophobe. Phobic. Millions
of whites skinned alive. Only the strong whites survived.
Say it again. Only the strong whites will survive. Say
what? Say white? I heard the white say my name.
And in the beginning again the white god
was made one with the white son.

MOLEFI NTSOELE killed by police.

Now I’m a believer. Like this.
Like that. Like me. In the
beginning was the
white light. And
the white light
was good.
And the
white

MONGEZELELI NTENETYA killed by police.

light
was
made
flesh. Flesh
wounds. Meat
eaters. Stuck on
meat. Carrion. Vulture
days. I saw the best whites

MLANDULI SABA killed by police.

of my generation eating. Eating
like vultures. 2300 whites. Then the
sanctuary will be reconsecrated. Say no
more. Silenzio. Beginning again. Blacks were
simpler then. Meant less. At least it seemed that
way. Before the burning. Millions of blacks. Burnt alive.
At the stake. Roasted because of their toxicity. Poisonous
blacks. Then

MPHANGELI THUKUZA killed by police.

the beginning. Again. At the beginning. Fewer blacks.
But meaning more. 2300 blacks. All that was left.
After the holocaust. Black burning. Only the
strong blacks survived. Pure. Survival all
that mattered. Matters. A smattering
of beautiful blacks. Blacks to re-
flect on. Reflectivity. The
depth of blacks. Blacks

MPUMZENI NGXANDE killed by police.

for the shallow
waters and
the deep.
No
muddy
blacks. Muddy
blacks rendered
redundant and left

MVUYISI PATO killed by police.

out of the lexicon. De-
programmed. If your blacks
start acting up then you take their
friends. The black now. The black girl.
There’s not a black that I can’t fix. I can do
it in the mix. In the beginning again the black
flesh became the black burn. Why Marikana God?
And the police stoned me. The police gassed. Guessed me.

MZUKISI SOMPETA killed by police.

Blessed me. We were given again and then some. Offered. Sacrificed.
To the one god that punished us. Democracy. Open and shut. Closed. Circuit.
Words were simpler then. Beginning again. Not meant less. Billions of
words like bytes. Megabytes. Gigabytes. All of them. Lost and burnt
again. Terrorbytes. Ashen words. Words that were taken out in
body bags. Black bags. Sanitized. And if your black starts
acting up then you bag her friend. Body bag. And the
black body was made flesh. Flesh bag.

NKOSIYABO XALABILE killed by police.

Blacks were simpler then. Meant
less. Meaning less. Meant to
mean less. At least it
seemed that way.
Seeming
less. Bursting
at the seems. . .

And the waters parted.

NTANDAZO NOKAMBA killed by police.

With a staff. Thy rod
and thy lexicon
shall convert
me.
Convertible.
Thy shalt not
convert thy neighbour’s
blacks. The word thief. Asymptote.

PATRICK JIJASE killed by police.

Acolyte. Soundbyte. White. Blacks for
Whites-only. Red meat eaters. Survival.
The word survival surviving. What a scene.
We saw the great blacks of this generation mind
blown. Black up. If your black starts acting up then
you take her friend. Apostrophe. None of it meant to be.
Not for me. Marikana. A massacre. Subconsciously. Inevitably.
Then the cancer. Ready or not for blacks here we come.

PHUMZILE SOKANYILE killed by police.

We come as blacks. Simpler blacks. More complex
blacks too. Ready or not here we come again.
In the beginning was the dictionary.
Then the thesaurus. Word sound
and power. Simpler then.
Meaning less. Meaning-
less. Before the
beheading.

SANDI TEYISE killed by police.

Guillotine.
Tell us no lies.
Drowning in a sea
of doubt. Cellophane.
The black wrap. Catastrophe.
Phobic. Millions of blacks
skinned alive.
Only the

STELEGA GADLELA killed by police.

strongest blacks survived. Say it again. Only the
strongest blacks will survive. Say what? Say black again?
I heard the word Black say my name. And in the beginning
again the black god was made one with the black
son. Now I’m a believer. Like this. Like that.
Like me. In the beginning was the Black
light. And the Black light was good.
And the Black light was made

TELENG MOHAI killed by police.

flesh. Flesh wounds. Meat
eaters. Stuck on meat.
Carrion. Vulture
days. I saw the
best blacks of
my
generation
getting eaten

THABILE MPUMZA killed by police.

by vultures. 2300
blacks. Then the sanctuary
will be reconsecrated.
Say no more.
Silenzio.
Beginning
again. Words
were simpler then.

THABISO MOSEBETSANE killed by police

Meant less. At least it
seemed that way. Before
the burning. Millions of words.
Burnt alive. At the stake. Roasted
because of their toxicity. Poisonous
words. Then the beginning. Again. We
end at the beginning. Fewer words. But
meaning more. 2300 words. All that was

THABISO THELEJANE killed by police.

left. After the holocaust. Word burning. Only
the strong words survived. Pure words. Survival
all that matters. A smattering of burnt words. Words
to reflect on. Reflectivity. The depth of words.
Words for the shallow waters and
the deep.
No
muddy

THAPELO MABEBE killed by police.

words. Muddy
words rendered
redundant and left
out of the lexicon. De-
programmed. If your words
start acting up then you take their
similes. The word now. The word girl.
There’s not a word that I can’t fix. I can do

THEMBELAKHE MATI killed by police.

it in the mix. In the beginning again the word
flesh became the word burn. Lets burn the word
Marikana. Stone the word Marikana. Marikana the
word shames me. Is this my country? We were given
again and then some. Offered. Sacrificed. Open and shut.
Closed. Circuit. Words were simpler then. Beginning again.
Not meant less. Billions of words like bytes. Megabytes. Gigabytes.
All of them. Lost and burnt again. Terrorbytes. Ashen words. Words that were

THEMBINKOSI GWELANI killed by police.

taken out in body bags. Word bags. Sanitized. And if your word starts acting
up then you bag her friend. Body bag. And the word body was made flesh
word. Flesh wound. Words were simpler then. No double entendres.
Meant less. Meaning less. Meant to mean less. At least it seemed
that way. Seeming less. Bursting. At the seems.

And the waters parted.

With a staff. Thy rod
and thy lexicon

THOBISILE ZIMBAMBELE killed by police.

shall convert
me.
Convertible.
Thy shalt not
convert thy neighbour’s
words. Covertly. The word thief.
Stolen. Asymptote. Holy acolyte. Soundbyte.
White. Words for Whites-only. Red word eaters. Survival.

HUMAN BEING killed by police.

The word survival surviving. What a scene.
The President saw the great words of his generation
mind blown. Word up. If your word starts acting up then
you take her comrade. Apostrophe. None of it meant to be. Not in a
democracy. Marikana acting out a bloody fantasy. Blood is his shame
not a colour. But it’s also a word. Mockingbird. Subconsciously. Inevitably.
Then the cancer. We comes as words. Simpler words. More complex
words too. In the beginning was the dictionary. Then the the-

FATHER SON killed by police.

saurus. Word sound and power. Simpler then. Meaning less.
Words like freedom justice human rights and dignity.
Made meaningless. Drowning in a sea of doubt.
Cellophane. The word wrap. Claustrophobe.
Phobic. Millions of words skinned alive.
Only the strong words survived. Say it
again. Say what? Wordy
rappinghood

BROTHER LOVER killed by police.

Say word up. And down again like AMCU
and NUM. We thought we heard the
word Union say our names. And
in the beginning again the
word god was
made one
with the
word

WORKER BREADWINNER killed by police.

son.
Now I’m
a believer.
Like this. Like
that. Like me. In
the beginning was
the word like. And the
word like was good. And

SOUTH AFRICA killed by police.

the word like was made flesh.
Flesh wounds. Meat eaters. Stuck
on meat. Carrion. Vulture days. We saw
the best words of our generation getting spoken
by vultures. 2300 words

like bullets shot:

Will it be your tun next?
To be killed by police?

 

Aryan Kaganof is South African film-maker, novelist, poet, and artist. His filmworks include Giant Steps (with Lefifi Tladi and Bra Geoff Mphakati) and SMS Sugarman, the first film to be completed using a cellphone camera. He blogs here

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