Andrei van Wyk

Scented Candles On A Faultline


I flagellated the man; with nothing but the cruellest month in my mind

His screams brought joy but his tears gave me a fuzzy feeling.

Ooh wah Ooh wah Ooh wah –

His cries break the backs of Priests,

Even as the minds of a generation fall deeper into a pit of mutilation.

Hold me hug me love me/// no don’t – touch me!

The Womb is a weed  but a weed is just a weed!

I am the man,

I am the camera,

That snap shots this beautiful world;

I never mean what I say;

“Beautiful” is something else.


Dit is so pragtige, maar so lelik,

Ek wag en wag en wag na die bosse.

Waar is my, wat is die afrikaanse word?1

…ahh…ummm… “Sanctuary”

Where is Sanctuary!


They run like children through the reeds,

“Oh why can’t they keep their mouths closed” says the old man.

“Oh why can’t they be quiet?”

They scream and shout at the back of the church.


That rapist has preached the word of a solid robust god.

I have flagellated the man,

With nothing but a The Wasteland in my hand and a societal norm in my heart.


Where are you oh kind sir,

You’ve been gone for far too long,

Silent for far too long,

Jaded for far too short.


We were at the bar while Breyten stood on the (K) stage waving his finger,

Lets call it (k) or Jewsep (!k!)

That little finger, a tall man, a nice man but oh so violent,

You sing it sister! You preach it!

The life of a god with the mind of a peasant.


My thoughts leave me as the twisted sky whirls around like the smoke off a cigar,

And the silence of a pin drop tings! Ting! Ting! In the burrow!

Yo! Yo! Where can it be found?


I’m a hotnot by heart but a fool by night,

We sang songs of death on the curves of Hyde Park,

And our jealous voices raged happiness.


The holes in the ground hop over my car,

The screaming hobos sell loans and dreams,

Whilst we’ve buried our heads in the ground,

And rooted for someone with,

A similar face, a similar smile or similar hair.


We fight fire with fire and we fight words with words.

We drift through the wood of words.


My country is a place devoid of the knowledge of reason,

And we all love the ones we hate.

I watch as colours bleed across the streets feeding children of ample desperation,

I could laugh but the sound will disappear ,

And I would cry but the tears would bring me only a fuzzy feeling.


1.    Translation:

It is so beautiful, but so ugly

I wait and wait and wait next to bushes

Where is my, what is the Afrikaans word?


<< Previous | Next >>


Andrei van WykAndrei van Wyk is a writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Born and raised in Port Elizabeth, he graduated with a degree in English literature and Media Studies from the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg. His writing is characterised by dense and complex experimentalism with influences from Julio Cortazar’s surrealism and James Joyce’s modernist avant-garde. He currently works as a journalist and freelance writer drifting between music and art circles.

Leave a Reply