Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Afzal Moolla


clawing at my face,
slipping beneath the facade,

tugging, tearing, flailing,

stripping off the veneer,
exposing the fragmented decay,
under this mask I wear today.

groping for another layer,
embroidered on my thin skin,

peeling, rotting, searing,

shaving away the truths,
entwined in a jagged kiss,
the vacuum of an emotional abyss.

from myself yet again,
bound for nothingness,

desolate, cold, empty,

lost on barren pathways,
bruising my heart as I tread,
at the horrors that lie ahead.


TSTmpj:  Your poem is an overtly powerfully emotional piece, yet you still include a line like "embroidered on my thin skin" which has a much more delicate feel.  How do perceive, as a poet who clearly is affected by the politics of his circumstances, about the value of more pure lyric poetry?

Afzal Moolla: I have always appreciated the lyric poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, John Keats and Alexander Pushkin. Being a child of politically active parents who spent years in exile before returning to a democratic and non-racial South Africa, the power and value of lyric poetry as a means of expressing political and social issues, as well as more personal outpourings of emotion, has always been very close to my heart. The inclusion of a line like "embroidered on my thin skin" in my poem is an effort to counter-balance the pain expressed with a reference to the delicate nature of human sensitivities.


TSTmpj:  Where is "nothingness" for you?

Afzal Moolla: "nothingness" for me is the sometimes barren road that seems devoid of hope. It is the road that a person may be on at a particular time in their life, or the path that a country has chosen to take, with little or no regard for the less fortunate people and the complete 'invisibility' of the struggles and pain of that large portion of humanity.


TSTmpj:  Is a "jagged kiss" a "facade" that inevitably leads to a bruising of the heart?

Afzal Moolla: The impermanence of emotions, even deeply felt ones like love sometimes appear to me as being a 'facade'. A 'jagged kiss' is the bittersweet and often conflicting feelings and emotions that love stirs up in one's heart, and yes, at times it can be a convenient 'facade' to shroud the conflict raging within a heart, which also at times, may inevitably lead to the bruising of the heart.

Bio Note

Afzal Moolla lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes for pleasure and is an avid reader of history.

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