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Born from his Head

by Lionel Murcott


Once there was a hungry man.

He ate up Prestige.
He ate up Good Will.
He ate up Newsreels.
He grew so big that he
filled his whole mansion.

Then he started to ache:
his head throbbed.
Ease me, ease me.
Open my head, he called.

A man with a panga slashed
his head – and out poured
a many-armed-and-legged being
black as oil, and it was called
Debt, Penury, Chaos,
Third World Loan Status.

And the being on its many legs
ran through the land.

Mielies dried up,
trees wilted, even
the cosmos flowers faded.

Running, running . . . the thirsty child
of the hungry man.