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Death By Aesthetics
(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Death By Aesthetics

Poem By Mona Van Duyn

I hate this restless feeling, first I messed up the bedroom
putting all my books which were cluttering the white sitting
room, on the bed, then messed up the study by shoving books
helter-skelter on to the racks, continued my mission of
confusion by creating chaos in the kitchen, seeing as
it was already sprinkled with crumbs

I added my new thick file spilling papers and my favourite
pictures, including Sean Connery and laughing people having
fun, fantasy rooms, an article on slavery in the Cape com-
mitted by the English themselves, no less, they had a
thriving monopoly, according to Lady Anne Barnard
who wrote it all down in her Journal

Compounding the feeling of losing control, the radio playing
Golden Oldies, Roger Whittaker singing Now you Don't Believe
In If Anymore, I smile - I still do and always will - if
nothing else, at least it keeps that dour expression of
deep suspicion from my face, I dream about If all the
time - trying to focus amongst all the noise

I opened my French file just to find it impossible to pin myself
down, the feeling of accomplishment after last night's work,
five pages of notes from Labour Equity Law and School
Legislation in South Africa - is still too fresh in my head -
it seems having chocolate for breakfast must have been
bad because I feel jittery

Running around like a chicken without a head - time to settle
and wait for the mental fog to disperse before doing something;
Tom Jones belting out It's Not Unusual To Be Loved By Anyone;
right, I shall nestle against my beloved in front of the TV
he's watching rugby, it will help me doze off, upon waking
I shall try again to do something useful

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