Joseph Goldblatt is a seventeen year-old South African student in his
final year of high school. He has had a passion for poetry for many
years but has not as yet submitted his work to any publication. He co-
founded and helps run a digital publication called Ukuzibuza that aims
to amplify the voices of the youth in South Africa.

3AM Tele-Church

My Almighty
In holy
Tighty Whities
Alight me
He might, might he
Sight me
Spite me.

Midnight tv
Fiery Haiti
Bite me
Bum one
Light me
Channel twenty
On demand
Sean Hannitty

Pass the remote
So devoted
To these bloated
Fucks on channel three
Supersize my
Let's go to the
Friday night
Sunday service
All-you-can-eat buffet.


Slowly everything is unifying
With that big screen magic
Are cashes of stashed gold
And contain the whole world

Airplanes are shopping carts
And cigarettes are people,
Marlboro Reds are midnight driving
With my dad,
Are long sleeve shirts

Television is religion
And time moves in layers
And I forget my words as I say them

I fear the universe is conspiring
To pull itself together
Without me
In my periphery, I see the plot everywhere.

I witness murders daily
And neon is sunlight in
Mega-cities whose veins
Glow red with brake lights.

Lemon and pepper are medicine
Sweet and earthy,
And pleasure tastes sweet
But so does pain.


I was not made to be touched
by supple skin,
My skin is rough.
I was made to float
through fields of golden stalks
in the late dawn,
I was made to stand on
the dark shoreline
I was not made to lie with you
under honeysuckle and hollyhock
on autumn ground, my shoulders are sharp
I was made to float in august currents
My muscles are weak and pliable,
I was made to sleep on jagged rocks
My skin is thin and pierce-able,
There were cuts on my legs for months
From small stones and dry
thorns, you were fine.

Deep Green Afternoon

Scattered across tessellated paving
And in the open boot of a Toyota Corolla,
Late autumn air, a glow of red
Over everything, sandpaper and wet tar
are miles deep and constellate.
Buildings look like black embers
with cores burning through
in great panes of red and beige,
Cartoon Africa skies with Egyptian Geese
flocking across, and leaves like
Florets of copper wire
catching the last light, sprouting
above the street, broken skin
on hard shins, ripped cotton.

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