The Slackted Poetry of Martijn Benders

if all hope is abandoned and you lay awake watching the Contenders
play tapes of some obscure rock band you’re welcome to enter
and check out this slender, delicate verse with metaphors galore
like a Roman brothel frothing incantations through the door

Benders puts his fledgling words in a titanium blender and renders
magic, genre-bending classics poured on the pages like the breath
of an inebriated unicorn, horny stallion like İskender the great
he conquers the known world with the stuff from which she is made

This man is kicking out the moneylenders like a messianic defender
No pretense, just a book of spells, hot as hell, howling like a Fender,
and he isn’t from Flanders, it’s so neat, featuring abundant night birds
you can hear between the lines singing that you can be the first

So nag your spouse for Christmas to upend your slack marriage
get carried away when you unpack Benders’ dense book in the bedroom
very rapidly you become the mender of your matrimonial gloom
your love-making blooms you be trend setter into the imaginary

Picture Oriental caravans of dark wild owls, howling
wholesome epigrams in Hesperian nights full of elves
while fickle lip ghosts approach in saucy steps
and drunk unicorns prowl at the N of hibernation

You don’t want to wait until the year is over to get this on your shelf
so treat yourself or your MILF, leave the cold rime outside
hush hush cuddle by the fireplace with this lush Dutch bundle
be the seamstresses at the seam, trundle into each other’s dreams

The Slackted Poetry of Martijn Benders was originally published on Meandering home

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February 15. Oasis and Streets Ahead.

A morning visit to Oasis and Streets Ahead. At Oasis, we visit a hiphop workshop with young kids, followed by counseling. It is only a roll-out of the concept, the first time they do it with preschoolers (it has been done successfully with teenagers). It seems to work well, the kids like it. The counseling session doesn’t kickstart because there are too many adults present and the kids are shy. But once we leave, or one child is take apart, there is some significant feedback.
And this is not some kind of play. Those kids are living in terrible conditions, are forced to collect empty plastic bottles and walk blisters on their toes, they are often mistreated by their parents. Oasis doesn’t have the authority to get to the parents directly, but can notify authorities, which might sometimes result in an improvement of the child’s situation. Sometimes, because the whole thing has to be seen against the background of Zimbabwean corruption.

We have a quick lunch and move on to Streets Ahead, where we ask a few questions about their income generating activities, see the Capoeira class that is going on outside and excites many a streetkid’s heart, do a donation and part in a good mood.

I leave Harare with a smile on my face, in the truck of  David. David is amazing, he even shows us a lion park along the highway down to Bulawayo. He drops us after a long comfortable drive at a guesthouse. We fill in our names and the name of a random relative, just in case “there is an earthquake”. We sleep well in a room that looks like it has been the bridal suite – at least twenty years ago.