The Black Insider

I Used To Like Tomatoes


This poem by Dambudzo Marecher was originally published in 1992 in his collection of poems 'Cemetery Of Mind, Which Of You Bastards Is Death?'

I get tired of the blood
And the coughing
and more blood
I get out of that flat real fast
to some cool quarrelling bar
and talk big to bigger comrades
washing down the blood with Castle an’ Label
shaking hands about Tsitsi bombed to heaven
trying to forget I don’t like cooking in dead people’s
pots and pans
I don’t like wearing and looking smart-arse in dead
people’s shirts an’ pants
(They said yoh mama an’ bra been for you
said these are your inheritance)
I’m soon tight as a drum can’t drink no more
It’s back at the flat on my back
swallowing it all red back hard down
I woke up too tired to break out so bright red a bubble.


About Dambudzo

Dambudzo Marechera was born in Rusape in 1952. His first novel, House Of Hunger (1978), won the 1979 Guardian Fiction Award. This was followed by four other novels: Black Sunlight (1980), The Black Insider (1990) and Mindblast (1884).

His poetry, collected together in Cemetery Of Mind, was published posthumously in 1992. Today, Marechera’s work, ideas and defiance live on in Zimbabwe, particularly amongst the youth, for his willingness to be the lone outsider, challenging conventional and authoritarian views.

This poem was originally published in 1992 'Cemetery Of Mind, Which Of You Bastards Is Death?'
Source: Poetry International. Image: Fabienne Verdier. All rights reserved.