Head on Fire
This is Lesego Rampolokeng's first book of poems to be published in South Africa since The Bavino Sermons (1999). Head on Fire includes the complete text of The Second Chapter, originally published by Pantolea Press in Berlin in 2003. One measure of a poet is the range of his concerns, and Lesego Rampolokeng takes on religion, war, street violence, global economics, obscenity, history, wordplay, sexual perversion, and, not least, his own contradictions. If he spatters the reader with blood and body fluids, it is not to shock or repel but to "engage with my world in all its manifestations...I want to see all the spluttered blood and gore. So I'm attempting to embrace its beauty. Hopefully." Few South African writers are as prepared as Rampolokeng to acknowledge that we all are the authors of our own chaos. "It is necessary for us to strip right down to the bone and see exactly how ugly we are as a people." Or, more aphoristically: Not the barbarian at the door - but the savage at the core.
Publication Date: 3/15/2012