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South African Literary Journal
Volume 35 Number 1 March 2007
South African Literary Journal Volume 35, No 1, March 2007
Published in association with the Centre for Creative Writing, UCT
Edited by HA Hodge
Special Literary Patron
Dr Z Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts & Culture
André Brink, JM Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Dan Jacobson
Michael Cope, Geoffrey Haresnape, Paul Mills, Stephen Watson
Prof Rosemary Gray (University of Pretoria), Prof Craig MacKenzie (University of Johannesburg), Prof David Medalie (University of Pretoria), Sarah Rowan, Roy Robins, Prof Stephen Watson (University of Cape Town) New Contrast is a peer-reviewed journal published by the South African Literary Journal, a non-profit company limited by guarantee.
Business Manager Michael King Cover painting ‘Primal Song’ by Sonja Wilker DTP by User Friendly Printed and bound by Tandym Print
We thank the following patrons and benefactors for their continuing support for the South African Literary Journal: RN Curry, Keith Gottschalk, Roy MacNab, I McGregor, D van Niekerk, Peter Visser, Mrs CA Wood and others who wish to remain anonymous.
I have been assisted by two able accomplices: Olufemi Terry and Deborah Steinmair. —Gus Ferguson If you attend poetry gigs. As a student. You could bump into Ed Dorn. with a beer in one hand. We have some new voices. His contribution to my enjoyment of local literature ever since has been uninterrupted. some old. the 2006 Pen Center USA ‘Best in the West’ award. if you’re local or passing through. but I loved Ted Hughes. and previous issues. more than 30 years ago. Chesterfield Plain hanging on his lip waiting for a blast from his Zippo. the . Bullet won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award. I have long enjoyed the live performance. and Deborah all the Afrikaans writing. among others. I first saw him years ago at the Dorp Street Theatre Café in Stellenbosch. I never heard Ted live. stories. only on the BBC. Although their advice has been key. and the 2007 Poets Prize. Come along one Monday evening. book launches and other literary events in Cape Town. Olufemi has read the English prose. Ted Berrigan who was married to Alice Notley was there too.Notes By foot the Apostles travelled from the Apocrypha perhaps During the washing of the feet it was rumoured that all bunions. I liked the Americans a lot. Several of the poets you will read in this issue. articles and a review. ingrown toenails and corns were cured. Carl Rakosi gave one of the best readings I ever heard. We were privileged recently at the Off-the-Wall poetry gig in Observatory to hear Brian Turner whose book Here. the New York Times ‘Editor’s Choice’ selection. This is the first of four issues this year. of New Contrast have read and are scheduled to read their work at Off-the-Wall and other venues in Cape Town. I remember Robert Lowell reading at Essex where he was resident poet. you will meet Gus. Some poems and a song.
Hugh . I have started building a database of every person involved with New Contrast since its inception.co.za – we will reconstruct the web site as time allows. From the next issue. Do note the e-mail addresses for Michael King and myself: those on the web page are not functional.book. we are bringing you a new verse novel in eight parts. haiku and so on. A good number of other people have offered their generous help and advice in producing this magazine. The New Contrast blog is live at http://newcontrast. The full text of Dawn Garisch’s Owls was incomplete in a previous issue: it is reprinted in this. I will also be considering an issue focussing on short forms: flash fiction. I am indebted to each of whom. on the web.new contrast responsibility for the selection of work is mine alone. Although the task will take a good while to complete. I am hoping to make it available to subscribers. The aim is to have a complete reference to every aspect of the journal.
Gassho The Owls The Domba dance Mnandi On Fire The Master of Fire ek is karoo Looking for Gabeba Baderoon After elevator music Pickle Eat this poem! Poverty brown adrift Assumption of poverty brown Revelation of poverty brown Wendy Woodward Cheshire Cat Elmi Badenhorst Ons praat al klaar oor sneeu Mark Swift On the Witels Herman Lategan Dit sal lekker wees om selfmoord te pleeg Elisa Galgut in memoriam Dawn Garisch A Necessary Tearing Antjie Krog the unhomely Stephen Watson Masque Norman Morrissey Billy the Lion-Killer Catherine Woeber Review of ‘Dog Latin’ Mike Hagemann Borderlines Jonty Driver A Psalm for Palestine A Song for Israel Keith Gottschalk President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki Attends The Funeral Of President Pieter Willem Botha Marilyn Keegan White. South African and English… David wa Maahlamela muti murder 7 8 9 10 11 12 18 25 31 32 38 41 44 45 46 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 55 60 61 64 67 68 69 70 72 .new contrast Contents Damian Garside Laura Kirsten Kirsten Holmes Dawn Garisch Michael Copley Louis Greenberg Michael Cope Ken Barris Louise Crouse Christa Kuljian Gabeba Baderoon Liesl Jobson Alan Galante Robert Balfour If Philip K Dick had Written the Iliad my huis is jou skelet.
new contrast Corné Coetzee Andie Miller Kelwyn Sole Deborah Steinmair Riana Wiechers Tendai Mwanaka Geraldine Fitzpatrick People Emigrasie Sambokland Lament for many tongues Prysgedig kapitali$me Stolen From Death Epilogue 73 74 79 80 81 82 83 84 .
Things are infected: there is a virus living in the software and who now cannot say that with their vast. offworlders. Then there is the sudden end to all trade in hallucinogens with this. Having smuggled their favourites out to safety. the gods look down on valleys littered with dead machines. unfathomable army of migrants. mercenaries. seething. the demise of the very gods themselves. no doubt in due course. simulacra we Trojans will not rewrite the script. vanquish win  .new contrast Damian Garside If Philip K Dick had Written the Iliad It has been nine long years this final war of the last Corporations.
new contrast and winning close the door on your future. all your futures consigning them to a speculative realm. die beenhuisie moet staan daar waar die son die hele dag op my brand sodat ek kan inskuif onder die skadu van jou beendere  . pure alternation. time of conjecture. as jy eendag voor my moet doodgaan sal ek jou skelet neem en ’n huis vir my bou iewers langs die sneeuberge – so moet asseblief nie jouself veras nie. Laura Kirsten my huis is jou skelet.
nose red-raw and cocained for a come-down. You are a blurred oval beneath the stratus snuggled down in cowered corners but cruel. I am beyond words. right masturbating into a paper cup. Cruel. I shard and fly glitter-like through cosmos and I see Saturn’s ringing hooplas.new contrast Kirsten Holmes Gassho Blood does not flow in me.  . left hand held in gassho to the Buddha. you or anyone. What is there left to believe in? Your small eyes. Anything is possible. stagnates in pools. I scour them and drape them on my wrists. matt black beads rolled skyward. Blood used to flow in me. The great lakes could only wish for such stasis. My solitude is entire.
The owls preside. We sit and eat.new contrast Dawn Garisch The Owls We live next door to graves and owls. buried bones lie karossed in wood and fleece dead blood seeps through soil in long red ochre entrails eyelashes fall. On the ground they’ve posted pellets of rodent bones and fur. Silently we survey the dark. Like owls. sweeps past and settles dust upon our table. and brush too close to that we should not touch. we sit and wait.  . rotate their heads and arc their eyes in vigilance. they linger. the tree above roots down and stirs ancestral wrists and ribs. But the earth is lined with death and we are rooted in it. pegged upon two fence posts. A soft wind. dissipating into sleep. some avert their eyes to say we flirt with night. drink and talk till late and arc our eyes. the dirt of us already packed black beneath some future farmer’s fingernails. alive with millions of last expelled breaths.
new contrast Michael Copley The Domba dance The melting air does witness the scene Sweat from willing hearts so clean Dance the Domba python dream As maidens sing in snake spirit streams Women elders drum into Mother Earth To invoke the message from the womb to birth Smoke does rise from the sangoma fire As the slinky movement journeys to inspire For the Goddess flourishes in serpentine energy With VhaVenda song stories from antiquity Beaded necks and tender bare breasts The ancestors blessings do caress In the flames you sense the Domba wisdom The sacred vision from ancient old intuition The link to love on many levels The nurturing flows in gifts that ripple Feminine beauty balanced in respect Giving humble offerings that have impact The moon listens in a warm summer sky As the mountains sense the love inside Fertility flowers feelings into smiles With abundance bursting before all eyes Prayers from mango trees are good As initiation is received into the fruits of womanhood  .
my breathing shallows. I pull up outside the gate. The new tenants are in the far back garden and they haven’t noticed me. And because of all the rain. crystal clear day. ‘I walked Michael up and down this road in the pram. It feels strange to be coming back. We leave at about two. When I was pregnant with Michael. my hands would get cold. I’ve been seeing Jake for three months and today I’m taking him and Michael to Mnandi. I don’t want to speak to them. They’ve painted our roof a disgusting shade of brown. Jake looks out of the window. I look at their lawn. an almost-European emerald. and when we get to the crest of the R512 we can see forever. verdant and smooth.’ I tell Jake. as Michael sings his dinosaur games in the back. A rare.’ I point out the Schmidts’ and the Larsens’. Michael. I feel I’m driving in a tunnel. to the smallholdings beyond the last outcrops of cluster developments. far out of town. the veld is luminous. My body wants to close down. just to stay connected. I look through the kitchen window and see myself looking back. after all the work Darren and I had put into it. slam its shell shut. back in time. not allow the invasion of Jake’s hand and everything that’s connected to it into my life. and then the arsehole neighbour’s and then we’re over the rise and our house appears. ‘Look. its chunky double storey sticking out of the shining grass like a marker. He’ll just be there with me. He puts his hand on my thigh as I drive.new contrast Louis Greenberg Mnandi THIS SUNDAY MORNING BREAKS with a hot shimmer. I turn up our road. and I know that at a charged time like this he’ll never give away what he’s feeling. the solid little clouds arrayed like sparse troops all the way to their vanishing point in the Magaliesberg and back behind us to Joburg. But as we get closer to the village. He knows when not to ask. Even in mid-summer when I was swelling like some sort of extra-terrestrial  . outwardly calm as ever. I’m going to show you where you were a baby. My heart struggles. I wonder if they know why it is so much greener than anyone else’s lawn. Is it really just four years since I was last here? It feels like another life.
A little later they left without saying anything to me. just feeling the sensual delight of cold flesh melting in hot. etching a cold red line onto me. my hands were ice blocks. utterly estranged. Whoo-eee!’ ‘Whoo-eeeee!’ I’d cry. I’d never been a blues sort of girl before. and turn up the cricket on TV. I have to say hi to Mr and Mrs Kavanaugh before we sit down outside. sloshing limbs and my melting hands. ‘Hear the lonesome whistle. I swear to you. just dangling my hands in the water. I walk with Michael’s hand in mine  .new contrast whale.’ he’d tell Frank. yes. forgetting myself. slouched in. in the whole of the universe just me and the baby – and. absently swishing a blue sponge over a barelycrumbed plate. staring out of the window at the scruffy veld and the chickenwire fence and the ochre dust road. ‘She’s gone fucking insane. But now standing at the sink. ‘Hear the trains a-callin’.’ He’d slam the kitchen door on me. watching TV. And I took to singing the blues. until Darren got off the couch. The plaintive. empowering moan of billions of women done wrong. While the rest of me perspired in sheets and the sweat coursed around my body in strange paths looking for its lost channels and my head felt like a furnace and my cheeks like branding irons. We drive on to the Lambert Inn to meet Sue and Brett and little Kyle for lunch. and suddenly I felt connected to the earth. Leeann was driving through our gate to pick Frank up. All the times Darren and I came here for lunch or a pint and a game of pool. She didn’t want him driving drunk. I’d wash the dishes three or four times a day just thawing my fingers. as usual on a sporty Saturday afternoon. feeling Michael’s little hands plucking at me. collected four more beers from the fridge for himself and Frank. slick water. with my big belly and my heavy. Get it over with. onto him. ‘Whoo-eeee!’ I’d cry. Staring out of the window at the alien landscape. A man is a two-face. barefoot – I could feel a heady swell of blues flowing up my legs from the dusty ground. I’d stand with my T-shirt hiked up above my belly and press Michael against the cold steel rim of the sink. Whoo-eee! The hot summer wind tousled the kitchen curtain and a distant storm glowered over the ridge. Darren would sit in the next room.
looking up and smiling at me. You will be in love again. but is it going anywhere?’ It used to be so much easier. You’re not just a mother. so alive and almost hyper-sensitive. Physically he’s the type of person others make assumptions about. didn’t it? It wasn’t that long ago when Sue and I would go out with the group and flirt with boys at clubs. We’d wear our shortest skirts and our fluffiest tops and boots and feather boas and dangling earrings and look like utter freaks. Now every tentative coffee date is a fucking job interview. with thick hands which belie their sensitivity.  . And to see Mr Kavanaugh pulling a pint of Forester’s. ‘Doesn’t he have a say?’ Sue asks. So now she’s my only friend. We go to help Brett and Sue set up camp at a wooden sleeper table outside. He’s a big man. Is relaxed what Michael needs? ‘So. He makes Darren look like a bad photocopy of a man. and it’s only when I notice them looking for Darren. ‘he seems like a sweetheart. He likes to say comforting things like ‘you need to make some time for yourself ’ and ‘you’ve got to love yourself first’.’ Sue is the only other girl from the group who had a child and got married. Jake is a wonderful guy. He brings me flowers. so deeply present in life. but I don’t know if I can do that to him. tall and lumbering like a rugby forward. and Mrs Kavanaugh coming out of the kitchen and wiping her hands on a dishcloth. Jake. too far away for me to feel this understood as much as I need.’ says Sue. I’ll never ever love anyone more than Michael. Jake tries to convince me that I am special and talented and deserve a pampered life. But he’s really relaxed around Michael. giving poor Jake the once-over as he lags a few metres back with Michael’s yellow cricket bat and bag of things slung over his shoulder. under a dark green umbrella advertising beer. ‘It’s been a while now. I smile and say hello.new contrast into the cool dark comfort of the bar. it’s as if I was never gone. but she lives in Parktown. but our laughter and the spray of the cheap. But he’s so visceral. You can see he doesn’t have kids. And Jake’s got a lot of life to live before he’ll become a wonderful dad. you know. Brett and the boys go down to the lawn to play and I sit with Sue and smoke one of her cigarettes. I explain. sweet bubbly would reel them in like doting drones. that I remember when I am. We watch the game and I talk to her about Jake.
Jake tells me. re-carpeted the stairs and the passages. disappointed. But I find that sometimes sadness becomes so consoling that it’s difficult to tell sad memories from warm ones. I showed them where Darren and I had painted. If I think of my own father. Even though my circulation was better now. but I think it’s a little naïve. then lit off again. but that fear had  . After lunch. he’d take care of them. Frank and Brett stood outside. telling them how empty and plain it had been when we moved in. They say that divorced fathers spend more quality time with their children these days than our fathers ever spent with us. just staring out of the window. I do my best to keep him open. and I wonder if my best is enough. but at the same time unhurt. My mom was entertaining the boys in the lounge so I took the opportunity to do the dishes. I proudly showed them around. brass-and-wood curtain rods. Darren and I held a braai at the house for Michael’s first birthday. Brett and Kyle had come to the house. circled the room a few times. just his presence there in his armchair. assembled beds and wardrobes. and I wonder whether he’ll trap himself inside walls. obscured as it often was by the newspaper. Leeann and Frank came. It started butting itself against the pane in an attempt to get outside. throwing their cigarettes into the coals and talking about sport and cars or whatever. as he grows. happy. We slept knowing that any night bumps were probably Dad. Darren. I wonder how. Sadness is a river that washes. or if not. he’ll face the loss of his father. And it was the first time Sue. I used to be scared of bees. look after the baby and fix the house. settled on the printed tomato on the chopping board. I still enjoyed warming my hands in the sink. and installed a generator and a satellite dish and a workbench in the garage. remembering the eerie silence before Michael was born. redone the whole kitchen in terracotta tiles and faux-marble worktops. We’d done nothing that year but work. I’d like to take heart in that. having ten minutes to myself. A bee buzzed in through the window in front of me.new contrast I look at Michael now. kind of distant and old-fashioned in so many ways. a gas fireplace. kept us secure at night. installed smart chrome light fittings. We had built a shower in the upstairs bathroom. playing with the boys. with his brilliant eye for the ball.
A dark stain bubbled up on the lawn around them. The bee had stopped buzzing.new contrast vanished after Michael was born. the cesspit began to overflow. It was well after midnight when we discovered a sealed pipe and a pristine filter which simply hadn’t been connected to the source. but where there were supposed to be layers of stones and coal in a deep underground filter. but it sizzled furiously against the window. and we worked harder than I knew was  . ‘Sshh. We had noticed the smell getting worse over the previous week or two. Out of base. Someone giggled. worthless material. So I left Michael with the Larsens and we spent the whole night digging in shit. bees and flies feeding on their last rotting fruits. finishing as dawn broke. everything seeping gold in the setting sun.’ but it flew into the laundry room and walk-buzzed along the windowsill. ‘come on. Ten days before that braai. ‘Are you sure?’ Leeann said. ‘I’m telling him tonight. just a hole which was now full. We pressed on deliriously. But as these things happen. That was a fitting example of the tone of my marriage to Darren. and the small groans Leeann made. there was nothing. in the shelter of the yard. but we kept on putting off the job. but I could hear the sucking of their mouths. but ours. There was no way we were going to leave this job and come back later. Darren thought it wouldn’t take long to find the source of the problem. We dug down searching all over for a broken pipe or a blockage in the channel. Leeann said. It was only late that night that we could start to find it funny. ‘I’m making the first adult decision of my life. I rolled up a piece of newspaper and tried to ward the bee toward the open window. I followed to usher the bee out of the open window there and heard low voices outside.’ Darren said later. moving in the wrong direction. working in a silent truce toward the same goal. he and I created dreams that were neither his nor mine. it was clear when the problem became immediate. The peach trees had flourished this year. rerouting the trenches and drains. We spent the next day bathing in antiseptic. Then we laughed and made love like we hadn’t since we had started dating.’ Darren said.’ I coaxed. ‘Are you ready to tell her?’ Darren said nothing.
isn’t it? The gutters need a little work. and we were fighting against the tide most of the time. He went out and found more work. but it was sacrifice. goodness. and I feel warm and safe for a moment. We must gather Michael and his things and go before the deluge hits. the ultimate end? When Michael was born. Michael is strapped in and has gone to sleep. it was love. The word means sweetness. I wouldn’t beg him to stay. When I think that they could possibly have ended. It is so daunting to start again. that we had become a family for the first time. Darren became focussed. Isn’t work love made visible? Isn’t love supposed to defeat all? Isn’t love supposed to be the ultimate truth. but it’s no longer my concern. to comfort me. Life was good there. the hiss of tyres. I quietly picked up the toys and clothes and nappies from the floor and realised. Fat highveld raindrops begin to smack the slate paving and hiss away with the day’s heat. I think of Mnandi. just at the moment. there are new flowers and rosebeds along the fence. He helped out with nappies and bottles. I know nothing about him. and he gives my thigh a squeeze. The little peach orchard has grown. But when he walked out. the ultimate goal. I would have forgiven Darren for fucking Leeann. I knew I was not as beautiful as I had promised to remain. sensual pleasure. And it makes me ache inconsolably when I think of how the six years of hard labour we put into it amounted to nothing. And though I might well be falling in love with Jake.new contrast possible to forge something out of them. As I fall asleep. the rain and the wipers. But the house is looking good. He knows I don’t want to look at him. wasn’t  . One morning I watched him sleeping on the couch with his arm around Michael. Jake offers to drive and soon we are on the road back to Joburg. and he knows I want his hand on my leg. there is nothing he can do or say. and in the front garden the heads of the wild grass shine like water in the sun. thunderous sky over Mnandi and the Lambert Inn. and stupid. That’s something to show for our effort. after a bewildering year. Fat and flushed and uninterested in him. isn’t it? The boys come up from their game and thirstily finish their drinks and I turn away and blot away my tears with a tissue. how those dreams ended. Evening is setting in with a creaking. They were impractical dreams.
The radiant gas streaming From the socket of its Right eye like a jet of Vision. Here a skull Glowed in the heart of a furnace In a Danish crematorium. and then you need to turn around and move into the future. Jake tells me that it’s good for us to journey back to the past. Images.new contrast it? I came there broken. and whatever is wrought By burning. I was healed. and I see greyness and water and wind. writings. Michael Cope On Fire One year and four days ago I began to write what I Had hoped would turn into An extended meditation On fire. and broken again. Once. I open my eyes. on the road back. For this purpose I began to gather materials. All seen through a small Doorway set in the bricks  . I feel like I’m driving through a tunnel. even as the dome Of the skull cracked and burst. articles And above all scientific Studies which touched on Flame.
I thought. Might shed light on that great Conflagration which is our order. Which I was assured reached Temperatures above a thousand degrees: Steel hip-joints. showing a Clutter of objects from within The burned bodies. along with Assorted scrap-metal of unknowable Purpose. Had survived the furnace. An item resembling a screwdriver And one the size and shape Of a horse-shoe. And by means of which we have Contrived. cooked food. that. as though Those here burnt had first been given Into the hands of watchmakers. In particular. Another picture. not only to have At our command hot water.new contrast Of the side of the kiln. and all Domestic niceties. all presumably A part of those technologies Which we use to extend Or add comfort to our lives. springs. dulled But still recognizable as steel. Through which those who Tended the cremations Could observe the process Of dissolution into ash. but also To so disrupt the processes  . I sought images And writings which. coils. Light. four or five Pairs of forceps.
Like so many of the motorists Around me. and the Emissions from all the idling Motor-cars’ exhausts were visible In the form of an illuminated mist That rose to about the height Of the car roofs before dissipating. The air was cold and clear. And further. We have rendered all thought Of their continuation untenable. I was seeing the smoke of a Large number of fires. where it moved So slowly as to seem stationary. I could also hear the burning  . The traffic flowed freely until Wynberg Hill. alone in the car. along all the Other roads in the city. As my investigations made clear. On a certain morning I was On my way to the city and. like the invisible Hands of angels. and these fires Extended as far as I could see. out of sight down The road and.new contrast Of renewal which. Wreathing all the traffic in my view. in my imagination As well as fact. There the early morning sunlight Shone yellow and optimistic On the cars as they broke free From the avenue of tall dark pines. support and Sustain our living world that. and Ultimately all other roads.
And such was my restlessness That I abandoned myself to The internet where all the world’s Horror was visible as banality. postures and procedures Of my ancient trade still rose In my body. refineries. and If I could present a simulacrum Of geniality with others. and all Was blurred or dulled. and Although my love for my children Was undimmed. too. or absent. It was around this time. my heart was Elsewhere. Varying and merging with the Background and the almost Unnoticeable scent of it. also. pits. yet I could See for them no future. That I fell into dejection And found myself unable to Carry on my work. power-stations. so that When I was with them I was As it were a deceiver. Factories. Mills. Became strong in my nose. and although The gestures. stoves and hearths With their attendant flames and The greater conflagration that Wrapped the entire world in an Invisible furnace did not leave me. and  .new contrast In the form of a low bass-note. airports. lamps. All the time the railways. Or else stared at nothing While my place of work filled with Dust and blown papers.
when Julia is at work I move through our rooms A somnambulist or deep sea diver With leaden boots.new contrast Each twinge and ache in my body Seemed a sign of mortal illness And my debts were unpaid And the telephone or the doorbell Was a threat of debt collectors Or some other intrusion beyond my Capacity. And it is still so with me. turning off  . Whether casting light onto The pages of some book. and the Illuminated mind. And I have come to see the lights As uncannily steady flames. air. And by day. burns in every Detail of our lives perpetually. Julia seeks radiance. but connected to it By wires and machines. Separated from their smoke In space. The fire. all of which Themselves required considerable Combustion in their manufacture Before they could take their Place in the burning web. so that she Switches on the lights in any Room that hints at twilight. Heating our bath or urging Our vehicles forward over The asphalt roads that connect us To other sites of its expression. controlled And directed. contained. Leaving them to burn until sleep. Thus in my mind as in fact.
Much of the cave is riven With the trenches and channels Of excavation. transmitting from Body to body the feel of the melt Sloppy in its fired clay bowl. almost collapsing. over Four metres below the surface Where I stand on a sandy  . Ensuring that the doors Are locked. the crink crink Of the cooling glaze. the smell Of oil as the metal pours. the hiss Of boiling as the ingot drops Into water. burning and Melting. the smiting with a Hammer. the shaping and forming Reaching back in time. Dust settles on the tools That will not ring in these hands. the shutters bolted.new contrast The lights. reaching in places Right down to bedrock. Near the front of the space is a Deep pit. his master Showed him. Franz Huppertz showed me how Gold melts in a crucible. The glowing borax. and forward To the golden ring. some of them Crumbling. lowering the blinds. cooling From yellow to red. love-token Or sign of greed. the old trade Is with me now.
The World rolls on. a ball of lava Crusted with stone. flowed. mites. swallows. and all the other living Inhabitants have passed through.new contrast Rubber mat. but can stand on the edge And look down. All organic remains have Altered. there is No future save in burning. The smoke Rises and rises without surcease. This ash is A million years or older. animals small and large. Has stayed the same. At the bottom Is a patch of ash the size Of a burnt bush.  . Its aptitude for change drawn From it and expressed as flame. Here. the ancient Remains of the particular genius Of my species have lain while The people. Owls. Smirched with a layer of Fine red dust borne in on The wind that blows from the north. but the ash. Germs. One may not enter The hole. Flickering in my mind: bright flashes On a silver screen caused by light Passing through scratches in a film. insects. Condensed and fixed. intermingled and Been absorbed. To see the past in the present’s ash Is to stare into the flame.
turn and walk Towards the dusk.new contrast You who read this. and thinks it funny. I sit on my balcony. Make music. Talk and laugh in the dark. No-one else would find it amusing. Ken Barris The Master of Fire 1 I do not know many facts. a weak blatting noise. Pour water on Your hands. Go home and love Your children. or musical. He is drunk. Eat fruits and seeds. I would like to reflect on things I know. Watch the waves repeat and repeat On the shore. sing Together. playing it badly. but it is difficult: there is a fool blowing his trumpet in the house next door. do not look Into the fire. Leave The flames. looking across the parts of the city visible from this position. wipe tears With dry hands. Walk by the river. Light falls on the trees –  . roll in the dewed Grass.
2 In my mind there is a poem which I am unable to write. leading to the point that is desired. I hear water trickling below somewhere. The fool’s breath has expired if only for a moment. about a master of fire. see his face and converse with him. I believe I could imagine such a man. I feel they are not to be trusted – they will not deliver their secrets lightly – but they know many facts. construct a meeting with him. and golden light – striking into the canopy of leaves that reaches into the distance. I am filled with contempt for his face. I don’t know any masters of fire.new contrast many trees. One begins with a thought. grateful I have never seen it. I know their hands are calloused and often charred. or who they might be. events follow one after another in the proper order. It reminds me of my ageing body. sometimes the fingertips grow cancerous from years of inflammation. My eyes  . I wonder what he looks like. I would like to meet one such master. and strangely.
I have seen the face of a master of fire: it is youthful in a way though dry and weathered. 3 Is he a winged man. with badly chapped lips and eyes of marble red. and with this instrument I will devise a meeting. I remember things that never will happen. in the midst of these discussions. no fletching of feathers. perhaps he bears only wings of fire. There is less detail in what I hear. or coughs? Are they organs of flight. although I believe I see colour better without my glasses. or an ordinary one? It feels ridiculous to discuss things with a winged man. after all – what does he do with the wings as he talks? Is he naked. is his shirt torn to let them out? Does he mantle his wings in moments of anger? How do they flex if he laughs at a joke. On the other hand.  .new contrast are weaker. or spray of bone and aery membrane to unite them. a conceit that will solve the problems I have raised. I fail to remember names. and music is muffled and diminished. or dramatic fixtures. 4 Strange to relate. settings to stage a cardboard angel? Perhaps there are no wings of flesh.
certainly without wings. rather weather-beaten. pita and hummus. As he spoke. Since beginning this account. an unremarkable morning in a Lebanese coffee shop offering breakfasts of labneh. I had to lean forward to hear him.new contrast but is wispy now. I have trouble hearing in places like this. the moment beaten flat on a drum of noise. I did not recognise the moment at first. He was middle-aged. He ate a cinnamon twist. and drank coffee. and I listened – it soon became clear that he was prone to monologue – I learned to see the wing-like flames billowing  . I have broken my fast with a master of fire on a Tuesday morning. He spoke softly. when people speak as softly as he does. almost inaudibly. feta and olives and similar Levantine fare. looking much as I have already described such a master of fire. and grey. I too drank coffee and ate a cinnamon twist: we weren’t sure if this was Lebanese food. often failing. bearing only the memory of fire. I cannot guess his age. or begin to imagine his country of birth. or some other kind.
a cold-looking film. I stopped and turned abstractedly. I recall. I stumbled around them. There were callouses in the usual places. muttering apology. the angles of building resting skew. I have an impression as I write of the fire that anthracite renders. were normal. lesions or abnormal blistering. stanzas formed in my mind and broke into nothing. but they were wing-like. To call them wings is an exaggeration. Is this fire creative or merely enduring? Who can speak with knowledge on the temper of fire? His hands. Colours in the street were dingy. It burns a jaundiced yellow. She looked at me angrily and bent down to her child. to call them flame is not accurate. lined by an aura between lilac or cornflower. It was hard to work after this meeting with the master: lines of verse. a young woman pushing a pram almost jammed it in my shins. and likewise. 5 I left the restaurant disquieted. warm to a degree. but nothing unremarkable. without evidence of charring. but not to sight.new contrast out from the margins of his body.  .
the more it hurt. His wings burn blue. Standing here. The wooden bench is scarred and burnt. It is most frustrating. the filmy lie of anthracite. heart thudding violently. Arthritis afflicted my writing hand. even though his skin was hardened by fire. it grew on me silently. I wait a long time. grotesque bestial figures tortured by their passion. as did my mood: the more I struggled to write. it caused him no pain. 6 I watch Zoroaster at his bench. His tools scatter before him. worn implements that show their years of use. scored with long abuse. I wait for him to work. aching with words that made no sound or held no meaning. He forged delicate glass sculptures small as jewellery. hands resting passively on the table. his shoulders and long head bowed. working birds of metal that sang and spoke but could not fly – his range was extraordinary. Eventually I leave his workshop. I began to realise. that he was untouched by everything he did. seething with anthracite anger. Even though his hands were scorched by work.new contrast I woke up at night.  . Nothing happens. none of it touching his human core. He sits motionless.
new contrast Louise Crouse ek is karoo ek is karoo ek het vergeet ek is beaufort wes ek het vergeet van die doringbome op die skougronde wat goue heuning lek my lieflingperd agter die hek van die wit tapyt peerboombloeisels in Blythstraat waar ek afstap met ’n maat hoe Hermanstraat lyk in die winter in sy strate hang die reuk van magtelose jare in ’n huis woed ’n woordelose tirade Ruimte se donker gange waar ek nog wegkruip die honger duwweltjies wat sy erf omsluit sal ek myself eers stukkend sny voordat jy sien hoe ek bloei? Die grond my bloed laat suip en ’n doringboom groei?  .
Maar die karoo ken die misnoeë van te min reën tussen-in die dorings sal die groengrys blare ween
Looking for Gabeba Baderoon SHE FIRST LOOKS INTO MY EYES from the pages of the Mail and Guardian. Wisps of thick brown hair surround her face, and a golden scarf flows around her neck. She is, standing at the train station, holding her book
PHOTO: Christine Fourie. Gabeba Baderoon is holding a copy of The Dream in the Next Body, published by Kwela Books and Snailpress.
under her arm. In the interview, she explains that her poems ‘recount the secrets that people reveal through their gestures, silences and mistakes.’ But her photo does not reveal her gestures, her silences. She appears determined to get on that train, no matter where it leads and I want to follow her. Thus begins my journey, in April 2005, to discover Gabeba Baderoon. I begin exploring her writing on Islam, on art, on the body, on her generation, and I’m drawn in by her reflections. When asked ‘what is success?’ she answers ‘a path of attainment that diverges from materialism … through our choices we can redefine success to nurture creativity, reciprocity and beauty.’ She writes of ‘single-tasking in an era of multitasking – to read, to write, to cook, to converse, to learn, to be silent.’ Each of her writings propels me to read more. As someone who has stepped aside from my career in order to study writing, I am intrigued by a once dedicated academic who has discovered poetry. Baderoon’s website is attractive and soft in tones of sepia. The home page shows a curved set of stairs under an archway, beckoning me to Enter. With anticipation, I double-click, but find that the site is largely ‘under construction’. I will have to wait. Then, from some recess of my brain, I recall receiving an e-mail from Boekehuis inviting me to a reading to celebrate Baderoon’s winning the DaimlerChrysler Award for poetry. I give them a call, only to learn that I’ve missed the reading by three days. I’m frustrated. How could I miss the perfect opportunity to see her in person? To hear her read her poems? At first, I have trouble finding her book, The Dream in the Next Body. The local Exclusive Books doesn’t yet have it in stock so I call several others until I find a copy and ask them to keep it on hold. I’m impatient to read her poetry, so after a few days of waiting, I put aside all else and drive across town. That night I begin to read. Reading in bed. Reading on the plane. Reading before a meeting, and after. Reading as the pots simmer. Reading while my husband and kids are on a walk. Reading in the morning before anyone else is up. ‘Cinnamon’ draws me in, showing simply the refuge of being surrounded by warmth and love. ‘You are cinnamon curved around me.’
In ‘Where Nothing Was’, she describes finding a deep connection with another human being, likening it to when the metal chain of an anchor whips hard and holds. In several poems, humanity resonates in the midst of the political as with ‘Father Receives News His Son Died in the Intifada’: When he heard the news, Mr Karim became silent. He did not look at the cameras, Nor at the people who brought their grief. He felt a hand slip from his hand a small unclasping, and for that he refused the solace of glory. Reading this poem reminds me of her comment that South Africa’s tenth anniversary celebrates ‘a new configuration of humanness’. She writes that apartheid withheld the recognition of Black people’s humanity and ‘therefore Black people’s deaths did not register as worthy of mourning.’ She celebrates that ‘for ten years, everybody has been worthy of mourning’ and suggests that just as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shifted the criteria for humanness. Leading her readers to the Gatesville mosque, she reminds us that ‘though you cannot tell from the homeless grief of young men’s mothers, the architecture of mosques aims to create a space for love’ and To the outside eye, the blue domed mosque marks a strange presence. To the hungry, inside eye, its beauty grants a place in the world. Prompted by my decision to write a biographical piece about Baderoon, I decide to take a chance and send her an e-mail. To my astonishment
and delight, she responds right away by telling me that she can send me a press release from Kwela Books. ‘What an interesting email to receive,’ she writes. ‘Indeed I hope we will meet at a reading some time, perhaps at one of yours. All the best with your very honourable choice of writing as a path. Gabeba.’ After this one exciting exchange, there is a long silence, during which, once again, it becomes difficult to imagine that I have made any contact with her at all. I return to her poems that offer me a frequent sense of connection. In ‘This is Where it Started’, Baderoon illustrates how subtle developments early in life, for an individual, a society, or humanity as a whole, can have a major impact – intended or unintended – that only becomes observable in the future. Forty years ago, the oak had started to lean, gentle as a hill, and now its own weight threatened to pull apart its trunk. Mr Moriarty, the tree surgeon, touches the base of its long trunk and says, here. This is where it started. Nothing tells us what pulls apart our centre. Something draws us forward and in that direction the years accumulate a weight. … In ‘The Call’, she takes a phone call from her mother as she is on her way out the door and I am reminded of my own distance from my childhood home: I am leaving for a new place, each further from where I started. Across the seven-hour time difference I fear I will never see her again.
I want to say out loud I am losing a centre to which I can return, but do not. Reading ‘A Season of Modesty’, I feel indebted to Baderoon for transporting me back to kicking piles of leaves outside Boston with my younger sister: Autumn here is rash. The insistent colours and supple light are fine but really, why add opaque mornings roused to ripeness by the late sun so the day swells like a purpled plum, or grape? And the light through leaves variegates the air. And the leaves! Do they have to attempt the butterfly’s design? Everyone delights, I’m sure in such immoderate displays, but I find it unwise, unguarded, extreme … I want to know more about how she turns inspiration into poetry. In the first interview I read, she tells of her studies in the US. ‘I learned about the subtle magic that comes from practising the formal craft of writing, and also that poetry is like factory labour of a kind. Turn up for a certain number of hours per day, work with integrity, develop your skills and something good will happen.’ Baderoon offers respect to labourers and skilled craftsmen of all kinds – tilers, potters, haulers of bricks and rock, noting their oftenoverlooked work and creations. In ‘True’, we read: He transports his tools by bicycle – a bucket, a long plastic tube he fills with water to find a level mark, a cushion on which to kneel, a fine cotton cloth to wipe from the tiles the dust that colours his lashes at the end of the day. In an effort to learn more, I call a friend who had gone to Baderoon’s reading. ‘How was it?’ I ask. ‘There’s something about her voice,’ she
In ‘The Art of Leaving’.’ Sheepishly. I feel myself tripping after her. She clearly has a way with words. I return to the poems again. ready to take flight. but her book is the only tangible reminder that I once tried to make contact. The meeting won’t be possible. ‘This is ridiculous. She spoke as if she gave love to each and every word. I notice an announcement that Baderoon is going to make a guest appearance on Hard Copy. why haven’t I noticed the pathos of those last lines before? Or heard the wisdom concerning our ‘discarded parts’ in ‘Mapping’? Like Baderoon. She is in solid stride. ‘Oh. When I double check the date.’ she says. I write to her again. ‘Why am I being deprived in my search to share in that enchantment. the new television series on SABC3. please. but reading isn’t enough. Then. Perhaps we could meet for coffee. yes. Months pass and I continue to hear snatches of news and conversation about Gabeba Baderoon.’ ‘She melted you?’ I thought.  . Despite its absence. My admiration remains strong. Again. the earth goddess. and at a certain rate with certain gestures. the water goddess and the goddess of the stars. I had such a strong reaction to her reading that my breathing slowed and my body temperature changed. Isis had the knowledge of how to pronounce her powerful words so that the beings or things to which she spoke would be compelled to listen and be obliged to fulfil her requests. ‘I’ve been a puddle for weeks. they must be uttered in a certain tone of voice.’ She responds. Again I think. telling me that she’ll be travelling to Germany to read her poetry. She melted me. why is the universe conspiring to keep me from this woman?’ I quickly call a colleague who watches the show religiously. ‘She’s the best guest they’ve had so far. I need to be content to ‘linger on a beginning.new contrast answers. that calming?’ I am reminded of the Goddess Isis.’ By some strange coincidence. ‘Did you see Gabeba Baderoon?’ I ask. ‘So enchanting.’ ‘Oh. I want her voice. the powerful goddess of the feminine. The Egyptians believed that if the best effect was to be produced by words. I discover that the episode aired last week.’ I think. and was repeated last night. I continue to imbibe new revelations from her words over multiple readings. so calming. describing her early discoveries in a new relationship. ‘Could we possibly meet in Cape Town? Other work will take me there for a week.
in the New Year. Not reading. not watching television. Do you have any questions? First. I tell them. not questions. I am speaking to high school students about poetry. Suddenly. Your silence is your own.new contrast one Saturday. as if she knows. not answers. Before something. The opposite of silence is cheap sound – the prefabricated stories of mass media. It is not silent in your mind. Then. not listening to music. The inside of your head is the most private place in the world. for 8 hours. They ask me to explain the titles of my books and I tell them about The Dream in the Next Body. I’m still looking for her. It is slow going. The hungry grey face of the TV is best carried to an empty room. Why and how did you first become a poet. after something. Their ears prick. I am innocently looking at the magazine section of the bookstore. My silence is earned by sleeping. the scripted ones. duty stiffening the enunciation. Then that request that chokes the air from everyone’s throats. Then we happen on silence. they sit straighter. The Museum of Ordinary Life. there is an actual exchange. There she is. So it goes for long minutes. Only you can decide to share what is there with someone else.  . there is nothing. Gabeba Baderoon After elevator music SILENCE is the present tense. They tangle and tear at some delicate system of listening inside me. I read. A hundred silences. with the door closed. Particularly not the last. ideally. smiling at me coyly from the cover of South Africa Writing.
says a student. When silence falls. race. This must recall the idea of never being spoken to again – the ultimate human punishment. or gardening. during the Fast we would switch off the television and radio. The most frightening thing in the world. says another. Right now. people tell me. Non-existence. Also. we show our fellow feeling. Expensive neighbourhoods are quiet ones. Could I do that? Pay the radio stations for 30 seconds of silence? It would probably sound like a technical error. the tape recorder with its batcha tapes from the mosque or the Thursday night thikr at someone’s house a finite span. carrying something. It grows. mystified. It invites. Aren’t Africans loud? I think of all the landscapes I know that are quiet enough for the insects to have distinct dialects.new contrast In my silence I face a terrible thought: that I am empty. we are sentenced to the opposite of silence. The month was the time of inner landscapes. It is morning. head down. Listening to the adverts for financial services. it probes. A moment of silence. Someone runs across the landscape. That my emotions are switched on for others. I think of my house where silence means prayer. Walking into my aunt’s home nowadays. sitting here. But actually. I can’t say why I don’t like it. it leaves. or playing dominoes. No computer. someone clinking cups together for tea. I can hear their footsteps scraping the gravel and becoming louder. or reading. I hear things in my mind. Why are you not black. Exclusion. It may never end. their expression says. Wordlessly. You have to pay for silence. silence is economics. Silence questions you. Now. Is that why we are running from it? The great condition of the world is elevator music. I hear the radio from down the passage. Silence. Have I become the television? In the time before Muslim radio stations. Before. Go to your room.  . I think of all the African silence I know. No television. You’re so quiet. I hear the background of the wind and even further away. Silence is punishment. there is eternal sound. The loud ones. what happens? I feel alone even when I’m with other people. shoulders hunched. So silence is class.
Beyond me. or the backyard places in Athlone. brief interruptions in bearable sound levels. wary of being called to do something. a Cape rain. hooo. Restaurants play music because we eat faster and more to certain rhythms. Fate.new contrast How soon in a relationship can you be silent with someone? Wake up. My favourite sounds are: the washing drying in the wind to the side of the house. My godson is growing up in front of screens: access and barrier at the same time. coming to voice. discover what is inside? Our favourite metaphor is breaking the silence. in front of the computer. Even thunderclaps. irrevocable and unresponsive. waterfalls. Meanwhile. For aeroplane trips. Good morning rings out to uniformed schoolchildren on the way to Thornton or Belgravia or Belthorn. behind earphones. There is no sound in nature that threatens hearing. raining outside. I would run too. You have to duck your head under the  . Those silences haunt us. Spas and relaxation tapes use bird calls. a low astonishment. the colours of their blazers blue. Sound is part of the natural world. as we are. are momentary enough not to be dangerous. In my neighbourhood the sound systems in the cars make an atmosphere. We’re long past the days of boomboxes on shoulders. though I remember that and the break-dancing in the small park 50 metres from our house. Now we hear the mobile sound-spheres of the taxis and the young men who fit custom exhaust and sound systems at the small specialist shops in Woodstock and Salt River. make coffee without talking? Do we want to open up the shell of silence. I had a winter fantasy: sitting by a window with a blanket up to my neck. giving vent. the leaves fan against the trunk of the tree. and green. As an 11-year old. of death. which means wind. the forest. the snap of cotton. of betrayal. you can buy noise-cancelling earphones to make your own personal silence. my arms reaching from under it holding a book. and black. Some silences are irretrievable. to lull their clients into a different mental universe. and the sugarbirds swerve low as breath. The silence of broken things. the loudest natural sound.
twice. My mother chopping onions. If we are filled with other things. the good nutrition: salads and whole grain bread.new contrast sheets and shirts to walk from the vegetable garden to the back door. She allows them to serve themselves. threatening. gobbled in private. our particular openness always filled. It is empty streets. to listen to their bodies. She wants to teach them good things: responsibility. Silence is the beginning. Silence is part of talking. bringing out the knives and forks. then the silence of scraping them off into the pan. the knife against the onion. Silence is the great bowl of the night and our smallness in it. The beans and tomatoes and  . wonder and loss. My father knocking the wooden spoon against the edge of the pot. picking the crunchy bits out with her fingers. It is the end. Liesl Jobson Pickle THERE ARE THINGS SHE DOESN’T WANT her children to know. to choose the portion size they’re comfortable with. what new thoughts can come? In the quiet something arrives. the slice against the board. whole cartons of ice cream. Silence is solitary. the onions braising. Uselessness. When they’re with their father she eats alone. her ring knocking against the wooden handle of the knife. not to waste. the mother who insists on table manners when they come alternate weekends. though we try to banish it. straight from the tub. licking the lid. Silence is staring into space. organic chicken and preservative-free juices.
she remembers the bad things: the fighting and screaming. she tries to make them laugh. but it does. saying. She tells herself she is lazy. growing mouldy and tired. When they’re with her she makes them brush their teeth. There’s a lot of catching up to do for the other 12 days. The mother is tired. the engineer. She makes herself excuses. Still. because mostly. permanently blah. she couldn’t sleep for the unnatural quiet in the house. It was like her biorhythm got broken and she didn’t even know it. but it’s a big job looking after her children. saying she is too sad. glad the children cannot see her wastefulness. wishing she’d had more gumption to stand up to their father. Her boyfriend  . Hi pretty girl. When they are with her. She hasn’t slept well for weeks. she tells them to take a shower. She really is. cutting off the rot to hide them in a stew. She sends them text messages on their father’s phone: Hey sunny boy. there was no breathing in the next room. she forgets her meds. the tears and slammed doors. Sometimes she can redeem some of the veggies. she neglects to wash. She is trying to get it all right. When she left the children. the red welts on a surprised cheek left by her fingers. She licks her fingers. maybe years.new contrast potatoes left in the crisper go uncooked. She wishes it didn’t. your birdie ate a pawpaw bigger than herself today. When she lies awake at night. Then she couldn’t get back to sleep for thinking of the freezer. Maybe she should be kinder. She doesn’t know whether he shows the children her messages or deletes them. Mostly. knowing she should have taken the children with her. the ice cream with the crunchy bits she likes best. Mom says Hi. She figures she doesn’t sleep well is because she is so fat. but when the beans are finally drowning in tears as brown as pickle juice. and that’s the thing that stays under her skin. The bigger job is looking after herself. she gives them vitamins. kinder to the mother. the lost time. she doesn’t drink. Only once she was properly awake did she remember the children weren’t there. she’s kind to the kids. even though it’s only alternate weekends. She’d wake because the house was too quiet. I love you a bucket. That’s the hard part. she throws them away. but she does not always brush her own teeth. but not always.
They hook you up to wires. She will dig deep to the bottom of the tub. when she stops snoring and starts to sleep. the evidence is gone.new contrast pats her cheek or jiggles her shoulder to wake her. the latest in biomedical engineering. with a headgear you wear to sleep. monitoring your brainwaves. says the radio lady. your adrenaline charging relentlessly. you wake a hundred times a night. forgets the paperwork. She tells them about emergency power supplies conferences. She should get more exercise. you’ll lose weight. resenting the pressure. At work she telephones engineers on the mines. By the time the children come. wears your metabolism out. She’s glad the garbage collection is on Friday. trying to catch up. which gives you positive pressure all night long. gets focused and loses weight. You focus. It can turn your life around. You’ll want to exercise. telling them about training courses: for diesel pump maintenance. at Kriel and Arnot and Twistdraai. chute and feeder design. they hook you up to the pump. The radio lady says it can be cured. so she stays in during lunch. She knows her great belly pushes her diaphragm into the mattress. smoothing it over again with a spatula. telling her she’s doing that funny snoring thing. You have an assessment at the sleep clinic. He whispers that she stopped breathing altogether. She heard on the radio that if you have sleep apnoea. she stopped again and again. Alcohol. The thing she most of all doesn’t want her children to know is that when she spends all that money on the assessment. your brain always jerking awake. is a contributing factor. and without trying. remaining slipper brained. the pump and the headgear. a hundred times an hour even. brings you back to the oxygen side. and conveyor. but walking hurts her feet. But she can’t concentrate. so that it doesn’t look robbed. work sharp. Too easy. her hip. probing through the chocolate darkness. so hard it can’t push itself back up. have more energy. and she’s too tired to drive to the pool to swim laps after work.  . she will still let the ice cream melt enough to pick the crunchy bits out with her fingers. It sounds like a miracle even though it doesn’t offer to seal up the yearning that tricks her like a hallucination. But still. it sounds so easy. She heard about a pump you can get. You never rest.
hew and hack until ready (such details often are lost in translation). each family meal deserves to be thus specially blessed by sun and earth and sweat.  .new contrast Alan Galante Eat this poem! Not a standard love song: no cuore. those chronicled in artichokes (carciofo). memories. then simmer in oil-browned garlic and a little water before submerging yourself in the memory of their movement west and south: the whole kit caboodled away from their wheat (newly threshed) and grapes (crushed). tasting of quartz at the vine’s roots. parsley (chopped). a genealogy on the march. replete with fresh produce. in time-honoured Sicilian fashion. bacon (diced). picture a pabular procession of ancestors. rend. Use this mixture to stuff the artichoke hearts fit to bursting. Now mix the following ingredients: cheese (grated). to their graves. a broken and bleeding sacrifice on this island’s altar. Allow two hearts (tinned will do) per person. Surely. the vegetable variety. baking in its purple and white fringed sea. bypassed from indentured Sicily a world ago. detailed in DNA and a family recipe. red. lacerate. not even a bona fide a memoria either. Alternatively. All hearts. To prepare this meal. bread (crumbed) and eggs (mashed) into a communion as hard-boiled as our forefathers. Time to pour yourself a loving cup of wine: gravelly.
Savour this fare’s familiar origin. Robert Balfour Poverty brown adrift Tides of silk shot with gold the shimmer of jogging lycra.new contrast So we. in tasting. the living. Notice this: further from the silks and not near children.  . Between double thick waffles sweating he weaves a walk. eat this meal. glamour not his smell. re-live our forebears’ offering once again. a love feast’s memory of olives on tables and white loaves. and. Brown sees himself washed out by cleaners who spray his trace from under them.
new contrast Assumption of poverty brown Washed-up and out his smell adrift. now he conducts the waves downwind. Now a bin bag (he) flaps dumbly around a Plinth to Dias. unseen. Notice the child pleading another. Yet. the bin bag flapping  . Revelation of poverty brown Eat the waffle. Notice not. as others do. Driftwood becomes as nothing dry breathing sticks an oddity kicked over in salt and sand.
Where could he be? Nowhere. for you slid into death just days after she came over the lip of the earth into a cradle that lost you soon enough I wept into nappies. for safety.new contrast around inscriptions to our fathers’ discovery. See him not as others do. trying to keep the abyss  . Everything is as it should be. Wendy Woodward Cheshire Cat For my mother It’s nearly eighteen years since you stopped drinking your tea (placed cool. at your bedside) and then stopped breathing I measure those years with her birth.
like a loving legacy. I hope.new contrast from this new being. invisibly through the filtering trees. at you as I still do after Paganini and Rachmaninov. who lay in the forest on my chest. We dozed in pine needles and smiled back. always. while your face flitted through the trees like a Cheshire cat. Elmi Badenhorst Ons praat al klaar oor sneeu Ons praat al klaar oor sneeu Ek en jy My treë na jou deur Breek deur die ritme van Die winterwind Die son Klim in kruise Om my nek Vlam ’n laaste keer my woelkoop oop Tog Ons praat al klaar oor sneeu  . the day you died. not too late to make you smile. favourites that I scorned until I took them over from you.
Climbers leave the world behind to inherit their castles of stone and air. sodden to the thighs. the sun is making light of leaves on a stone-cold wall in England. near rock paintings and a leopard’s bones. the first day without you in the world. What returns to mind – with the rhythm of boots on shale – is easy laughter on the mountains of the moon. stunned by the palette of wild cloud. daubed by the wind above granite heights. we lay back on flood-scoured rock. the stalking stars blazing a trail for myth and superstition. Last night the rocks were talking.new contrast Ek en jy En ek weet Soos ek blaai van hemp na trui Die nuwe seisoen Gaan in yslemme Om my polse kom bly Mark Swift On the Witels For Andre Champion On this. the water lent a syllabic rush to the darker vowels of this cloud-bound earth. muscular eels in a pool as clear and as depth-denied as air. Back in our echoing cave. tea stewed in flimsy flames. Down-river. For us the sky was always on fire. the fire sulked down to its embers. With every dawn  .
Herman Lategan Dit sal lekker wees om selfmoord te pleeg Dit sal lekker wees om selfmoord te pleeg Veral as daar ’n legio lieflike opsies is Jy kan die see inloop. verkieslik Valiums met ou whiskey Van geboue afspring. daar in Matjiesfontein Jouself in ’n baie duur gehuurde motor met leersitplekke vergas Morfine inspuitings klink nog beter My favourite is natuurlik om myself in ’n baie grênd hotel in te boek Een met ’n mooi uitsig oor see en stad ’n heerlike maaltyd te nuttig Van die beste drank te bestel In ’n warm bad te klim en pille af te sluk met sjampanje  . op ’n afgeleë strand. maar in die nag van ’n boom af In die sneeu loop lê en verkluim soos Klara Majola Voor ’n trein inspring. maar slegs as dit reën.new contrast the rocks give tongue. As always. The mountain is calling us both to its peak. the wind still hankers after empty corners of a cave we never left. The stars have given you stepping-stones and dreams to forge in the molten foundry of that burning sky. maar net in Hillbrow Hang soos Saddam. you lead the way. soos Ingrid Jonker Jouself skiet. in an ambush contrived by time. as dit volmaan is Pille drink.
sonder om eens daarvan te weet Ek kan al hierdie opsies oorweeg my beminde Of ek kan aanhou om vir jou lief te bly En in stilte en trots op die dood te wag Terwyl ek daagliks die reuk van die dodehuis in die toe deure van jou mond te proe Elisa Galgut in memoriam in the first dream. you’re in the kitchen. the jolt of joy. standing by the sink washing dishes you’re wearing your blue night gown. to the daylight my waking will kill you  . the unexpected sight of your appearance. glas in die hand. the skeleton of a bird fossilised in stone. once again. in both dreams you’re alive and i know that i’m dreaming.new contrast Aan die slaap te raak in die bad En te verdrink. you’re consumed with illness. i know you’ll be gone when i awake. a caricature. you’re ill but i am overjoyed to see you i can feel. i’ll lose you. even in sleep. the shadow of a flightless bird. in the other.
There is a necessary tearing here as the soul departs. Outside the pool grows green with leaves.  . His last breath lies easy now. the arms of a tree hold out a few remaining flaming flags. In time.new contrast Dawn Garisch A Necessary Tearing This time of opening. The wind dies. The tree stands naked right throughout the winter its fingers sifting through the shifting sky. the pump arrested. his last breath leaves his chest. a rent that opens up the known world allowing the impossible to enter. in the bedroom your husband pools the yellow of his liver in his slack skin and turns his eyes inward to the place we cannot see. the rift will seal. The doctor closes David’s empty eyes. Above.
in syige amandelwilg en brame hoe bloederig die donker hoe grinterig die grendel hoe roeserig die vlerkpunte van swaels teen die sonlig hoe kil ’n peer in ’n piering op die marmertafel wanneer die kasteel gevul met koel asemtogte versonke staan in die knetterende olyf gasvlamme van bome die laning skitter soos ’n held die laning klim glans silwerend die heuwel uit die laning behou homself in panele van elm. hoe blou is die groen hoe olyf die pers hoe roerloos die sipresse en dig hulle mantels as die donderweer rammel en die aarde antwoord soos iets vrygelaat en diep ontroer die laning is ’n kasteel die laning herlei alles na die kasteel die laning verinnig homself in panele soet kastaiing. moerbei in digte potblouseders en van ver af dink sy o. in honderoos. bokdoring en berk hoe timmer die merel hoe glip die uil se beitelkklankies hoe snipper die vinkies soggens geluide van koelte en dou hoe ritsel koringgeel oortjies hoe geur die besembos hoe blom melkdistels en sigorei blou skoelappers van hulle stingels in die laning los  .new contrast Antjie Krog the unhomely die laning is ’n ruggraat die laning rig homself teen die heuwel op die laning geur diep in panele terpentyn en denne. van eik.
new contrast hoe gly van hand tot hand die ysblou skouer van die kruis terwyl die onbestaandes dof soos frescoes uit hulle oë bloei die laning verdig om die woord heers die laning sorg dat die self slegs deur panele van die self gevorm word die laning weet dat geslagte Ranieri’s die klipgange af luister na wie in die gruispad knars anderkant die laning lê die buitekant en daaragter die volgende agter alles geteken in die fel waas van hitte. die sipres roer in silwer knope kyk. die muggies bons verby splete in die enorme klippoorte en van ver af dink sy o. sonbesies en gulsig sugtende vye kyk hoe lê die beendere soos wapens rond kyk hoe storm honde woedend agter die roomstertsmeer van ’n haas aan kyk hoe bars ’n koeël die wirrende knoop van ’n fisant kyk hoe gloei die blonde rowe van pasgemaaide koring tussen die olyfskadu’s deur die laning verduur die son die laning neem in hom op al wat water en sap en krag is die laning wil oorleef – ook dit wat hom wil oorleef kyk. gooi sy nie eers ’n skaduwee nie sy wat onderneem het om nooit hartseer te wees in hierdie wêreld nie weet dat agter die anderkant is nog ’n anderkant en daaragter stralend: altyd altyd die laning  . die laning is ondeurdringbaar van skoonheid en al die tale! – geen een daarvan is hare nie die groep wat nou die pad afknars – onder hulle bestaan sy nie in die konsepte wat hulle bespreek.
with their disdain fine-tuned. through the streetlights. their hearts long hardened. their small-hours light. still others fresh from health-farms. the streets gone dead. clinics. medicated. they reappear: the women. their marriages long failed. their one faith left the child with whom they have been left. who live alone in vast apartments. shaky. their flesh massaged. the divorcees. they’re here again— the figures that begin to swarm. the moon long down. With bodies half-dressed. undressed. on certain nights when all is quiet. From north. one by one. who don’t want their lives back again.new contrast Stephen Watson Masque I Long after dark. unable still to say goodbye. to crowd in their cold flight. the single women. dark-eyed. manhandled— the former beauties. perfumed. aging fashion editors with their alimonies who’ve moved south to the coast. the older women who’ve been cast off. on nights like these. now boutique owners.  . dieted. from south.
gravelled by dead acne. voices. they wind. from every door. through streets now thronged. a condom always in their wallets. two. the cavalcade of men:  . a line whose end is moving out of sight. their two front teeth removed. to be degraded. there follows on in cold pursuit— against them all—the men. unalterable. this city is only a city of women in whose faces.new contrast Sometimes at night. From every precinct. their one desire. sexual athletes. in cold as clear as formalin. the sexual tourists with foreign currency. east and west. II The semen donors. but flooding now as if the night itself were on the move— while on their heels. of those from the street. silent. the corporate men. the beach-boys with one nose-stud. Out of the night. the starlight fixed and crazed. hard. their faces raddled. with their tattoos. their thickening ranks. pleasure has long since turned to pain. as of old. out of the dark. and ringing. the retail men. in this place that is no more a place. polished. they fall to.
aged roués. in lust that is in love alone with its own boast. chains. born of need. the women flee— there floods a countless number now. men of no known occupation. their ecstasy. or out on bail. the legionnaires of their desire and that dark twisting in it. its gloating— against the sky. Men of the bars. to hit elsewhere. their bodies streaming blood and milk. the cruise-control forever idling on their souls as they stroll by. that is their pain. insouciant. the slow rictus of those who lust. those sequestrated.new contrast the aging playboys. cool. horizons flaring. boys fresh from the knock-shops. against the night with its fire-pits. their faces fixed (like their teeth fixed) in that slewed grin. sweet-sick and oiled. blood-boltered as their cages. men of the street. to score.  . the casual souls. Born of women. the connoisseurs of one-night stands. the men descend. a host.
that climbs still harder from some chasm where forms lie torn and humped. sub-vocal. in rage again the lines wind on. who unmake love as they still make it. who cut and run— men.new contrast III And again there comes. sleep-laden babbling. who could not live alone. and then a gasping. this whistling sound that mounts. as on planks. the jilted in their mile-long cortege— and always the self-jilted: the ones who could not live with one. who would never marry. converge and clash to leave behind. the refuse of their progress: the poor in heart. the cordoned hearts. and cack-handed. who mutter no under their breath even as they say yes. women. seething: a body thuds back. who hit and run. the cuckolded. but low at first. the hearts divided. In rage. or dead of heart. back in the dark. only a slow. hoarse.  . in grief.
agape. the groans. mouth wet. the legions. its freight. havocking. the strange procession wends it way. a figure bends. that wind towards those outer streets where there is heard. neither woman.  . while the moon like some old slaver sails out again upon its own dark hold. cauled by its hands. you see them all before daylight resumes. it’s all you see. They are so many now. how men. and further still. it leans a forehead against a wall. of this that each night passes. before they vanish on the air. the stars onlooking. a watchman waits. assault each other with their demand for love— and far behind. women. the lamentations that measure out. havocked. now more than ever. his eyes long dried of tears. the howls. man.new contrast IV Sometimes at night. While children sleep in their late sleep. in the city now the eternal city. rocks to and fro. a siren’s wail receding. and its illusion of daylight. at that late hour when the dead walk.
he fended with an arm and stabbed as it savaged him – doctors used to say long after We must cut this off. the lion-killer. But he in his youth shepherded country that taught him the best way with a leopard was let your dogs tangle and go in with the spear. you know. and he’d say Two fingers still hold a cigar. sang a hymn as he took his assegai.  . and once the pack went for a thicket so he set his horse aside.new contrast Norman Morrissey Billy the Lion-Killer They sat on the lion-pelt – nearly bare from walking – and heard again its tale: great-uncle Billy. would sit. A full-maned lion struck back. one arm twirled like a koeksuster.
I wanted to be able to apply his poem ‘As Far as it Goes’ to these latter ones: ‘It’s like the poems I don’t understand/but must keep reading./dim crab-claws waving/– palpably unknown’./just fishglints under stone. is indeed located in the reciprocity of human and natural being. rather than seduces or invites her. An example is in ‘Homo Videns’ where the reader is confused by the sudden invocation of ‘Confusion Himself in tatty gymshoes!’. often preceded by a dash. A poem like ‘Progress’ demonstrates this:  . The worst offender is ‘Metsik’. or in ‘Homo Ludens’. Anubis and Thoth: pre-modern religious sensibility shadows much of the poetry. 2006) THE BLURB ON THE BACK PAGE introduces Morrissey as ‘quietly gaining recognition for his distinctive poetic voice in South Africa today. but failed to be even momentarily enticed. damages this otherwise attractive volume. this poetic habit which makes demands on the reader. no doubt the ‘laconic surprise’ of the blurb. the poem functions on the identification of the play of human and crab. his fourth solo volume. which I find just lazy writing. yet I have to confess that so frequently being caught by surprise became tiresome. for example. Morrissey’s penchant for parenthetical asides becomes irritating in the extreme: peppering ‘Habit’. Seasons. The poet’s wife has designed the arresting royal-blue cover. as might be expected from a volume alert to the interplay of inner and outer world.new contrast Catherine Woeber Review of ‘Dog Latin’ by Norman Morrissey (Empangeni: Echoing Green Press. (Of course. Elsewhere. the worst are turgid and resist engagement. where the convoluted syntax leaves the reader’s mind as ‘murked’ as the speaker’s. such parentheses. The poems are uneven in their quality: the best ones have the simplicity and immediacy of the trademark haiku of his first volume. act as a form of shorthand. but ‘To Be’ and ‘The Obscured’ are similarly opaque. they detract from its cryptic narrative. The strength of the poems in this. with its lino-cuts of Horus. so perhaps their common waters are meant to be muddied?) To my mind. His natural vision unites inner and outer worlds into one. laconically catching us by surprise’.
the liminality of human and bird made the speaker ‘a problem. ‘it’s in our nature to find echoes in unlike things/make meanings that  . ‘one of my proxies/(hawk. In ‘Adam’. is at his best in capturing such Zen-like moments: ‘Resolution’ and ‘The Eland’s Gift’ similarly allow the object its independence from the mediating subjectivity. the common tongue being ‘Dog Latin’. and comments on this reciprocity. snake. a poem which underscores the point of the volume. and liminality (in the form of borders) comprises a common motif in this volume. pared still further. so that the bulbul’s alarum at a feral cat can ‘steal a thief ’s stealth from him’. Morrissey. cat. Numerous poems reflect a subject aware of being at one with the objective world. the inner and outer world reflect each other. while paradoxically underlining the unity of existence. Here the initial mythical dimension of the birds (while still ghosting the poem) yields to the identification of the human and the natural and. a pair at sunset – soon to be lovers – is enough. hound)/that think/where I’ve no mind of my own’. In ‘Habit’.new contrast I loved hadedahs once For Thoth’s sake – the Egyptian mystery. now. when the speaker ‘talked as near as I could to his own tongue’ in rescuing a starling from the chimney. It is unfortunate that an egregious typographical error occurs in the title poem. that all creatures share the language of existence. someday just blood beating the wind will do. ‘Dog Latin’. The speaker in ‘In Our Nature’ identifies the call of the Black cuckoo with the first phrase of Brahms’s ‘Lullaby’. while ‘Without Them’ and ‘Proxies’ show that the speaker would have no life nor zest without starlings or samango. they become emblematic of life itself. as he has shown in his mastery of the haiku. a question/not easily brushed aside’.
by his frequent attempts at ham-fisted humour. a curate’s egg of a volume. shorn of its mystique. but one which does have ‘fishglints under stone’ beckoning acquaintance. perhaps more accurately. the most poignant poems in this volume. yet attributes the power of reason and speech (in dog Latin. often introduced by the shorthand dash.new contrast are quite unnatural’. watched with a scraggle of baboons/for the clouds to coal and kindle’ (‘Them Too’). Or. even if the delicate feminine sensibility evident in the best poems in the volume is so often rudely elbowed out of the way by a macho consciousness – not necessarily that of the poet himself. at that!) to the arachnid itself. In ‘Still’. or a ‘refusal to let this mound of refuse from stars sweeping their streets/stand for the whole story’ (in ‘Lithomancy’. because of their open recognition of its devastating place in life. So. to the male of the species (‘the proud twang in his loins’) – exemplifies Morrissey’s fine ear (‘my Gran’s frangipani’). to me. Morrissey’s artistry is most assured in the poems which deal with death. ‘Dark Turf ’. I was not amused.  . ‘I hid from the wind. but immediate. where the speaker acknowledges ‘a lithomancy that’s apparently also in my nature’) demonstrate his pleasurable deftness with words. cat or Rwandan child-soldier – or. imagist poems of HD. ergo Arachnidum’ cleverly identifies the speaker with the spider at the centre of the web of life. another poem in which the destructive power of death is shown to be common to all./spiderthread spun over unlikely gaps’. ‘Cogito. of course. as delicately put in ‘Homo Videns’. when it is so ubiquitous elsewhere. and the poem is suggestive of the mannered. but not its power: ‘The Wheel’ and ‘Maureen’ (is this his sister in the poem ‘To Be’?) are. the moon is ‘snagged in a stag’s antlers’. ‘sinew is also/gossamer of dream. but one which I would prefer not to encounter in a volume of poetry. however./crept to a crest.
Monty just kept going. no nothing! Just Ja and Nee. He came from Cradock.new contrast Mike Hagemann Borderlines HOWZIT. Monty and Me. ‘Hey check this Dutchman!’ He waved at the oke in the Merc. No ‘Sorry Corporal’. Shit. We were in 6 SAI together. another Castle hey. he was funny hey. Ja. fuck all and  . It’s his birthday. you know Monty hey? He just kept on going. JA. Oh shit. Fuck we laughed hey. Sand and fucking rocks and thorn trees and after that. The one time we were going down the pad into Grahamstown and there was this Dutchman farmer behind us in a Merc. Shit then Monty… Jeez do you know what he did hey? He stood up in the back of the lorry and he flashed a brown eye at the oke. Shit man. I’LL HAVE ANOTHER DOP – Castle for me hey – not spook and diesel hey – that stuff gives you the morbs hey. Yus he got us into shit hey. Nee Corporal’. Jeez. It’s Monty’s birthday hey. I thought Pronk was going to kak his browns a darker shade that day hey. THANKS. Thanks my china. Just put the beer on the mat hey. He was 19 when we went to the border. Ja thanks. He failed big time hey. The ou from Cradock. The Dutchman nearly rolled that Merc on the spot. The Dutchman must have thought he was a good dienspligte and saluted him. Ja. You a pal hey. Grahamstown. I’m here to say cheers to my mate Monty. We went on a flossie and it landed at fucking Groot-fucking-kak-fontein. He could make a oke laugh hey. All through the opfok. Ja. A farm boy. The Dutchman phoned the Commandant and we all got a big-time oppie. Jeez. Horrible fucking place that. We were roofs together. We were in the army together. Shit and that was a kak place that. Monty. That Corporal – some doos called Duimpie Pronk – he tried to break old Monty. Monty tuned us all. But fuck. Monty just kept going. Jeez old Monty. He was so pissed off with Monty and his ‘Ja Corporal. Nee Corporal’ – ‘Youse speaks focken Afrikaans to me do youse hears?’ – ‘Ja Corporal. Monty would be thirty-five today. Nee Corporal’ says Monty. ‘Ja Corporal. Man that Pronk he wanted to fuck us up so badly hey. Ja Monty. Monty. It’s getting wet here on the bar. I bloody hurled my guts out behind the rifle range until it hurt.
We were walking along the cut line when it happened. Stupid fucking spring nearly took my left eye out too. Mad buggers. No problem. The bloody thing walked across the road and we klapped it almost head on. I remember the doppies flying out – the sunlight flickering off the brass and the klap of bullets in the trees and then it was over. Monty scored his marksman badge maklik like. Fucking Buffel dinged that cow sideways off the pad one shot hey. He could bloody shoot too. The Lieutenant didn’t want to stop. Jus. Monty prayed right there in the grass next to the dead SWAPO oke. I’m hard as nails these days. It was Monty who found the SWAPO oke. Good oke  . Then he put a round through its head. please. Ja Monty. Farmer boy from Cradock. Jeez. Someone made safe the oke’s AK and Monty rolled him over. Monty just laughed at that hey. It happened so quick hey but also like in slow motion.new contrast they fucked up our coming. We watched him while the lieutenant was kakking on him and tuning him to get the fuck back on the Buffel like before yesterday. Bloody farmers from Cradock. He was with me the first time we had a contact hey. Fuck it. Like the time we moered the cow with our Buffel. First time I tried to load a R4 mag it fell apart fucking ‘ker-sproing’ – bloody parts all over the bungalow floor. Ja. It’s Monty’s birthday. You know what he did then hey? He went to the cow and he knelt next to it. One time. Bloody clever man. He was strange sometimes was Monty hey. Monty did something strange though and the lieutenant kakked him out big time. These farmers poach so much bloody kudu there by Cradock they all have fucking infrared fucking eyesights built in. Another Castle. Monty. so Monty just baled off the Buffel. Good oke that. Dogs and cats and shit not for me hey. I was the moer in with him that day hey. Ja Monty. Wanked out useless crap. Soft in the head with animals hey. There was blood in the sand and bits of grass stuck in the blood. Ja. Keep the cold ones coming hey. Even with a shitty bloody R4 too. Just like that. so the food was cold when we arrived and then some doos in another peleton wrote ‘Viva SWAPO’ on one of the Buffels and we got a oppie our first night there. Fuck no. He did. but Monty prayed hey. Couple of shots and then someone opened up with the MAG. I hated that bloody thing. hey. The MAG gunner laughed hey. He got down on his knees. Fuck man we were motoring and Monty went arse over tit in the grass. Ja. Not like me. Monty talked to that cow hey. Jeez old Monty.
Some of those okes in the bungalow were more fucking stupid than any fucking sheep I ever met hey. Monty showed him how to pull the chain and how to use kak paper hey. There was this oke Wilson. Full of fucking sand and bugs and thorns and no fucking tarred roads and no bloody women worth looking at – only PB’s and fucking tannies with big fucking arms and hairy fucking legs and bare fucking feet. right and centre hey. Jeez like I dunno. He took the Bren from Wilson and began running around the camp with it. Didn’t say anything. Just ran and ran. His folks farmed sheep and Monty he used to tune us that there’s nothing doffer than a sheep hey. Kak  . Then I’m going home. so he gets back in his bivvy and leaves Monty to run. Dumbest shit I ever met in my life He had an AD with a Bren gun – put four rounds through the corporal’s bivvy. He just runs and the corporal he doesn’t know what the fuck to do. Bloody hell. another Castle hey. I told Monty he was fucking nuts. Stupid prick. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Six inches apart hey! Fucking Corporal went instantly bossies hey. It was Monty who saved Wilson’s arse hey. They put these kind of okes in the army with us. Jeez like. Bloody shit hole. The corporal was laying down in the bivvy. Big. Last one. Jussis. Ja. Four fucking holes. He was so big they had to order his basics overalls from Pretoria. He only but fucking vloeked and skelled this Wilson oke’s mother out left. Ja. An hour later Monty is still going hey. can you believe it hey? Jeez like. We had to show him how to use a toilet for fuck’s sake. He was 19 when we went to Groot-kak-fontein. They only had a long drop on his plot. round and around the wire around the camp. He told me once he loved that place and that he even loved South West and that he wanted to come back and see the place once the war was over. He just ran and ran. Massive fucker. but very fucking stupid. No ways. The corporal stops kakking out Wilson and tunes Monty – ‘What the fuck you doing ?’ And Monty just keeps on going. I tuned Monty he was fucking nuts. Sis man. doesn’t say a word hey. Strange was Monty hey. true. Ten foot fucking tall and with his eyes so close together it looked like he had one big fucking eye in the centre of his kop hey.new contrast hey. Monty was from Cradock hey. Fucking Wilson. I’d rather fucking live in Soweto than go back to fucking Nam ever again. Came from the plots at the back end of Joburg somewhere. Fucking Corporal has to beg Monty to stop. Let bloody SWAPO and the Cubans have the fucking place.
Put a round through his head. 16 years hey. Ok Monty. Only good thing was the canteen and cheap beer. we are handed a stone. 6. I raise my hands in the air. 7. the Lord their God will not listen: if this is the same God. 2. Shit. There is nothing I can tell them.new contrast plek that. why are we forsaken?  . Dunno why. Jonty Driver A Psalm for Palestine 1. Joburg could have been sucked down a mineshaft and we’d only hear about it a week later. Jus. Cheers. Fences divide a farmer from his lands. I found him hey. Monty. but not in triumph: my voice cannot be heard in the tumult of the tanks. Fuck it. and they will not hear me. the worker from labour. if we ask for pity. the young women carry grenades under their breasts. It’s your birthday ou maat. That was it. right through his head. When we ask for bread. One round. The magazines and newspapers – all a fucking week out of date. 5. the teacher from school: and the patrols answer no questions. 4. I can’t believe it hey. 10c a beer in those days. nor a decade: this is the exile I was born to. He didn’t say anything and he didn’t leave a note or anything. Monty’s been dead 16 years hey. The Lord my God will not answer. 3. we are handed rifles. He’d gone behind the kitchen block. This is not for a day. 8. Fucking time warp that place. I am an old man. The gunships come like a sandstorm: the soldiers do not knock even at our mothers’ doors. The walls grow higher: the young men walk with bombs around their waists. I heard the shot and I found him. Everything was a fucking week out of date.
 . Remember how we came here. since the towns are graveyards and the houses rubble. What we own we have fought for. A Song for Israel Hear me. in the cattle trucks. This is the land we were promised – Before the God of Israel blinked His eyes. but my firmament. I wake at four in the morning in despair. but that is not thunder. 10. I stare at the far-off mountains. 11. It was my first-born who died When the devil’s child climbed on the ’bus: It was my mother’s mother who walked Naked into the poisoned chamber. In the leaking transports. the parching wind as sharp as razor-wire. I do not wish evil to my neighbour But I have eaten grief in good measure. I rise from my bed in the afternoon grieving: the wind is as cold as the sun. hear me. my children: Let no one forget our future. that is not lightning: nor is it the God of glory speaking. The dead will bury their dead: and we shall make more dead.new contrast 9. This is now my destiny: Not my exile. What we have lost we cannot regain.
then cracking sounds. like ether.  . have you seen liquid nitrogen? it’s as clear as water in the Dewar flask but it’s more runny. emotions sometimes get in the way: the country’s needs might be different. chloroform: it’s lower than –195˚C. then silence: your emotions have turned to ice. so wrap up your emotions in plastic lower them into liquid nitrogen.new contrast Keith Gottschalk President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki Attends The Funeral Of President Pieter Willem Botha your father was jailed for 25 yrs by him your son is missing. presumed killed. you know. your emotions make hissing sounds. the only question is: where are my son’s bones? or did you burn them? but you choose to make a political decision. hates big bang theory. it’s appropriate that the predikant chosen to bury PW hates evolution. at –195˚C (which corresponds to 78˚K) ice is as hard as stone.
South African and English… We are collapsing shadows in the wind: that half-gloom that comes from dull afternoons of droning wit.new contrast it’s appropriate that this Jordanian predikant is a fund-raiser for George W Bush. shifting the dry crack of cruelty in our bones. the President and First Lady sit in the pews: they have taken a political decision. & he buries P W Botha at the same time the US voters bury the republicans in congress. of tennis and tea and games of bridge across the monotony… We move. Marilyn Keegan White. from one grey corner to another. losing our sense of direction  . We move in the backyard of the devil.
We wince at signs of spring.new contrast behind the summerhouse of hollyhocks and mist. seeping under waterlands of umbrellas abandoned at garden bandstands. The white elephant stall has nothing to sell except an old rib of Alan Paton’s. Party workers flee the fête tents and limp rosettes bleed dispassionately in the rain. When the wheel turns. we are left with a steel dawn (Union Jack adrift in the rain) and the halitosis of whiskery colonels and the flatulence of fat matrons curling in toxic steam. We must forget  . when red detonates the black we must bury the hearts we’ve bargained for and burn the dying. So. at the fresh shoots bursting from history in the ground.
David wa Maahlamela muti murder this poem knows no sweetness. fuming tears burning for mercy. sharp blade sliding on genitals. White skin waking up to its oddness: the terror of a paraffin stove turned over or the after-wail of atheists poaching in hell. As the coasts crash inwards. that we are knocking down our strange edifice. gruesome death of maanda sendendza how nyelisani sidimela  . warm blood that lost a pulse. this poem is an aloe thorny and bitter. it tells of awful and woeful acts that cut the heart.new contrast that we are faithless. we scatter the ash. raw pain to death.
’n geur as jy ’n kasdeur oopmaak. nooit. het diep gedink. dawn greeting us with sorrow: fictional rituals of doom. romanse. onbesonne dae. Ons was skrikkerig – niemand kom terug nie. En toe. Corné Coetzee Emigrasie A! Die ou land! Dáár was ’n plek! Onthou jy nog? Partytjies. place where night-time is a lion. sjampanje. onhoorbaar soos ’n hunkering. makonde. mulodi. the so-called shango la mutakalo. die onverklaarbare roep uit die land van drie. brûe verbrand.new contrast kissed her own lips goodbye bone-melting view of shonisani madavha’s incomplete corpses horrors of mafukani. ’n lig in die oë van die wat weet. kultuur. and other small innocent villages of venda. breë rieme.  . vorms geteken.
I knew it had something to do with what colour you were. sterf ek.new contrast Maar iets het verkeerd geloop met die bespreking ’n misverstand of iemand se fout want toe ons voet aan wal sit lyk die vreemde vir ons héél anders as op die poskaarte en of dit die ergste was weet ek nie maar in die skrik en digte mis het ek jou hand laat los. I didn’t know exactly what that meant.  . We were living in Bothasig now. Wan en dan as die maan blou is loop ons mekaar op die gelyktes raak maar andersins is ons nuwe tuiste behalwe vir die kinders bra eensaam. and where you were allowed to live. This time to a reclassified area. Andie Miller Sambokland WE WERE MOVING AGAIN. laat val. I knew that Elsie. Die landskap is uiters gevaarlik met ongebaande weë klipperige steiltes asemrowende klowe ongevraagde pieke angswekkende rafyne – as ek hier val.
Behind the house was the Mosque. I wasn’t sure about that. and use the more upmarket southern suburbs line. with pots of food. People had lived there before. Elsie said if you poeped at one end of the house you could hear it at the other. And he could afford the price. On the day we moved in. But I knew. Not quite in Lansdowne. but I felt safe here. wasn’t allowed to stay over here. The house was new. When Jet Jungle came on the radio. That way nothing can get broken. and the tiles shone when you polished them. but the area was commonly known as Sambokland. you had to walk quite a way to the station if you used the Cape Flats line. It was easier for him to find work. There was a tree at the back. If anyone asked. It wasn’t so much on the wrong side of the tracks. Nobody ever told me this. And Timmy. The Rowleys lived across the street. The address was Lansdowne. lay the Wynberg military base. And you could ride your bicycle in the street because it was a cul de sac.new contrast my father’s girlfriend. their mother said. but maybe it was just because they had so many children. I should say Elsie was the maid. That was because they were from England. I knew it was time to go home and bath. All the kids crowded into the kitchen and ate out of pastel coloured tupperware dishes. The good thing about that was one more didn’t seem to make a difference. They seemed poor to me. as it was between the tracks. It was on a corner. the youngest. The house we were moving to was rundown. because the notorious local gangsters were regularly chased by the police. but solid brick. I didn’t want to move. They had a funny accent. and I was anxious. smiles and handshakes. and had business rights. It was prefabricated.  . the whole of Tattersal Street came out to greet us. so my father could work from home. But it was dark. and I ate with them most evenings. But their dad said it was better for them here. I liked the house we were living in now. Otherwise you could walk over the bridge past the racecourse to Kenilworth. used to throw his food sometimes. And behind that. My father and I would be the first white people living in the area. But then you had a long walk ahead of you.
Not much was stolen.’ he said. because not long after we moved in. I’ll treat you like a gentleman.  . that accommodated extended family. where they’d been told they were to be relocated. ‘Evening Mr Paul. didn’t scare anyone. but out the back were another half dozen shacks. furious. and would be of no use to anyone else. After that he was always trying to make up for his transgression. and my father softened.’ Colin might not have been scared of the police. ‘My name is Paul. ‘If you behave like a gentleman. He returned the goods. I’ve got some stuff to sell. with his head bleeding.’ they said. so the loss was very disruptive.new contrast ‘Welcome Sir. About half a dozen people lived in the main house.’ The locals weren’t quite comfortable with this. Each shack had been given a number by the government. and anyone else who was destitute. ‘Hier bly various varieties van different soorte. ‘en ons is bang vir niks nie!’ Obviously the Power Radio and Electronics sign. but if you behave like a skollie. Aunty Esme’s son. appeared on the doorstep drunk a few days later. and didn’t know where it came from. ‘Mr Paul. said he’d got the stuff from a friend. but there was one person he was scared of. and they drank together. ‘The wine for men who enjoy being men.’ said Aunty Esme. This became clear when Colin. friends. He invited Colin in. ‘Mr Paul. the self appointed matriarch. We were in 22. so they reached a compromise. But in the meanwhile. He was seen later running down the street. His mother. in Atlantis. And she wasn’t so lenient. crying and shouting: ‘Naai Mammie. Virginia. after she’d hit him with a frying pan. we had a burglary. shouted. but it was outdated and irreplaceable electronic equipment that my father needed for his work. This was their number in line for the house they’d been promised. with its warning that these premises are protected by a burglar alarm. ‘I’ve never been knighted!’ my father laughed. Though the things had little resale value. We discovered that the welcoming committee wasn’t actually the whole street. I’ll treat you like a skollie!’ Colin apologised profusely. just the inhabitants of number 21. life went on as usual. My father. Number 21 Tattersal Street was a whole community all on its own.’ said Whitey. sablief !’. the designated spokesperson. You interested?’ and he produced some old-fashioned reel to reel tapes.
so instead of The Brady Bunch on Saturday nights. But not on Fridays between twelve and two. and ‘halva brood’ were common requests. Just before eleven on Fridays. It felt comforting having a gangster on my side. where we bought essentials. And then test transmission began. But to be safe. The South African government had sworn the country would never have television. I watched Hindi movies in the shack behind the shop. many of whom were not Muslim. even though he was only meant to be selling bare essentials then. But at sundown. Motjie brought over boebe for me. my father bought a dog. Diagonally across from our house.new contrast and whenever he and his friends drove past me waiting for the bus after school. like bread and milk and the newspaper. I got the impression. was the Babbie shop. If we ran out of shampoo or washing powder on a Sunday afternoon. We didn’t have a TV set yet. they’d stop and give me a lift. My father realised at the last minute that he wanted to get something for the children in the neighbourhood. Babbie felt that God didn’t mind if a non-Muslim did your gambling for you. The Christians were going to hell anyway. there were no movies. the little curried pretzel-type snack. though. just before they broke fast. This assisted breaking of the law wasn’t one sided though. There was a popular saying at the time. when everyone was fasting. The shop was shut then. and it was Christmas time. kannala Motjie?’. or stupid. and Babbie was at the Mosque praying. We never imagined it would change. I didn’t understand anything. he and my father had a regular arrangement and he’d come over and tell my dad which horses to bet for him in the Place Accumulator. And sometimes ‘slangetjies’. the sago. but neither it seemed did anyone else in the crowd gathered there. like Checkers on a Sunday. ‘toe soos Checkers op ’n Sondag’. They were much more interested in talking and smoking. milk and rose water pudding that I loved. though gambling was forbidden to him. It seemed that no sooner was Labarang over. Closed. ‘Halva borrel visolie. he was quite happy to unlock the cages that these items were stored in. while the snake-like movements of the dancers created strange shapes on the corrugated iron wall where the movie was being projected. ‘two cheppies’.  . During the month of Ramadaan.
But this time there was a bakkie parked outside. the quiet elderly man who lived in 23. In its attempts to upgrade the area. ‘Cheap!’ So a box of lucky packets. word had gone around that Mr Paul said to come over and get something. and some we’d never seen before. were arranged.’ she said. And the shop closed down. Not too early! Instead of knocking there were giggles. everything had changed. with their pink sweets and little toys. which Babbie sold at the shop. The only thing that remained constant was the Mosque. He had a cousin who was a wholesaler in Athlone. the government decided that a name change was in order. ‘Ag ja. pushing one another to go and knock. The pleasure he saw in their faces was all he wanted that day.’ he sighed. The boys gathered in the background. It began with Mr Omar. He’s got a place for us at the back. they always seemed to taste the same. and our address was changed to Kenwyn. we’re moving to my son’s house in Rylands. There were lots of smiles.’ An Afrikaans policeman moved into 23 shortly after. Tannie Esme arrived on the doorstep one day: ‘Ons het ’n huis gekry innie Mitchell’s Plain. But what can you do? Me and my wife. Babbie came to the rescue. Twenty-one were the next to go. But the children didn’t seem to notice. By the time Christmas came around again.new contrast and probably would not get much from anywhere else. On Christmas morning. moving closer to Kenilworth and Wynberg. and opened the door. where he could get sweets and cooldrinks. There were many familiar faces. Looking through the curtains we saw the little girls clumped shyly together. And severing ties with the Cape Flats. Like pure carbonated sugar. with its daily call to prayer.  . Also a crate of Kool drinks. ‘They made me sell the house for half of what it’s worth. looking less sure of things than before. But the biggest smile was from my father. My father broke the suspense. who only ever came out to water his garden. And no matter what colour you were drinking. and he was carrying boxes.
the drought of deprivation – the anger that makes us pick up things to throw. The love in poems’s a gutting light too dim for others to eke out knowledge of a path to restore to you.new contrast Kelwyn Sole Lament for many tongues It’s terrible. hoping to miss all the declarations of sediment and sand that clog life and confuse us. Now. the grief of poems: like some vast ancient well down which a child tosses pebbles in a vain hope of hearing proof of water.  . I hear you breathing: I’ll tell you know – we speak in eleven languages. now. All of them can be used to lie. to guide you to the sound of water that moistens the dry lips you’ve lived with all your life. In a brutal time.
new contrast Deborah Steinmair Prysgedig daar is dae – die hemel weet – wanneer die digter lank voor dagbreek begin whisky drink haar bleek oë tweelingkepe word in ’n aangesig wat die wêreld haat maar sy kan donker verlok in die kreukels van die nag wanneer haar tong leë planete bevolk op ’n stadige agtermiddag wieg haar lyf op die maat van rokerige saksofoon teken haar heupe fatsoene wat die daglig laat bloos is haar stem lou fluweel ’n swart kraai wat steel oor die kortpad na die rou hart na die grotskilderye van die lyf Snags hurk sy oor ’n pispot ’n klip-afgod in die volmaan wat verdof in die ruim lig van haar stêre  .
new contrast Haar hande verken die voetpaadjies van die vel sy is anderkant geslag heel soos water sy is Riana Wiechers kapitali$me my pa i$ ’n kapitali$ ten min$te. ek vermoed hy i$ hy werk hard vir nog geld al het hy genoeg want hy’t nodig om bewonder en benodig te voel ek aanvaar $y geld bewonder en benodig hom en bewaar $o on$ $oortvan-vrede dit maak my du$ ’n $oortvan-kapitali$ En huigelend bewu$ een groot tran$ak$ie i$ dat die lewe  .
so badly. I tried everything headlong. Why had God let these troubles find me? Why me? The fury I had. I don’t know how I managed it and as if by cue my son returned earlier than I had thought. why me? Against those able to enjoy – All those enjoyful of life’s magic. cut both my wrist’s veins – that I could bleed to death silently. My legs couldn’t move no matter how hard I tried to make them do so and also I couldn’t sit on my haunches.  . I used to spend the whole day crying. I couldn’t swallow anything hard. Life’s unending beautiful adventures. I was now surviving on watery food. I didn’t want to be trouble anymore so I took a razor blade. And it was this other day when I woke up ill.new contrast Tendai Mwanaka Stolen From Death There was this time when I was strong. Full of life. When life was rapturously true Days when I used to rush through. All of my right side was useless. Days when the tragedy befell me. but I had bled terribly. sometimes being spoon-fed like an infant. I remember years ago when we went. To lands beyond for daring ventures. Another day I just wanted to die. It was early in the morning when my son had gone to the shops to buy us our food. stricken. and so very tired. like a dried branch of a tree and I couldn’t take my food with my hands but could only grovel on my stomach and guzzle like an old dog.
new contrast I didn’t wish to die anymore. face veiled in a white scarf. All had been arranged as for some royal departure. the moon’s first crescent hung with cloud. Geraldine Fitzpatrick Epilogue Johannesburg Airport. into a ring of seven bodyguards bearing seven trunks. As my son and friend rushed me. close my eyes for the last time. no. with satisfaction. She stepped from the car. And be stolen from death like a leap year. I really wanted to live from that day onwards enjoying every small and every big moment until when I would. It was this other day when I woke up from this sleep and through the window I could peep at the sun’s fingers filtering everyday. Those are the thoughts that I still remember. being lost moments. a white car with windows tinted black drew up at the terminal entrance. showed no documents. She joined no queue. To the Lazer’s house that I be treated. That I might enjoy. each new morning. Begging of another go at life again. At the threshold she paused.  . as if there is no end to it all. June 2006 Under a wide sky bright with stars.
and Olive Schreiner. and her work has appeared in a variety of publications. Her current research interests include life writing. She directed the C.S. His poems have been published in both South African and English magazines. Her writing. Into myth. She is the winner of the 2006 Mondi Shanduka Award for Creative Journalism. and The Weekender. the Black Atlantic. death. CHRISTA KULJIAN lives in Johannesburg. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Wits. which varies from development documentary to literary appreciation. ANTJIE KROG is a poet. has appeared in Litnet. leaving flesh numb as death? A daughter abused and cast out upon the mercy of strangers? Another armless bride? People ALAN GALANTE lived most of his life in the shadow of Table Mountain before moving to Norfolk. unmoving as bark? A soul fled away in rushing water. unremarkable group and turned to board her flight into exile. relationships and memory. Eclectica. exploring themes such as exile.new contrast raised her hand to a small. and has published on early South African autobiographical and political writing.  . She is widely published here and abroad. including Gobshite Quarterly. She has a PhD in African literature from the University of the Witwatersrand. Botsotso. ANDIE MILLER is a freelance writer who lives in Johannesburg. Ice maiden? Diseased whore? Or a girl become tree. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Witwatersrand. Itch and River Teeth. CATHERINE WOEBER lectures in South African and English literature at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg). Now among us forms are shaping from the mists she moved in. Mott Foundation’s South Africa office for 11 years. England with his family.
Cape Town. He has published five novels. His latest book is So Far. Woman in Writing and Echoes. His work has appeared in New Coin. She has raised a family. She has two daughters and lives in Cape Town. Magic with Words. Since the early 1980s he has had a considerable number of poems published in literary magazines here in South Africa and the United States.gabeba. He performed during the ISP Poetry Convention and Symposium in Washington DC. HERMAN LATEGAN is a writer at e. Selected poems 1960–2004.  . He was featured on SABC 2’s Muvhango soapie and SABC 1’s poetry documentary. television. the Sunday Independent. DEBORAH STEINMAIR is a translator and poet. . Fidelities. magazines and newspapers. taught. Turfwrite. short-listed for the 2007 University of Johannesburg Prize. Botsotso. ELISA GALGUT teaches in the Philosophy Department at the University of Cape Town. Kotaz. She lives in Johannesburg. He has written for local publications such the Mail & Guardian. and was refused a visa to re-visit South Africa until after 1991. publisher and pharmacist. and run an antique shop for a living.com GERALDINE FITZPATRICK was born in Harare. President of NUSAS in 1963 and 1964. Timbila. ELMI BADENHORST is a lecturer at UCT and part-time musician. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the Mafikeng Campus of North-West University. HA HODGE is a poet and computer programmer. CJ (‘JONTY’) DRIVER was born in Cape Town in 1939. DAVID WA MAAHLAMELA is a performance-poet based in Musina. six books of poetry. cartoonist. Her current area of interest is an exploration into emotional responses to literature from a psychoanalytic perspective. She is a practising medical doctor. DAMIAN GARSIDE has been published in New Contrast since 1977. and a biography. Two Islands (Kwela) follows three youth novels.www. GABEBA BADEROON is the author of The Dream in the Next Body (2005) and A hundred silences (2006). He is the author of a Sepedi poetry collection. Moswarataukamariri. DAWN GARISCH is a poet and novelist. GUS FERGUSON is a poet. GQ and others. he became stateless in 1966.new contrast CORNÉ COETZEE is a freelance journalist and sub-editor at Beeld. He was one of the judges of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007. Carapace. Her recent novel. She has written for theatre and film. in the US and also during the first South African Literary Award. He hosts the Monday Off-the-Wall poetry gig in Observatory. She plays the accordion.tv and a freelance journalist. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UCT. Once. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and two teenage children. Voices of Africa.
he has published over 150 poems. She likes watermelon and summer. University of London. She received the 2005 Ernst van Heerden Award for 100 Papers. A dozen of his astronomy and spaceflight poems can be viewed at www. wat beweging. KEN BARRIS has published four novels. German. Kanye (Botswana) and Windhoek (Namibia). Testing the Edge. Sy het Bmus grade van die Universiteit van Pretoria. He has won various literary awards. with a few poems translated into Xhosa. LAURA KIRSTEN is ’n pianis en digter. anthologies and American Poetry Review. KIRSTEN HOLMES found poetry at 21. LOUIS GREENBERG was born the last of five Catholic-raised children of Greek Orthodox. and Japanese. for a short story published in New Contrast. photos and short stories. MARILYN KEEGAN is a journalist based in Cape Town. She has freelanced as a features writer and is working on her first screenplay. the others in magazines here and abroad.astronautix. The Beggars’ Signwriters. Seconds Out. a collection of short stories. He has lived and worked in Johannesburg. son and two dogs in Johannesburg. French. Including those. appeared in 1983. A third volume. Emergency Poems. KELWYN SOLE was born in Johannesburg. LIESL JOBSON lives in Johannesburg where she freelances as a bassoonist and photographer. had a history of banning and unbanning in South Africa and was published in New York. Sy is gebaseer in Hogsback in die Oos-Kaap. won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. He lives in Cape Town. Gentlewoman. but lives in Woodstock for now. was published by Umuzi in 2006. MARK SWIFT’S poems. He has published poems. She is a poetry editor for the online journal Mad Hatters’ Review. In 1987 he was awarded the Thomas Pringle Prize. was published in 1996. His first collection. and was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and at the School of Oriental and African Studies. LOUISE CROUSE is from Beaufort West. Her poetry has been published in South African literary journals.com. A fourth volume. prose and criticism have been widely published in South Africa and in the UK. her anthology of flash fiction which will be published by Botsotso later this year. and works at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He lives with his wife. He works in the book trade. gedigte en musiek kombineer. the most recent being the 2006 Thomas Pringle Award. She attended Lionel Abrahams’ workshops for several years. Her poetry has appeared in Carapace. His first novel. Ingrid Jonker Dans Weer. Jewish and Protestant ancestry. Treading Water.new contrast KEITH GOTTSCHALK’S political poems came out as a collection in 1992. and two collections of poetry. and is at present a professor in the English Department of the UCT. She co-authored a book on nature reserves of Southern Africa. Sy is tans besig om aan ’n een-vrou stuk te werk.  . His second book.
She published Seance for the Body (Snailpress) and is working on a collection entitled Love. He is presently recording a music CD called It’s a happening thing: a blend of blues. He has published two novels. MIKE HAGEMANN lives in Cape Town and teaches at an independent school. goema. and Drama Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Sy werk tans voltyds en vryskut in die musiekindustrie en advertensiewese. SONJA WILKER is a painter and life coach.new contrast MICHAEL COPE was born in Cape Town. TENDAI R MWANAKA has written two books of poetry and two of short stories. He lives in Chitungwiza. He is a published poet. MICHAEL COPLEY is a poet. rock. He has had a number of poems published in the United States in the past year or so. Media. and his next collection of poems is to be published by Penguin this month. Meditations from Africa. and Cambridge. several chapbooks of poetry. the odd bushbuck and duiker. He started writing poetry and short stories in 1994. He is married to Julia Martin. Messages from trees. skryf. Her poetry about other animals intersects with her research. singer/songwriter and actor. Zimbabwe. and a few thousand trees. Sy het taal en advertensiewese in Kaapstad studeer en tussendeur die wêreld vir ’n jaar of twee bereis. He has four books of poems in print. STEPHEN WATSON teaches at the University of Cape Town. a memoir. He lives in Hogsback. and extensively on the Internet. He recently edited a collection of essays on Cape Town. RIANA WIECHERS het op George grootgeword en hoërskool op Pretoria voltooi. Lit. He has two poetry/meditation/ prayer CDs out: one. musiek. He lives in Cape Town and works as a designer and jeweller. and has published poetry in journals in the UK. boeremusiek and Celtic influences. WENDY WOODWARD teaches English at the University of the Western Cape including Creative Writing. and a painter. NORMAN MORRISSEY taught Eng. He holds degrees from the University of Rhodes. and has three children. and the other. He writes short fiction: themes draw on his military service. Natal. one-time membership of a charismatic Christian cult and years spent teaching in a tough.  . He has made a CD of jazz and poetry with Chris Wildman. jazz. Literacies. writer. a troop of Samango monkeys. Hades and Other Animals. mbaqanga. at a few universities. reis. working-class neighbourhood. a collaboration with Guy Gibbon. interessante mense en slaap. two volumes of poems. in 1952. OLUFEMI TERRY is a writer and journalist currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at UCT. folk. sharing a 5 acre plot with 72 species of birds. ROBERT BALFOUR is Associate Professor and Head of the School of Language. the USA and in South Africa. focus on the subjectivities of animals in southern African writing. A City Imagined. hou van lees. fotografie.
• Please include your name and address on each page.00 $48.com Subscription rates for 2007 (New Contrast Nos. • Please note that because our editors are overworked volunteers it can take up to three months to receive a reply. • E-mail submissions may be included as the body of an e-mail or as attached Word documents.com Email Business Manager: newcontrastadm@gmail. • Please do not send original manuscripts as they cannot be returned by us.com • All postal submissions must be typed. PO Box 44844. .00 £24. Cape Town branch (Adderley Street) Account name: South African Literary Journal Ltd Account type: Current account Account number: 070508666 R200.00 $48. South Africa E-mail Editor: newcontrasted@gmail. • If you are submitting the same material to another publication at the same time. • E-mail submissions to newcontrasted@gmail. • If your work is accepted for publication you will received two free copies of the issue in which your work appears. 138. please say so in your covering letter.new contrast Editorial and subscription address New Contrast. Claremont. Botswana and Namibia Europe and African countries not listed above Asia and Australia North and South America Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to the South African Literary Journal (address above) Electronic transfers to Standard Bank. Lesotho. 7735. Zimbabwe. 139 and 140) South Africa.00 Guidelines for contributors Postal submissions will be accepted although e-mail submissions are preferable. Inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere before you hear from us. 137. • Poetry submissions should not exceed six poems. Swaziland. Cape Town.
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