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VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2
South African Literary Journal Volume 37, No 2, Winter 2009
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, Michael King, Paul Mills, Stephen Watson
Prof Rosemary Gray (University of Pretoria), HA Hodge, Prof Craig MacKenzie (University of Johannesburg), Prof David Medalie (University of Pretoria), 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.
ISSN-8: 1017-5415 ISSN-13: 977-1017-54100-8
Business Manager Sonja Wilker Cover painting: ‘Man with Pink Hat’ by Thandi Sliepen DTP by User Friendly Printed and bound by Tandym Print Publication date June 2009
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.
we bring you unpublished poems by Don from Dress Rehearsal. and too late to prepare an appropriate tribute. a close friend of Don and his family. The scanning of the full set of the journal. I hope you find as great a pleasure in the reading as I have in selecting these examples of current writing. The campaign to recruit subscribers continues. This issue contains new voices and familiar. both Contrast and New Contrast. also be possible. is nearly complete at UCT. Additional ‘seats’ for on-line access by the general public will. Look up and down the road. we will make available on-line everything.Notes The death of Don Maclennan last February came as the journal was due to go to print. Small minds We walk to the front gate. We’ve had some success in that over the last two years subscriber numbers have nearly doubled. We turn around And go back inside. By kind permission of Shirley Maclennan. I hope. who has written with warmth and affection of Don. that we have published in the last nearly 50 years. That is now remedied. Quite soon. reproduced here. I hope within this year. Buster Petersen *** . particularly if you are a contributor. We are making progress but are not yet close to our objectives which would go a long way towards assuring the financial health of the journal. whether individual or institution. and provided the photographs taken by family and friends. I hope. I am indebted to Douglas Skinner. This resource will become available to every subscriber. bar the current year’s issues. that you do subscribe and if possible encourage others to.
And. The New Contrast blog is live at http://newcontrast. Make sure you complete the Properties tab in the document. Send me a brief biography: it can be as formal or not as you like.book. let me know. making space for a replacement. I am introducing a small change to the way I manage contributions. such as Notepad. By extension I am reviewing all contributions ‘in stock’ and asking writers to reduce the number of those items to six.za. I will still read your stuff. of course. openoffice. Interesting comments or suggestions I will publish.net.org/). or send me an RTF. I now store each piece on Google Docs where we can collaborate easily and quickly. I never have time to transcribe from paper to MS Word. you can send email to the editor ed@newcontrast. I monitor conversations there regularly. use Open Office (which is free – http://www. email address and telephone number are on every page of the document: use the footer in MS Word to record the information.co. Make sure your name. I will edit it. but your chances of being published are significantly reduced. Send me a separate document for each piece of work: I want five documents if you send me five poems: zip them together.net or to the business manager business@newcontrast. I cannot pay you beyond the two free copies of the magazine every contributor should receive. or any other text writer. If you would like to write a review. FEEDBACK: send me a letter by email or snail. When a piece is published it is removed ‘from stock’. postal address.new contrast Please send me electronic copies of your work. but preferably the former. If you have no access to MS Word. At this stage. If you have no access to a PC at an Internet café. Hugh . REVIEWERS: I receive books for review regularly.
Die Natte En Die Bobaas Voete Chris Eugene Canter I’ll go to South Africa Don Maclennan 7 8 9 10 11 15 25 30 30 31 32 33 34 36 36 37 37 37 38 39 40 40 41 42 43 44 46 47 49 . Cricket and Henry Miller: in memoriam Don Maclennan (1929–2009) Rosemund Handler Extract from Tsamma Season Joan Metelerkamp Twee Rivieren Kevin Dean Hollinshead Unexpected News Jane Bruwer Couch Potato Laura Kirsten my rym I Thandi Sliepen art again Andries Samuel … Genna Gardini Horses Heads: Kobus Moolman The Mountain Grace Kim Poetry Inadequate Acting male Damian Garside The Ontogenesis of Porn Consuelo Roland Against Appointments Deborah Steinmair Chance encounter Dream weaver Bulelwa Basse My Lyrical SASS Barry Wallenstein Pandemonium Drastic Dislocations Norman Morrissey Like a San Maiden Allan Kolski Horwitz The Bread Of The Dutch Is Death Charl-Pierre Naudé Rekonstruksie Mari Mocke Die Sappe.new contrast Contents Orpheus Voyeur Gödel Dress rehearsal Douglas Skinner Lemon Verbena.
2008 Gus Ferguson Haikoids Our Charlize Adam Wiedewitsch Gorée Sam Manty The MD Tiah Marie Beautement A Melktert Day Louis Greenberg Origami Jonty Driver Sad Song Sumeera Dawood Acceptance Being a woman Marcia Leveson The Wedding Jane Bruwer Dawid Kramer Heidi Marques My Dompas Jacques Coetzee What Is Real Richard Bunch Looking for Home Lisa Lazarus Boom Doug Downie Bill’s Bumper John Simon Death at Noon Michael Bernard Shadows Rustum Kozain Depression Bowling Green. November 4.Doug Scott The Un-Wars of Tarzan’s Oyster ‘Reality’ Redefined As Beating A Woman Obama Day. Ohio Kelwyn Sole Poem of earth and fire Poems of air and water Ken Barris In Grahamstown Clive Lawrance Cape Cobra Mark Swift At Hadrian’s Wall Elizabeth Joss The Lie of Your Land Mark Swift Exile at Home Clive Lawrance Writing Their Lives John Simon Kindertotenlieder in Seville Contributors 50 56 61 65 65 66 68 68 77 86 87 88 88 96 97 98 99 100 108 109 111 112 112 113 114 116 117 118 119 120 121 121 122 .
1957 Orpheus We began together moving stones away to make a garden.new contrast Don Maclennan Four poems selected by Douglas Skinner from Dress Rehearsal. By kind permission of Shirley Maclennan. Married. we sat at breakfast. You brushed your hair 7 . 2009 Don and Shirley. a collection of poems unpublished at the time of Don’s death. © Shirley Maclennan. our own sheets drying on the line. summer sunlight and the elms reflected in the toaster.
the hill behind them blocking their escape. Voyeur Had I been there with Goya on that third of May. I could not help myself. I would have watched the execution of insurgents in the eerie lantern glow. bayonets glinting in the guilty light. The sky is black with strife and I have become opaque even to myself. After years I went to look for you. pleased with being you. longing to see you as you were when first we met. But I lost you by looking back. I have been dragged along on the bloody tide of history. You opened your arms and cried my name as darkness swallowed you again. the sky a suffocating black.new contrast at the window. At home in December 2005 8 .
that’s time. We invent it to explain why it is we die. otherwise. The weightlessness of time is like the memory of a hand that touched you just a moment ago. it has no weight or force. the termination of a lineal stretch from birth to final silence. But when we die. A break from climbing rock faces at Bloukrans River 9 . Sometimes what he says feels true. it makes me feel like Sisyphus pushing his boulder up a never-ending hill. a hint of thistledown.new contrast Gödel Gödel says there’s no such thing as time. like today.
The whirlpool of her eyes saw through our discomfiture.’ She looked at us as though we’d wasted so much life waiting for it to gather meaning. 10 . she was tucked into a tidy hospital bed. Whispering like the wind down an empty hallway she said.new contrast Ben Maclennan scattering his father’s ashes on Compassberg Dress rehearsal A blown dandelion. a drip fixed to her skeletal hand. ‘This is not a dress rehearsal.
As a boy. was born in Edinburgh in 1956. a mind alone. London. Ohio. where he and Shirley had three more children: Joe. ooo Don Maclennan was born in England in 1929. I walked into my first tutorial in the old English Department at Rhodes University and started a conversation with Don Maclennan that was to continue for the next forty-one years. 11 . until his family moved to South Africa in 1938 and settled in the then Transvaal. he met Shirley May Knapp of Cleveland. graduating with an MA in English. In Edinburgh. graduating with an MA in Philosophy.new contrast The sister drew the curtains against the fierce sun. and not just me. fifty years of marriage. before returning to study at Wits. David and Susan. After matriculating. The ending of that conversation leaves me so much less than I was. In the grounds outside peacocks screamed. he attended The Greycoat School in Victoria. They moved to South Africa. they celebrated that increasingly rare achievement. They married in 1955 and their eldest son. Cricket and Henry Miller: in memoriam Don Maclennan (1929-2009) On a bright summer morning in early 1968. but all of those he touched—for we are. Ben. he returned to post-WW2 Britain to study at Edinburgh University. Douglas Skinner Lemon Verbena. none of us. In 2005. and for so many of us it has been a profound luxury to have been enriched by the overlapping of his mind with ours.
the period after someone loved has died and they are left with nothing but loss. but this is not the whole truth. The many and varied smaller insults to the body heal with time. whereas death brings sharply into focus—regardless of all the assertions presented by society’s The family in the back garden. also. (Not in photo: Susan) 12 . By this.new contrast Don lectured at Wits and UCT before being persuaded by Guy Butler to join the English Department at Rhodes University in 1966. retiring in 1994. he had a stroke and died after a brief period in hospital in Port Elizabeth. but rather to that of the still-living. Many think of Don primarily as a writer. who must navigate that most difficult of passages. ooo It is in the life after death where the most difficult puzzles are unwound. as noted by Rhodes. I refer not to the supposed immaterial alternative existences of those whose life has come to an end. for he was. 1981. an ‘inspirational teacher …[who]… continued to give weekly seminars on a voluntary basis for ten years after his retirement …’ In February. where he taught for the next thirty-eight years.
blossoms. searching for an understanding of what it means to be a person. I wonder. slices of fresh white bread smeared with butter and honey from the wild At a reading in 2007 with (L-R) Chris Mann. lemons. sunlight. voices. Stephen Gray. are we to accommodate the loss of such a singular voice? I don’t know. Farouk Asvat and Robert Berold (front) 13 . making supple and surprising poems from an amalgam of closely observed details—touchstones such as figs. He constantly mined his own memories. pebbles. ooo Some of my most important early memories involve the Maclennan house and garden on Frances Street. ooo Don was quintessentially a humanist and metaphysician of the senses. How. Dan Wylie. honey—and insightful philosophical thinking. soap. Grahamstown: whole afternoons idled away in laughter and intensely played cricket matches on the lawn.new contrast many cultural beliefs—questions that remain unanswered. So it is with the passing of Don Maclennan. music. wood smoke. John Forbis. mulberries.
Thankfully we have his writing. 1975 14 . after supper had been eaten and the dishes cleared. a handful of poems that are among the most important of our tradition. say. helping him build a set of steps between the lawn and flower beds out of rough. In that body of work there are. the smell of the lemon verbena close to the steps. will be understood to be central to South African letters. to write to or receive letters from. one whose importance. Thanks to family and friends for the photographs Back garden cricket. I am glad to be able to keep turning to them and finding there strong echoes of the priceless conversation I was privileged to have. taking turns. listening to him read from In Memoriam Oskar Wolberheim. almost all. raking and burning leaves in autumn. to read aloud from. ooo But now he is no longer there to visit or call. Don’s legacy of poems is an immense contribution. and memory. is all that’s left. sitting around the Queen Anne stove in the living room on a winter’s evening with friends from near and far. making salad for lunch in a large wooden bowl. an afternoon in his cool study. I think. the original unreliable narrator. heavy stones. Well. Henry Miller’s Colossus of Maroussi or Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. once it can be seen in context with the luxury of some hindsight. his internal autobiography.new contrast bees in a hollow tree trunk in the back garden.
Best of all. long abandoned. there were three thorns and black thorns. but where was she to find a window to look through? Water. in the distance. Meanwhile. We must put out the barrels. looking around despondently. he said. 15 . she had to clutch onto her hat with one hand while pinning down her skirts with the other. father was capering around her. We will not need it yet. jubilantly pointing out the advantages of the site. He looked up at the sky. Where will we build our home. a sweet thorn. The site. The sheep clustered together as rain lashed down. Mother’s heart was not comforted. Here. she asked. goshawks and rollers. and a view of scrub and dunes so arid that it seemed no living thing could possibly survive there. well-drained kraals for the sheep. and looked around her. there were hornbills and shrikes. which was much further than it had looked from the wagon. Father led her by the hand to the top of the rise. what of water? Father took her hand again and led her some way down the scrubby hillside. And indeed. she pleaded. It sloped gently. exulted father. long abandoned. even acacia karoo. a borehole. drenching everything within minutes. But I am convinced we will quickly find water here again. the view was endless. there was plenty of room for spacious. She saw nothing but a poor rock-strewn ruin. The wind blew ceaselessly. It broke before Kobie and father could get the wagon up the hill. Look at the view from your window. was even better than he remembered. to a flat area surrounded by stones. There were kameeldorings and shepherd’s trees. a storm is coming. This is a well. elevated above the surrounding area and above the high watermark of flash flooding of the Auob.new contrast Rosemund Handler Extract from Tsamma Season Mother climbed the crest of the hill. and there were flat areas where they could grow mealies and a few vegetables.
the damp of the night still in her bones. her hat streaming water. stung by drops of rain the size of pebbles. or chalk stone. Mother prepared the porridge. the rain gone and the riverbed still awash with pools of receding floodwaters. That night. and wetness seeped unpleasantly into every dry thing inside it. It was a sight he never thought to see after such a downpour: the dunes blushing beneath the enormous golden eye of the rising sun. Barely halting their labours to eat. laying out the calcrete. All night the wagon groaned beneath the brutal beating of the rain. The sun was swiftly sucking up the moisture. and a wondrous dawn it was. Father was up at dawn. and was forced to take shelter inside. who usually slept beneath the wagon or beside the fire. though the sky by then was brilliantly blue and the sand glowing in sunlight. the two men completed the foundation of the dwelling that very day. and thought about the words of the Boer woman.new contrast Mother. While Kobie 16 . The interior. and Kobie succeeded in getting a fire going. wondered if her husband had lost his mind. on a gentle slope some distance from the site selected for the dwelling. There were rocks strewn about which father thought to be of a great age. In the afternoon. father dispatched Kobie with an axe to cut branches of kameeldoring trees alongside the riverbed to form the rafters of the roof. and a rainbow of such radiance climbing the sky that he viewed it as a blessing from the desert gods on the home they would begin building that very day. he and Kobie used some of them to mark out the first kraal. Kobie. said mother. to mark the site of the dwelling. She decided she had never been more miserable in her life. She sat on a chunk of chalk stone in the mud. perhaps borne to the spot from some distance away. a mini waterfall in itself. was almost swept away by a mudslide. smelt as if the entire flock of wet sheep had bedded down with them. The only one who slept the night through was Kobie. they slept on damp bedding as even the strong canvas covering of the wagon became weighed down beneath torrents of rain. by what means he could not imagine. He attacked the work with vigour before he had even breakfasted.
they began collecting dune reed for thatching. and the chimney of stone above it. and to make extra saddles for the two horses. Gradually the pile of branches. but protected her hands and fingers from deep lacerations. Chummy and May began barking frantically. with a hole at the top for a grid or a pot. Each day. Kobie gathered dung of wildebeest and gemsbok in the riverbed and surrounds. Thick cakes of dung made a good hearth. When the tan-pit was ready. he piled up stones in a neat square. without hides to line them. On a night when the moon seemed the width of an eyelash above a black eyeball of sky. were left in the care of the dogs. sagged limp as wet rags. the tan-pit. Meanwhile the wind blew. a priority was to dig the well. after that. The day came at last when the floor was laid. roughly penned behind branches in their new kraal. father would hunt gemsbok and hartebeest. Keeping a sharp eye out for snakes. in the fireplace. In the days following. and the process of tanning the essential hides could begin. for which she wore old leather gloves that soon became dirty and torn. More hides were needed to be cut into strips for binding. but they soon found that there were not nearly enough to line the walls and ceilings and for the floorboards. they worked from first light until the heat forced them to seek shade beneath a kameeldoring. grew. He dug for mud. and stacked it in piles with calcrete stone and any other stones he could find for reinforcement of the walls. The tone 17 . the rafters of the dwelling shook.new contrast was busy. and spread it in the sun to dry. The fireplace in the kitchen. and muddy to well above the ankles. and the rafters prepared for roofing. The sheep. father and mother walked down to the pools in the riverbed. where all three of them slept as if dead. this was mother’s particular job. and morning dew dampened the dune reeds which. neatly chopped to various lengths. were built painstakingly by Kobie. neatly laid by father above blocks of dried-out dung. Though the rain barrels were still fairly full from the downpour. They had purchased hides of gemsbok and red hartebeest in Upington. the mud and daub walls were smooth and dry. The dune reeds dried out and were bound in sheaves with string.
barking furiously. The growls grew in volume. and dangerous for men. May. was in the vicinity of the sheep pen. He hefted the rifle and the two made for the main kraal. May bounded towards the trees. father was almost convinced it was a baboon. usually so sensible. May exploded from the blackness. her nose pointing up at the larger tree. Father strained to see what the dog clearly could.new contrast was different from any my parents had heard from them before. thinking to surprise a leopard. Kobie’s loud click of disgust told him otherwise. still barking. Something moved in the lower limbs of the tree: knobbly and dark. Crouching behind a large branch in a desperate bid to evade the light was their intruder. Kobie raised the flare still higher. who had been standing beside father. to be hunting them. His only experience of Bushmen in the Kalahari had been the single incident on his first visit to the desert. there was little enough difference between a baboon and a Bushman. Kobie raised the flare. built at an angle some way below the home for good drainage. a dense clump against the sky. when an honest if unsolicited barter had taken place. the faint sickle of moon made it dark enough to be a perfect opportunity for lions to hunt. Drawing closer. They started up. even though he knew there were no baboons in the Kalahari. Father’s first thought was for the sheep. and Kobie was worried. the 18 . The dogs had not calmed. with their inferior night vision. Kobie cast his flare in the direction of the branches of two large kameeldorings not far ahead of them. In the thick dark. as they are easily seen by their prey. Father lit two flares and gave one to Kobie. had vanished into the night and did not respond to father’s repeated calls. but try though he might. A bright moon discourages predators. Father and Kobie cast their flares about in all directions. he could not discern even a single branch. She crouched down on her front legs in front of father. it seemed part of it. a node of a branch trembling in the wind. thinking a predator. In Kobie’s mind. barking incessantly. Chummy. yet seemed free of agitation. father held May by the scruff of her neck to silence her. The sheep stirred. stopped and began growling instead. That night. a lion or a hyena. Kobie was already outside.
Finding this individual could only mean that he wanted to be found: in spite of his shy. father knew the true motive for this gorging. that neither white nor black man was friend to the Bushmen. To father’s astonishment. he might yet have melted into the night. and second. He shrunk back beneath the onslaught of the Hottentot’s aggressive gobbledegook: Woza jou***/// *#****voetsek!**#!!** brak hond! Listening to Kobie’s abuse. With the light of the flare full on him. a ‘tsk. mumbling to himself. Without looking up. then a click that resembled the clucking sound Kobie used with the sheep. explained that the man was speaking in his own language. the little man in the tree unfolded his small quaking form and shimmied down the trunk. After listening for a moment. holding tightly to the captive’s arm. father thought he might have been gibbering in fear. the Bushman answered in a firmer voice. addressed him again. less ignorant. since a few of the words were in Afrikaans. Kobie. powerful legs. in no such dilemma. From his reading. The sounds were a variety of clicks: a sucking action of the tongue. Had not Kobie reached out and grabbed him by the torn hide that girded his loins. they are renowned also for their ability to vanish into thin air. or because the little men seldom had enough food to fill their bellies: as nomads. Slight.new contrast Bushmen helping themselves to two springbok and leaving tsamma melons in exchange. with sinewy arms and shapely. and have legendary appetites: two Bushmen can devour an entire carcass in a night of gorging. the Bushman had turned up for a reason. As the little 19 . they are simply not equipped to carry quantities of food with them. two thoughts came to father: first. It is not merely owing to greed. Father wondered what that reason could be. While father debated what to do with the Bushman. soft and sharp pops of the tongue against the palate. His head still bent. the two men inspected the Bushman. fearful behaviour. and thus are in the habit of devouring their kills on the spot. He put out a hand and Kobie stopped talking. he understood something of the communication. in height he barely reached father’s chest. But the farmers in Upington had warned him that Bushmen are notorious thieves who will steal a sheep as easily as a drink of water. he turned his head away from the flare. tsk’. Kobie. Kobie. prattled away at him. In the ensuing silence. or father for urging on his horse.
but not quite as simply as father had envisaged. Though born in the Kalahari. Yet he bears a bow and arrows on his back. but I have attempted as faithfully as possible to render on paper the cadence of the Bushman’s picturesque speech and mannerisms. There was much pointing of fingers. and he will eat up all your sheep. baas. In the weeks following his arrival. Judging by that organ’s flatness. Perhaps something of father’s skill as a raconteur has crept in. of course. Brandbooi was no primitive Bushman. even the squirrels. our Brandbooi. they were persecuted and pursued by all the peoples whose lands they 20 . had been practical rather than charitable: he was in dire need of extra hands on the farm. A significant figure in my life from the time I was a toddler. which went into his mouth and prodded repeatedly at his lean hard stomach. untouched by the white man’s ways. It is good to shoot this baboon. Termites. he shook off Kobie’s grip and began using both hands freely. The Bushman was. So why did father risk taking in a refugee of such ill-repute? The decision. He will steal from you. Brandbooi told father his story. Kobie nodded and pointed to father’s rifle. I began to feel more and more confident that if he could read it. As his story unspooled beneath my pen. It is no wonder then that he is hungry. surely he can hunt. Ja. Once there. The plan worked. and he reasoned that if the man worked well and was given food in exchange for his labours. He is hungry. replied Kobie. making copious use of an evocative patois.new contrast man’s voice rose slightly in volume. puzzled. the Boer name he offered when he saw that a hail of nasal. and he has not been able to catch and eat meat for four days. both parties would benefit. When he was still a young boy. but he say the rain chase away the animals. father said to Kobie. it had not been filled in some days. he has eaten only ants-in-the-mountain. Brandbooi was a storyteller of note. he would approve. his family and certain members of their clan had made the decision to split off from the main body and migrate to South West Africa. he explained to me. aspirated and glottal clicks – his Bushman name – made little impression on father’s bewilderment.
the Herero. While Brandbooi was out hunting one day with the other men. and from travellers and pedlars. against the spirits? How else to explain such a fearsome punishment? 21 . the men muttered in perplexity to one another for long sleepless hours. When two men of the clan were found shot to death. something happened to Brandbooi’s wife and children. much rapid finger signing and many drawings in the sand. The game herds were spread thinly over hundreds of miles. After Brandbooi’s parents died in Damaraland – his father stampeded to death by an angry elephant bull. Not long after returning to the Kalahari. around them. Shocked and grieving. Human and animal figures were sketched in minute detail. his mother of a sickness of the stomach – he decided to return with his clan to the Kalahari. to stave off starvation. where they sought the eggs of sandgrouse. and six other women and their children. His wife and two children. and kept a sharp eye out for centipedes and caterpillars sometimes used in the making of poison for their arrows. a great flash flood boiled up from out of nowhere. Brandbooi and the other men found that their wives and children had vanished. and it struck them that while they had been thinking only of their stomachs and a good cooking fire. prodded under stones for scorpions. Ovambo. and to the wives and children of other members of his clan. He described the events to father with few words. On their way home. and survival for desert dwellers had become a struggle. wandering into the farthest wilderness in search of water. trying but failing to come up with a single one of the small clan’s beliefs that had been transgressed. lizards and snakes. There had been a drought. What dread insult had the clan committed. the remaining members sought refuge in Damaraland. where the drought finally broke in a series of torrential thunderstorms. the clan thieved at every opportunity from white men and black in remote villages and farms.new contrast traversed: white farmers. their families had been stolen from them by the waters. When they returned from the hunt. The river was still high and dangerous. he strewed little mounds of broken reeds and grasses. were foraging in the riverbed as usual. Nama and other tribes. albeit unwittingly.
where he followed the clear path of his fleeing heart. He knew then that he. A day came when the wind bore him a message. he spotted a deep thick bush. as is often the case. his eyes turned yellow and sharp as thorns. bordered by porcupine quills. Brandbooi plucked the plump animal. Before he could snatch it back. springbok. Looking around. feasting on young warthogs. He found himself standing on his own strong legs in a place utterly unfamiliar to him. too. Brandbooi understood with a terrible finality that he would not see his children again until it was time for the spirits to take him also. and with this increase in his girth. This message told him that the Boer was aware that a Bushman was trespassing on his lands. squirrels. he began building himself a shelter. It did not take long for his body to grow plump. he slept soundly on unknown sand whose soft warmth retained the heat of the day. wings and claws. it took to the sky and flew away from him. for the first time since the spirits had seen fit to frown so cruelly upon him. After erecting a neat monument of quills to its spirit in the very circle where its blood dyed the sand red. the hawk shed its feathers. from which he skilfully evicted an angry porcupine. Brandbooi drank from the white man’s pans and ate the white man’s sheep and whatever else he could catch. grasp it tightly in his hands and replace it where it belonged behind his ribs. That night. and Brandbooi became a Bushman again. mongooses. His head filled up with an agonising pain and his heart swelled until it pressed against his ribs. his body began agitating and contorting without his volition. During the weeks that followed. snakes and lizards. Once there. in a clearing he swept clean with his hands. Feeling much refreshed. In the icy dawn. His shuddering limbs changed shape as he lay helpless: beak and feathers sprouted. Mighty wings launched him high into the cloudless sky. carefully tended fire. cooked it on a small. and ate it in its entirety. his spirit grew lazy. that 22 . must leave that place of death.new contrast At dawn. killing it with a large stone. his heart returned to its rightful place in his chest. all of which abounded on the white man’s lands. steenbok. This path took him to the lands of the white man. He rose onto horny feet with stabbing claws. growing larger and larger until it burst from his chest like a hawk from its nest.
the reason: he had not amputated the first joint of the baby finger of the left hand of his one-year-old daughter before the waters had taken her. But by then it was too late: the greedy floodwaters had swallowed her. Again. 23 . Even as events were overtaking him. watching over him in recompense for the loss of his children. it might have been his reward for the strict adherence to his clan’s beliefs while he feasted on the fat of the white man’s lands. and his own safety in this one. He was coming with firesticks to hunt him down: to take the life of the thief in payment for the killing and eating of sheep and game that did not belong to him and for the drinking of water from the Boer’s pans. But Brandbooi was unafraid. looking down at vultures’ nests taking fire from the late afternoon sun. he understood. he would have secured a life of feasting and pleasure for her in the next world. and he rose on currents of air. Owing to this violation. sometimes. He was certain he had never once violated those beliefs: never let his shadow fall upon an animal he had killed.new contrast the Boer knew where that Bushman dwelt and was deeply offended by his presence. with a fearful sinking of his heart. This time. the god of the wilderness abandoned him. The enraged Boer sought his trespasser in vain. that the spirits had taken pity on him once more. He felt his energy grow from a tiny flame to a conflagration and understood. or even. never forgotten to leave an offering in thanksgiving to the spirit of the animal. with lightness in his heart. Had he done this in its right time. He had fully intended to perform the amputation rites on his return from that last ill-fated hunting trip. In spite of Brandbooi’s diligence and vigilance. the white man finally ran his quarry to ground. when Brandbooi came back to himself. he flew above the tops of the trees. he decided he owed his safety to the intervention of the god of the wilderness. and before he dug for water or drank it. had even selected the knife-edged stone. he thought. he had propitiated the spirit of that water with a piece of dried meat if he had it. feathers and wings sprouted in place of his limbs. an arrow hewn from a driedoring. Faster than the flying sand. some locusts if he did not. Or perhaps. on a day with no cloud or redeeming breeze to temper the hot sun bleeding into a wan sky.
Later. The Bushman recognised that the serpent-shadow was the dark spirit that guided the white man in his evil deeds. 24 . behind which stood the white man. Without a sound – a bark. Far worse than the lion dog was what reared above him: a serpentshadow of monstrous size. his blood spilling into the sand. had speared it with a quill. His throat felt painfully dry. his firestick or the bloody-fanged dog. seized Brandbooi’s thigh between jaws foaming with rivers of drool. shivering in shock. he woke from sleep with a great thirst. wondering if an irate porcupine. a terrifying shape-shifter in the form of a white man’s dog. he realised it was this thirst that made him unusually careless. Instead. he touched it gingerly. he blinked a few times. had erupted from behind a tree. head as heavy and black as a lion’s. This voice did not emanate from the white man’s throat. saw that the length of the firestick aimed at him by the white man was almost the length of the man himself. it came from the shadow itself. a voice spoke loudly in his head. and fear ran through him like a torrent of arrows. The bright afternoon turned dim. Brandbooi had consumed almost all of it in a single hour. Brandbooi. In the afternoon. Brandbooi closed his eyes and waited for the crack of the firestick that would water the land with Bushman blood. Pain caused Brandbooi to sweat water that he did not have to spare. but the light did not return. even a growl – this unnatural beast. a young warthog had lingered too long behind its speedy family and had fallen to one of his arrows. his dread of the shadow greater by far than his fear of the Boer.new contrast Early that morning. He had scarcely offered up the scorpion he had killed to the spirit of the pan when an ancestral enemy. the latter wrenching at his leg as if about to tear it from his body. passing by.
laughlaughlaughlaughlaugh and still it wasn’t enough so we laughed and LAAAUGHED some more. and we laughed and we laughed and laughed and laughed LAUGHED n laughed n laughed n laughed. 52 in the shade the heat immeasurable. why feel compelled to do this: all those reasons not to want to I don’t know but I do can I help it second guessing meaninglessness 50.new contrast Joan Metelerkamp Twee Rivieren Citrusdal. and we laughed. 25 . travelling. up over the Bokkeveld berge into obliterating rain past Calvinia. stinking of cat piss. immense bodies’ effort that last night at Twee Rivieren so intense the pushed-together beds rift like the Auob and Nossob we laughed. where did it start we asked ourselves a number of times where it always starts. 51. Clanwilliam. in February. Brandvlei. dog shit and mud carried into the car as we got out of there – thought there couldn’t be a more depressing hotelier – but past Verneukpan and on to the next proprietor so lief vir die Here – we knew she wanted to save us but from what – on our way anyway: transfrontier – Kgalagadi. hot as Geelhoutvlei’s boiler. uncertainly why here.
hiding. 26 . kings of the birds.new contrast And now I remember some of the talk before. skimming really preying. black kite. two veins. black-chested. queens. scanning. I was crying. sandy. black harrier. two nights before. booted. immature bateleur. golden really. brown snake. tawny. weeping our various despairs (and the first part of the Nossob closed because of deep pools and sticky patches after the rain the road turned in parts to almost river here and there again and then they opened it so we didn’t have to go up the Auob again and across the dunes after all) two courses of anxiety and strength family and work and your family – which is mine – which made me cry again – and your family – which is not mine – and your work – and mine – trying to understand and crying again – and our challenge at the confluence words for the feeling for the thought for the confluence the intensity of every night every day each event every day’s sight on hot sand and on mud and in kameeldoring shade and in flight yellow-billed kite who isn’t here any more now you are black. hunching.
I’m sure I confuse you – that afternoon. chest on one bed heels on the other suspended under the fan heat daze brick hot outside I thought when you see me like this without any clothes and call me beautiful really you are seeing yourself or is it the other way round 51 in the shade I close my eyes I realise it’s something as simple as this if I don’t see what you see I am shutting you off from yourself At Urikaruus we woke to continue our conflict but this time in whispers so quiet I can’t recall what we said except I said: don’t wake me but as I rolled over you were whispering wake up! at the waterhole three lions and a cub in the morning bronze and the breeze and it seemed like only a moment but when we looked it was possibly an hour up and into the dunes That was the morning after the afternoon before I spread wet towels over ourselves I want to say to make it easy 27 . I’m unsure. at Nossob.new contrast forgive me.
but deranged even in the aftermath like na-dors, headache, I can still speak only in grunts – (Afterwards, after these travels, I imagine when I wake two poor people riding their cart back somewhere along the homeward track outside Prieska, no shade, so they eat under their cart and lie down on an old spread mat – and that’s when it starts sometimes I see them doing it somewhere in the back of an old station wagon under the mountain fringes in the sun’s rest at Beaufort West) aftermath for days headache inertia even when we come home I could lie like that lion rolling onto the almost falling into the road, smothered with butterflies we wondered if he was sick – I want to do it but maybe I can’t do the whole journey in one day maybe that’s just animus, possessed, hubris maybe it’s time to take myself for a walk – always at the beginning and afterwards this questioning like the travel itself the destination – why here, in February – we asked ourselves though I can’t remember the words themselves
but you kept telling me: already there, to come back when I needed – ‘you’ are the other person yr vr lvng hsbnd in the text – (Jesus, why is this so slow – I’m so slow I can tell you I can’t even speak – slow change perhaps that change of life keeps taking me ways I don’t expect ) tender, skin of ground after rain, sore, tender in places too many ecstatic animals like the two hartebeeste, heart horns locked, down on their knees, penises erect, thumping and butting but butterflies butterflies over every muddy puddle opened closed brushed pushed pressed convulsed at this conjunction even when we are finished, dry, dead as two river beds
Kevin Dean Hollinshead
Unexpected News You can never entirely enter my silent world of darkness and confusion … where continuity escapes me like an incorrigible child and where immediate feelings and experiences are gone in five minutes … never to be recorded in the library of my mind which exists as a vacant parking lot.
Couch Potato ek is so eendimensioneel soos ’n kersfeeskaart so nice met liefdegroete beste wense van Helen Steiner Rice ek woon waar grys gebiede ontbreek alles is óf swart óf wit en ek myself nooit konfronteer met bitter twyfel en konflik
new contrast ek is ’n marshmallow sag en soet en pienk en wit jy soek vergeefs by my die weerstand van ’n harde pit ek leef flegmaties sonder opstand die ene sagte soete candyfloss die wind die waai my waar hy wil substansieloos en windlig soos die tollebos daagliks voor die televisie. 31 . soos om vir die eerste keer ’n nuwe pad te ry en geensins jou rigting met kaart of oog kan kry. verslaaf was mý tog nie die kop oorversadig knuppeldik en tot die dood verveeld vreet ek vir soetkoek alles op Laura Kirsten my rym I wat kan ek skryf wat kind-dig sal rym en my stukkie aard-papier net vir my sal afkleim? hierdie papier onder my oog en hand is myne so ook al die lyne en al die kwaad-tryne. so is dit met die skryf om amorfies in gedagtenis te dryf verlore en kwaad as die eindpunt nie kom met vingers krom en tong so stom.
my woord en lyf smag na rigting dit is vir my ’n obsessionele verpligting. tog, wil ek in geeneen se spoor dwaal ek sal eerder die paadjie self wil verkaal. ken jy daai gevoel om voor te loop en alleen die ruigtes oop te stroop? dis wat hulle bedoel met ’n baanbreker: my lus is so geinklineer verseker om die eerste een te wees op ’n plek niemand anders behalwe ek!
art again what are you in these fragmented times but a cracked mirror in the halls of confusion i came to the city to share my wares but found the market shut came to sell my goods but found only the penniless turned to look i came to the city and found sprawled bodies i came to talk about art but found life bleeding in the streets
below the dream bubble i found a city under the spell of its people cordoned by the city limits table mountain hovered overhead fijnbos clung to its slopes while the sky soared like a movie set i came to town to show but found my works hung behind a wall that you could not look through i tried to paint life but it painted me
… there are demons that live in newlands forest in the trees right by the highway to be exact and if you haven’t seen them that’s because they’re mine they congregate there stealthily hiding themselves carefully as i pass on my way south to you knowing as they do that eventually i’ll return this way then they’ll be there when i’ve been sufficiently unsettled by the first sludging traffic through bishop’s court
after the whooping straits of the open road then they pounce baying like a crowd at a paedophile’s trial one late and rainy night i was so afraid of encountering them that i spun my truck off the road but the worst demon of them all waits further down the road living in the trees at u.c.t. outside the architecture studios it waits until i think i’ve regained my senses that i will survive my trip home where i live without you when i’ve composed myself into the obedient servant of my aspirations then it jumps silently onto the back of my truck as i pass dark with the essence of what i found as a student and never comprehended and that which lies in my future and i perilously ignore
Horses Heads: Try sit me by the Afrikaans boy, match our stretchmarks with tongues, and watch, we will only learn to love each other rud-fisted, phonetically.
settling out and up. wild in our acre. who kept a china-plate in place of her palate but. instead. 35 . then. so we didn’t move back to the old country (which it really was. Please don’t chastise me for having read my olive-skin off like you think if I aired all my sun’d-linen I’d be any less of a white. even in economy looking the way they always did to you: like money on a farm) or stay in the tickertape dentist’s office that was her Harare. monkeys. and Michele.new contrast My mother didn’t understand the teacher. either. gold-rimmed and permanent. she couldn’t follow all the implied italics in the harp-dipped mountains. the plane-full of your Zias.
the mist of remembering. So I write. At night the mountain is a silence hunkered between absence and feeling.new contrast Kobus Moolman The Mountain At night the mountain is a sky. 36 . silence. the swelling sound a voice makes through the mist of longing. a voice climbing out from the black air. cold and blank. day’s hard blade of blue. The mountain is a sky. a memory. Grace Kim Poetry I do not read long poems for they are too long and short poems too shrt. The mountain is the memory of a face departed. washed out from the loud drum of day.
her mouth. Cold though they were. smothering with kisses her lips. Nor were his hands stationary during this exercise 37 . I feel obliged to charge around the aisles without directions Damian Garside The Ontogenesis of Porn How he loved the likeness he had created.new contrast Inadequate Your expectations hang off my tiny frame Acting male Going to buy nails at the local hardware store is such a manly thing to do. her eyes.
Consuelo Roland Against Appointments I think I shall buy a diary which I shall keep virginal. My belly will be as soft and undemanding as if I’ve made time to make love on an ordinary. in short. the 38 . Nothing will happen of any importance on those days. I could gain a whole year by refusing to meet anybody at any given time. That way I’ll miss appointments and not know it. took pity. an absolute Pygmalion of himself until the immortal gods. puritanical pleasure of blank days. That way I’ll re-find the fierce. as unfailingly as any woman would to take her first Svengali.new contrast deftly probing a surface he knew too well yet that could not give touching with the sensitivity of one blind from birth making. I shall resist all urges to write anything in it. irresistible day. At the very least there should be whole days at a time one can just ignore. I’ll stumble over fragments and random lines that trip me up like imponderable pebbles beneath the loneliness of clouds. crippled with laughter. had her leap into his arms as if alive. Days when one doesn’t want words to bind one to others.
let the house fall apart. Deborah Steinmair Chance encounter We are loose change Clanging in the pockets of night We are coins in the fist of regret A friend called me intrepid I told her I had nine lives And she pronounced herself delighted to be in one of them I am brave because your naked eyes embolden me I am beholden My days bask in your gaze I’m a tadpole in the shallows Not yet inhabiting land I swim to your hand 39 . let the garden go wild. take time and stretch it against my skin without impediment or impeachment. take my gardening cat onto my lap. Let nature take its course. I’ll sit at my rough bench and contemplate blankevity. let friends drift away.new contrast way bandages on a geisha’s foot remind her who she is. watch the starlings bomb the doves.
oh hoping it will do Bulelwa Basse My Lyrical SASS Why does it take a smack for you to change your tune about my SASS. my brother? Why do ‘Come-hither’ rhythms echo from its cylindrically curvaceous surface. twine and twill I renovate my heart for you hoping. like a vibrated Africa drum to its ancestors? 40 .new contrast Dream weaver I’ve been bleeding for a week deep in the night I watch you sleep in the first shiver of winter I walk the street with loose parts my mind a memory card head crowded as a cupboard the pope has died and wet leaves decompose in your garden late at night I memorise you like a prayer at the kitchen counter with your cd collection scattered like loose change on the carpet at the tail end of April with twigs.
towards your four-legged mind. fluorescent and fearsome. my brother. to my Lyrical SASS. meandering through the back door? Am I to ululate to its perverted composition? Is my SASS to dance to its ill-inspired melodies? I think not. to change your tune. opened the box and out everything jumped. but the world wasn’t listening with its nations pinpoint pressed to the wall. that rumble before the joists gave and the bleeding call to the world. and the box became famous for its nightclub/late nighttime release and later worse. 41 .new contrast Why does it howl whistles of lust. driven by doubt and a whim. But I do think it takes a smack. Barry Wallenstein Pandemonium They. with its imagination.
for us all – No blood. Drastic Dislocations He’s alive. out of nowhere. It’s a miracle really to see/hear him breathing. The mystery of his flight and landing is taking attention off the war. extenuates his sighing. but barely. set up camp. foreign and domestic. and has drawn the world to wonder: Who goes there? What’s the look? TV crews. 42 . they say. enough to keep us full and salty for a year. circle the amazement. food and drink are flown in. enough to take our minds off the boxes stacking. the fall from space was a long way down and the sound of the impact astounding. while this fellow. even sighing out of his twisted parts and drastic dislocations. long having forgotten the box and its many tongues of flame.new contrast the nations’ armies slouch in lassitude and fog while the generals speed to their offices to measure out the scores of blame. – he sighs.
Then he’d have stalked her. waited till she was alone. cock-sharp barb. shaped a bit of a tanned hide to make you this crude boyhood catty: 43 . a tracker who could tell an antelope’s mood from its spoor knew her and loved her before ever he saw her. I can’t make you a bow in one day so I’ve cut a fork of yellow-wood. thrown it away or treasured it in her hand so her hunter knew her heart in one ritual gesture. all. he’d have made a tiny bow. small as the span of my palm (there’s one in my boyhood town’s museum): crafted an arrow like a tooth-pick trimmed-feather flights. carved of choice bone. and when he found and courted her. perfect. trimmed a tube from an old motorbike.new contrast Norman Morrissey Like a San Maiden The Bushmen were romantic folk: a young hunter once found the foot-print of a maiden in the sand – and he. shot his Cupid’s dart – and she’d have taken the tiny. sacred query.
Neptunis van Bima age 20 we.new contrast if ever you want me again sling me this river-pebble I found in a Xhosa Wars fort’s wall: I will cherish it. Cupido van Batavia Age 30 I. Titus van de Caab Age 22 I. bondsmen of the former burgher councilor Nicholas Oortmans I. Jeroen van de Malijste Cust Age 24 I. Joumat van Ternaten Age 40 44 . ready to do your whim like a San maiden. Tromp van Madagascar Age 20 I. Allan Kolski Horwitz The Bread Of The Dutch Is Death Found poem We will never eat the bread of the Dutch again We will eat our bread buttered with blood We will never eat the bread of the Dutch again I.
Or even the least threat of these. slaves of the farmer Christoffel Esterhuijs Have willingly. alias knap een Deuntjie. Pasqual van Spaanse Wes Indies Age 30 We. without torture or threat of bonds. Did not scruple nor hesitate To incite many slaves to flee That we conferred with one another And agreed never to return again To our masters And to head for the land of the Portuguese Never again will we eat the bread of the Dutch Never again will we bow our heads Never again will we smile for mercy We. Thomas van Bengalen Age 30 I. Who has been shot dead. Anthonij van Mallebaar Age 40 we. With Hanibal. of irons. bondsmen of dispencier. Sieur Johannes Swellengrebel I. slaves Held at the Cape. at the tip of Africa We seized guns and flour and made our escape 45 . Tromp.new contrast I. Confessed and admitted That the first prisoner. bondsmen.
Slagoffers. Twee moorde. wat nog nie klaar ontwerp is nie. Sonder papiere. Twee moorde? Ja.new contrast Charl-Pierre Naudé Rekonstruksie Van ’n moord. Die uur van sterfte: óók onbekend. wagtend op die nuwe. vlae wind. in dié geval. In ’n niemandsland gebeur. geprojekteer teen die mure … Vlae wind. maar in die verkeerde tydsone. maar weens ons sonderlinge situasie. Blykbaar was hulle immigrante. ’n Idilliese omgewing nogal. as ons die boek kan vind. Ooggetuies? Geen. en met wie? Ons doen ons bes met ’n nuwe stelsel. Die nuwe verdeling. tussen provinsies – weens die oorsonering. Waar. 46 . bestaan geen leidrade (sien hier bo). Ons is in die proses. In ’n buurt. sonder identiteit. Die golwende grondwet. in ’n straat sonder naam. Dood gevind. maar nog nie gedoop nie. In ’n stad wat nog gaan oopvou. Is almal van ons nie maar immigrante nie? Tussen twee lande. Nie volgens kwota nie. wel. pas uitgelê. Die premier se medelye: innig. Die lyke had horlosies.
W. Verstaan tog. Dit sal wel nog registreer. het dit nog nie gebeur nie. soos ek sê. Die Natte En Die Bobaas Voete “Hy (Adriaan Vlok) was nie die vader van apartheid nie. Mari Mocke Die Sappe. 47 .new contrast in die proses. maar hy het aan apartheid geglo. 2006) Ek is gebore uit die Sappe – ken die happe van die Natte (én die Sappe) ook die latte van hul tonge – beide kante het hul uitgeslape katte – al die ditte en die datte en die hate van dié gatte … Adam is ’n bruine. want F. En tot alles klaar is. en Nelson ruil hul harte – hulle baan die weg vir alle landgenote: almal bid dat dou sal drup oor kole van die Natte uit die swart verlede. Thabo is ’n swarte.” (Die Burger 9 Sept. hulle en hul kinders spog met grade hulle stemme tel diamante in hul sakke.
skoon voete om Golgotha …? Elke voet het ’n hand. soeka wêna! vrede …? Aikôna! côs why? – vrede issie sonde! Nogtans. elke kop is ’n antenna. die name van ons stede te verander en vernaam te sê: “Suid-Afrika.new contrast (Maar ag) die slotte sluit steeds harte van elke kleur – en bose magte smeer swart bloed aan kosyne van gewone burgers wat die skroewe en die boude uit die byle trek en dit begrawe … waar’s die visie. woema. elke voet het ’n kop. Zuma. die antenna tel die talle vrae van almal wat ontvang is om te lewe en te delwe in ’n stukkie sonnige aarde. Vele voete veg om bobaas hawe te bekom. elke hand. jou skaterende strale het my mond gekus – nou is jy ook myne…” “Myne…? Myne…?” Wie se stemme breek soos harte – vallend oor die vele voete? – Voete… voete… 48 . waar’s die vrede? ghoema. kyk – die spyt wit opponente was nou die nuwe bobaas voete – dis swart op wit – sensasie in koerante … is dit die water wat die sleutelgate van ’n toekoms sal vermurwe – skoon hande.
new contrast Chris Eugene Canter I’ll go to South Africa I’ll go to South Africa Where there’s no one like me And seek out the arid veld Where I can breathe They’re fleeing to England To Australia as well I’ll flee to Keiskammahoek With the stragglers to dwell The papers are bursting With stories of war I’m bursting with love Which I need to cast far My uncles are greying My grandparents dead The story of our family Is a skin being shed I’ll go to the limit To Riviersonderend My life to forget And my death to spend 49 .
50 . In Texas they banned the Dixie Chicks from brave country radio. Wesson and Colt Kill more Americans than any foreigner. Doesn’t matter the Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11. While Smith. shoot somebody.new contrast Doug Scott The Un-Wars of Tarzan’s Oyster 1 It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war In a far-away place – do you care anymore? Where the cities have names But who knows where they are? It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war You can see us winning on CNN And see what we’ve lost on Jazeera. It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war Where the Vice-President shoots his friend in the face. Bomb somebody. For talking back to a president who lied us Into an un-winnable war. In Texas they scream ‘terrorist’ At the mention of a foreign sounding name. kill somebody Any body Doesn’t matter who it is. One more Texan who can’t shoot straight.
51 . We’re bombing Pakistan To completely destabilize the place. 2 They’ve just bombed Syria And they can’t wait to bomb bomb bomb Iran. We’re bombing Afghanistan.new contrast Bomb somebody. shoot somebody. Isn’t your comic book views and your TV heroes. kill somebody Any body Doesn’t matter who it is. Do you remember the picture of the terrified little Vietnamese girl Running away from a napalm strike? Are their minds so trapped In amputated comic books of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ They can call a child’s screams. they can’t win a single one. If a dog bites 5 people We know it has rabies – America is led by a gun club with rabies. ‘Democracy’ Someone should tell George Bush The world isn’t Tarzan’s oyster anymore … Isn’t your Cathedral of Consumption anymore. Five wars they want to fight at once And yet. After the 9/11 attacks Some Arizona cowboy blamed a Sikh And shot him.
We are pouring gasoline on the fire of Moslem anger against us. They’re Googled and knowing and network the world. For our young soldiers.new contrast You show a Botox face to the world. Can you find a single. We lost the war for the hearts and minds of Islam. They’re Wi-Fi and Blu-ray and GPS. Someone should tell your comic book views and your TV heroes That when an American soldier urinated on a prisoner And the prisoner’s Qur’an at Guantanamo. reputable. Iraq. academic historian Who believes in our Vietnam. this is wrong? 3 The ‘joke’ at Abu Ghraib. decent and moral Are only words to them – Touch screen deep – They’re Internet Thin. Was in making their own Comedy-horror-porn for the Web. ‘Stop this. Afghan un-winnable wars? We are pouring gasoline … It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war We lost it at Abu Ghraib In the weirdest scenes of psycho-sexual abuse – Porn Torture – Do you ever wonder why no one said. 52 . Others see the wrinkles. But Human.
With Republican leaders calling for more. Wall Street greed and the ‘banksters’ Sold a mountain of bad credit. Pentagon war. But after the Wall Street bail-out Someone’s gonna have to tell the nation: We can’t actually afford to fight Five un-winnable wars And go on buying all that Chinese stuff at Wal-Mart. While George Bush slept The sleep of the dumb in the White House. America in meltdown. Do you really understand? They took the money … It’s over … 4 It’s a neo-conservative. Kept the money. gave you the debt. 53 .new contrast How many Americans feel Any human sympathy and concern For what happens later? How will those men live on The rest of their lives With the shame and humiliation Of our public Porn torture? It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war Where everyone smiles a collateral smile And the friends of the White House get rich.
I grew up in the Republican gun club. It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war And we’ll never be able to leave For the killing is always more and more.D. kill somebody. Un-War is not a topical piece that dates quickly like a moment of Saturday Night satire. The Bombing of Cambodia. It’s a deep poem deﬁning an enduring American reality for Americans and for everyone else we bomb. It’s a neo-conservative Pentagon war In a far-away place – do you care anymore? Where the cities have names But who knows where they are? Dear Hugh. or overthrow with the CIA.’ This is Vietnam. I had the childhood of a poster boy for the National Riﬂe Association. shoot somebody. ‘Bomb somebody. When a W can’t find his W. Iraq … and will go on being the heart of the Republican party as long as there is a Republican Party.new contrast While no sons or daughters of theirs Do the fighting. short. Afghanistan. I have known this reality all my 60 years and no one I know has so effectively described it in such. The Secret War in Laos. sell arms to.M. 54 . Anybody doesn’t matter who it is. vivid phrases.
com> To: Doug Scott <@mango.’ to a small. They are prisoners of Hollywood movies. They will use every nasty trick of public imagery they can come up with to sink American idealism and return to the bombs and farting in the darkness with Nixon.new contrast And the Republican bombers will not be nice about it and go away just because they lost one election. fourth of July speeches and third rate educations who have never travelled abroad and need all the help they can get to learn to see themselves as others do and to rediscover the real values of American idealism. long term struggle here? The struggle is not one election in 2008.zw> Doug. Immediate response to *The Un-Wars of Tarzan’s Oyster*: do you think it will still have impact this presidency – all points 55 . literate. And a thousand professional image makers who will simply rebrand them for the next round. Surely someone who has lived through the South African history of the last ﬁfty years can understand the deeper. Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points against the reality and cruelty of American power and cynicism … ‘The only good Indian is a dead Indian’ … ‘Bomb ’em back to the stone age.’ I also can hardly believe that you think ‘All points now well exposed. Doug Scott From: Hugh <@gmail. well-read. The stuggle is a perpetual contest between the American idealism of Thoreau. Un-Wars is the deﬁning American poem of my generation. Kissinger … There are a thousand more George Bushes waiting in the wings. elite – yes – but ordinary Americans do not see themselves that way.
They beat Beatrice Mtetwa in a police station. Pull their hair and knock ’em down. They beat the woman MP who represents where I live. Hugh ‘Reality’ Redefined As Beating A Woman It’s a stolen African democracy Redefined as beating people up. of course. They beat women lawyers in Zimbabwe. Trudi Stevenson. ‘Zimbabwe is a normal country. no policeman was arrested For the crime they had committed.’ 56 . MP Margret Dongo Once had to be escorted out of the Zimbabwe Parliament. Kick a rib in if they can. one vote. While The Minister for Justice Coos in African Smooth.new contrast now well exposed and the N-conservatives thoroughly discredited? About 6 months too late to publish? Best. They beat Gugulethu Moyo in a police station. They bounce ’em ’round the cop shop Make ’em bleed and bruised all over. When they threatened to beat her up in Parliament. One man. And. one time. They beat her so badly you wouldn’t believe it. Then beat the women … Where ‘reality’ is redefined by men As a woman who can be beaten into submission.
Get her side of the story. The woman was too afraid to charge him – She fled the country.new contrast Was the tone for this set years ago? After a minor traffic accident in downtown Harare When a political heavy named Zvobgo Beat a woman in front of a hundred onlookers. one time. Broke her leg. And. His armed bodyguards Prevented anyone interfering. Then beat the women … Where ‘reality’ is redefined by men As a woman who can be beaten into submission. broke her arm. Not one Zimbabwean journalist Took a picture of her face where he hit her. he wasn’t arrested For the crime he had committed. 57 . of course. A stolen African democracy Redefined as beating people up. Tried to stop her leaving the country To show the world. Not one Zimbabwean journalist interviewed A single eyewitness. Not one Zimbabwean journalist Dared to track her down. grandmother of 64. They beat Sekai Holland. One man. one vote.
new contrast Sekai … Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in the opposition party … Doctors counted 80 bruises Men hit her 80 times. This is good. The African Union heard the screams and said. I move all over. I don’t just go back and forth. What is wrong with men? I think the well is poisoned here. Zimbabwe is a woman Held down and raped in a public square. I am a tall. I also have a ﬂexible mind that moves all over and goes everywhere. but it does have to have rhythm. skinny guy who loves to dance. In an earlier poem in the same collection I say. these are the screams of white farmers Who’ve lost their farms. And yet the crowd still stands To applaud and cheer when The President Responsible Appears at an international conference. ‘A poem doesn’t have to rhyme.’ Dear Hugh. And ﬂexible deﬁnitions of poetry. carry on.’ 58 . and all my dance instructors tell me I have unusually ﬂexible hips for a male. ‘Ah. we’re all for it.
and speciﬁcally women. I have never seen any other piece of writing or poetry that puts the beating of all these women together in a gathering sense of outrage.’ has a memorable rhythm and an imagery that sticks in the mind. elite poetry audience. It’s also more written for women than for men. I’m ultimately after more than a small. That is where the action is and ‘Reality’ plants the whole collection in the heart of it. gender and social class – in all of history. cosy. race. I’m ultimately after the world and the world. who will deﬁne ‘Reality’ as a signiﬁcant poem 59 . The main reason why most people don’t pay any attention to poetry is because so little of it ‘deﬁnes’ important and crucial understandings in a way that’s clear to everyone. A poem should deﬁne. Show me any other piece of poetry or writing … that short … that deﬁnes the unique character of Mugabe’s Bully War of Beating? Imagine the impact of that poem introduced as having ﬁrst been published in ‘New Contrast’ and then read and discussed on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The last 100 years has been the fastest moving age of transitional politics – nationalism.new contrast ‘Reality Redeﬁned as Beating a Woman.
but they stir nothing deeply so they slip away where few pay attention. There are a million poems no one would dispute technically as poems. stir and bring to the surface our deeper emotions. You could choose other poems if you think they would be more appropriate. 60 . I might even deﬁne it as ‘Human Rights Rhetorical Poetry’ A deﬁnition which I could easily defend against anyone in a formal. literary debate. though I think I’ve given you a good selection for this time. The prime purpose of poetry. ‘Reality’ will stir an audience. to African canoe safari. and too image punchy to be an essay. turn them on. In a reading. To tell a continuous story from childhood in the Republican gun club. all poetic. bird watcher. and ignite emotion. all stirring.new contrast because it is too short. ﬁnd. From self-absorption to compassion nd Human Rights. is to reach inside us. Further … I would actually like to send you the whole collection so that you can see what I’m trying to do. like music. too rhetorical. All emotional. to anti-war activist.
Best. He unites two worlds and triumphs over The irresponsible in both of them. Another – Reality Redeﬁned – that is difﬁcult. America is preaching Barack Obama in the pulpit. Son of a useless African father never there. I am not concerned about publishing the contents. Son of an immature white woman who couldn’t care for him. The city on the hill is back.new contrast And thank you for your consideration. November 4.com> To: Doug Scott <@mango. 2008 1 The city on the hill is back. light of the world Shining in faces along the street. Doug Scott From: Hugh <@gmail.zw> Doug. light of the world Shining in faces along the street. even if we disagree. but is it good poetry (whatever that is) and is this the right journal for it? I need your view. 61 . Hugh Obama Day.
They refuse to announce results For two months 62 . And the gracious acceptance of the losing John McCain Who calls Barack Obama. Barack Obama in the pulpit. America … the idea of the world. That they will not allow the opposition candidate. To become President Even if he wins the ballot. Morgan Tsvangirai. 2 When he does win. ‘My President. The generals who run the army and police Announce to the press. In Zimbabwe. America once again Holds the imagination of the world. The only country Where the world Comes together in one country.’ We do not see much of that In Africa where I live. they hide the ballots At police headquarters Where only the rats can count them. In scenes of the most intense global theater.new contrast America is preaching. Crowds in waves of huge emotion Following the dignity and restraint of the new President-Elect.
To the beating of Morgan Tsvangirai. Last year they beat him in public view A policeman split his scalp open. In Africa there is no reaction To the stolen elections. Are beaten and tortured. New African Magazine Names Robert Mugabe. The Third Greatest African of All Time. Can you imagine the reaction If this happened in America? If the police beat Barack Obama In public view? In Africa there is no reaction. The President Responsible said. ‘He deserved it.’ Then they murdered the photographer Who took the pictures. In Africa the poorest people live on the richest continent Because of the worst governments in the world 63 . Years ago they tried to throw Morgan Tsvangirai out the tenth floor of the Chester Building When he was a trade union leader. Instead.new contrast While they kidnap. In Africa there is no reaction When members of the Zimbabwe Parliament. murder. torture And burn the opposition down.
Light of the world Shining in faces along the street. And we walk barefoot and naked in the garden In delight Inside the first rain of the season … The longed-for. The city on the hill is back. The following Saturday. prayed-for rain … Washing everything clear and clean again Bringing the birds And bright magic back to our garden.new contrast 3 But. cool and competent. Barack Obama in the pulpit. On the glorious fifth of November. To carry the hope of a new world: Barack Obama. The measure of the hope he arouses Is the measure of the despair We have been living In Africa and America. I answer the phone. Young. The Zimbabwe College of Music Performs a joyous 64 . ‘Happy Obama Day!’ My lover and I celebrate in bed. here comes a fresh and striking image. America is preaching.
Gus Ferguson Haikoids The voice of the dead on the answering machine should end at yahrzeit. Our Charlize Peace ambassador promoting gambling: Icon? Hayi khona! 65 .new contrast Duke Ellington ‘Sacred Concert’ For jazz band and chorus: Six songs in ‘The Freedom Suite’ ‘Praise God and Dance.’ For Obama Day. A perfect match of science and faith: a prayer-mat with a compass.
Night A blue mirror eye-lid a limbless clock a sleepwalking theater We no longer pretend what’s-what nor we’ve separate beds no the music has begun In a wrinkly t-shirt you and your slender hips everywhere You take down your hair roll a stocking from your thigh splashing a black so black it’s blue 66 . the yawning stone arches frame yet another sunset they’ve seen before. and in the intrusive streetlamp’s ivory your picture grins like it knows something I don’t.new contrast Adam Wiedewitsch Gorée for Sarah Dusk The same restaurant on the sea unaware of the potency of its balm.
new contrast Dawn Foxy Cleopatra in boy-shorts tousled and wild you don’t move a lip but whisper come So I do I do and under liquid sheets and moons we fuck like we’ve forty devils under our skin and not one knows where they’re going or where they’ve been If I wake with your smell still on me the ink of a last-night book on my shirt I’ll only open my eyes to close them again Day A hand-broom sweeps along with a muezzin’s call for more coffee and a thousand rounds of tea (I should steal that boat) while waiting and waiting for a continent while reading the garden aloud sounds good I’d rather have dinner (I can’t wait for dinner) 67 .
Bang! The snake exploded into the air. Gregory informed his mother. Gregory Lee Stamps. The boy’s father.new contrast Sam Manty The MD Are the surest externally All threadbare internally? It might not seem But I am a timid thing Holding a weighty life Which I have chosen Tiah Marie Beautement A Melktert Day Mabel Lee-Anne Stamps was standing on the stoep of the granny flat watching her grandson play in the woodpile when the young boy. ‘You’re not supposed to kill the snakes. bearing the respectable name Alan Gregory Stamps. boy!’ his grandmother hollered. Alan’s nanny fled. While hugging his son tight. as the bright yellow snake flared its hood. came face to face with his very first Cape cobra. ‘Stay still.’ 68 . ran out of the home office to see his startled five-year-old son staring opened mouthed at the woodpile while Mabel lowered a shotgun – a shotgun Gregory was not aware she owned. The boy froze.
(Yes. At least Matthew was a nice young man. and no.) The very flat she wasn’t supposed to clean because. ‘I have driven trucks.new contrast ‘Well. van Heerden. as she had been told repeatedly over the past three months. shiiiiiiit. and you’re providing him with one. Matthew needs a job. I shot plenty of rattlers in my day. ‘Matthew.’ They had people for everything over here. so she was stuck. Near expected somebody to be assigned to wipe her ass. The very granny flat specifically built for Mabel as per the instructions of her son and his wife. of the van Heerden’s.’ ‘Mother. combine harvesters and eighteen-wheelers and you’re telling me I have to use a driver? Bullshit. He had no doubt she was telling the truth. young man. she wouldn’t tell anybody what the ‘E’ stood for. they may have to do just that. next. sing it a lullaby?’ Then she turned on her heel and marched back into the granny flat. ‘They drive on the other side of the road here.’ But Gregory wouldn’t budge. ‘What’d ya want me to do with it. Please take me 2 town. whose last name she still could not pronounce.’ his mother spat. she kept her last name. He’d never met a white woman like her: hands as rough as any of the labourers 69 . and his English was excellent – a point not to take lightly out here in greater Paarl. ‘You not scared. Ouma?’ Matthew asked Mabel with a grin. Mabel had been less than impressed when she was informed she wasn’t allowed to drive in this country. in a few years.’ ‘Don’t you try to make me not driving into some sort of civic duty.’ Gregory tried to soothe. and at your age there really isn’t any point in getting a new license. tractors. it provides somebody with a job.’ Matthew chuckled. ‘We have people who do that. Come to think of it. I see no difference between that and your Cape cobra – both cranky sons-of-bitches. As soon as Gregory had disappeared Mabel picked up her cell phone and SMS’d Matthew Mokgadi. Besides. Petra E. I ain’t playing Driving Miss Daisy. By the time Matthew met up with Mabel he had already heard the news from three different people on the vineyard that Alan’s Ouma had shot a snake.
Stamps dead. Bush was gone now. however. after I had a taste of marriage. that was a bit much.’ 70 . ‘At least no politician in America sings a song demanding to be handed a machine-gun. only to end up marring Miz Fance E. He could have simply said that he preferred to help his wife run the vineyard she’d inherited. Apparently it was different if the farm grew grapes. Not that I ever wished Mr. you can minor in it without actually ever doing business. Ouma?’ Matthew had once asked. and that’s a fact. which she had run on her own after Mr Stamps died of a heart-attack when Gregory was nine months old. It made no sense. But apparently. ‘Mother. She had been too embarrassed to tell her friends. no. she felt it had been good enough.’ It had not been an easy life. that the wine was very nice.new contrast and she spoke nasty language. but it was unfair to base your thinking of an entire country on one person. And really. rather than bring her out to run an alfalfa farm. But no. She did concede. he had thrown the baby out with the bathwater: ‘I am not going back to that closed minded country. she never understood.’ he informed her. or you didn’t. Even minored in Business! What was that? You either ran a business. Then he got that fancy degree. Even so. even if he was an elected leader. he didn’t have to renounce America. MBA. or was it BMA? Never could keep those letters straight. mind you. but all things considered. Gregory always said he didn’t want the farm life. Her son had been accepted to Princeton. Gregory refused to step foot on American soil. so she must have done something right. ‘Frankly. yet she held the Lord in high regard. What the hell was the matter with his degree with Chemistry. he still needed those letters. Now she understood that Bush had not always come across as the most enlightened individual. Matthew. like they were best friends.’ Mabel had once snapped. but the Lord knows best. As they drove around in the air-conditioned Land Rover she would tell him tales about her farm in Eastern Oregon. Pants. rather than alfalfa. I realized that I was better at being a widow than being a wife. Yet despite all this. But no. you have to understand that song in its cultural context. ‘Didn’t you want to find a new husband. Besides.
when she finished her list she turned to Matthew and said. He was hoping for a boy. Great-grandmother Brooks had given birth on the Oregon Trail and managed to get up the very next day and keep walking the rest of the fifteen hundred miles of that two thousand mile journey. It did seem late in life to be starting again. five?’ ‘Four. but it’s a lot. He did not have to.’ Matthew had gone and asked Mr Stamps. ‘Matthew. had a smoke and caught up on the local gossip.’ Matthew replied with a grin. But. Gregory suspected that his mother was somehow behind it. I do fancy a cup of coffee and a bit of sweetness on the side. Petra had been slightly horrified when she first heard. ‘I don’t know how much that is in your kilometres.’ So there you were. why?’ Matthew shrugged and smiled.new contrast Gregory had explained in a voice that made her feel like a five year old. ‘Besides. ‘No. where her friends were dropping like flies. ‘How’s your wife doing?’ Mabel asked Matthew. Care to join me?’ ‘Ouma. or immigrate to a new country at the age of 79 and live near her grandson. ‘About thirty-two hundred. but then when 71 . she’s fine. that sounds fine. Doing fine. ‘How many more weeks is it. they’ve already stuck theirs in the rest of the world’s face. she came from a long line of hard.’ Matthew answered. American politicians don’t need to demand a machine gun.’ she told Matthew.’ Matthew replied. strong women. He was correct. she could either live on one side of the earth. Sure enough. and they headed to her favourite little restaurant. That was definitely not the type of thing to tell Mabel. but somehow didn’t think he should tell Mabel that. When they got to town Mabel had a short list of errands. but he had a feeling it was a melktert day. ‘Oh. Matthew joined her. After three months of this the locals no longer raised an eyebrow at the sight of the slightly crazed elderly American white woman and her black driver still in his labourer blues sitting down to cups of coffee and melktert. Could have gone out to the taxi rank.
and not the same as black. ‘Matthew. But then again. the whole thing has become ridiculous. Gregory had picked it up easily enough. just like they did back in 1950s in America. you really were supposed to call some people coloured. ‘Tell me. white and coloured. It was Matthew who explained all the differences between black. ‘Ag. I just take her to the hospital and wait. ‘do you plan at being at the birth of your baby?’ ‘No. It simply hadn’t seemed right. shame. you couldn’t argue with that. Mabel had no idea what people were saying. She was not a racist. it kept Gregory’s mother out of her hair. did not extend to rooibos. They didn’t use the term ‘African-American’ here. In no time. Originally she planned to learn. being coloured was just fine. and that was all that mattered. Although being Xhosa. This had embarrassed Petra greatly. It wasn’t racism. Mabel had yet to request a second lesson. The woman drove her insane. Although now saying coloured in America was rude. which she had loudly proclaimed to taste like ‘cat’s piss’. Ouma. Heck. By the time Matthew and Mabel returned to the vineyard the news 72 . And yes.’ ‘I didn’t make the rules. I think you all have split hairs so many times. This love.new contrast she thought about it couldn’t say why. given she couldn’t speak a word of Afrikaans. it was now the modern thing for fathers to be at the birth. Her husband had waited outside when she gave birth to Gregory.’ Well. Ouma. Matthew. two large slices of melktert were placed on the table along with two steaming cups of coffee. but frankly. Or so Matthew explained. Mabel and Matthew sat down at their usual table and gave their usual order. I beg your pardon.’ Mabel began after taking her first bite of melktert. however. She had one lesson with Matthew where he began by trying to teach her to say. Mabel thought melktert was one of the best things about South Africa. But whatever. But here. and Matthew nicely suggested that they try again some other day.’ Mabel considered this. Mabel found it fascinating. Matthew could tell by the local chatter in the background that word had already reached town about Mabel and the snake.’ But Mabel sounded like she was being strangled to death. Matthew had a whole different rulebook.
leaving Petra to fume. you should not have a gun on my property. oblivious to his mother’s mood.’ Petra bellowed. ‘I really don’t think …’ ‘Well. I’ll see you at dinner. no. they’ll be happy to help. Now Petra. thank you very much. and the nanny whisked Alan back inside. You’ve got yourself a good one. Well … provided you give them a tough pair of gloves.’ he called out cheerfully. Mabel was the most overbearing mother-inlaw anybody could be cursed with. ‘My point is simply that I don’t feel a woman of your age …’ ‘At my age. ‘Hello. but Alan has to learn …’ ‘What? That any old fool in this country can own a gun and stick it in somebody’s face. But I’m sure if you ask one of those nice men you’ve got working for you to lend you a hand. Having some old woman shooting a shotgun off at the slightest provocation would not do. Matthew took one look at Petra and made his excuses. but you argued with his grandmother about owning a shotgun? A shotgun she is perfectly capable of using. ‘Mrs Stamps. ‘Did’ja hear about your son’s morning adventures? Think you should rethink that woodpile so close to the house.’ Mabel broke in. don’t you?’ ‘Mrs Stamps. who was waiting for them out on the stoep of the big house. What if she mistook one of the labourers for a criminal and blew his head off next? 73 . Petra watched Mabel stomp off and had a childish impulse to throw something at her.” And by the way. hey there Petra.’ she began.new contrast had reached Petra. Ouma. I am not trying to say I am ungrateful. Petra barked something out. losing her patience. you are welcome. I’ve had me a long day. Alan bounded out of the house.’ ‘Mrs Stamps. ‘The thing to say Petra is.’ With that Mabel turned on her heel and made her way back to the granny flat. and now let’s all try to keep him safe – okay now?’ ‘Look. trying to hold in her rage. “Thank you. I probably shouldn’t move the woodpile. Love that boy like he was my own.’ Petra began again. Mabel looked Petra right in the eye.
but didn’t say much to anyone. But round here. But there have been problems of people breaking in and taking guns around here.’ ‘Waste not. it was too close to the house. Come out to be with her grandson and they still felt 74 . Gregory came to join her on the stoep. Raised that boy all by herself.new contrast But she was right about the woodpile. but just like the driving. haven’t you?’ Mabel said. Gregory watched her for a moment.’ Mabel hadn’t considered that. We buy him plenty of clothes. In her hands was what looked to be a pair of Alan’s pants. and then plunged the needle down. she’d only been here three months. ‘Mother. She hadn’t noticed any. By lunchtime. Could always hand the pants over to one of the workers later. Back in Eastern Oregon people drove around in their pickup trucks with the gun on the rack. Like some child that needs to be looked after. and now everybody knows you’ve got one stashed in the granny flat. doesn’t know her place. we really don’t feel it’s appropriate. pulling up a chair.’ Gregory began. without looking up from her work. and all he did now was treat her like a useless burden. It has nothing to do with you. ‘Hello. She didn’t understand her place ’round here. scolded. Mabel sat out on the stoep of the granny flat rocking in her rocking chair. mother. She could drag this out for as long as she’d like.’ Mabel chided. Gregory decided it was best to leave it. but then again. they never had to mortgage the farm. Well.’ Mabel smiled. She stayed there all morning while doing various bits of this and that. surveying events. on that account he would be right. son. he’d win in the end. ‘You’ve come to discuss the shotgun. ‘Mother?’ ‘Yes. ‘Hello.’ ‘We just worry. The next day some men did begin to warily move the wood to a location far from where Alan played. people were more jumpy about these things. He glanced down. And with Alan going in and out of here. ‘Mother. I hear you. you don’t need to mend Alan’s pants. want not. well … what if he got a hold of it?’ Mabel looked down at her sewing. Folks were always mumbling about crime.
Matthew was concerned. Mabel spent a lot of time wondering if she should just pack her ass back to the States. I don’t think there is time. she was fine thank you. the moment life gets a bit exciting they lose their heads and panic. You 75 . they’re all the same.new contrast the need to have a nanny. ‘Um. She tried not to make a habit of it. Something about her body language made Gregory feel he’d won the battle. Didn’t make sense. and in a croaky voice answered.m. Hardly anybody knew she even had the phone. things happened. either way. I think the baby is coming.’ Gregory was surprised she gave in so quickly. ‘Fine. well.’ Mabel didn’t look up. let alone had her number. It was 2 a. Mabel had her dinner in her flat for the next few days. She fumbled around till she found it. But no. ‘Matthew. But she had already sold the farm. Matthew even swung by asking if she might like to go somewhere. ‘Ouma. Ouma.’ Mabel was suddenly wide-awake. thanks.’ Been years since she attended the birth of a baby. mother.’ she muttered. Kept telling people she was tired. all you were doing was waiting for the Lord to call you home. ‘Hello?’ ‘Ouma?’ Matthew? What the hell did he want at this hour? ‘What?’ she finally spat out. Just don’t shoot your foot off on your way out. we need help. ‘Ouma. unsure what else to say. you come get me right this minute. three more friends had gone to meet their maker. when Mabel’s cell phone rang. Rocking chair in Africa. ‘Take the shotgun if it means that much to you. but it had cost him something precious. while she fumbled around a bit more for the light switch and her glasses. rocking chair in some townhouse in Eastern Oregon … didn’t really matter.’ ‘Then get that wife of yours to the hospital!’ she bellowed. Men. As he stepped off the stoep holding the shotgun he looked back. But out in Eastern Oregon. This wasn’t the Ouma he knew. a cook and all this army of help. Since she’d left.
but you better be near the door so you can tell that wife of yours what I’m saying. But as she entered she could make out his pretty little wife. Come on baby. A small head with dark hair was crowning. my old hands are right here. ‘Sweet Jesus. Matthew scampered around. what a beautiful boy you are. so present on earth as she did in this moment. The women took hold of the labouring mama and helped her walk the length of the cottage and back while Mabel barked a few more orders to Matthew. When his wife began to bear down. grateful to have something to do. sweet Jesus. too. you come to Mabel.’ Mabel barked back towards the door. Oh. swollen belly. in the dim light of the early morning. Matthew crept back closer to the doorway and gently told his wife that Mabel was here to help. woman. She had not felt so alive.’ Mabel crowed as she cradled the wailing babe. he released himself from his mother’s womb as the tired mama gave one final almighty push. Just the way life is out in rural America. ‘Matthew. so she could see. here. Word spread like a bush fire that the crazy white American had done it again. He knew that any woman who could nail a snake between the eyes could surely safely deliver him a son. so moved. 76 . ‘Get up. Matthew was grinning from ear to ear. this time she delivered her driver’s baby boy. ‘You don’t have to be in this room.’ Tears slipped down her old wrinkly cheeks as she gingerly placed the babe on his mother’s chest. ‘Come on baby.new contrast couldn’t always get to hospital.’ Trembling. Going to kill yourself trying to have a baby like that. Mabel lowered her old bones to the floor. ‘You’ve got a beautiful boy. The news found its way to the oddest of places and peeked more than a few people’s interests. lying on her back with a few other ladies clucking over her. and she needed to try to get up. And so she did.’ And as if the baby could hear her old croaky voice. When Matthew brought her to the threshold of his little two room white stone cottage she could hardly see through the dim light. Mabel eyed her and barked out. And now it looked like that was the way life could be out here.’ Matthew’s wife had no idea what this crazy old white woman was saying. Outside. Never dropped one of your kind yet. and doctor couldn’t always get to you.
the new young Junior Lecturer.’ Then she turned to the counter and in a hearty voice called out. to sit at their usual table. they were being watched with unusual interest. He strode over to their table. This Ouma was alive. based on a very tricky design.’ laughed Mabel.’ Glancing back at the man she said.new contrast Thus. A woman who buried her husband and raised a boy on her own without becoming too bitter to enjoy the sweetness of a slice of melktert.’ ‘Well. I 77 . Matthew shook his head and grinned while he popped another bite of melktert into his mouth. If Mr Stamps and Mrs van Heerden thought Ouma had come to South Africa to die. ‘You do like melktert.’ says Saskia. shit. ‘not every day I hear that. and to give their usual order. the next time the mismatched pair made their way to town to the usual place. ‘Waiter. Louis Greenberg Origami ‘Hi. Botha began to laugh and laugh. you are exactly the woman I’ve been looking for. as she passes my door. ‘How’s the paper-folding going?’ Last week. I made a new horse. ‘Juffrou. Mr K.G. Mabel joined in. Matthew and Mabel were only half way through their slices of melktert when the man in particular decided he could watch them no longer without introducing himself. yes?’ Pulling up a chair. looked Mabel right in the eye and before she could even say ‘hello’ he had declared. another cup of coffee and a slice of melktert. they had another thing coming. One man in particular had been coming for a week hoping to catch a glimpse of this woman who people claimed could shoot a snake between the eyes one minute and call a baby from its mother’s womb the next. Roberta.
apart from her refusal to use the term ‘origami’. If it were up to the teachers. to know who is on leave and when they’ll return. unique. they come to me. Not to pick up after the staff. breathed to life by my hands. I keep their essays bound and their portfolios safe. of its proud. When the department needs pens. And it’s for the students I’m here. or more particularly. I don’t detect any mocking in Saskia’s tone. vulnerable. Some of the senior teachers in the department don’t make much of an effort to hide their derision of me and the things I do. paper. after I’ve corrected her a number of times already. a phone number. yet somehow weary bearing. So when I see the students. brightening up this brown-grey office and the concrete. As departmental secretary. and when they’ll get it back. When students need answers. print jobs. and handcraft is lower than the lowest form of art. what has been marked. I offer 78 . often comment. I open my door and my heart to them. But I am here for the students. I am the person who unites all the individual parts of this department into some workable organization. skitter around lost under the couches and carpets in their offices. how the repeated folding in of something shapeless and conventional became alive. They are not jaded yet. I never got into a university course. I was pleased with the way the edges had matched up so neatly. who will moderate and who will examine. I loved how its essential horseness had developed out of nothing but a flat piece of paper. and I got little encouragement growing up. dustand-pigeon-poo-coated courtyard outside. They see themselves as serious artists. serious art critics. those columns of numbers would be blown away. and it looked to me like a Japanese rendition of an ancient Greek sculpture. I covered the horse with a fine spiral design. who’ve made the marvellous success of actually getting here. The teachers repay me with their scorn and their snappish demands. as if it had just succeeded in a long run. I am custodian for my students. crying to me and to each other outside my office about the destructive comments and the meanness of the teachers. But I continue to bring them in. arraying the little birds and horses and unicorns and pixies along my window ledge. and congratulate me on the new ones. I keep the lists of marks coherent. and made sure they receive every credit that is due to them. The students seem to like them.new contrast spent days on it.
He’ll remember what I said. Kagiso. ‘Hello. It’s about other people’s germs.’ Kagiso’s smile dims and his hand wavers but stays outstretched. but I think now is a good time to impart some advice he could use. Uh.’ He says thanks and hurries down the corridor.’ He snorts back some phlegm. Poor woman. a rather lost second-year student. out to work at the crack of dawn. try to do just a little thing to counteract the negativity they have to face. ‘You know how you can avoid a cold? It’s simple. He reaches out his hand. I wash my hands often. He sneezes and wipes his nose on the back of his hand. ‘Well done. And don’t bite your nails. and so many people at any given time have got a cold. You just have to wash your hands as often as you can.’ I collect the master keys from the drawer. 79 . Kagiso. Kagiso sniffs and snorts outside.’ I hand him his paper. ‘Um. I find the paper.’ ‘Doctor Cohen.’ I say. I know I’ve done some good. for which I see he got 65. ‘Colds are not about your diet or vitamins or anything like that. I unlock Mrs Bean’s door across the hall and open the filing cabinet. Just wash your hands. back only at night.new contrast them advice. ‘I think they are in Mrs Bean’s files by now. lock the cabinet and Mrs Bean’s door. Especially after you go to the toilet. You come into contact with so many foreign germs every day. I’m sure Kagiso’s mother was just too busy to teach him all about hygiene. Doctor Cohen … let’s see. His fingers curl in on themselves slightly. ‘What can I do for you. I see. I was wondering if you have my essay from Miss Cohen’s tut class. Even if they don’t take me seriously. knocks on my open door and shuffles there on the threshold. and I haven’t had a cold for years. ‘Still not recovered. sneezing onto his essay. Weren’t those papers marked two weeks ago?’ ‘Yes. Let’s go across and look. Don’t rub your eyes.’ Kagiso stands in the doorway as I try to squeeze past him without catching his cold. I’ve been sick.’ I say.
planted with scrubby shrubs and daisy bushes with bright orange flowers. teaching now. feeling the cold.new contrast Saskia stands in the department’s staff room. Anyway. She went to The Abbey last month with her friends. polished slate cooling her palm as the sun slow-bakes the back of her hand. when it’s all she’s been doing for the last six years. and she watches his butt in his jeans and the bare space on his back as his sweatshirt rides up. She’d probably do it. next to which five students lean in the shade. She wouldn’t know how to refuse. is it? She’s only 25. peering out of the window instead of making herself useful. and wondered whether she was now ethically obliged to stop going out to clubs. It’s so odd. squeezes its way along the path and the students must press themselves against the wall as it passes. She’d be mortified if he asked her to do some photocopying for him. three bikes are chained to a cycle rack. Professor Edwards glances at Saskia and grunts in greeting as he checks his pigeonhole for mail. and she recognised a couple of students there. earning a salary. She’s not supposed to be looking at students like that anymore. then squats down. She looks down at the pathway again. A small white van from the catering department. Suddenly. she’s one year older. He bends first. She’s supposed to feel different. its licence plate number painted in large black characters on its roof. A statue of three abstract people stand in a flower bed. and she’s supposed to be a changed woman. smoking and laughing. although she’s officially been on the faculty for a quarter. She was a bursary student last year. pondering the ethics of something and doing it are two very 80 . Like that’s one thing that’s supposed to have changed overnight. Further to her left. The staff room door slams open against a book shelf – its stiff pneumatic closer has been broken for three weeks now but none of the teachers remember as they customarily shove their way inside. behave differently. holding back the dusty vertical blinds with one hand and staring out of the window to the concrete thoroughfare below. and watches a guy struggling to unlock his bike. finishing her Masters. That’s not fair. The bed used to be a pond with a fountain and lilies when she started studying here. She places her hand on the windowsill. He might think she’s still a student on bursar duties. She was in an Honours class of five with Edwards two years ago but she’s not sure if he knows who she is.
’ All three check for mail. Rather than some student she was molesting. anyway? Below. pretty eyes and painted lips burning out of a luminous face. She’s been crying again. The people at the club could just have easily thought he was her boyfriend. I’m rearranging the origami as Marissa comes in and dumps her bag under the work table. wearing a scarf for some reason. He’s not worth it. She met a guy there and they snogged in the middle of the dancefloor. ‘What?’ she asks. and I’m always keen to listen and offer a response. She’s got everything it takes to get herself the right man. to become someone they wanted. changing. the guy steps onto his bike and rides off. looking up. and twitchy. Quentin mumbles. You can see her pulse beating in the very top 81 . He’s a student doing his Drama Honours. Marissa is an Honours student and her bursar duties include helping me with admin on two afternoons a week. Jill Rogers. at any rate.new contrast different things. trying. depending on her moods. will she be out of a job? Whose business is it. ‘You’ve got to get over him. some counselling and a lot of hearing Marissa gossip. Or it shouldn’t be. ‘I wish they’d fix this fucking thing. She’s an intense girl. Nobody greets Saskia. saying what I think would sound right. it will be reflecting off the windows outside. Prof. We’ve settled into a routine which involves a little bit of work. her unburdening. slam into the room. and me feeling useful. smiling brightly. went to her place and since then have seen each other a few times. But now … Christ. so it’s really no big deal. When all she is doing wrong is falling for the wrong boys. if they find out. What do I know of heartache? That she’ll understand.’ I say. who’s generally quite nice to her. For months I’ve seen her changing moods. Quentin Schirmer and Frank Vermeulen. and Jill fills the coffee-maker. Marissa. and she’s always keen to talk about what she is going through. only two years younger than she is. I point out her running mascara and she seems amazed that her eyes were recently wet. she laughs to herself. ‘Morning. but sometimes it looks like she’ll spend her whole life wondering where it is that she’s going wrong. as if he can feel he’s being watched. Mondays and Thursdays. It works for us both.’ says Vermeulen to Edwards. Saskia doesn’t think he can see her: the way the sun is coming in.
like you know to prove how much she doesn’t care. ‘Ha ha. then she’s going to deny everything.’ Marissa runs out of breath and pauses. ‘It’s really funny. Marissa realises that I’m trying to prevent the onslaught of any further weekend news. you know. Roberta. it’s really interesting. I can’t remember anything. because of course she remembers but she doesn’t want to say so because Roofy’s really taking it too seriously and she was just messing around.’ she says. but then it got like much hotter than anyone expected – you know this is Roofy and Sandra we’re talking about. so I think it’s safe.’ I try to mend her mood. ‘Thanks. ‘So Sandra got a tongue ring.’ ‘But then the next day. We need to get moving with the admin. like what are people going to think.new contrast layer of her skin. I love to hear about your friends. and Janice apparently hates him. Hey. She frowns and an angry shadow passes her brow. a little bit forced. terminally. but what if he’s still really into her. they’re so finished with each other – but their hands were all over each other and in their hair and that and I wouldn’t be surprised if Roofy went to whack off in the toilet afterwards. deflating. Here.’ – Roofy used to go out with Sandra. It started out as just an ex revenge sort of thing.’ ‘No. Roofy is like phoning Sandra all morning and saying You shouldn’t have done that. he looked so lustdrugged. but let’s get some work done. and meanwhile Jimbo was getting all like a dog watching this but just knew that Janice was going to keep him waiting. By now I feel I know her friends as my own – ‘and says. you want to feel it? and snogs Roofy right there. But then she phones me to ask whether I think Roofy has still got the hots for her. but then she starts laughing. 82 .’ She’s got this bright chirp in her voice. You have a very interesting life!’ She smiles and says. ‘I’ll watch this space for an update.’ she takes a running leap. That’s what I’m here for. in front of Janice!. you know you can’t just do something like that in public. a little bit high-pitched. who’s Janice’s sister. and smiles. and Sandra is all like I don’t know what you’re talking about. I had too many tequilas. ‘I suppose I do go on a bit. She slumps down in the visitors’ chair across the desk from mine.’ I say. and then she goes up to Roofy. ‘and was showing it off to all the guys at Bombshell.
I try not to do that. give me a fucking break!’ she screams and runs out of the office. Marissa. and so much to read. But we’ve got to do some work as well. please.’ I say.’ she tells me. Roberta. and we’ll get these marks entered. The other teachers finish making their coffee – each of them has their own mug – and settle in to their corral of beige vinyl chairs around a lime-green table. ‘You know. and then we’ll double-check the marks on the sheets and enter them on the system. knocks at my open door. ‘They push you so hard here. wiping at her face with the back of her hand. I’m always working here. wishing I could put my hand on her shoulder at least. She takes the pile of papers and the mark sheet from my desk and sits in front of them at the worktable.’ I gather piles of graded papers from my desk. I know what it’s like. Please don’t cry. I appreciate it. We’ve got quite a lot to do today. ‘You know that?’ ‘Yes.’ but her anger is already at a rolling boil. I’m just trying to be your friend. ‘I’m so sorry. great.’ ‘I know. I’m so sorry. and her voice gets higher. ‘You know. But she’ll be back in five minutes. ‘Don’t worry. but under so much pressure. and we get to work. ‘I need you to alphabetise these first-year essays for me. I knew that I shouldn’t have pressed her too hard. and there’s so much to do. can’t they?’ But she’s already muttering to herself. and she’s got a class after lunch. I don’t know when I’m supposed to do them all. and she doesn’t feel like 83 .’ speaking softly. and you get very little reward. It’s my fault. Okay?’ ‘You know. crackling around the edges. Roberta. Friends can work together also. I just misjudged the timing. Five minutes later she reappears. I’ve worked with Marissa for three months now.’ I say. though I don’t really. It’s nearly lunchtime. and I know she’s moody. ‘and so many fucking paintings to make. trying to calm herself down. I pull some tissues out of my box and pass them to her and ask her have a seat. I’m never angry with you.new contrast ‘Okay. and apologise. Saskia pours coffee into one of the polystyrene cups stacked on the shelf and moves towards an empty corner.’ I say. ‘I’m not angry with you. I really hate myself sometimes …’ she says and prepares to start crying again.
‘That’s Miss Delport.’ Frank looks at Saskia and stops. 84 . ‘Pleased to meet you. Jill. flanked by these men. though it’s warm in this room. Saskia says nothing.’ ‘Ah. is the youngest of the trio. ‘Come and join us. used to hanging out on the beach after classes and flirting with all the halfdressed girls. fresh out of Durban. even though there are three other vacant ones around the table. ‘I know I found it hard when I started teaching. Vermeulen and Schirmer shift away from each other and make a show of inserting a chair between them. What do they know? Are they putting on this show for her benefit? ‘Did you manage?’ asks Jill.’ she says.’ ‘I. awkwardly holding her coffee. er …. knowing full well that they make it difficult for us. Just as she’s sitting. apparently lost in a thought.’ Edwards wanders out. She sits. having to behave professionally. ‘She’s our new Junior Lecturer. half-lifting the magazine. extending his hand so Saskia must squat down further to put the coffee on the floor and then stand up fully and shake his hand. Professor Edwards appears territorially behind her.’ Frank Vermeulen. pulling the door too hard so that a vase on the shelf almost falls over with the impact. Glass houses. Saskia. Saskia sits down and Jill Rogers calls over. ‘God. but she’s obliged. He clenches his jaw and shoots a spiteful look across at her … ‘Very funny. in his mid-thirties. in their tight jeans and with their bare midriffs. Quentin …. let’s be honest here.new contrast walking all the way to the cafeteria and back.’ Schirmer calls across. but the three teachers are talking and joking loudly. Saskia’s not sure whether he’s asking her or himself or who. we all have certain little sirens in our classes. She was planning just to sit here and read quietly until her class. but we always manage to keep it in our pants…’ ‘Not always. ‘Who’s this young woman?’ he asks.’ Jill Rogers says. There I was. still with his scarf on. Now suddenly I was in the concrete jungle.’ Edwards says. Schirmer restarts the conversation. in a half-squat with a cup of coffee in one hand and an old copy of ArtNews in the other.
and as if I’m doing some good. and checking the numbers against the mark lists.’ I say. to do things like that.’ When we’re into a rhythm of ordering the first-year papers by class and by name. He’s never promised me anything. What else do we need to do this afternoon?’ I’m relieved at the change of tone.’ ‘I’m still here. ‘I hear a lot of things here. ‘Did you know who it was?’ she asks. that she can tell me things that she will never tell anyone else. I feel flattered. ‘You’re right. I did everything I could to make him happy. I don’t know how to tell her to put it down and not to touch it. but soon she picks it up again. I’m better off without him. without even caring who she hurts. To be jealous about that makes me sound like such a schoolgirl. She acts all nice but she’s such a bitch. I’m relieved when she puts it down. I was probably the last person in the whole world to hear about it. ‘I feel like such a fool. But I did … I expected more … I expected him to not want to be with anyone else. but as we all know. calming down. It’s just that I expected more from him.’ she sighs.’ I just shake my head. It makes red smudges on her cheeks and I start worrying about the horse.’ ‘Ah. I feel so stupid even to have to ask myself what’s wrong with me. I did. well.new contrast ‘Manage what?’ ‘To behave professionally. 85 . Two weeks before Marissa found out. ‘Oh. And again. And you start to wonder whether they can be right. and that it’s all his fault.’ I watch the colour come up in her face.’ says Schirmer. ‘You know. I expected him to … want me. And now I’m in one of her classes. the Monday after it happened. Marissa starts talking again. when of course everyone will say there’s nothing wrong with me. and go to my desk to gather the next pile of papers. It’s really embarrassing. Sometimes I felt like a priest or a therapist. aren’t I? My record is unblemished. She stands up and wanders to the windowsill and picks up the new horse. You know. ‘discretion goes a long way. her hands agitated. it’s not even that he slept with someone else. blah blah blah … But it hurts. putting the horse down on the desk in front of her.
’ ‘You can’t really judge a relationship by its ending. Oh God. So lightly glancing. My girl goes dancing Like wind down the beach. ‘Trust in what you felt. struggling to hold it in. Still sings me that song. Saskia walks out and past Roberta’s office and sees that strange Marissa girl crawling on the floor and crying. my back turned. I turn to see her peeling the crushed horse from the side of her hand. folk songs are called “sad tunes” …’ Red Dust. Then silence and a gasp. So sprightly prancing. 86 .’ I hear her breath shallow and I know she’s crying. Jonty Driver Sad Song ‘In Shaanxi. God! I’m so sorry. ‘Fucker!’ she suddenly snaps and bangs her fist on the table. Roberta. ‘I wonder if he cared for me at all in that time.’ I hear her say behind my back.’ I say. Ma Jian The wind is my song.new contrast ‘But I feel like the last eight months were such a waste of time.’ she whimpers. easterly. ‘Oh. She wonders what she’s done this time. searching for a misplaced mark sheet. My song is the wind – Sea-breeze. Oh God.
new contrast ‘My heart’s in tatters. she dances: Wind blows bitterly And the sand scatters. She sings. The wind in her song. Though falling apart – So shyly glances (Bewilder. ‘He’s done me much wrong. bewitch …) She patterns the beach. she dances. 87 . ‘He’s broken my heart – He’s done me much hurt …’ Pirouettes gaily.’ As wind scatters sand: A song to the wind. Sumeera Dawood Acceptance She gives in to the glorious pull of water: An avocado drops to the ground.’ She sings.
88 . but we knows Miss Moss got lots of troubles with the travels. Ag no.new contrast Being a woman i am tired of wearing Eye shadow Heels Clothing Underwire Wedding ring Someone else’s face starting the day quickly Tidying up Washing the dishes Using words to make money Every day the same rules always apply the same Subject Image Surprising final line I want to sit down at my own table To write on my terms The way snails do on a morning-fresh path. here by me by the table an I’ll make for us a cup coffee. Come sit. shame. Miss Moss. Marcia Leveson The Wedding My liewe land! But dis maar Miss Moss! True’s bob me and Mina we saying jus yesserday Miss Moss she never come here by us no more.
tall peoples they comes here from America to check the place out. what’s working longtime before by the Jewish farm by the Paarl – that one there whats got the goats – an they thinking there he’s got a good head on him an they wants he mus make matriek so they can send him by Wessin Cape for the studying. It was by that time Oom Hannes cousin’s chile. 89 . he dussen come by us now since the skandaal. not even by pa even. fresh meisie what made the Grade 7 by Retreat in the Cape. That time the big. an he orways get hisself mixed up in a troubles. my Jannie he get in there with a bad crowd with the drienking. my Jannie. Nay. You should of seen the cars an the jeeps an the cameras. An the pretty little meisiekindertjies what’s dressing for the flower girls. these days we dussen see him no more. Jannie he’s my firsborn. an I only talking by Miss Moss now. becoswhy Miss Moss so kind to us people an becoswhy it’s sitting on my heart. I dunno what. not by no one. now I’s telling you. by that time laas year Jannie he’s busy with that Katrien. But that’s all finish now. here by Fraaschhoek there’s plenny here by us. specially the white peoples they likes to come by the big farms for the weddings. I dunno where Jannie he meets Katrien. by Septemmer time – that one! they still talks of that one all the way there from Tulbach to Gansbaai. But. I didden ask like I should of. That time Oom Hannes he’s saying she’s sick or something. That time I knows there’s gonna be a something special by that wedding. Ja. didden I tell you who’s Jannie? – nay. An I’s thinking that one she’s a lovely. Ja. Miss Moss. But now it come by my head maybe something happen there by Retreat. But laas year. Ag. Katrien. she’s going with my Jannie. Miss Moss. an Jannie he’s also not here by Fraaschhoek no more. But maybe it’s working for the bes becoswhy Jannie he’s happy with a good job by the Pick n Pay there by Somerset Wes. things work his nerves. I think it’s by the caffy there when she’s doing the waitressing. an it’s a good thing he keep hisself to hisself.new contrast Is funny Miss Moss ask about weddings. shame. I only knows she come sudden here boarding by Fraaschhoek. Nay. Ja. I havven talk about that for long time now. Nay. an he come back by us an he goes in the building here with his pa. becoswhy there’s always empty rooms there by Susan’s place with her boys working there by Hermanus side. nay! – overs kedovers! An I don know where Katrien she’s living now.
Ja. ja. So Katrien she’s out that job. even when pa he’s breaking his riss with the building and his got the plasser on. But I know Jannie he don have so much money save up. But with pa that’s all he’s doing. That one. An Katrien she’s telling us the rich touriss peoples they lying there by the grass in the bikinis whats giving nothing by the imagination. sies. an they never leaves no tip. by Jannie is jus he like to give them all what you call – a piench – you know nothing serious like. Ja. they too blerry snoep. she’s a differen sort meisiekind with her pretty hair. becoswhy I’s not a one for his blerry nonsense – nay never! So pa he mines hisself – he’s a good man. An she say if Jannie he 90 . Miss Moss. dronk in die tronk. but sometimes Katrien she fines half a bottle wine they forgets in the fridge an some magazines – an it’s this magazines what she likes to read what gives her the big ideas. an they sells the scarfs an beads an stuff to catch the touriss. but Katrien she says is rubbish. an Jannie he’s a good man also. she that’s dronk by 10 o’clock every Saturday there by the street. So that Katrien. But I don know. Ja. Miss Moss mussen unnderstan me wrong. that ou Benny what’s working there by the caffy he tol them Katrien she put her hans in the till. an she talks so nice. But then the caffy it closes down an those Malay peoples from Cape Town they makes a curio place instead of the caffy. as I telling you. an she look aroun for something else. Ja. so I thinks for sure he’s going to put her off. an she take a char job by the self caterings by the farm there jus by the big wedding place. an Jannie he thinks Katrien she’s the one for him. Becoswhy I thinks by myself that Jannie he needs to settle. an he knows he better not start nothing. any new meisie he likes – same thing with all the meisies – even that arme Mona. when those new peoples they come in there. Jannie he get that eye for the meisies from his pa. she’s behaving so sweet an she come by us in the evenings an she sit out with Jannie there by the back. that one’s coming to a no good. That small place there by the fruit trees there. Miss Moss mus have passed by there on the way here by us. just like the laas one. s’true’s bob. But that Katrien.new contrast An Jannie he likes that one. I say. But then I don know Katrien – she’s a sly one. You know at firs it look like a good idea. he’s still giving the meisies a piench with the other han. Now. she got Jannie right unner her thumb. Katrien she’s got a Grade 7 an a job by the caffy there by Yougannot street. my Jannie.
new contrast dussen get a ring she’s going back by Retreat. but her friend. an so when Jannie he tells me they’s getting an engagement. an specially 91 . An when she’s sitting out by the back with Jannie. Now when it come by the engagement time. I knows I havven toll you nothing about my arme Gillie. an is time for him to settle. but you knows it wassen his fault. an he’s good with the brieks. Miss Moss. Ag. Gillie he’s also there by the back. that one where there’s always the weddings. an they sits an talks their sweet talks. a big strong boy like Jannie. an she bring him smokes an some cooldrienk. Miss Moss. an ahfer by the time me and pa is gone. an maybe she going to look ahfer Gillie when she an Jannie is married. that’s what I thinks. an Katrien she’s got a good heart. An Katrien she brings a lefover for us from the weddings an a piece icing from the cakes specially for Gillie. Miss Moss. Katrien she’s always helping here by the house. strue’s bob he can follow you very nice if you talks slow by him. such a soete kind. but they don take no notice of him. He could of been a very good man if he had his chance. An I thinks she’ll be OK. an they forgets about him. so we lets him smoke in the back. Ag. so long he dussen make a mess by his room an stink us out with his stompies. nay you knows my Gillie he could of been a nice looking boy. That smoking is too much. becoswhy he’s a strong boy. but I can’t blame her. When he’s a baby he’s always talking an running roun an up to his trieks. An she speak so sof an nice by Gillie. an Katrien she says that’s OK by her becoswhy she want to put by the money for her wedding what’s coming. but when he’s making two years he’s getting the fever an the doctors they dunno what. But with that fever Gilllie he stops to talk and everything. becoswhy Gillie he loves the sweet things. But now that Katrien she gets kicked out from the char job by the self catering becoswhy they’s laying off. Miss Moss. but it make him happy. an he sit an smoke. So by that way he get some money for his ou ma. an nogal a clever one. An nearly every weeken there’s weddings on a Saturday an sometimes on a Sunday when they have the Jewish weddings. that no good Letta what also can’t keep no job an she’s a big trouble maker that one. she ask Katrien mus come fill in by the kishen by the big farm. I so happy. the arme Gillie. an he look by her with big eyes. he throw them up just like his pa say. becoswhy Jannie he’s a steady boy an a good looking boy. an he do what he’s toll. an he dussen drienk but he like the smokes.
I says nicely by her – ag Katrien. an she work OK there an dussen make no trouble. Now when Katrien she come by our place that time I can see she’s funny. I got a bit hot stew there by the pot. but I dinnen knows Miss Moss is coming. I suppose it was that teeth what started the whole gemors. Ja. But jis! the plates there is too dear an Katrien she’s saving for the wedding so she say she can’t save also for the teeth. she got her worries jus like us. jus like the magazines. An they keeps Katrien on. Haai. he’s mad for that icing. you mus wait for when the chilluns they come. but Miss Moss mus sit an have another cup coffee. 92 . she’s full nonsense how Jannie he mus get a better job an pay for the teeth. An Katrien she’s walking from the kishen an she spy the bride an the groom under the big tree where they’s always making the weddings. An I thinking she worrying about Jannie an when’s the wedding. if it wassen for the teeth. becoswhy that time the teeth they will all be vrot. an she get the moer in. I tries to help her. It’s exacly by that time when this peoples is coming from America to check out the place for the wedding what’s going to be on Saturday. An she get the moer in. but here by Fraaschhoek the plates is rubbish. it was jus this time Katrien she start to have her troubles with the fron teeth an she have to pay the dentist to pull. An I thinking ag shame. an she cry in her heart for her teeth. an all the young peoples roun here they all goes by the Paarl for the plates. Miss Moss. An Letta she tell hows Katrien she’s crying when she’s coming back by the kishen an she’s saying about the beautiful bride an all the new clothes they brings in the car. An pretty. And becoswhy by that place there she’s close by the weddings an the pretty brides what looks jus like in the magazines. Miss Moss. But Katrien she dussen wanna lissen. An she look in the mirror an she look in the magazines an she want to have the big white smile. It’s very cold by that weeken. I’s sorry Miss Moss – I havven got a stukkie beskuit. jus like my bottom that dussen fit so nice by me no more. Miss Moss. An she see the bride smile with the big white teeth. So then she start to think about making the plate. an then you can make the top and the bottom. she dussen even greet. so beautiful. becoswhy she’s wanting to keep that job.new contrast the icing. an the beautiful teeth. Maybe she’s a sly one but I thinking nay but she’s good in her heart. Well nevermine. it’s the no good Letta what’s telling us this. Ja.
I busy with the curry chops for the supper because Mina she’s coming with her boy. So I busy by the kishen an Mina she come an she tell over there by her place by the railway. That weeken pa he’s staying over there by Helderberg where they’s doing the roofing. Petrus. And me. Nay. an Gillie he’s looking with the big eyes. so Gillie he’s off work. an even that three-bar that Jannie he got for us by the time he was working there by the goats it wassen enough to warm the place. she still sitting long time out by the back close by with Gillie an she giving him the icing an some cooldrienk an some smokes. So I says OK becoswhy is not far an we’s watching our serial that’s on Fridays. not since the trouble by the goats. my Gillie he understan everything. So Mina she bring her things an sleep over here by us. Miss Moss. Miss Moss. an then he goes with the pay for a drienk by the other ous. An Jannie he’s knocking off late that day. an Gillie he know the way on the back of his han. I remember I says. they treats the people very nice by there. Jannie he’s never for drienking so much. An that’s special chops what we get from the co-op there by Villiersdorp what comes from over the pass to here by us. when I’m calling to Katrien she mus come the chops is ready. That’s a good paying job for him becoswhy the people there by the farm they only come for the weeken but nevermine they very good with the pay. an she’s taking Gillie with becoswhy there’s stories of skollies by her place there by the farm. Like I saying. like he does every Friday. But. quick. so Gillie he mus walk with her. I dunno when Gillie he get back becoswhy by that time me an Mina we sleeping an the TV’s still playing. the same peoples what’s having the wedding Saturday and all the friens is making the braai. nevermine Jannie he’s not back. becoswhy it’s getting late. there up by the big farm there. an they all gone from the wedding place an the cars is all up the road there by the vines. like I always 93 . But then that Katrien she says nay but she mus go home. an for roofing they can’t take Gillie for that work. An I thinks but that Katrien has a good heart an Gillie he’s happy. but he tol me he do it for the ous. An Petrus he can’t come by us for the chops becoswhy he’s helping out by the farm with the drienks there.new contrast there’s rain an snow on the berge. he like to keep with the ous. she issen coming inside quick.
he’s mos a soete kind. that time I get the jumping in my chess. Ov cors. An I thinking about Katrien.new contrast says – ‘Gillie is it you. an they knows he’s an arme kind. but is not right for keeping that arme Gillie by the tronk an he can’t talk an he’s always a good boy an dussen give no troubles. my kind?’ But you knows Gillie he can’t answer so I really says that jus for myself. An then they telling like the bride’s dress an the pretty veil they’s all burn up. an I think ha! Gillie he nevah answer to nothing. An I thinking by myself. Miss Moss. big fire they says. but I not showing. I thinking O God! My liewe Gillie an the smokes. but Jannie he’s saying for sure he’s there by the ous 94 . An they says they taking him for the questions. I says. that Gillie. he’s never a skelm that one. But then they tells me they finds Gillie there by the road by the farm an he can’t say them why he’s there in the night. But before I’s worrying hard where’s my arme Gillie. But nay they says. is dark there an they don know who’s it. Nay! I say. but there’s a big troubles an stealing there by the wedding place by the room where the bride an the bridegroom they’s sleeping. they sees him there sometimes by the other places by the road. Mineyou. An they ask me when I see Gillie laas. an the security they sees somebody what’s running down by the river. there’s the konstabels an the dogs an they tell me they got Gillie by the tronk. but I don show no one. but the jewellery things is in the pillowcase. An they comes with the hosepipes an it takes them long. Ag siestog! – that arme Gillie. but I not saying nothing to no one. but they chase an the thief he drop the stuff in a pillowcase by the river. an I say by supper ov cors an ahfer supper when we’s watching TV. an I’s worrying becoswhy Gillie he’s out by hisself before but always he’s coming home by us. an they’s looking straight by Jannie. yous know he’s not the same like the other peoples. he can’t do nothing what he’s not toll. Haai Miss Moss. long for killing the fire. An Jannie’s he’s shouting – nay. An then that place where the bride she’s staying it goes up with the big. An in the morning there’s Jannie but there’s no Gillie. An they ask who else’s here by us in the night. An everything it’s gone. An the jumping by the chess it’s coming up so strong. like someone throw with matches inside or maybe they drops there a couple stompies. even the bath an the TV it’s gone. what you expect? Shame!You mos knows the arme Gillie he can’t talk. he’s here by us – I says. you know.
new contrast there by Gonna’s place where they goes Fridays ahfer work. I’s watching my serial. Miss Moss. she’s not there so she dussen see nothing becoswhy she take off sick with the stomach. an I remembers the icing an how funny Katrien she’s looking an how nice she’s talking by Gillie. jus before the peoples they coming for the wedding. Ja but it’s good to talk by Miss Moss. Miss 95 . Jis like! Letta she say. An I hears that Jannie he’s walking with a new meisie by Somerset Wes. So now. But they still looks by Jannie. You sure you dussen fancy a little stukkie konfyt what you can take home in a pakkie? Ja. you knows the farm peoples they’s got to pay out too much money an they’s very cross. but that wedding! That’s a beautiful wedding! But Katrien. an they got the big smiles an there’s cameras an plenty singing. they didden keep my arme Gillie by the tronk for longtime. An Miss Moss. she’s running here by us. he dussen come by here for long time. you mus stay a little longer here by us. an she’s telling about the wedding. An by Sunday Letta. maybe is better Gillie’s by there where they helps him with the talking. an they stanning under the big tree jus like nothing happen. but pa he tells me Gillie mussen come home by us. an they can mos ask any of the ous there an the place nex door becoswhy they’s making a helluva row there an the peoples nex door they wassen happy. An they asks who else is by here an I tells them nobody’s by here. Miss Moss. an now I got the thing off what was sitting on my heart. an they looks by his room an they looks by Gillie’s room but they fines nothing. me mysell with the three bar. they send him there by the boy’s place there by the Caledon side. but she’s so happy with a new dress what she’s saying she like it much better than the firs one what’s burn by the fire. An by the wedding time the bridegroom he got the shoes an the outfits an all the things from the friens. Becoswhy a fire that’s a very bad thing. an my heart it’s crying for Gillie. An specially I says nothing about Katrien but I feels in my heart about Katrien an she’s a sly one. Nay. I hear tell by Mina’s auntie she’s working there by the Truworths there. but he dussen tell us hisself. an the clothes what’s all gone and she’s telling how early by the Saturday the bride she’s gone with her ma by the big hire shop by Durbanville where the white peoples they goes for the dresses an she come back the lunchtime. but maybe there’s building work for pa by there.
Ahfer we hears she’s sick with the stomach. but she’s good in her heart. Ja. So maybe she stay back there by her people there. ’n vergeelde foto teen die muur? Wat maak jy daar met jou ou trapfiets en jou skrynende kitaar? 96 . she say she got to go home by Retreat. sy glansryk uur weer beleef in ’n aftree-oord. I dunno nothing. maybe by there she also getting the new teeth. we never knows nothing what’s happening by Katrien. She’s a sly one. Jane Bruwer Dawid Kramer Wat maak jy daar met jou rooi velskoene en jou vrolike kitaar? Het jy kom kyk hoe ek baljaar en jol op Ellis Park – iemand het ’n doel behaal – bo ’n kilte in my hart? Wat maak jy daar met jou hardebol-hoed en jou wenende kitaar? Het jy kom vertel van Blokkies Joubert.new contrast Moss. that Katrien.
You are not lost – my philandering liquid sanity Come nearer.new contrast Dawid Kramer wat maak jy daar met jou rooi velskoene en jou hardebol-hoed? Wat maak jy daar met jou ou trapfiets en jou bittersoet kitaar? Heidi Marques My Dompas Where are you? Why are you hiding? If I squint long and hard enough Will you pour yourself back inside of me? Are you closer? Why are you hiding? I see you! I l know you are there! I hear you. you are not far Come nearer My dompas to ‘life and civility’. 97 . I speak to you.
The wire between us.new contrast Jacques Coetzee What Is Real What is real Is the imprint of your voice On the ground of my memory. And the faint animal smell outside. All weathers and the silence before storms. hearing The old words echo back at me – still true. 98 . The way it is mixed up with the swish Of thorn twigs against the truck Yesterday afternoon driving from the game lodge. as I say. And the lurch. Nothing could ever be more real Than the way everything here suggests your presence: Overheard remarks and world events. my stomach gives When we talk long distance like this: Telling you that I love you. it is the distance between These words I will read to you And what they would like to say but cannot reach. What is real Is telling you that I love you Long distance. And the lurch my stomach gives then because they’re true. What is real is the distance Between us and the animals here. hearing the words Played back like an echo seconds later.
in dappled gatherings of moonlight. unripe cocktails. a surface rubbing in shadows of the sky. dreams of the timeless. 99 .new contrast Richard Bunch Looking for Home Stone idols are simply stone. Our lost innocence tries to recover itself in memories after midnight. and in that rare yoke of lost wisdoms. Our lost innocence tries to recover itself in the flows of soothing silence. Yet inside history we long to be in our home again. and in our music’s untamed country of bones.
She slips the bottle out its covering.new contrast Lisa Lazarus Boom Under the duvet. She’s sure Sebastian’s online. they call it in the women’s magazines: The Dark Side of the Net: Cybersex follows Mars and Venus patterns. that’s what he does late at night. Then unknown voices rise up from the street below. What should she do now? She doesn’t feel like getting up (the house so cold this late at night) but she can’t sleep. not with the study door closed. Shani shifts her foot to the right. the sound of a car door shutting resonates in the stillness of the house. It’s late.’ A male voice. She doesn’t knock. ‘I thought you were sleeping?’ He snaps the laptop shut.’ He has a point. of course not. ‘Shani?’ He’s wearing sheepskin slippers. Outside. Silence. after a night out on the town. not with what he’s doing in there. barges straight in. She anticipates a warm pocket of empty bed. ‘You woke me up when you got out of bed. his feet must be extra snug in those. She hears his study door closing. you know …’ She knows alright. young and unpleasantly high-pitched. Following his departure.’ Piqued. ‘It’s harmless. you’re hoping to be invited in for a cup of coffee?’ ‘No. Shani … honestly. makes her way down the passage guided by the sounds: click-click-click. the alarm system flashes a single red eye in the darkness. she imagines. Then it starts up again – click-click. ‘I’ll walk you to your flat. She forces herself out the bed. Students. so what if he taps away with an anonymous woman – maybe even someone on another 100 . the irregular beat of fingers on a keyboard. he left moments ago but already his side of the bed is cooler. ‘Come on Derek. she thinks. The hot water bottle she uses to fall asleep – hugs it to her chest like it’s a small child or a teddy bear – has cooled from piping hot to pleasantly warm.’ ‘Well. holds it close. Coitus interruptus. Chatting to girls – cybersex.
five to a lane. white fluffs of hair above his ears. her favourite stroke. I told you to use only arms. burrow down into the warm nest of her blankets and slip into unconsciousness. Nor does she say anything. wearing flippers. a stalemate. but she doesn’t move. ‘What the fuck’s up with him today?’ ‘His wife won’t let him. incongruously. to remember the texture of those days. Sha. boys and girls together. In the changing room they’d get their own back. of swimming. The water would churn and splash. ‘Come on. Their trainer was an old guy. It’s nothing much – why don’t you go back to bed?’ A part of her wants to do exactly that. Shani. not one many women enjoy. He was tough on them: striding up and down the edge of the pool. there was constant chatter between them. go down on her. The deep inhaling makes her think. they called it then – at the gym. She takes a step into his study. Ruth. in the old days Sebastian would track the contoured muscles as he lay behind her. Back in the beginning – odd. I’ll join you in a few minutes. doesn’t want to see his bald head while he’s doing her. Get out if you’re not going to get it right. now. ‘Go back to bed. at least five times a week. how she used to rear up for deep breaths when swimming butterfly.’ 101 . The desk is between him and the doorway and takes up much of the room. shouting commands.new contrast continent whose windows are wide open right now to the warmth and the light.’ Back in bed she lights up and lies on her back. puffing. The distance between her and Shani as wide as the ocean. telling her how powerful she was. There was a special way of doing it: the slower ones kicking off first. Even now her shoulders and back are strong. ‘Can I see what you’re writing …?’ She speaks slowly and too calmly. Neville. Over the season they came to learn each other’s swimming styles and eccentricities. bald and smooth down the centre of his head. you’re not listening. no legs. She would swim often as an adolescent – ‘in training’. you know. nothing left unsaid. starts to edge around the corner of his desk.
new contrast They’d laugh because no way was this guy getting or giving any. Out alone. she’d caught sight of Neville from the back. for starters. She had shadowed him. a sanitised scent but not pleasant as though the body had been washed too clean. has a habit of staying in the shower for much longer than it takes to clean herself. clear and sharp. comic almost. Neville baby. She finishes her cigarette as the dog next door starts to bark. springs into her head. she nipped into the carpet shop to let him 102 . a warning to the new day to stay away. a tightness at the back of her throat like she’d been crying. The chemical odour used to follow her everywhere. she shouts back to him: ‘And there’s nothing to celebrate. You’re not the boss here. Fearing he might turn. It’s while she’s showering that the image. she knows. they were sure. at the shopping centre. a call to the dawn. Good story for the other girls.’ he says. Shani gets up – sleep far out of reach – and heads to the bathroom. He gives her a big kiss on the lips. early one morning during school holidays. stripped of its identity. passes Sebastian in the passage. ‘Well. She turns around and lifts her face to the water. Of that. over-done. It’s a practice she picked up from her days in training. often replayed. Sebastian always jokes. Get out that half bottle of champagne from the fridge. The barking comes in volleys. Are you having a swim in there. Sebastian. open the curtains. getting closer. She’s always loved a shower: the caress of the water on her skin with no accompanying strain in her muscles.’ From down the passage. I’ve got to get to work and. Neville out shopping. for another … it’s just a stupid idea. deep and relentless. an attempt – though never successful – to rid her body of the smell of chlorine. Let’s lie together and watch the sunrise. Or that’s how she reads it. not like swimming. waking her up in a patterned rhythm. until she was right behind him. ‘You can’t drink champagne in the morning. ‘Come back to bed.’ ‘Why not?’ He’s trying.’ In the shower the droplets on her back are refreshing. The chlorine worked on her insides too.
Shani watched as he bent forward to whisper in the white-haired woman’s ear. Look at him. Shani never told any of the girls at the swimming pool that she’d bumped into Neville or about the woman in the wheelchair. The woman turned quickly in her direction and then upwards to Neville.’ he says as his hand encircles her bare wrist.new contrast gain some distance. caught sight of her lurking in the entrance of the carpet shop. Neville turned suddenly. They’ve been to the restaurant before. The physical connection lessens her anger. Two bags of shopping hung from each handlebar of the wheelchair. it could be said that their relationship began there. also white-haired. You choose. ‘Let’s go out for dinner tonight. His palm is warm and dry. she remembers. Where?’ ‘Wherever you want. she returned the old-fashioned greeting. her face reddening.’ Shani chooses an Italian restaurant in the neighbouring suburb. building a rhythm with the different sounds. their untouched plates signalling their interest in each other. In fact. the pizza crispy and tomato-sweet. He nodded his head. ‘Okay. She saw then that he wasn’t alone but was pushing a wheelchair in which sat a woman about his age. The picture of the two of them is flung from her mind when she hears a loud banging on the door – Sebastian. She felt a rush of warmth towards him. That’s true love for you. cupping her hand against the receiver in the noisy staff room. She wanted to keep the couple to herself. through the bag she could make out dishwashing liquid and breakfast cereal and a slab of expensive dark chocolate. the way he stayed by his wife’s side despite the wheelchair. flushing. The two old people laughed briefly and then continued with their shopping. it was almost too much to meet the intensity of his gaze. Her face. the day promises some heat despite the chilly night. with her hands placed one on top of the other in her lap. This time she makes the booking because the food’s good. 103 . He knocks first with his knuckles and then with the flat of his hand. She even makes the booking during her lunch break. as she ran her finger gently down the blade of her knife and played with her fork. Shani slips on a short-sleeved blue dress before opening for him.
new contrast He picks her up after work and they go straight to the restaurant. ‘BOOM. He runs the media office for a collection of trade unions – the strike has been hanging in the balance. It fails to mention that a stretch of highway separates their room from the ocean (they fall asleep to the sound of cars) and the pool is tiny. He is expansive in his responses and the evening passes quickly. deal with the press. Sebastian spends the weekend lying in bed watching DVDs. the petrol price’s recent surge leading to action. He drives easily. but she doesn’t. it reminds her of Noah. The website promises views of the sea.’ ‘You think the strike’s going to bring down the petrol price?’ ‘Maybe …’ She carries on questioning him about the strike and the politics of the strike. cliff walks and a swimming pool. he tells her. ‘Nah. suitable only for cooling off. 104 . In the back of her mind she wonders whether she will leave him tonight.) ‘You going to go to town tomorrow morning?’ she asks. We need a break. one hand on the wheel while the other one flips through radio channels and engages the gears. A few days later he mentions a holiday and she finds herself agreeing. ‘We are going to bring the city to a standstill. and at midday they’ll all press their hooters …’ Shani hears the edge of excitement in his voice.’ he always shrieks excitedly. he tells her. I wish I could but I’ve got to stay in the office. her three-year-old nephew. no late-night visits to his computer – perhaps the wine shared over dinner has drained his energy or the political discussion has bonded them. clapping his hands at the mess of destruction. as much as they can. As it happens she doesn’t and that night he sleeps deeply next to her. well. a plunge pool. Twice – once before they go to sleep and in the middle of the night when he wakens – she’s about to ask him if he’s depressed. The strike’s on for tomorrow. (Noah spends hours building tall and intricate towers with his coloured blocks waiting for the moment when a final block causes the structure to come tumbling down. They book into an expensive boutique hotel in Hermanus for a weekend. she does not know. The taxis are going to circle parliament. an early supper.
to satisfy all parts of himself. after he’s been out drinking with friends. she tells him. like when he tells her that it’s not really him on the computer.’ he tells her angrily. He can only be himself in real life. ‘Reminds me of that asshole Stuart I used to date.’ All Sebastian’s arguments remind Marilyn of one of her exes. Shani has some sympathy for one of his arguments. on the computer – ‘It’s not a place. prove to be too much for Shani. The arguments (‘discussions’. he says. ‘Like what?’ 105 . any relationship. ‘What aspects. He tries to argue her out of her decision. is multi-faceted. During this time she stays at her sister’s and sometimes he comes past late at night. laughs at that.’ she asks. And when she explains about the late night cybersex sessions.new contrast It seems inevitable that she will leave him and when it happens he is shocked. because he’s thought of something else. ‘This has come out of nowhere. parts she would not like. You can’t argue someone back into a relationship. He explains that it’s not possible for a relationship. though energising for her sister. who moves out. However. Marilyn’s memories. ‘things we don’t do?’ They are sitting on the bed. Marilyn. some of the points are not as difficult to remember as others. ‘That’s a good one. next to each other. She keeps pushing him and eventually he admits that he likes to give vent to the more violent parts of himself. sitting cross-legged on the floor and looking up at Shani. he tells her. When she tries to relate all his points to her sister they seem to fall through her fingers like water. because he repeats it often. ‘No. Sebastian’ – he can express those aspects of himself that she wouldn’t like. He must know this. Here. not like that …’ ‘Like what then?’ Identity. he calls them) are fierce and extend over weeks. the other women he chats to.’ she says. it makes Shani tired to hear her sister’s stories. like he’s giving a first-year lecture in English or Psychology. he fights back. her sister. in her new place. She is happier in her own space even if it’s cramped – only a single bedroom with a small bathroom painted canary yellow and a kitchenette in the corner. She sips her gin and tonic.
her body lean and long – but dreads the moment of impact. His voice. not isolated like the old South Africa. Shani. You’re fit. Shani has taken up swimming again. that stuff you do online. Shani bites his lips. She forces herself to dive into the pool – toes pointed. but she goes every evening and soon becomes fitter. not like the old days. ‘Having children does this to you. Something strange starts to happen. his arguments become more generic. ‘Does it help you learn about diversity?’ she asks.’ Their language has become coarser which she finds bracing. One evening in the changing room she bumps into someone she used to know when she trained as a teenager. they have sex and it’s different from before – urgent and aggressive. For all I know I’m chatting to an eighty-six-year-old man in Texas. The pool is empty then. You’ve kept your figure. He says that chatting online lets him be part of the world. you call that swimming? I could swim better in my dreams.’ Sebastian won’t be drawn on the person he becomes when he is being someone else. like jumping into icy water. from air to water. I don’t know. during this time.’ ‘Once you get a rhythm going you know …’ ‘Easy for you to say.’ Wiedaad pats her flabby stomach and then waves her hand through the air like she’s smelt something bad. Neville. She tires easily. Once. from eight until nine. Stuff. things that could apply to many people and not specifically to him. even the inside of his thighs. As her strength develops her mind becomes less focused on the aches of her body and she starts to hear her old trainer.’ ‘But what are you doing with him?’ ‘Fantasies. it makes a dent in the long and lonely evenings. ‘Sometimes you can be a real cunt. As Sebastian starts giving up hope of the relationship resuming. hey? I thought you’d never stop. urging her on.new contrast Sebastian doesn’t look at her as he says: ‘It’s not real. Because of what he doesn’t say she imagines the worst. brusque and demanding. She chooses the hour before the gym closes. pushes her. You got any?’ 106 . his neck. Look at this. Wiedaad recognises her first: ‘I saw you in the pool all alone. he pulls back her hair when entering her.
After a while. see you around. Never had a wife.’ At home she has a strong urge to phone Sebastian. he says he has to go. She dials his number and he picks up on the first ring. ‘He was a weird old geezer. Just her. still thirsty from her long swim. She replaces the receiver and then pours herself a tall glass of water. ‘Anyway. ‘No. it’s a bit cuckoo … anyway. his sister.’ ‘His sister? I though it was his …’ ‘Ja. ‘Shani …’ ‘Thought I’d give you a call.’ There’s a pause in the conversation. As she raises the glass to her lips it slips from her grasp. the one who used to …?’ ‘Yes. Anyway he lived with her his whole life. Tell you Neville died. nothing. I should run …’ says Shani. Lonely life.’ ‘He died?’ He lived in her head mere moments ago. Stayed with a woman in a wheelchair. Did you know they were twins? He was born first. Why?’ ‘I was reading the death column in the paper. She was born like that – paralysed. I know.new contrast ‘No. I saw he died last week. sharp enough to draw blood. See you around. He hasn’t come around to visit for the last few weeks.’ Then. hey?’ ‘I really got to go. as an afterthought: ‘You remember that old guy Neville.’ ‘I’m sorry. can’t bring herself to share this information. ‘Ok. 107 . Sebastian chats easily on the phone. his sister. I read it with my morning tea.’ she says. she is naked. ‘Ok. You always had a soft spot for that guy and his wife. some sort of birth defect. Under the sink she finds the pan and brush to clean up the mess. everywhere. His tone is friendly and distant. There are fragments. Maybe he felt guilty or something.’ says Shani.’ ‘You married?’ Wiedaad is bent over and rubbing between her toes with her towel. clapping her hands in the stillness of her flat. he doesn’t bring up any of the arguments from the past. kids.’ She doesn’t tell him it’s not his wife. ‘Boom. cheers.
which is pretty damn old for a car Bill’s bumper is racked with rust like acne on a teenage boy in the moonlight my bumper lights up while Bill’s is barely visible I went out tonight jazz at the Two Dogs and a Cat the flyer had no address no phone number no cover charge just that it was across from the Grand Hotel 108 .new contrast Doug Downie Bill’s Bumper Old Bill out back and I park our cars right next to each other sitting on the little cobbled driveway a couple of fading tins. mine grey but my car’s as though it was sleek and just off the lot compared to Bill’s I only have missing hubcaps and a windshield cracked like split ice and some scratches beneath the handles and dents along the door frame Bill’s car has so much more the seats are torn and are themselves covered with thin and torn blankets the white paint has worn through to the base and even to the tin itself the grip of corrosion has got it along the flanks and the tires are nearly flayed it leans a little to the side on the flattest of surfaces – it’s in its 40s. his white.
Above him.new contrast I live in a relatively small town so I know just where the Grand Hotel is I went out to listen to the jazz I’d had enough rejection for one day there was no Two Dogs and a Cat anywhere believe me. 109 . About him. Unrecognizable in redemption. strewn in disarrayed order. blazing in orange-splendour mockery. That’s the kind of day it’s been. – the gift he brought. I looked so I came back home and bent to tie my careless shoelaces against Bill’s bumper beneath a clouded half moon I couldn’t quite see it and fell on my face against Bill’s fender. John Simon Death at Noon He lies dead now in this long street of sorrow. he awaits the final formalities that attend cessation.
‘Death at Noon’ (c 1968) commemorates a man who was knocked down by a car near the Somerset Hospital. In the midday he rests no longer distraught. asleep in the sun. Some time back a happy way his boy plays on. Where they leave him in the midday. – his hour of blood spill’s over. A few paces on his sick wife waits. In death he lay surrounded by his gift of oranges. and hopelessly unaware she shall see his gentle smile no more. 110 . in 1964. Nor yet the secure love that’s sped – as only love can speed – beyond unreasonable reason’s shuttered door. Cape Town. fatherless. Nor yet the telling eyes that sparkled passion.new contrast – the sun he sought. husbandless. thirty years all told.
quiet in the dark Through the hours of the night Until you see the crumpled shape Of a shadow who was not a shadow Lying silent in the light.new contrast Michael Bernard Shadows Waiting while the moon sets Back safe against a tree Keeping watch for shadows Who may be more than shadows Shapes hard to see Crouching in the dark Straining hard to hear The small noises of a shadow Who may not be a shadow Creeping very near Let the rifle do the tracking If there’s anything to find Are those the rustles of a shadow Who may not be a shadow Or are they of the mind? Hold the barrel on the sound Slow the shaking of the heart And gently squeeze the trigger Wonder if it really is a shadow As you split the night apart Wait unmoving. 111 .
new contrast Rustum Kozain Depression A man without oars. far-off star. the inward crawl the broil of bourbon and thin grey poplars as if the stand was drawn in lonely charcoal by frail and aging hands an inconsequential smirch 112 . divining corn and soya – you came first to the terror of that vowel. and underneath the turned and frozen sods that wait for spring. his signal in the night a flickering. Bowling Green. Ohio And when you saw the silent night descend along some snowbound somewhere – a plot of mid-west. on a boat drifting deep off-shore. but under him the moiling sea like a maw closing over that disconsolate. long-dead spark. that ‘I’ withdrawn from exclamation.
I await the time when suddenly you turn around transform to the shyness of flames blushing they find no cause to falter you gather strength they start to dance. Red Stone Hills 113 . I wait breathless for the time of owls the time of invisibility the space of wizards where the world becomes a palm encircling its own wrist and boles of trees thicken until the garden blunders about among its own roots and branches while shadows stand upright and draw closer to windows out of which we no longer care to look. day merely foreshadows night. You are just the other side of my eyelids you reappear each time I open them hide your body between your hands hoping I’ll look there just for you and then I do.new contrast Kelwyn Sole Poem of earth and fire for Rochelle As for me.
giving rise to little we can name. two ships sinking on a bed so that we may agree to drown. * * * We hit no rock. make no shorefall: but founder on in gloom.new contrast Poems of air and water The foreshore of night – with us. flounder face to face ships that pass perilously close amid the sound of breakers though the sea creatures cannot see us. * * * Braced against you my vision lists I can’t avoid land’s slippage where we totter 114 . Flow and ebb of movement. furtive as they are behind their bastions of foam.
* * * The thin spool of your breath quickens you snag the moon tug its fingers down onto water bright enough to guide us – even if it only fleers on and off on and off through the torn curtain – to show some voyages end in stillness. * * * Its light comes to rest on your knuckles become 115 .new contrast have to scramble across the surface of each other’s tilting skin until we reach that point where neither hopes for rescue.
so remembering to the eye the half-life clocks 116 . Your face is shadow. you soon to be lost again in darkness once the moon has set. Even your breath seems to hang away from you. Your mouth relaxing. gripping at the coverlet.new contrast white bone. * * * Yet I will forget nothing. Your still tensed hands Ken Barris In Grahamstown In Grahamstown the light limewashes the old buildings.
homeless children wheedling in the street for brown money. dodging the worn umbrella. the old Moth hall – originally a prison – cathedral.new contrast they’ve become. How the oak leaves rustle above me. head high and proud. gnomons to measure the progress of the colony: Mr Price Home. tomorrow it will pour and drown this sweet history of light. university. Clive Lawrance Cape Cobra They caught sight of him outside the village. they scuttled him and beached him in dense bush where his venom could evaporate. his long hull crumble in time … 117 . The sun declines. my skin shivers at the cold threat in the warm berg wind. I drink my cold Americano. regretting each sip. Tonight. like the prow of an ancient craft sailing through waves of sand … The blood of their first mother stirring. with curses and blows. into my face. just outside hysteria.
The earth began to beat. gazed without awe at the cisterns and rubble. adrift on streams of air. on the frigid barracks at the empire’s edge. Alone in the ether. this birdman strapped into armour. 118 . Stooping as the hawk stoops. toiling through empty hills and space. In a splinter of time we glimpsed rivets on steel. a hurricane sleeps at his thumb-tip. twin pipes ablaze. as immaculate as the hawk. an ancient. the past was dead to the eye and the ear. helmeted head. Absolved from blood and terror. unrolling its thunder behind it. stealing a march on the road from Rome. At the weathered remains of a broken fort the inheritors. he saunters with his cohorts at the edge of our world’s end. Only the sheep and far-flung crows gave voice on a reedy wind. the detritus scorned by farmers whose walls have outlasted all emperors’ dreams. Behind ramparts of cloud. to men in creaking leather. He killed time. I closed my eyes to see. the jet arrowed up from the bowed earth. the riveted man outstripped the wind. with a whip-crack of air a fighter tore past. the pale descendants of unruly tribes. Clawing for the sun. he put an end to feasible history.new contrast Mark Swift At Hadrian’s Wall For Jenny Hirst Chilled to the bone at the staggered stone shield where the Romans heard barbarian drums beat deep in the earth.
new contrast Elizabeth Joss The Lie of Your Land wind over the farms of green and brown outlines where mounds of earth become exposed the bumps of stone scattered in rhymes up close gravel roads and lime trees intrigue my sub consciousness a mirage fulfils soul needs towards a mountain peak the grey-tinged clouds and textures seek to magnetize sin from my heart draw me in draw me in from my heart to magnetize sin so textures shall seek the grey-tinged clouds towards a mountain peak a mirage fulfils my soul needs intrigues my sub consciousness up close gravel roads and lime trees the bumps of stone scattered in rhymes where mounds of earth become exposed wind over the farms of green and brown outlines 119 .
Exile at home Beneath an aching sky and a clatter of leaves, flames wrestled with wind; smoke eddied over our skirmish of words. As close as estrangement allowed us to be we hefted our wine on a baize of lawn; a startle of green in the granite reaches of a valley scorched to the bone. In a split-second shift of the shutter-quick eye, a dog and a boy were roiling on grass in a tangle of fabric and fur. Where bush fought petals they tussled as one; canine sinew and smooth, taut muscle were the beast and the artless in us all. In an instant, the dog leapt out of the yelping boy, stilting on its hind legs in a flailing parody of the child secure on his firm small feet. They were the sum of the shattered whole: the bulking hills and famished trees, the men splaying their brutal hands over tired coals to conjure up warmth. As the sun burned to ashes we took to a warring silence. All wonder was lost, the years had betrayed the tussling child in us all. Trapped behind the bars of our bones, our yellow eyes homing in on the dark, we bared our fangs at the shapes of our fears.
Writing Their Lives 1. Twenty thousand years ago the first people of southern Africa, the copper-coloured, high-cheekboned, light-limbed people, who ran like water over stones, who killed with respect and regret, who garnered only what nature planted, were writing their lives in rock 2. The last people are reaping everything, scribbling the sky with vapour trails.
Kindertotenlieder in Seville (debajo de una ventana) Tonight The very strings of my heart were torn Asunder When a woman’s voice shrilled poignantly Skyward, I in the street beneath her window, Listening.
A boy with a stave and an uptown girl Passed quickly by Not noticing this song of loss That, grief-filled, soared Heavenward, Rending apart the very threads that held me together So fragilely. Sierpes, Sevilla 4 viii 86
Programs Officer of the Imagine Africa Cultural Programs at the Gorée Institute, Adam Wiedewitsch is currently co-editing the forthcoming on-line literary magazine, Memory of Wind. A graduate of New York University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program where he edited Washington Square Review, he is a contributing teaching-artist for the Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York. Adam lives and works in Gorée, Senegal. Allan Kolski Horwitz is a poet and publisher. He lives in Gauteng. Andries Samuel makes a living as an architect in Cape Town and dances and writes to keep sane. He was raised and educated in the Free State. He is afflicted with writing in Afrikaans and English. Barry Wallenstein is the author of five collections of poetry. A new book, Tony’s World, is due out from Birch Brook Press in early 2010. A special interest of his is presenting poetry readings in collaboration with jazz. He is an Emeritus Professor of literature and creative writing at the City University of New York and an editor of the journal, American Book Review. His latest recording, Euphoria Ripens [Cadence Jazz] was listed among the ‘Best Jazz Recordings of 2008’ in AllAboutJazz magazine. Bulelwa Basse is the founder of Lyrical Base Project, an arts and culture organisation which seeks to elevate the profiles of writers from marginalised communities through community-publishing projects, performance poetry, cultural and corporate events. Bulelwa was the editor of Muse, an online poetry publishing and profiling magazine. She
addressless and free of most social constraints. and was refused a visa to re-visit South Africa until after 1991. Clive Lawrance’s poetry has been published in New Contrast on and off for some forty years. A third volume is yet to be published. Charl-Pierre Naudé is a poet in both Afrikaans and English. where she’s known on stage as Miss ‘Sassy’ Basse following her poem ‘My Lyrical Sass’ (published in this issue). a century of essays by South African women. His latest book is So Far. He was one of the judges of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007. were originally written in English to an English-speaking woman. submitted by Roy Bermeister. and several short stories. he became stateless in 1966. He is also a journalist. He is South African. He has published two slim volumes of poetry. the latest included in Twist. Buster remains colourless. which was short-listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Award 2006. His love poems. After leaving her career in the IT industry. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the Mafikeng Campus of North-West University. though published in Afrikaans. President of NUSAS in 1963 and 1964. Chris Canter is an editor and translator who lives in Madrid. and a biography. had carried his name and address which at that time was mandatory. All his future articles. His Die Nomadiese Oomblik (Tafelberg) was published in 1995. Selected Poems 1960–2004. In die geheim van die dag followed in 2004/5: Against the light is the English version which was written concurrently. Damian Garside has been published in New Contrast since 1977. Consuelo Roland has published a novel called The Good Cemetery Guide.new contrast has been featured on the Channel O television show. Roy was sternly warned by the heavy-handed agents to cease or face ‘trouble’. Buster Petersen came to life sometime in the 70s: as the result of a late night visit from a few BOSS (Bureau of State Security) agents following up on an apartheid protest article that appeared in The Star. The article. He has published five novels. Chris has had short stories and poems published in the literary magazines Liter and Roet in The Netherlands. six books of poetry. In 2007 her essay entitled ‘Was Ayn Rand Wrong?’ was selected for inclusion in The Face Of The Spirit. an anthology based on tabloid headlines. which confronts a society that portrays women as sex-objects. but he grew up in Europe. A play on the name of Australian writer Banjo Patterson. Since the early 1980s he has had a considerable number of poems published in literary magazines here in South Africa and the United States. CJ (‘Jonty’) Driver was born in Cape Town in 1939. a Johannesburg-based newspaper. 123 . Poetry Delight. poems and letters to the editor went out under the pseudonym Buster Petersen. she completed a Creative Writing Masters degree at the UCT and is now a full-time writer. Having admitting to writing the piece.
anti-war protester American. He has self-published a collection of short stories and a novella. He lives in Muizenberg. Cape Town. editor and computer programmer. Gus Ferguson is a poet. For the last 28 years he has lived the bright. musician and freelance translator. She is also a part-time tutor and mentor for English Studies 178. She writes poetry and short stories. Heidi Marques lives in Pinetown. amongst others. KwaZulu-Natal. which specialised in South African English poetry and non-fiction.new contrast Deborah Steinmair is a translator and poet. She has been published in Carapace. hopeful. He hosts the Monday Off-theWall poetry gig in Observatory. Doug Scott is an old Vietnam War era. You can find out more about her at www. the fantastic life of outdoor adventure in the African bush and the darkness of economic collapse and Mugabe’s Bully War of Beating. Grahamstown. early years of Zimbabwean independence. HA Hodge is a poet. He has published four collections of poems and one collection of translations. New Coin. information systems. Doug Downie was born in and spent most of his life in the US. insurance. and lives in Cape Town. prospecting and drilling. Genna Gardini has a BA in Drama and English from Rhodes. a taxi driver. He returned to university at the age of 39 as a student of biology. the theatre. Kimberley and East London. ultimately earning a PhD in entomology. cartoonist. Itch and Fidelities. publishing. He has at various times been a hobo. New York. He is the singer and keyboard player for the band Red Earth Rising. Douglas Skinner grew up in Upington. a gardener. she writes and publishes children’s books.com.blogspot.gennacide. 124 . Elizabeth says she has become quite a scavenger of books and texts of all kinds. and survival. publisher and pharmacist. and a disc jockey. a winery worker. Since 1992. he has lived in the south-west corner of London. a tobacco picker. living in Cape Town. San Francisco and London. Elizabeth Joss is reading for her Masters in English Studies at the University of Stellenbosch. performs as a vocalist and assists women in childbirth (doula). He moved to South Africa in 2003 and has lectured at Rhodes University ever since. he founded and directed The Carrefour Press. In the late-1980s. Jacques Coetzee is a poet. Grace Kim is currently studying English Honours at Stellenbosch University. He now writes primarily poetry. In between homeschooling her three children and being bipolar (ooooh!). New Contrast and SA Literary Review. He edited the literary journals Upstream. hope. Cape Town. the wine trade and building. has two daughters and lives in Cape Town. He studied Philosophy and English at Rhodes before working in mining. titled Cat Came Back and other stories: a collection of tragic-comic tales of futility. a carpenter.
and Separating the Seas. In 1990 he became a senior training manager at National Brands Bakers. Kevin communicates with others. His play. He has also published a collection of radio plays. Kobus Moolman teaches creative writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. Laura Kirsten is ’n pianis en digter. Author of numerous critical articles and five collections of poetry. Sy is gebaseer in Hogsback in die Oos-Kaap. and is at present a professor in the English Department of the UCT. gedigte en musiek kombineer. She is an aspirant poet. He has won various literary awards. Full Circle. wat beweging. Biology and Sports) at Amanzimtoti High School in Durban and lectured at Mangosuthu Technikon (Applied physics and chemistry). via a laptop ‘light writer’. and without speech. Burnt Offering. Joan’s work has won prizes (SANLAM. and Carrying the Fire (2005). Kelwyn was born in Johannesburg. Blind Voices (Botsotso Publishers). and Sydney Clouts) and she has judged others (DALRO and Ingrid Jonker). Feet of the Sky. Kevin was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 1993 – he sustained major head injuries and severe brain damage. won the 2004 PANSA award. and journalist. University of London. and was published by Dye Hard Press last year. Kevin Hollinshead graduated in 1986 with a BSc (HDE) from the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. Chemistry. Joan Metelerkamp’s poems have appeared in many local anthologies. A new collection of her poems. and the June 2008 edition. On recovery. and a few in collections published outside this country. He has taught (Maths. is to be published by Modjaji Books in June. Sy het Bmus grade van die Universiteit van Pretoria. Previous books include Into the day breaking (2000). the most recent being the 2006 Thomas Pringle Award.new contrast Jane Bruwer is a teacher of languages currently retired and living in Pretoria with her husband and two children. He has published three collections of poetry: Time like Stone (which received the Ingrid Jonker Prize for 2001). and works at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Floating Islands (2001). John Simon was until recently Composer in Residence to the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and lecturer in orchestration at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Music School. Kelwyn Sole is a Professor in the English Dept at UCT. Kanye (Botswana) and Windhoek (Namibia). for a short story published in New Contrast. He submits the occasional poem to SA and UK poetry magazines. Ingrid Jonker Dans Weer. he was left bound to a wheelchair due to residual paralysis. and writes his poetry. She edited New Coin for four years from 2000. and two collections of poetry. He lives in Cape Town. a collection of short stories. He has lived and worked in Johannesburg. Requiem (2003). He was an avid sportsman (triathlete and parachutist). and was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Ken Barris has published four novels. Sy is tans besig om aan ’n een-vrou stuk te werk. 125 .
Testing the Edge. the USA and in South Africa. She is a member of several writers’ circles including ‘Die 1980-Poësieleeskring’ which she herself started 30 years ago. He works in the book trade. was published by Umuzi in 2006. He lives in Hogsback. She is an Honorary Research Fellow. the odd bushbuck and duiker. They have two sons. was published in 1996. prose and criticism have been widely published in South Africa and in the UK. Norman Morrissey taught Eng. She has published her poetry in various journals. Michael grew up on a farm in Rhodesia. appeared in 1983. Mari has a passion for reading. had a history of banning and unbanning in South Africa and was published in New York. photos and short stories. He lives with his wife. She is the founder editor of ImPrint. including an annual three months in Spain. In 1987 he was awarded the Thomas Pringle Prize. for which she won Best Director as well as Best Play trophies at the CATA awards in 2009. but spent next fifteen years working on short term consultancies in perhaps sixteen countries around the world from Mexico to China. in 1933. Mari Mocke lives in Table View. since 1973. The Beggars’ Signwriters. After which he moved to the UK. Jewish and Protestant ancestry. He graduated with an Honours Engineering degree from a college in Britain and returned to Zimbabwe as a Senior Engineer for the Tobacco Research Board. She runs Quartz Press. A third volume. won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. including Contrast. Michael left Zimbabwe in 1980 to work for the UN in Malawi on wood fuel research until 1990. a troop of Samango monkeys. Mark Swift’s poems. May 2009). Marcia Leveson is a retired professor of English at the University of the Witwatersrand. His first novel. Gentlewoman. edit and publish. His second book. Marcia continues to teach. speaking and writing poetry.new contrast Lisa Lazarus is a freelance magazine journalist and psychologist. She has published short stories and poems in literary journals. She directed Fugard’s ‘Sorrows & Rejoicings’ for Milnerton Players in 2008. Treading Water. His first collection. 126 . The stage also lures her. his wife in Grahamstown. Michael Bernard was born in Kenya. He has four books of poems in print. She is a co-ordinator and teacher for U3A Johannesburg. Marcia is a former President of the English Academy of Southern Africa. 1990s magazine of the arts. He has published poems. Her first book is cowritten with her husband: a memoir titled The Book of Jacob about their first year with their son (published by Oshun. son and two dogs in Johannesburg. sharing a 5 acre plot with 72 species of birds. and has published poetry in journals in the UK. at a few universities. She has adjudicated literary competitions. write. and a few thousand trees. Seconds Out. study. Louis Greenberg was born the last of five Catholic-raised children of Greek Orthodox. A fourth volume. Lit.
two children and British citizenship. his poetry has appeared in Windsor Review. Sumeera has two degrees in English at a university in Cape Town (it’s an experience she’s still recovering from). Her third novel. Although Sam Manty has spent the past decade managing corporate reputations she is still trying to find out exactly what that means.net. Sumeera Dawood is a freelance writer and poet now based on a nut farm in White River. was written during her MA in creative writing at UCT. it is art and the creative process that makes her world bigger. was published in 2005 (Kwela/Snailpress). ‘How many passports is one family legally allowed to own?’ 127 . His latest work is Hawking Moves: Plays. Poetry New Zealand. well. Her first novel. Thus. Fugue. Rustum Kozain was born in Paarl in 1966. Long Islander. Rustum now works as a freelance copy-editor. Sam Manty has published poems in several SA and US anthologies. cultural quirks and. She is an American. Madlands. Katy’s Kid. and was published by Penguin in 2006. Thandi Sliepen was born in Cape Town. and Cape Rock. and a play The Russian River Returns. will be published by Penguin in June 2009. in August 2008 her family relocated to South Africa. This begs the question. In recent years her husband began to feel a tug for his homeland. Her poetry has been published in various South African poetry journals and websites. Oregon Review. There she acquired a South African husband. Thrice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Poems and Stories. she thought it’s not my shoes that are too small. She returned at eighteen and has been loosely based in the eastern Free State ever since. Tsamma Season.new contrast Richard Alan Bunch was born in Honolulu and grew up in the Napa Valley. Only when writing poetry does the world expand. His works include Summer Hawk. Rivers of the Sea. available at Kalahari. it’s my life. This Carting Life. Running for Daybreak. sex. When her daughter said ‘mommy I think your shoes are getting to small for you’. left South Africa when she was six and raised in New Zealand. His first volume of poetry. Her second novel. She has written short stories and poems which have been published here and in the United States. Rosemund J Handler lives in Cape Town. also by Penguin. He studied at the University of Cape Town where he later taught in the Department of English from 1998 to 2004. was published in 2007. She’s passionate about commenting on gender issues. Thandi says she is primarily a visual artist. Tiah Marie Beautement is the author of various works including the novel Moons Don’t Go To Venus. whose six-month visa resulted in an eight-year stint in Britain.
which may be zipped with others for transmission. Submissions may not exceed six pieces including up to two of prose. Multiple pages must be numbered. Please do not send original manuscripts as they cannot be returned by us. South Africa E-mail Editor: ed@newcontrast. Please note it can take up to three months to receive a reply.net Subscription Rates 2009 Check website http://www.newcontrast.net/ Renewals: SADC ZAR210 Renewals: Rest of World ZAR400 New subscriptions: SADC ZAR250 New subscriptions: Rest of World ZAR440 Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to the South African Literary Journal (address above) Electronic transfers to Standard Bank. Email submissions must be an attached ODT. Your name. Cape Town.Editorial and subscription address New Contrast. Inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere before you hear from us. Claremont. address.net All submissions must be typed. Adderley Street. 7735. please say so in your covering letter. • • If your work is accepted for publication you will received two free copies of the issue in .net Email Business Manager: business@newcontrast. email. Word DOC. PO Box 44844. Branch code: 02-00-09 Account name: South African Literary Journal Ltd Account type: Current account Standard Bank Account number: 070508666 Credit card facilities are available on-line. Guidelines for contributors • • • • • • • • • • Postal submissions will be accepted although e-mail submissions are preferable. which your work appears. If you are submitting the same material to another publication at the same time. Each piece must be in a separate document. and contact number must be on every page – use the document header or footer. RTF or TXT document E-mail submissions to ed@newcontrast.
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