Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Victoria Williams: 0023

"Aggressively pursue your inner regions and see what kind of secrets you can stir up from within."

What is it exactly that Astrocenter.Com is advising me to do?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Colleen Higgs on Romancing the Dead by Gary Cummiskey

"Very interesting publication - it's a pamphlet, lovely cover, looks a bit like the Faber&Faber poetry covers, but glossier. Simple clear page and text design. The contents are riveting - strange, surreal, erotic stories/prose poems."

Available at R40 including postage (R50 for overseas orders). For order information, contact

Colleen Higgs is the publisher at Modjaji Books. Visit them here: Modjaji Books

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Against the Grain

Fuck wheat

Victoria Williams: 0022

There Is No Coincidence Here

There is no coincidence here - the wind has changed. You have already proved that there is no such thing as a random event.

Why did you make a point of placing the amethyst under my pillow? To ensure I would subsequently dream of you whenever I felt it there.

Why did you insist on straightening my spine by inserting a steel rod into my back? Because you knew sooner or later the lightning would strike.

Why did you throw a brick through my window, and then pay for it to be replaced by a single pane of ill-fitting glass? You were aware of the simple fact that it would be easier to break into upon your return.

Now the wind has changed, and your time is drawing near. Seriously, you don't forget about someone for eight years, only to suddenly dream of them for no reason. The wind has changed. I sit patiently opposite my window, waiting for the sound of breaking glass.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New From Tearoom Books: Romancing the Dead by Gary Cummiskey

Tearoom Books is pleased to announce the publication of Romancing the Dead by Gary Cummiskey. This small collection of 11 prose poems from one of South Africa's leading underground poets displays writing that is laconic, unfussy, surreal, morbidly humourous and unsentimental. The world presented in it is one where the rules of causality have either broken down or are on their last legs. It is thus an absurd world, but, and this is Cummiskey's talent, it is also a world that is instantly and, in some cases, frighteningly recognizable.

Available at R40 including postage (R50 for overseas orders). For order information, contact

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Victoria Williams: 0021

My Favourite Restaurant

My favourite restaurant is the one that even in mid-January, in the thick of a blizzard, in sub-zero temperatures, will still put the plastic chairs and tables outside on the pavement in a futile bid to attract customers. I try to encourage this habit by making use of them throughout the year.

One November evening I was sitting with Sara to my right, talking about her new steam iron, and a string of lights entwined around the tree branches, shining on the cold mist, making the air sparkle.

It goes without saying that I wasn't listening to her. I mean, who really wants to know about nylon trousers* anyway? I was otherwise engaged, staring at the heavenly creature directly opposite. You know, the one whom, if there weren't two tables between us, I'd be over there making love to? Sara could tell because I was (apparently) stroking the neck of the ketchup bottle in a suggestive manner.

He looked like an oil painting, though only because with my eyesight, everyone looks smudged, and thus much better in a brush-stroked sort of way. I have always wanted to describe someone as having plumb-coloured hair - and as well him as another. He had plumb-coloured, spidery hair, and heavy bedroom eyes (bags under the eyes = sleepless nights, see?). I don't have to tell you that he was solitary (why else would I be interested?) and looking lost in his overcoat. Looking moody. Looking tortured. Looking like we both ought to go strolling through the snow like a certain photograph I wish to emulate, both of us unwilling to link arms with the world.

'One day,' I thought as he mistakenly stirred salt into his coffee, 'you will father my sickly children.'

* In the ensuing blackout three days later, Sara and Jim were able to power the automatic gravy-stirrer, using the static electricity generated by their nylon trousers rubbing against each other.