Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0083

DVD Extras: Some Thoughts

I liked the way in the interview he referred to shooting at the stars rather than for them. Maybe he hopes that by destroying the stars he can take their place? It still seems less arrogant than trying to join them.

I also liked the way the cashier handed me the DVD in a crisp paper bag.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Tonight I'm sitting out a million threesomes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Landscape by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Max Moodley: 0038

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0082

With my head in my hands, from a distance, I almost appear to have perfect skin.

Nobody knows anymore whether my blemishes are real or not. If you asked 90% of people to hazard a guess they’d probably say that I’d painted them onto my face in a shade of terrible pink. (Some people think it’s an attention seeking move, some people think I do it in order to blend in with the company I keep). Nobody stops and takes a moment to realise that my blemishes are the same colour as their blemishes. The difference is my waxy pallor – and is this unnatural lack of colour down to bruising, sickness, or emotional distress? Nobody knows anymore, and nobody wonders. Well good. Because it’s something far more sinister…

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Glamorously Unemployed

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Max Moodley: 0037

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0081

My mind… it wanders. It wanders backwards; it wanders forwards; it wool gathers. It leaps from one thought to another with no warning whatsoever. Hundreds of thousands of tangents are possible. How can I stop it? How can I switch it off? How, in the darkest, most sleepless hour of the night, can I prevent its relentless thinking?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Michelle Nair: 0006

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why The Long Face?

A horse walks into a bar. Shocked, a pregnant waitress goes into premature labour. The newborn sees the horse and assumes that its a gift from his mother. Until his death at the age of 54, that child, now named Robert, will be disappointed by his birthday presents.
A horse walks into a bar. Actor Peter Firth disrobes and embraces it. People avert their eyes, but the evening is ruined.
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender records it on his cellphone and uploads the video onto Youtube. It receives 7000 views within 2 days but then interest wanes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Inferno by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Max Moodley: 0036

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0080

Ladies and Gentlemen, there has been a small and minor rupture between past and present. The key to both of them has disappeared this morning, leaving only pineapple leaves on my floor and one small piece of blue card pasted to my mirror (angry handwriting):

“I am sorry if my nudity offends you.

Alas alas, I was insensitive to a stranger who appeared at my door. I laughed at his dancing, I demanded to know who’d hired him, and I refused to tip. And now he’s probably out there alone, estranged from his clothing, running carelessly through dangerous plant life – basically living the dream we’d discussed so intently... and me still here, when am I going to wake up from all this?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coming Soon From Graffiti Kolkata: Sky Dreaming by Gary Cummiskey

Sky Dreaming, a new chapbook of poetry by Gary Cummiskey, to be published by Graffiti Kolkata in January 2011.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dylan in NYC - 22 November 2010

Courtesy of Niren Tolsi.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Max Moodley: 0035

Queasy Guacamole

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0079


I just got your note.
This might be too late but:
I didn’t think your poem was
Worth shooting yourself over.

Sunday, November 21, 2010



Friday, November 19, 2010

New Dye Hard Press Publication: pushing from the riverbank by alan finlay

Dye Hard Press is proud to announce the publication of pushing from the riverbank by alan finlay.

ISBN: 978-0-620-48421-3

A new collection of 20 poems by one of South Africa's most innovative poets. 46 pages, perfect bound.

One of the poems from the collection is:


i am explaining to my son
you see, crocodiles eat people
“but why?” because they’re meat eaters

because they’re hungry, i don’t know
i begin to build the food chain in my mind.
so that’s why, i finish off

us people watch everywhere we go
and we’re always alert for snakes
and crocodiles (and i could add other things)

i’m telling my three-year-old child
that the world is not so safe
but he knows already: he’s fighting

dragons with his sword, shooting
down dinosaurs, closing the door so
strangers don’t come in. he’s picked up

on the shadows -- they’re real enough
for him. He sits on the edge of the bed,
waiting, watching me get dressed.

Previous titles by alan finlay include Burning Aloes (Dye Hard Press, 1994) No Free Sleeping (with Vonani Bila and Donald Parenzee) (Botsotso, 1998) and The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain (with Philip Zhuwao), published by Dye Hard Press in 2002. In 2003, he co-edited with Arja Salafranca glass jars among trees, an alternative anthology of poetry and prose, published by Jacana.

He founded and edited the literary publications Bleksem (1994) donga, with Paul Wessels (2000) and was editor of New Coin poetry journal from 2003 to 2007.

pushing from the riverbank
will be available at bookstores countrywide at an estimated retail price of R90. You can also order directly from Dye Hard Press for R65 (including postage).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Max Moodley: 0034

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0078


Eventually when I got over the fear of it,
I came to love that strange thing that sprang up in your trousers now and then,
That I could feel in the small of my back,
As I sat on your lap in the driver’s seat.
What a nice thing to come between us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snipes by Joan McNerney

Dear Editor: Unfortunately, I can not accept your rejection. Best of luck placing it elsewhere.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dye Hard Press Titles

The Secret Hour Gary Cummiskey
Structured Space JDU Geldenhuys
Conspiracies of the Interior Gary Cummiskey
Lost in a World Gary Cummiskey
Burning Aloes Alan Finlay

Icarus Rising Gus Ferguson
Visitations Gary Cummiskey
Verbal Dance Michael Anderson
River of Dreams Gary Cummiskey
Atio (poetry journal 1-2) Various

Inside my Pocket Robert Homem
Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano Val Sing
Brutal Syrup Roy Blumenthal
Atio (poetry journal 3-4)

Mad Rains: an anthology
Head Gary Cummiskey & Roy Blumenthal

Electric Juice: an anthology
The fire in which we burn Arja Salafranca
Reigning Gloves Gary Cummiskey

Green Dragon 1
The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain Alan Finlay & Philip Zhuwao

Green Dragon 2

Green Dragon 3
Bog Docks Gary Cummiskey

April in the Moon-Sun Gary Cummiskey
Green Dragon 4

Green Dragon 5
Full Circle Kobus Moolman

Today is their Creator * Gary Cummiskey

Who was Sinclair Beiles?* Gary Cummiskey & Eva Kowalska
Green Dragon 6*

pushing from the riverbank
* Alan Finlay

* In print

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Max Moodley: 0033

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0077

Alright I’m trying to write a story about someone who works in a morgue by day, and sells off the bodies to mysterious clients who all have research purposes and alibis and things, and by night, returns home and serves up cold beans to her family who are the real cadavers in all of this: and btw this is a good time to mention that I only learned the correct meaning of the word cadaver because Mrs. Winters kept referring to her husband’s cadaver, especially with repeated reference to its head – so what was I supposed to think?

Anyway, here in the present I answer the phones at work and say, “City morgue.” And whoever’s at the end of the line tells me he’s looking for a body – but a body with shining hair, and slightly imperfect skin, and an almost aquiline nose, and maybe a tattoo – look, if you want to be specific, a body that looks like the moon and the heavens have been thrown into a blender with some rose-hips and a little molasses and beaten together into a fine paste, then poured into a mould and left to freeze in the snow. (But not one of the slightly green and stinky ones like last time.) And I say, “Speaking.” Ha! But no, seriously, I get a sum of money out of them, and I always make sure we can come to an agreement. I take it on faith that most people have scientific purposes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Snipes by Joan McNerney

Although quite young, he has already lived past his intelligence quotient.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Max Moodley: 0032


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0076

What is a tendril?


Ok… So I am caught in the tendrils of domesticity: Apron strings. Spaghetti.

I must leave the kitchen.

Or put my head in the oven,
And stay very still,
While I read in secret.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blues Men 2010


Friday, October 29, 2010

(Un)veiling by Mandilakhe Yengo

A short film by Mandilakhe Yengo, starring Alude Mahali, and based on Gary Cummiskey's poem 'Corner Cafe' from the collection, Today is their Creator. The film was premiered as part of South Africa's City Breath Festival of Video Performance and Poetry.

September 11 (7) by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Max Moodley: 0031

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0075

Last night on the trail of my stockings: it led right to Allen’s door, and I hesitated to open it because what do you say to someone who’s probably wearing your stockings and looking better in them than you?

But then in one moment I knew what to say, so the door opened and I spoke fast without looking:

“Allen I have a problem. Everyone knows we are really enemies pretending to be friends – now I have to go to a party with him, but it’s really a ritual gathering and everyone will look at me and be in agreement with him. They’ll all close in… It has become a conspiracy. They’re hiding all the good and light and turning me out into the alley. What can I say to them? What is the position you showed me to alleviate my symptoms?”

I open my eyes and Allen finishes pirouetting and settles in meditative repose.

“Some to his street. Great con from filled hotels. Not idiot, he’d first sometimes drive on a big afternoon. Eyebrow rocking under poolhall shoeshine moment. Young cue-fixed man, thumb unfolding, slowly last as only the truth can be.”

Then silence.

I kneel and like Mary Magdalene, remove my stockings from his holy legs and slink away, back to the night.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I use pick-up paragraphs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bob by Jenny Kellerman Pillay

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Max Moodley: 0030

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0074

Another strange love dream. This time at a table in the JSR restaurant. It’s too shiny, it’s too bright, it’s too sanitary and I’m really still too young for all this.

He is sitting across the way from me. We are both treating the world like a stage. I am dressed up and carrying a violin case and I’m trying to explain that I want to be happy for him but something is stopping me and I don’t know what. And he says “Already you’re lying,” and I say “I know, I know.”

I say to him that I can barely read his mind, let alone my own. Then I try and drink my cappuccino all in one, and inelegantly choke on the hot milk while his face is buried somewhere in my jacket and he tells me he can still feel my heart beating. So I move across and listen to his chest and tell him I can’t feel his.

Sunday, October 17, 2010



Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Michelle Nair: 0005

Michelle Nair: 0005

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Max Moodley: 0029

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0073

*Yawn* Very tiring week. I’m not going to tell you about it, But…

Considering most people probably spend an awful lot of time being secretly in love with someone, you’d think they’d be a little more understanding and considerate of me, who is never openly in love with anyone.

Besides that, yesterday I couldn’t decide whether to have gingerbread or toast for breakfast, and this is what I mean about my extremely complicated yet uneventful life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010



Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Michelle Nair: 0004

Pink Eye 1

Pink Eye 2

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0072

Damn. Mass-media is selling everyone a lie. There is no easy way to make it without any talent. And it’s not going to happen the way I dreamed either. You can’t just walk through the wrong door on your way to a job interview, run into Lenin who stands at the French windows and waves his hands all over imperialist Russia and says You take it. And I think for a moment and decide that nations are like lovers, and once they are beautiful and deeply – maybe irreversibly – flawed, I must have them. Oh god, oh god…

But once again I knock on the right door and I enter and sit in front of a pin-stripe suit and two enormous sweat patches who recline and say to me This has better be important, or at the very least interesting… and This is the best thing you’ve ever written, and the worst thing I’ve ever read.

(But maybe I wake up with Siberian snow still in my hair, and ah what then…?)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I slept with a mynah. Turns out that's also illegal.

September 11 (3) by Gary Cummiskey

Poetry As Intervention: Gary Cummiskey Interviews Alan Finlay

Alan Finlay lives in Johannesburg where he works as a writer, researcher and editor on issues of media freedoms and internet rights. His poems have appeared in various journals locally and abroad, and short selections of his poetry have been published by small presses. Over the years he has founded and edited a number of literary publications, including Bleksem and donga (with Paul Wessels). With Arja Salafranca he co-edited a collection of prose and poetry called glass jars among trees (Jacana, 2003). He was editor of New Coin poetry journal from 2003-2007. His latest collection of poems, pushing from the riverbank, is to be published by Dye Hard Press in October 2010.

To read the interview, click HERE.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Max Moodley: 0028

Victoria Williams: 0071

Well you could put it this way – Sara was unconscious through no fault of her own, and I was on the scene with a small pharmacopoeia and whatever else was in her drink, there was no malice or malevolence.

I only wanted to search her rooms anyway, and afterwards I removed her shoes and put them on and then I stood for a while and paced for while etc, just to see if I felt any different in them. I did not walk the mile you’re supposed to, but still significant insights revealed themselves…

Afterwards I left her to wake up on her own with my boots on her feet. Her dreams probably turned out differently as a result.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Duplicity by Rosemary Lombard

the truth

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Vultures semi-circle overhead.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Max Moodley: 0027

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0070

Today is about three-quarters done, but the sun is still up and so am I. Ever since I started working and bought a planner, life has arranged itself into segments of time, and I tick them off as they pass: two hours till the end of my shift, two days till my next day off, two weeks till my long weekend. Oh every month I live for my long weekend (last month: ice-cream sculpting. / this month: cigarette-rolling / next month: quitting smoking). But all this time ticking, and I’d be horrified if I didn’t know, if I didn’t believe, if I hadn’t been told – that all the years a person spends on minimum wage in a lifetime add up to the years they are allotted in the afterlife, before of course you’re exiled and return to mortal form for another round. Actually it’s a complicated system of mathematics that only a chosen few will ever know: but in essence, the more money you have, the less time you need in Nirvana anyway. So say the priests of the chapel installed in the break room.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Trick Pony

I can impersonate a one trick pony but that's about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Max Moodley: 0026

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0069

Dinner Party Menu

Starter: Biscuits
Main Course: Scrambled eggs on toast, with chips.
Dessert: Ice cream, with biscuits.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bring and Braai in A Look Away

"Pablo Picasso once said: 'Give me a museum and I'll fill it.' I'd like the class to think about that for a moment. Isn't it rare today to find an artist who is able to confront his body issues in such a frank manner? Not for Picasso, the existential cop-outs of the crash diet, the corset of Photoshop touch-ups. Instead he declared: 'This is me. Deal with it."

The Bring and Braai: another Shaggy short story by Pravasan Pillay and Anton Krueger

Friday, September 10, 2010

Michelle Nair: 0003

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Rules

Up is Down. Down is Down.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Max Moodley: 0025

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0068

It was not even supposed to be a wake, the timing of her sister’s death had merely been a coincidence, but still, there was the coffin in the middle of the table anyway. One had to rethink the etiquette surrounding passing the salt...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Forthcoming from Dye Hard Press

ISBN: 978-0-620-48421-3

A new collection of 20 poems by one of South Africa's most innovative poets. 44 pages.

Publication scheduled for the end of October.

Price and availability to be confirmed.

Previous titles by Alan Finlay include Burning Aloes (Dye Hard Press, 1994) No Free Sleeping (with Vonani Bila and Donald Parenzee) (Botsotso, 1998) and The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain (with Philip Zhuwao), published by Dye Hard Press in 2002. In 2003, he co-edited with Arja Salafranca glass jars among trees, an alternative anthology of poetry and prose, published by Jacana.

He founded and edited the literary publications Bleksem (1994) donga, with Paul Wessels (2000) and was editor of New Coin poetry journal from 2003 to 2007.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Cheer Leaders

Leon (Max) Moodley, Aloe, Pravasan Pillay

No, who by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Max Moodley: 0024

Or Amputee Speech Bubble Pigs - Max

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0067

I was too tired to explain earlier, but I’ll try now:

Woke up yesterday with sore head and sore back and hallucinations all morning – which makes it sound like I had a good night but I just don’t know. Here’s what then happened: I ate some suspicious breakfast cereal and started driving to work. There is mist everywhere. Everywhere is misty. White, practically opaque mist. I can’t exaggerate this mist enough – yes, it was like a blanket.

And the further I go the more I forget about where I am, where I’m going. Things start to appear, such as: dark, deep lake spreading itself across the road in front of me, and illuminated cyclist, who is peddling forwards but seems to be moving backwards towards my bonnet. Honestly, if there is some sort of afterlife, this must be the journey you undertake to prove your worthiness of it. Throughout all of these visions I just closed my eyes and took them as a test of faith and drove right on through.

So eventually and in the end, I’m very disappointed to find myself parking the car at work, and going in and toiling through the day until the mist clears and nothing further happens.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Her poetry is impenetrable.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ex by Dashen Naicker

She puts the ex in existential angst.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Max Moodley: 0023

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0066

Early Draft – Letter 2

Dear James,

For me, talking to you is like talking to God, in that no-one ever answers.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Atheist Disco


Friday, August 20, 2010

Michelle Nair: 0002

Turkey Part 1

Turkey Part 2

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Weed by Rosemary Lombard

i know why the beach is wet
the sea weed

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Max Moodley: 0022

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0065

Today friends (I don’t know if you’ve noticed) life is a mixture of good and bad (as opposed to normally being neither one nor the other). For example, the smell in my room: I don’t know where it’s coming from, or what’s causing it. It might possibly be some bad food stuck down the back of my desk, or maybe something nasty caught in Allen’s beard – and that’s bad. But on the other hand it is quite a pleasant spicy smell, which is covering up the usual aroma of damp and mould – and that’s good.

Furthermore, today Jacques has finally allowed me to be in one of his movies (where I will be starring as complex but naïve Nurse Cornlocket, lines: “The tumour is malignant.” And, “Was that it? Was that love?”) – and that’s good. But in preparation for the role he has given me a haircut that I may never recover from. And that my friends, is so bad that it’s going to have to mean goodnight.

Monday, August 16, 2010


He swims sarcastically. He drowns normally.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Michelle Nair: 0001

Click on image or don't.

Tearoom Books Welcomes Michelle Nair

Tearoom Books welcomes Michelle Nair as a contributor. Michelle is 23, unemployed and spends most of her time on the internet. Her first set of contributions are screen caps of random chats she's had.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Press Play, Press Record by Mary Singh

Local resident Leon Moodley has begun work on a compilation album that will collect highlights of the vibrant cassette tape subculture that existed in Chatsworth twenty years ago. Moodley said that in the late eighties and early nineties teens in Montford were creating original content cassettes and exchanging them in a network of around 50 people.

“The home-recorded cassettes consisted of amateur music, rapping, poetry, comedy, plays and sound art. The tapes were called “Sixties” because they were predominantly recorded on C60 cassettes,” Moodley said.

Moodley, who is better known by his stage name of Max Moodley, is a Chatsworth-based magician and comedian and was himself part of the “Sixties” subculture. He said that the, as yet untitled, compilation will document an important part of Chatsworth’s alternative cultural history: “In all, over a hundred tapes were distributed. The sound quality on most wasn’t very good and the content itself was often insubstantial but there was a great deal of enthusiasm amongst the tape-makers.”

The subculture took off when one of Moodley’s friends fathers, a Durban dock worker, brought home a handful of bootleg tapes that he received from an American sailor: “The tapes contained material like rapping, prank phone calls and standup comedy. They were an immediate hit in Montford and a sort of ‘cargo cult’ grew around them. They were treated almost as talismanic objects. As we listened to them more, we began to imitate them and soon the first tape was recorded.”

According to Moodley, the honour of recording the first “Sixty” belongs to Lal Naidoo. Naidoo’s tape was a compendium of jokes that were popular at the time. Naidoo, a welder who lives in Bayview, said that he was proud of the distinction: “I collected the jokes I’d been hearing, mostly ones about Indians or ones told with an Indian accent and read them into my father’s tape deck. I was trying to make a standup tape but I didn’t have my own jokes. I showed it around, and then everybody wanted a copy.”

Moodley said that Naidoo’s tape catalyzed the tape-making. “What was interesting was that people soon grew tired of imitating the content and form of the American tapes. That’s when very interesting work began to appear.”

“One of my personal favourites is Marcus Govender’s “Tabla”. Marcus is a classically trained tabla player and created a 30 minute solo that was really mesmerizing, and very modern. He was about 13 when he made it. I plan to use a 10 minute section of his solo in the compilation. Other interesting work includes Ash Maharaj’s sound collages. Ash owned a portable recorder and would make these very clever sound juxtapositions. He used the pause button in a unique way.”

Chatsworth writer Pravasen Pillay is another of the tape-makers collected in the compilation: “Pravasan and I are good friends but I don’t think he’ll mind me saying that some of his tapes were a bit weird for a 12 year old. The one I’ll be sampling is called “Pillays Not Me” where he read out all the Pillays listed in the Durban telephone directory, which, as you can imagine, took a while.”

Pillay said he was pleased to be included in the compilation. “Leon was the glue that held the entire Sixties network together and no-one is better placed to curate a compilation of it.”

Moodley said that 20 different tape-makers will be represented in the compilation. He is currently raising funds to produce the album. Anyone who would like to help can email him at max.moodley@gmail.com

First published in The Chatsworth Mirror, 6 August 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Max Moodley: 0021