Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Little Known Tale of the Princess and the Unicorn

In a galaxy far far away on Christmas day
A baby princess will be born
With penguins and lizards she’ll like to play
And anything served with corn
One day in a field, in a big pile of hay
She’ll be found by a unicorn
She’ll be instantly smitten and ask it to stay
And mount her with its horn
Just like that in the sunny month of May
Her virginity will be forlorn
And from then on, as told in a fairytale
The princess will work in porn

Friday, January 29, 2010


He licks stamps longer than is necessary.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0036

Dear Prava,

Don’t go to job interviews with open wounds.
You can have that one for free.



Dear Vickie,

Interviewers can be so closed minded.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Russ Meyer's Shakespeare

As You Like Tits
Much Udders About Nothing
King Leer
Loves Labour's Bust
Nice Pericles
All's Well That Swells Well
42DD: Measure for Measure
Titties Andronicus
Henry VV
Faster, Macbeth! Kill! Kill!

Russ Meyer's Wikipedia Article

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Robert Berold on Romancing the Dead

Gary Cummiskey's Romancing the Dead is a 20 page collection of dream fragments and images -- more prose poems than stories -- which orbit round the confused intersections of death and sex. While the content is dark, frustrated, alienated and at times shocking, the texture of the writing is innocent, straightforward and non-egotistical. I hope Cummiskey will take this direction further into longer narrative forms. Thanks to Tearoom Books for showing how attractive very short books (chapbooks) can be. From both writer and publisher -- more please!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hellhound At Our Door

A stray hellhound (pictured) has been waiting outside Tearoom Book's door for the past two weeks, alternatively demanding scraps and "there's a good boys". Adoption papers have been filed. If you know the owner please drop us a line at It responds to the names "Frenchie" and "Lefty".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Her personality should have a 160 character limit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0035

Judith is getting concerned. Actually, Judith has only just arrived on the scene, and neither of us is quite sure what to do with the other yet.

This is what Judith knows:

She knows I live in the Theology section of the public library. I eat a lot of maple fudge while I leaf through books on Buddhism and make insightful notes in the margins. I don’t want to die in the same ways that I have before. I probably don’t dress myself, although Judith can’t imagine who would inflict such an outfit on another human being. She knows, because I told her, that I have been sad and wasted long enough – it’s time for another horrible, scarring, mutually abusive relationship.

She thinks I am expecting too much of her. Maybe she’s right.

Maybe I don’t want to make go to Judith for refuge one of my commandments just yet.

But I know that she got a 2-for-1 deal on her last abortion – they terminated the pregnancy and lasered her ex-boyfriend’s name from her shoulder at the same time – and I would like to know more about this clinic.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review of Gary Cummiskey's Romancing the Dead by Kobus Moolman

With the appetite of a new razor blade, Gary Cummiskey’s latest collection Romancing the Dead (Tearoom Books, Durban), slices through pretence and politeness. It is tough writing. It is uncomfortable. In your face. Tough and uncomfortable and in your face the way Lesego Rampolokeng is, or Cormac McCarthy, in his early novels – Child of God and Outer Dark.

But unlike these two authors, Cummiskey’s eye and ear are far too world-wise (and weary) to take themselves very seriously. He knows that it is through ‘sleeping on a razorblade’ that he has acquired his poetic sensibility, but also admits that he likes his ‘reality stirred with milk and honey’.

So, a contradiction. A paradox that runs through all of his writing: beauty and horror in the same breath; intense lyricism and feverish crudity. And in a truly exceptional poem like “Blue just like the Sky”, he pulls this tension off with great skill. It is a poem that baffles the reader, and at the same time lures them on to continue discovering more and deeper levels of reality and imagination. How else are we to approach my favourite lines, ‘Do not mix with murdered sheep or with the remains of children. The jet plane there is easy to swallow’, except by disassembling our narrative minds, and reading instead with eyes that look at the world slantways?

Romancing the Dead is the second book brought out by Tearoom Books, an independent press in Durban. Run by Pravasan Pillay and Jenny Kellerman-Pillay it aims, according to its blurb, to ‘publish pamphlets of contemporary poetry, fiction, non-fiction and humour’.

Tearoom Book’s first publication was Glumlazi by Pravasan Pillay, a collection of off-the-wall, but trenchant, three-line and two-line poems. Hooray for small publishers, I say. They are often the only ones brave (or crazy) enough to take on work as provocative and uncomfortable as Cummiskey’s latest.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


She keeps secrets like the English keep colonies.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Victoria Williams: 0034

Oh Coca-Cola, I am so wired and it’s all your fault. Why can’t my habits be more manly and serious? Why do I have to be addicted to you, you bottled pansy-water? Even the smokers are laughing at me. Why did I pay an extra 10p for your ‘Limited Edition Coca-Cola with Lemon’ flavour? You know I love you with a slice of lemon (frankly, we all know I just love lemons), but your citric flavourings are not ‘the real thing’. You to me: like being kissed by a princess, then I turn into the frog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay in A Look Away #13

"A Look Away issue 13 out now!

The wait is over! We're proud to present issue 13 of the quarterly
publication A Look Away magazine. Definitely the best issue to date, issue 13 showcases both international and developing South African artists, designers, writers, musicians and performing artists.

Articles such as "Space to Grow" and "Noisewomb" showcase exhibitions of varying and startling local and international talent. Pravasan Pillay and Anton Krueger's short story "Wednesday Evening" shocks you to the core, but also promises a brief episode of twisted pleasure in your existence. Performing artists are given their due in reviews of last year's Krekvars Festival, as are four University of Pretoria design students who won the only Gold Loerie in the students' category at last year's Loerie Awards. We also get some insight into what makes new-metal band Urban Vitamin tick.

Get your copy of A Look Away issue 13 now. Check out our Facebook page for your nearest stockist and a preview of this issue's cover.

You'll only be sorry if you don't get it!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tearoom Books Welcomes Ashley Jewnarain

Tearoom Books is pleased to welcome the work of Durban-based artist Ashley Jewnarain to our little corner of the web.

Bukkake Kat by Ashley Jewnarain

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Divan by Jenny Kellerman Pillay

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Little Extra Victoria Williams for the New Year

A double post of Victoria Williams to start the new year. Don't say I never get you anything.

Victoria Williams: 0033

Dear 2006,

Dramatically reduce caffeine intake.
Eat something of nutritional value once in a while.
Drink more water.

Clearer skin.
Cleaner conscience.
Some lovin?

Victoria Williams: 0032

Apparently Memories

I remember Raz. Who wouldn't? Rich in words, he could produce a bouquet of flowery phrases from his waistcoat when he felt the situation demanded it.

Linda Stenman on Glumlazi

Glumlazi (Tearoom Books, 2009) is the first collection of poems from Pravasan Pillay. The format is more booklet than book, and the poems are very short.

I was a bit nervous when I started reading Glumlazi, since this is my first review copy. I was afraid that I wouldn't like the poems and would have to write a one-star review (despite the generosity of Tearoom Books). I worried for no reason. Pravasan Pillay's poems are unique - and really good.

Some of the poems remind me of Oscar Wilde's witticisms. Some of them are almost zenlike in an everyday manner. And some are filled with simplicity and sadness. You could read one each day and enjoy it until the next day.

I say: ****(*)

First published on Linda Loves Books