Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Victoria Williams: 0118

Roll down the window and ask the mayoress – how much darlin’?
(She’ll probably say yes.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beards: 0005

Friday, August 26, 2011

Little Prajna by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Publication From Dye Hard Press: Closer Than That by Gail Dendy

ISBN: 978-0-9869982-0-1

Gail Dendy is one of South Africa’s most unmistakable and unique literary voices. The singing quality of her poetry soars and swoops, transporting the reader into a world of glittering magical realism. In this book a moon ripens in the window ‘whole and lemony once more’, mothers express longing and love, the sun and moon argue, there are gypsy women, and a fantasy piece with Shakespearean characters. This book is truly alive, presented in language that ‘rings like a gong from here to the far end of the world’.

Gail Dendy has grown in stature as a poet … Her poems are intriguing and at times playful, and she is in complete control of her subtle lyrical gift and delicate technique. Gus Ferguson

Gail Dendy moves across the landscape of a remembered past, and fictionalises into imagined other lives … An important voice in South African poetry, Dendy’s words are delicately polished jewels. Arja Salafranca

Gail Dendy’s seventh collection is elegant, sensuous, intelligent and sensitive.
Michelle McGrane

I was delighted to publish your poems … Harold Pinter

Perfect bound, 72 pages.

Soon to be available in bookstores countrywide, estimated retail price R105, or available directly from the publisher at R85, including postage.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Victoria Williams: 0117

After the hypnotherapy, in the car, he said to her: ‘This is why God gave you inhibitions – because without them you are unbearable.’ Or ‘Maybe there’s a good reason God gave you inhibitions.’

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beards: 0004

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hangin' On by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Posters: 0001

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Max Moodley: 0065

What did the actress say to the bishop?

I should really stop talking to chess pieces.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Victoria Williams: 0116

The most accurate piece of childhood artwork: my father in a black cape, looking diabolical and stirring a cauldron.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beards: 0003

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Henning Pieterse on Shaggy by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay

In literary theory the interlinking terms parody, satire, persiflage and pastiche all, in one way or another, denote the sending up or inversion of existing texts and textual norms. All the stories in Shaggy are satirical in nature; they are also parodies. Satire is derived from satura – a dish filled with various types of fruit, also connotating saturation and satiety. These texts are characterised by the humorous way in which a weakness of a person or a flawed aspect of society is sent up. Parodies render a well-known text, person or situation absurd, by imitating characteristics of these persons, texts or situations in a comical fashion.

In each Shaggy story a different persona becomes the narrator: a retired comic/comedian offering words of advice to a novice; a director of the SABC faced with the conundrum of dealing with a reduction of spending on programming from R4500 per minute to R1-50; a useless lecturer addressing his class and trying to salvage, in an extremely ingratiating way, both his job and his students’ future; a very stupid jailbird planning an escape, a wannabee Marxist activist desperately trying to justify his ultra-capitalist tendencies to his comrades; a restaurateur with an extremely weird addiction; a chairperson of a writing circle confessing about his sojourns into South African satanism; a Bollywood actress being interviewed and displaying every cliché about her trade; a young inventor trying to sell his South Africanised version of the Rubik’s cube; a literally obsessive whistle blower addressing his local police station, and a certain Prof Alex Fitzpatrick, who goes on a lengthy discourse about the number four, in the last sketch, aptly called “The Foreword”.

These stories vary from quips to sometimes absurd and side-splitting puns, jokes and send-ups. For example, in a footnote to the discourse about the number four, we learn about Professor Doctor Heinz Mannheim:

“Mannheim was awarded his professorship in Linguistics at Letz University at the remarkable age of seven, but a severe stutter prevented him from taking up lecturing duties. Instead, he was given free reign in his writing and research. The name Mannheim was consequently to become intimately associated with fields as diverse as Infant Biology, Water Mechanics, and the then nascent field of Hide-And-Go-Seek Studies. The latter occupied much of the pre-pubescent professor’s research hours” (p 127-8).

The satirist’s weapons are mainly under- or overstatement, irony, and sometimes sarcasm, and all these elements are found in abundance in these stories, but never in a condescending way. The cudgel or the rapier may be employed in getting the message across and, wisely, the rapier is mainly used.

If you like Monty Python, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Robert Kirby and especially Woody Allen (Getting Even), you will love Shaggy. It provided me with lots of hoots, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spice Puns

I've given up on this one. The idea was a former A-list star anise reduced to acting in a b-grade slasher movie - a Faded Star Anise. I should really learn to keep my spice puns simple. ~ Max

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Victoria Williams: 0115

The vicar put a finger to his lips,
It was the journalist’s,
They kissed the candle-wicks into life,
The athlete’s onion tears,
And the nun blew her fringe away from her face,
Exhaling something for all of us.
I reach out, our eyes meet,
The crisp whisper of a brandy snap,
Goes unheard,
But then the director: No to-camera stuff in the dining room,
And I withdraw my fingertips from the screen.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beards: 0002

Saturday, August 6, 2011


What is it that ignorance is supposed to be again?

~ Danielle Naidoo

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shaggy: Side-splitting South African Short Stories

Review by Jonathan Amid

Title: Shaggy: 14 Rather Amusing Rambles
Author: Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay
Publisher: BK Publishing, Pretoria
ISBN: 9780620504584

In a country beset by crime, political sideshows, service delivery protests and escalating electricity prices there doesn’t always seem to be too much to laugh about, let alone the kind of laughter that makes your abdominal muscles (that you didn’t know existed) contract and contort and your cheeks start to tickle with tears of joy. Into this seeming void step Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay, who have just released their first collection of 14 short stories, entitled Shaggy: 14 Rather Amusing Rambles. The title in itself did not prepare me one bit for the riotous, rollicking “rambles” I was about to encounter, nor did it give any real hint of its completely overblown yet often scintillating mix of razor-sharp wit, a dry-as-dust tone and a willingness to engage the reader on an intellectual level.

What Krueger and Pillay set out to do with Shaggy is completely explode the conventions and form of the traditional shaggy-dog tale, with its usual long-winded narration and anti-climactic punchline mutated here into 14 short, sharp, seriously funny monologues set forth from the mouths of a motley crew of “scheming misanthropes whose speeches are full of sound and fury, signifying very little”.

Among this “rogues gallery” we find “manipulative, ingratiating, deluded, egotistical, inauthentic, spiteful narcissists” that all operate in Margate of all places, letting loose outlandish, eccentric and mercifully short spurts of highly imaginative verbal defecation. Some of the most memorable and ridiculous characters (often megalomaniacal and mischievous) are an SABC executive that spins a hilarious web of codswallop around the financial woes of the enterprise; a Picasso-wannabe conceptual artist that extols the virtues of the culinary as well as the corporeal; a brilliantly sketched film director of fatuous fluff who sees himself as an avant-garde auteur completely misunderstood by the censors; a Cambodian woman both compulsive and obsessive about washing dishes, despite her ownership of cosmetics empire Khmer Rouge with its arch rivals Ku Klux Glam (LOL!); and a completely ludicrous Satanist hell-bent on selling timeshare.

To say that these short stories present a shaggy and scraggly collection of characters that do little but “talk shit” would be to sell Krueger and Pillay’s work short. Through the “rambles” of these characters the authors devilishly deconstruct the quotidian and mundane, leaving the reader with little desire to breathe before the next over-the-top tale. Not a single story is without tremendously fine humour, a feather-light touch and a rib-tickling turn of phrase. If variety is the spice of life then humour is surely not far behind, and with this cracking collection Krueger and Pillay have established themselves as a brave new voice deserving of an appreciative audience.

First published on Litnet.

Max Moodley: 0064

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Victoria Williams: 0114

Supermarket Musings

5. To the customers who greet the cashier by saying: ‘You look bored!’ Remember: you are not an alternative to boredom, merely a continuation of it.