Friday, December 6, 2013

Back in 2014

The Tearoom Books blog will be back in the New Year. Thanks as always to our fantastic regular contributors: cherry bomb, Gary Cummiskey, Eva Jackson, Max Moodley, Jenny Kellerman Pillay and Victoria Williams. Props also to our guest contributors.

Gary Cummiskey and Arja Salafranca At The Launch of Off-ramp

Photo: Rene Bohnen

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0035

send your:


Source: Junk Mail

cherry bomb: 0034

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0230

I once broke up with a guy via interpretive dance.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Stockholm Stadsbibliotek

Shaggy Available to Order

To order your hot off the press copy of these ironic monologues with their shiny new cover contact

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0034

I have a business proposar to discuss. Please,
let me know if this
email is valid.

Source: Junk Mail

Gary Cummiskey Appointed New Coin Editor

Grahamstown, 13th November 2013: Well-known South African poet and publisher, Gary Cummiskey, is to become the editor of poetry magazine New Coin from 2014, taking over from this year’s guest editor, Vonani Bila. A widely published writer, Cummiskey is based in Johannesburg where he runs Dye Hard Press and a number of other poetry projects.

Cummiskey’s poetry and short stories have been featured extensively in literary journals both locally and overseas for the past 20 years.  He founded Dye Hard Press in 1994 specifically to give a platform to new voices, and has since published over thirty titles from local poets. He sees his New Coin editorship as a fresh opportunity to promote the kind of challenging, original work that keeps South African poetry alive and awake:

“A poetry that is restricted and does not offer the reader anything new adds to the view of poetry as something stuffy and dead that has no resonance with contemporary readers and makes publishers even less likely to take a chance on it.  A journal such as New Coin, which has always focused on writing that is willing to break out of the mould and take risks, is an essential vehicle to continue to promote and offer poetry as a form worthy of attention and admiration.”

New Coin was founded in 1965 by Guy Butler and Ruth Harnett and is published twice a year by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA) at Rhodes University.  Cummiskey will work with an editorial board made up of the four poets who teach on the Rhodes MA in Creative Writing course: Mxolisi Nyezwa, Brian Walter, Joan Metelerkamp and Robert Berold – the last two of whom have edited New Coin in the past.

Berold comments: “Gary Cummiskey has a good grasp of the range of voices and sub-cultures that make up South African poetry in English.  His approach to publishing is the only way to keep poetry vital.  His appointment is good news for South African poetry.”

Subscribe now to get both the June and December 2013 issues of New Coin for R170. Email or call 046 603 8565.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Yesterday's Dream by Gary Cummiskey

Internet Sentences: 0033

Can i have your assistance for.
Can i have your assistance for.

Source: Junk Mail

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Peculiar Revival

cherry bomb: 0033

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0229

Sylvia von Harden

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0032

Hiya How are you currently doing? I enjoy your page. Want to see my non-public pics?

Source: Junk Mail

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

cherry bomb: 0032

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0228

Custine, I’m not sure. Portrayed as lonely and unsuccessful in writing. A half-man of letters. An outsider in Paris. Was praised by Balzac for writing on Spain, and produced a book about Russia for which he is predominantly remembered. –Notes from book- An unnamed character in Russian Ark.

Sylvia von Harden, I known even less of; had seen her portrait many times before I came across her name. According to her Wikipedia page, a journalist and poet, self-exiled to Britain in 1933 where she continued writing but without as much success. An homage is made in Cabaret. I took her photograph to the hairdressers.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0031


Source: Junk Mail

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

cherry bomb: 0031

Victoria Williams: 0227

Just shut up and give me a blowjob – thought Mr. Darcy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Viaggio In Italia

"It’s this suggested crisis of language, the breakdown that occurs when we consider all the possibilities, the lack of forward momentum, that stopped me from really becoming a writer. The books I wrote I think all suffer from the problem of incredulity, not so much that the readers could not believe them, but that I could not believe them. This is a poor position for an author to start out from. Eventually I realized that my writing was all a possible position and not THE position and this defeated me, so I stopped. For this reason I love music so much. Being in the music allows for the simultaneity of all positions, there is no linguistic demand for the either/or-ness of meaning, something that words a priori must have if reading/communicating is going to have any value. To put it short I wanted to use words musically but did not want to tie them down to their meanings. The words took this as a betrayal of their function and so the Muse left me. The song »Holocaust« is a kind of end point. It doesn’t get much grimmer in the possibility of depicting what heroin does to a body. And yet it is immensely beautiful. This is the turn that is possible in music. The highest poetry aspires to this immensely paradoxical fulfillment of contradiction that is Truth."

More here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0226

 [The note left on the bedside table said: you are a charming drunk]
The bartender said: you’ve had enough
(He’s a fellow whose judgement you can trust)
No money left on the pillow ‘for services rendered’
Instead the note says: you are a charming drunk
Not a cheque made out to an escort agency
(Must have been a case of mistaken identity...
I’m partly flattered –
Won’t you marry me?)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Shaggy Reprint and New Cover

BK Publishing Press Release: Shaggy splashes out with a second print run and a brand new cover

Since it was first published in 2011, Shaggy: 14 Rather Amusing Rambles by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay has garnered excellent reviews. This ingenious new take on the shaggy dog story has had readers laughing nationwide. The first run has sold out and so we’ve been back to the printers – this time with a fresh new cover that has already caught the attention of readers at the the Frankfurt Book Fair, where we sold out all the stock we’d brought along.

If you haven't already indulged in Krueger and Pillay's distinctly dry South African humour, here’s a taste of what to expect from this idiosyncratic duo:

“If you like Monty Python, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Robert Kirby and especially Woody Allen's Getting Even, you will love Shaggy. It provided me with loads of laughter.” Henning Pieterse, winner of the Hertzog Prize

“Satirical, whacky, and at times outright absurd... Krueger and Pillay don't so much skewer South African culture as they gently, yet doggedly, needle our politically over-sensitive psyches.” Ben Greaves, The Oppidan Press

“With this cracking collection Krueger and Pillay have established themselves as a brave new voice deserving of an appreciative audience.” Jonathan Amid, LitNet

To order your hot off the press copy of these ironic monologues with their shiny new cover contact

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0064

Google Earth

The paddling pools are like the mandelbrot
Set. The waves are finished rendering, they just look
Like that, fragmented as the foam overlaps
And the piers cut out into the sea.
The swells are truly regular. Truthful
Indented like a net over which
A CGI/satellite skin is laid of photographed
Constructed low dimples for drowning.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0225

Today is cancer Friday. Light up.
Can you now get cancer from sex?
Not sex in general, but sex with you possibly.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0030

I hope i can trust you with
I hope i can trust you with

Source: Junk Mail

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Impulse by Gary Cummiskey

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0063

We are two tightrope walkers

We are two tightrope walkers
On either side of – a string – a pole – a solid wall – a filament.
It shudders from state to state, it protects
From mosquitoes

cherry bomb: 0030

Monday, October 21, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0224

When you think, I mean when you hear your own voice in your head, does it have a lisp?
I couldn’t help over-reading your text conversation... how come you don’t text with a lisp?
Ok, I’m sorry for being mean. I got picked on a lot in high school.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Title From Dye Hard Press: Off-ramp by Gary Cummiskey

Off-ramp is the debut short fiction collection of Gary Cummiskey and consists of ten stories often characterised by a surreal eroticism. Set mainly in contemporary South Africa, the book opens with a young man’s hallucinatory encounter with a derelict in a Johannesburg street; there is a couple’s visit to a sinister Free State farm; an editor who reluctantly agrees to meet an aspiring woman writer at midnight; two young men who go out on a drinking spree as the country teeters on civil war; a restless teenager who stalks an unknown woman; and a middle-aged academic who engages in an obsessive, sadistic relationship with a prostitute.

The stories in this startling collection offer a vision of individuals who are slowly being devoured by paranoia and absurdity. Beyond the off-ramp lies a pervasive, heavy dread and an unnameable, perhaps unknowable fear. Cummiskey creates an off-kilter reality that is both disturbing and compelling.

140 pages.
ISBN: 978-0-9869982-3-2
Estimated retail price: R145.00

Friday, October 18, 2013

Keep On Riding by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0062


I stood naked and the dog
Came to me in the shower,
Having snapped its chain
Pulling tail behind like a fan.
The dog
Who gamed gamely with other dogs
But was not permitted to go loose
Because it was a she, an avid she
Capable of straining until the links holding her to the bench
Opened begrudgingly and she split.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

cherry bomb: 0029

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0223

The ruins of a poem,
Sand sweeps in,
I’ll see her wearing beads on her brow,
A crown of silver discs,
We’ll clean out the palace.
Him destined to wait,
Me destined to pine,
Mr. Marshall even though,
You’re nearly 100,
You’ve still left a girl,
Staring an asp in the face,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Max Moodley: 0074

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0061


Cheese and fish are notorious bedfellows.
This floor is washed constantly, like Lady Macbeth’s hands, it’s
Learn to be patronising, it’s a very useful skill.
Pick it up off the floor and eat it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

cherry bomb: 0028

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0222

Dear J,
I’ve been watching Burnt by the Sun. The piano is a very important character in the film, as it has been in all of our lives. Mitya, the pianist is loquacious but it’s the music he plays that is often the subtext of a scene. There are also many shots of the back of people’s heads. It’s rather like The Odyssey in that Mitya returns to his master’s home 10 years after being exiled and finds someone else married to his love. He too is disguised as an old man. There are also burning orbs that appear throughout the film – they resemble little suns. I still don’t quite understand them – I think they’re alluding to a certain kind of cosmology where underlying human feelings are played out in the atmosphere.
Anyway Pete has a bacterial infection on his lip. We’re not supposed to kiss on the mouth, which doesn’t leave us with many options. Or am I not being imaginative enough?
Write back quicker than last time. People in olden times could spend half their lives waiting for letters you know.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Max Moodley: 0073

Friday, October 4, 2013

Boogie-woogie by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0060

Ride from Pidurangala

Vehicles in the dark, in the parkland
At roadside, lights blazing, lines of people
Homes away from home, stopping at Buddhas
Behind glass like gracious Sleeping Beauty
To bless them at festival.
Rice paddy sits still on its own, in the nearly dark
You can imagine sinking your feet into it while the
Party continues and the white flowers cluster in the bush.
We run along the train track in the night.
The balla (dog) is always nursing itself and sensitive to love.
It will curl in the middle of the dirt road, black, or growl
With friends at a wandura (monkey) at an ancient site.
Some of the dogs have little nips taken out of their backs
In a fight with another one. They protect their friends and cultivate their enemies.
The bells are ringing – it is a train.
A man standing in the dark leaning to one side looks like a clenched fist
His shirt stripes are veins and wrist, his shoulders knuckles.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

cherry bomb: 0027

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0221

[SCRAPBOOK: January 9th 1349: Suspected of causing bubonic plague, the entire Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland is incinerated.]

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0029

Do you wish to become rich due to war? It`s perfect time to make it!

Source: Junk Mail

Max Moodley: 0072

Friday, September 27, 2013

On Land by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0059


She glanced
Down and then
Back up as if she were
A receptionist welcoming
The sea to a meeting.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0028

It`s your turn to make money on war!!! It`s the very time to get this done.

Source: Junk Mail

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0220

Movie night with Alan who turns the sound off and wants us to read the subtitles and appreciate the screenplay ‘on a whole other level’... Ok, these aren’t even in latin alphabet. All the nights alone in the flat. Now one night with company in the flat. So, restless, having one of my theatrical panic attacks. He says, sand down those spots on your face and cake on some powder, and I might take you out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Million-Year-Girl

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0027

Do you want to earn money on armed conflicts? It`s perfect time to realize your plans!

Source: Junk Mail

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

cherry bomb: 0026

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0219

Birthday (unfinished)

And I took the scissors,
And I tied the ribbon,
And I turned on the gas,
And I opened the oven,
And I struck the match

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Friday, September 13, 2013

Let's Hope by Gary Cummiskey

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0026

You can make money on war!!! It`s right time to get this done!!!

Source: Junk Mail

cherry bomb: 0025

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0218

I spent all my money buying drugs for your children, then stood outside and watched through the window.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Friday, September 6, 2013

Coded Sleep by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0025

Are you interested in enriching yourself by means of war? It`s perfect time to make it!!!

Source: Junk Mail

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

cherry bomb: 0024

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0217

I was scared of moths until you told me how,
One flew into your nightgown,
And fluttered its wings against your bare breasts hanging down;
That was when I discovered that breasts are poetical.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0058

Got Moves

Our garage door was left unlatched.
We parked on kerb, we parked on patch
Of grass. Once.
You watched all this with great attent
Then tried to put a dent
In our happies. Long and short of it,
You spoke up at the body corporate –

Whence such gusts of censure come –
That all of us have been struck dumb,
Like a special move by a Pokemon.

You think we will not well survive this season:
That one could find us, summer, wrinkled raisins.
But that is unreason. Expect the unexpected

-- Pikachu.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

cherry bomb: 0023

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0216

I’m not qualified to give advice on sexual health. But she is...

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Skin Area by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Internet Sentences: 0024

You have been picked to claim the sum pay out of 750,00.00 in jumbo.

Source: Junk Mail

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Poetry and prose by South African women. Collage and compilation by Julia Grey.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Victoria Williams: 0215

Upstairs they’re breaking the door while I’m in the cellar bath.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eva Jackson: 0057