Friday, January 31, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Victoria Williams: 0234

His mother looked at me and said, “I know what sperm smells like you know.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fairness

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eva Jackson: 0068
































Christmas in Bathurst 

On a crossroads, set into a hill 40 minutes outside (inland from) Grahamstown, are two pubs. The Pig and Whistle, where white families sit and two-handedly eat their burgers, in the sunlight, in the festive season. And the Bathurst Arms, which is now temporarily closed. Further down the dust/tar road running past them both, are shops scattered along what feels more like a long collective driveway (though it is definitely going somewhere) than a town’s thoroughfare.

The words that characterise this place and are used to map your way are: The Toposcope (the lookout from which 1820 settlers surveyed – and apportioned out amongst themselves – the surrounding land). The Pig (shorthand for the pub). The powder magazine (a small stone building on the top of the hill that was used to store gunpowder). And the Big Pineapple. Wait, what?

In the midst of all this homey, country-road, not-quite-post colonial bliss, a little way outside town, there stands a 5-storey fibreglass pineapple. Go in its door and you’ll find what Dahl’s James might have been quite upset to find inside his giant peach: a pineapple-themed shop. The things on the handles of the teaspoons are pineapples. Those beaded things for your keyring are pineapples. Those preserves, those pencils, it’s pineapples all the way down. Unless you go up, and climb the rickety staircase for R10 (note: if doing this with small nephew pay attention to feet being put through gaps between steps). This self-guided tour provides insight into the history of pineapple farming in this here part of the world. Get to the top and you look out between spiky leaves and see your people smiling happily below at your immense achievement. Kids love this shit.

One night in 2011 I besieged the pineapple.

In December 2011 my siblings and I converged on Bathurst for family Christmas, our parents having moved there the year before. Everything requisite had happened – tree, tantrums, panettone. My small French/Swazi/Mozambican/possibly also Saffrican nephews had been given a gingerbread house complete with a candied santa, whom they christened “Sandton”. They began scrabbling at the house ferociously, putting Sandton in harm’s way. My mother extracted him from the chaos and emphasised that he was “Someone to look at, and later eat.” He was set aside.

Days went by, family members left again – for Durban (to finish off their Christmases with litchis), Cape Town, Swaziland, and France. Just a few were left. Just after Christmas, it was time for the Bathurst Pantomime. The Bathurst Pantomime used to be put on by the owner of the Bathurst Arms. It didn’t happen this year. In 2011, it was based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Snow White was a black woman, and a domestic worker in the plot, and the play was maybe a kind of comment on her being (in reality) one of the only black people living in the town. Everyone in the play was someone who lived in the ‘Hurst. Nolukhanya is the name of the township just outside of, paired with, Bathurst, where most of the black people doing work in Bathurst live. Tied together with it in strange dependance and alienation like the townships bordering Grahamstown. In the Panto, a group of performers were the equivalent of the Dwarves. They were bumblingly high on magic mushrooms in the plot – a reference to the fact that Bathurst was reputedly (though perhaps not any more) a go-to spot for this. At the end of the show, five women came onto stage. They brought chiffon scarves, and were dressed in chinking gold-embellished bright silk colours. They were of different sizes, and mostly had ample figures. In the half-light they performed a choreographed belly-dancing show, the scarves waving in front of the quietly settled audience with their beers.

Sometime after the show, friends and acquaintances of mine and I who had sat on damp logs during this, took beers out along the ‘main road’ to where its edges got dusty, and kept going. We eventually reached the Big Pineapple, and dark was falling, we looked out for anyone watching or following us across the field, as though we might be clapped in stocks for trespassing here. It was still separated from us by a moat – a moat of pineapple plants. And some other razor-long leaves. We ran over grass and jumped over strips of these. Then it got to a thicket of them and had to climb over, sending long scratches up legs. Eventually getting to the edifice itself. A friend cast himself upon it and didn’t get very high up, but the pineapple maybe got the message. He hung like a frog on a pineapple section. It was wanted. It was a fruity lighthouse for the ages, and we knew it. It had drainage pipes sticking out of it at certain points.

We ended up scaredy-catt-ly running along the dark roads back to my parents’ house, as just me walking back would have been dangerous (lantana is a bugger).

Bathurst is a place of vantage points. You can climb to the top and understand something, and understand very little.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Keegin Munsamy: 0001

Fragmented Adventures

Prologue

I open her bag. I know where to find things. I know exactly where the pen is and that folded piece of paper. I need it now. It’s time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Victoria Williams: 0233

These are the translations of the music of my feeble heart.
I’m a thief without a heart, looking to steal one.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Durban Is Kiff

Friday, January 17, 2014

Black Flowers by Gary Cummiskey

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Eva Jackson: 0067

Beetle shout

Beetle cried
With chitin or whatever they have,
But sounded like a tiny girning vocal cord
Made for scratching
And fastened its legs firmer
To avoid being thrown off
Far above the garden.
Beetle doesn’t hold out much hope
For good treatment,
And is completely immovable now.
Inconsolable beetle that will chide you
As you try to save him.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Internet Sentences: 0036

been trying to reach you...where are you?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Victoria Williams: 0232

I don’t wanna go upstairs, I wanna stay down here, with the hummus, and the darkness, and the flames.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fernando Pessoa

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Eva Jackson: 0066

Brienne 

See her swinging the sword
To and fro, to and fro
She’s at the point where their fists almost meet under the hilts
Grinding it back, she’s just a popular character
In a popular show.
She’s not a person
You could actually know.
Brienne, Brienne, kick his arse
And make your own way back to Tarth.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Piranhas

Swedes eat pickled herring.
Immigrants eat pickled piranha.
We all ride the tunnelbana.
And ignore one another.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Victoria Williams: 0231

The internet has only made it easier to be obscure.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Thrift SCORE #1

Dishwasher #8

Dishwasher #7

Scenes From An Alley

2014