Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Copy of New Coin, Two Poems and Three Reasons to Read them

Recently two of the poems I wrote for my honours collection 'her city visions' were published. The literary arts journal, New Coin, published in Grahamstown choose to print 'manning road' and 'she imagines' in their December 2009 issue. These are the first of many more I hope to publish, one day, or not.

And you should read them because:

1. Well, New Coin published them so obviously at least one other person out there other than me thinks they are any good
2. I like them.
3. By reading them you can put off whatever you should be doing for just a little longer.


manning road

the white sun at 12 o’clock slows
their digging, sawing,
drilling. sirens of hadedas
behind the pawpaw tree suspend
in wonder the arms at work.

men in red overalls with rolled
sleeves up to the wrist, cup their hands
at the open tap all afternoon,
one after the other until the cement
is muddy and the day dug.

only knuckles of sweat drop
in the collapsing heat. brown fingers
over the grips of rusted wheelbarrows and
spades come back each morning
to wake the house.


she imagines

his head would fit right into the bend of her elbow
where sticky skin is a creased page and his hair
a signature marked across that catches under her nails
she would look down at his head in a cradle to
see it thinned or grey and her own fingers soft with
washing liquid and years. at the

doorway she would still be with a slipper either
side of the glass had her forehead not witnessed each nights’
kiss above the steps with his back turned to the tea-lights
lighting the city to the indian ocean and the cargo ships
of women’s limbs curling around a map he had
navigated a time before they met. but with

cool lips the forehead becomes irrational
a child too tired for bed but tired nonetheless
especially on saturday afternoons when poems don’t
write themselves and visions of an extended arm with
two elbows at different angles and with two bodies
attached is easier to hope for. young too

with still so much to learn about what happens
behind the ribcage and to the spine when a finger becomes
tarnished by gold and how white really is not
at all but a dust sheet over water-stained furniture loved
by someone else who carved it faultless. in her

mind she takes a ferris wheel up to the tipping top
held back from falling by a rusted bar and
she waits to see each ride rode out by others played
in one’s and two’s some still with cowlicks and school-shoes
others with airport luggage. she sits

blue blanket hung to her knees with no pegs or hands to
keep it from slipping to her shins where a bruised picture of
silver high-heels with straps that snap and manicured
toenails pitches the scenery for an age she has tossed around
from the time she could first blow kisses.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Write and Don't Stop

On Saturday I went to a Time of the Writer writing workshop. It was good, interesting. It made me feel completely inadequate as a writer, of course, but that is to be expected when you find yourself in a room (a very small, brown room) with important real-life authors. Not just play play writers who write in blogs and on serviettes in Indian takeaways.

When the time came for the audience participation, I felt partly lame, mostly on my right side since I'm right-handed I guess. The instruction was clear: "Write and don't stop". Oh dear, I thought. But, I got over that (thanks to the soothing white noise of some unspecified light classical music) and ten minutes later I had a little something scrawled on my page. It's hardly anything, but here it is (cringe):

Untitled Story - Part I:

The hand that she followed down the path was her own.
To her surprise it took her all the way to the apple orchard at the edge of the icy river. She had once stuck her feet in that water just to feel them go numb. On finding a tree, her hand followed the rough bark all the way up and she stood. Arm in the air, fingers stretched and with lowered eyes, she stood. Then at the moment when she jumped, bending her knees as though doing high-jump, her hand clenched. Pull. Tug. Free at last. She felt the twig snap under the weight of her body.
Immensely proud of her accomplishment, she cried out: “What a fine apple I’ve found myself,” rubbing the hard fruit against the pleated skirt of her blue and white pinafore, “what a fine apple, indeed!”
She turned toward the streaming water, bent down and lowered her precious prize into the crystal to wash off the things that were hardly desirable for little girls to eat – the ants and such that tried to lay claim to her apple!
“Hey!” something spoke from below the surface of the water, “what do you think you’re doing here, missy?”
“How dare you?” The little girl was shocked.
“I’ve seen what you did just there.”
She quickly drew her hand from the water, “show yourself!”

Friday, March 12, 2010

Short (very short) Stories.

Challenge of the Day Complete. For now, anyway.

- She slept in their bed while he hid the nude photograph behind the least read book on the shelf.

- Peeling an orange with his thumbs, he nodded in the direction of her relentless talking wishing she would just stop.

- The nine-year-old stood shaking the air in front of the mirror with his right hand, “It’s good to finally meet you, Mr President.”

- The vibrating cellphone under the cushion made her jump, “I found it, I found it! I was sitting on it. Thanks, Mary.”

- Now is the time, he thought, while fingering the ring in his pocket as the plane landed on the tarmac behind the glass.

- “I had to make the decision and now she blames me,” he raised his voice, “she holds a grudge as tight as a bloody rosary, manipulative woman!”

Challenge of the Day.

Today I have set a challenge for myself. To write some short (very short) stories of under 140 characters. I saw this on another blog I enjoy ( and thought it might be fun.

Ok, so here are some examples I found:

- When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.

- It was cold on the bathroom floor on the day of my birth. Secret, untold, I now entered the world. Too much of my life resembles my birth.

- The wind picked up, and the balloon was away! Up in the air, grab – miss! Only cake left now.

- “You must wear underwear under your pants!”, insisted his mother. Clever at age five, and defiantly nude.

Now you get the idea, try some of your own and share them here. I'll post mine later.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This is new.

I never thought I would start a blog. Generally, I'm not that type of girl. But I am, however, the kind of girl who would like to say she's tried everything once, within reason of course (I don't really like the idea of permanent disfigurement or anything like that).

So although this is all new to me, I really love to write so I guess logically starting a blog makes sense (even if it is a little selfish and conceited). And if no-one reads this, at least I've had a place to write ... and it could be fun sending my musings and doodles into, well, wherever the internet wanders off to at night.