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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Aryan Kaganof killed by police

Howl Marikana


And they cried with a loud voice, saying,
How long, O Lord, holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the earth? (Rev. 6:10)


Colours were simpler then. Meant
less. At least it seemed that way. Before the
burning. Millions of colours. Burnt alive. At the stake.
Roasted because of their toxicity. Poisonous colours. Then
the beginning. Again. After the end. Fewer colours. But
meaning more. 2300 colours. All that was left. After
the colourcaust. Colour burning. Only the strong
colours survived. Pure. Survival all that

ANDRIES NTSHENYEHO killed by police.

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Anacoluthon: Poetry Illustrated by Dick Tuinder

Anacoluthon: 25 new poems accompanied by delightful illustrations.

The illustrations are by Dick Tuinder.

The poems are mine.

The book is available at



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Fire Word Friday

Fire Word Friday

don’t miss it

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review: gary cummiskey’s romancing the dead

Romancing the Deadpravasan pillay’s tearoom books has published the chapbook of the year.

there’s no escaping it.

the moment you see gary cummiskey’s face you start screaming


there is fire in the enema of art

he put it there


not yet free of the dream nor of the memory of when you came to me not wearing panties beneath your light summer dress

but the moment you got on top of me and you saw my face you started screaming

as far as south africa is concerned a reason for gary cummiskey’s neglect may stem from the fact that he spent almost 20 years in randburg, and by the time he returned to settle down in sandton, the political situation had changed and so cummiskey’s surrealist work seemed out of place. thus gary had become a marginalised figure as a result of poth psychogeographical and cultural factors.

he writes in “european writers” “some people became poets after corresponding with european writers. i became a poet after sleeping on a razorblade.”

and this means that gary is sharp.

he’s busy looking for a magic wand – no strings attached.

another problem that may account for the relative obscurity of gary’s work is the difficulty of placing it within the various ‘movement’ categorisations. while romancing the dead contains a number of poems dealing with the colonial city scene in joburg, the rest of his work does not particularly reflect the social context in which it was created.

in the end it boils down to the “painting”:

i am hungry and dirty.
my feet stink.
i want to brush my teeth.

however, it can also not be ignored that cummiskey’s illness sometimes made him an extremely difficult person, and most publishers and editors were reluctant to deal with him. for this reason alone pravasan pillay must be commended. despite there being no physical attraction pillay liked cummiskey as a friend.

gary was aware of his outsider status, and openly declared that he did not wish to fit in with any particular group or category. but there is a difference between being an outside and being marginalised to the point of neglect – and cummiskey’s work is neglected. (although stephen gray would probably not agree).

romancing the dead is a funeral ceremony and all gary’s sleeping relatives sit on the floor of the bathroom around the bath where his corpse is laid. once the sleepers have been given the pills to swallow when you left you took them out from your handbag and slipped them back on.

some people become poets after sleeping with european writers. gary cummiskey is a razorblade. very sharp.

aryan kaganof

Book details

this post originally appeared at kagablog

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Who Was Sinclair Beiles?

Who Was Sinclair Beiles?

eventually one has to love gary cummiskey. he does not give up. he’s the kind of irascible soul that always draws trouble. something about his pugnacious nature attracts difficulties. if it can go wrong at a printer it will. twice. gary’s often stuck in traffic. the waiter dusts more flies into his soup. but unlike most people you’ve ever met who share this streak of disaster-attraction – cummiskey hasn’t got it in him to throw in the towel. you would have thought after years of publishing small press editions to little or no acclaim from the precarious south african literature “establishment” that gary would see the light and stop bothering. thank the gods he’s not that sort of bloke. gary persists. his persistency is the stuff of local literary legend. green dragon 6 is the best edition of his literary journal to date. and this volume about the late yeoville beat poet sinclair beiles is worth its weight in genetically modified stem cells. it keeps beiles alive. a collection of essays by the likes of alan finlay, fred devries, co-editor eva kowalska and gary himself, the book sheds shards of splintered, diffused and hazy light on the figure of beiles whose reputation is based largely on memories of his surly frame sitting truculently outside coffee society in rockey street, chain smoking irritably – has anyone ever read any of his poems?

in yeoville in 1994 to film “nice to meet you, please don’t rape me” i was introduced to beiles by my co-screenwriter peter j. morris, himself an equally taciturn, sour-bellied type. the two of them found things to grumble about. it was impossible for me to talk to beiles. he just seemed too far gone in a vinegary disposition exacerbated by the brutal disappointment of never having ‘made it’ (whatever that means to a poet). but this volume opens the man up. dawie malan’s exquisite essay “the trouble with sinclair beiles” resuscitates the poet, gives him a fragile, vulnerable soul – and reveals librarian dawie to be one of our most sensitive writers.

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Three Poems

3 Poems by Aryan Kaganof

logged out

all we have in common now
are 3 mutual friends
i can still hear you
telling me that i
spend too
at the coffin
lid and that our
love would never end
and don’t you think that’s
kind of rich now babe, now that
all we have left in common are 3 mutual friends

what it is is that you remind me of someone i used to be
but the trick i learned is that just by thinking it doesn’t make it so
the first day we made love we drove around naked in my car
it wasn’t a statement, it felt like the right thing to do
then later that night at the bo you went a little
crazy and i became the man who fell in love
with the moon. it was my first time in
forever and i decided that that’s a
good place to be, but not alone,
and you only have to live long
enough to understand lon-
gevity. you must be
asking yourself
why i need
this poem
don’t you
know if
it isn’t
it never happened
well at least that’s the
line i keep repeating to myself
while i watch your colours fading
ah but it’s taking so long, you always
had all the colours this man ever wanted
well it’s half past four now i have to go
got a list of chores that need to be
done. guess i won’t call you when
next i’m in the moon, it’s too
late for that, all we have in
common now are three
mutual friends

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“For centuries a small number of writers were confronted by many thousands of readers. This changed toward the end of the last century. With the increasing extension of the press, which kept placing new political, religious, scientific, professional, and local organs before the readers, an increasing number of readers became writers – at first, occasional ones. It began with the daily press opening to its readers space for “letters to the editor.” And today there is hardly a gainfully employed European who could not, in principle, find an opportunity to publish somewhere or other comments on his work, grievances, documentary reports, or that sort of thing. Thus, the distinction between author and public is about to lose its basic character. The difference becomes merely functional; it may vary from case to case. At any moment the reader is ready to turn into a writer.” Walter Benjamin, 1936

great art daily

over 150 contributors:

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Mphutlane wa Bofelo Reviews Isabella Motadinyane’s Bella

Belladon’t miss these great book reviews by mphutlane wa bofelo on kagablog — like this one of bella by isabella motadinyane:


AUTHOR: Isabella Motadinyane

PUBLISHER: Botsotso Publishing

REVIEWER: Mphutlane wa Bofelo

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Gary Cummiskey on Independent Publishing

important article on independent publishing in sa – by gary cummiskey – on kagablog:

They are passionate about being able to make sure that strange, odd, misunderstood, peculiar, yet important, voices don’t get overlooked, writes Gary Cummiskey


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Welcome to the Pine Slopes Publications Blog

KagatrooperHi there. Welcome to the Pine Slopes Publications blog that BOOK SA has so kindly hosted.

Keep coming back to this address for news about books we are going to publish or have already published. This way YOU get to read ‘em before THEY get to burn ‘em!

See our About page for a link to the Pine Slopes catalogue. Meanwhile, here’s info on a book of poems, die plesier parade by the inimitable Maritz van den Berg; and a review of Lesego Rampolokeng’s blackheart on Kush Khoza’s kulcha portal:


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