Fall 2005 Issue

Summer 2005 Issue

Spring 2005 Issue

Autumn/Winter 2005 Issue

Summer 2004 Issue

Winter 2004 Issue

Summer 2003 Issue

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


True Story

I’m sitting at the bar when
In walks this guy with a slit throat
Bleeding like you can’t believe
He pulls up the stool next to mine
Orders a double Jameson
Barman says to him
“Why aren’t you dead yet?”
He grins
“I’m not the dying type.”

Tombstone Dues

I woke up at nine but stayed in bed
until after eleven
on the morning of
The Beginning Of The End.
I did not know it then
I was thinking about my baby,
how far away she was.

Then the phone rang, Big Al on the line
With a stolen car he wanted to sell me.
Thanks Al but I’m not buying.
Then the phone rang again,
Eugene on the line with a stolen computer he
wanted to sell me.
Thanks Gene, but I’m not buying.
All I really wanted to buy was a
Tombstone for my dead dad’s grave.
Nobody in Joburg had a stolen
Tombstone to sell me.
Mannie The Kishke did some calls,
got me the cheapest deal on a brand new Tombstone.

I didn’t bother showering, walked slowly
down to Four Ways Mall in socks and sandals.
Deposited R4261,44 into Mannie’s account
Filled in the depositor’s name and/or reference
With the Tombstone Dues.

By now it was after twelve, Yahoo was down
so I walked along Granite Road up to the Spa,
turned right into Uranium. Stopped in at Exit
Redemption where Bonnie Prince Billy gave me a Coke
for free. Then I footed it back through to
Fourways Crossing, caught Boxcar Willie’s
eye at the escalator. He was looking for work
but I hadn’t any. Gave him two rand.
Continued walking.
There was the smell of veld fire in the air,
the sound of sirens. I carried on walking.
Round the corner at the Pine Slopes Spa
there’s Blind Willie Johnson again. This time
he’s got a number to call for work
depressionist painting. No phone to call on.
His buddies in a throng, milling around.
I said, c’mon, let’s go phone at the BP.
When we got to the BP I broke a twenty,
phoned Anne Boleyn with my best voice on;
told her Willie Wonka was reliable.
She said she’d give him R60 a day for diverse
painting and odd jobsing. Then the five of us
went for a celebration at Colonel Saunders’
Drive-Thru Funeral parlour.

It was Willie Bobo and Harrison Ford
and Frank Harris and S’Busiso the Zulu and me.
I took their names down in my little black book
where I keep all the information for the Big Guy.
Then I heard a laugh from the table adjacent.
Sweet voice from heaven said
“take my name too.”
Her name was Emma.
She hadn’t read Jane Austen yet,
but she’d seen the movie.
It must have been 2:30pm when we met.
Her mother came to fetch her at three.

I left Kentucky, waved goodbye to Willie,
Harris, Frank and S’Busiso the Zulu.
Walked home.

Got a call from Mannie The Knuckle

“Thanks for the money.”

Then he said,

a plane
of the

I looked at my clock.
It was three fifteen, Joburg local time.
I was glad I didn’t have a tv.

I slept for a while.
Got up at five.
Walked back to the Spa
bought a bottle of Simonsvlei Shiraz,
drank it until it was empty.

Started a fire with scraps of furniture.
Listened to the radio.
Got a call from my baby in Boston.
She was crying.
“Whole world is busy killing and dying.”

Called her back,
told her she had a man she could rely on.

It’s funny how everything banal takes on
symbolic meanings
when the world’s about to end.

I sat down and typed this story.

Hey Big Guy,
don’t forget I’ve paid my Tombstone Dues.
Got the slip to prove it.


the whole damn thing was bullshit
everybody in the bar
wanting numbing
what a disaster
and the applause thereafter
our father
who art unplayable
out of order
your name unsayable
random notes that scared me
as much as the empty
spaces that filled the
so-called communications
between the adults
yes, summertime was easy

except for the bleeding

Aryan Kaganof drives a 1962 straight-six automatic Valiant 200. He shoots Glock 19. His most recent public performance was at Poetry Africa in Durban, October 2005. 
His most recent collection is entitled jou ma se poems (Pine Slopes Publications, ISBN 0-9584874—9-9) his most recent poetry film is giant steps (52min) broadcast in 
South  Arica on SABC1 and is available for world sales from Reflex Motion Pictures – michelle@dv8.co.za. His website address is www.kaganof.com.

Copyright 2005, Aryan Kaganof. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.