Arriving in Franschhoek – Day 1 of the Litfest. Is it possible to know too much?

Posted: May 19, 2009 in Live! Blogging.
Tags: , , ,

The rain is gushing down as we drive along the highway from Cape Town to Franschhoek in Teliwe’s baby blue jalopy. Water is leaking in from the bottom and we have to keep the windows open to keep the car from steaming up. 

She laughs.  We screech into the pastoral village at around 5; unload cameras, laptops, scarves and coats – sprint to get out of the rain.   We sit under the  tin roof listening to the rain filling up the swimming pool.  Teliwe says it is time. Colcacchio’s in Franschhoek.  It’s open mike.  Locals and Capetonians have brought their poetic musings to share with us in the hot roof of a pizza joint.

The poetry is bad.   “Real bad”, I mutter into my glass, scouting the faces around me.  A man’s fingers read his bumpy poetry; his companion stands dangerously close to him.  I misread the  situation and try to strangle Marie.  Teliwe is weeping. “It’s so beautiful,” she sighs.  A heated argument ensues about the nature of poetry.      Poetry is objective,”  I say knowingly.  Marie looks at  me with her surprised eyebrows and slugs at her beer. Teliwe cries a little more.  “Poetry is subjective,”  I sneer.   Teliwe wails and rises from her chair. “Poetry is subjective!” I gasp without conviction. “Ah, maybe we should be lovers,” cries Marie, hugging us to her Egyptian body.  She wants to listen to Mozart in the NG church. “I object!”, I holler, feeling a little like Alice with the flamingo grasped in pale hands.

It’s much later in the evening and we are screaming at the skinny musician “Encore!”  He says he is missing a few strings.  We nod knowingly and beg for more. Teliwe gets cross with the German bumming cigarettes from her.  I say her anger is misdirected.  The German says he lives in a mansion with 11 rooms and two pools. I wonder if there is a steamroom. But I don’t bother to ask. The musician plays “Violent Femmes” and Teliwe opens the dancefloor.  Her long red, body sways and dips, a little smile playes across her face.  The German is trying to be as cool as Johnny Cash, he flicks his hips and blows smoke into the air. Then glances over at me for approval.  I am thinking how I feel like the beans in Jack’s bag.  The ones that he swapped for the cow.  And I wonder what will sprout out next.

Copyright: Theresa Brown

It’s late. Arm in arm we jump wide-legged across pools of water in the glistening street. Water gushes violently along the gutter. We hold our wet faces up and swallow the sky and stars and soggy clouds.  We are immortal.  We run with strong legs. 

We lay our happy bodies down on crushed rose petals, candles flickering and die into a long penetrating darkness.  We rest and sleep like the innocents.

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Comments
  1. Teliwe says:

    oh alice… you DO make me larf!
    i still say the ‘poetry’ was bluddy marvellous… dammit!

    Like

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