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shot left, after robot – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

shot left, after robot

I miss taking the taxis down Jan Smuts Avenue to the gym.
It doesn’t get anymore real than the dented soccer-stickered metal, the only barrier to you and kissing tar held together by kite string, your legs warmed by pure engine heat and its fumes, oh how i miss the fumes; so strong they slice your tongue into ribbons.
And the passengers, silent squashed faces of static between stops, except for the one man who said the black people he knew never found the time to gym because they were too busy working.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

6 thoughts on “shot left, after robot”

  1. ey plz lets not talk bout taxis…3 almost ran me off da road yesterday morn! n this i regard as a relatively peaceful day!;)

  2. you missed out the irritated indian man in the back going…

    “You said you were going local you MAaaader cHOd! Stop here, I’m not paying youuuu.”

    Driver: “Haai, Voetsek Wena.”
    *screech* “Vogoff. Lenz is that way.”


  3. hard core…

    The TAxi-to-Gym Diaries.

    Tales of the proletariat, trying-to-get-fit revolution.

    You only know how to appreciate life when you’re in a South African Taxi with a hole in the floor so you see the road, a spanner as the steering wheel and a screwdriver as the gear shift.



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