Free writing exercise

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I don’t know if this counts though, as I scrawled while (wo)manning our paper goods stall at the fleamarket on Sunday. Probably took longer than five minutes too. Brain spew mostly. It’s what happens when you stop reading real books. Flies sit on the mind’s eyes. Creative kwashiorkor.

Deep, deep
down, down
under under
under ground

there lived a
family of
who snacked on cashews
and drank old shoes.

They’d boil them up
into tea
for breakfast, lunch
& night-noon snackie.

They’d ululate for
scuffed stilettos,
eat them buttered
with pressed potatoes.

Muddy sneakers were
their favour,
and a dash of rum
improved their flavour.

So what was it with shoes
and coo-coo-da-boos?

Why not flat tyres or
tumble dryers?

“But you see, you see
it is the memory”
“The memory?”
“The memory! Yummy!”

“Yes, yes, see, see
coo-coo-da boos
wrote the book on Recluse.
They’ve never seen the bright of day
and buy nuts and shoes on e-bay.

So for coo-coo-da-boos
to munch on shoes
is the only way
for them to see
a life beyond the coo-coory.”

“But how
can chow
do that now?”

“You see, you see
a soul is a sole,
rubber, leather
whole and hole.

sweaty feet leave behind
the stinky happy
of memory kind.

When coo-coo-da-boos
chew on shoes,
their tongues are feeling
your every being.

Your run, your walk
your standing still,
your itchy scratchy
restless thrill.

They love the taste
of sweaty sweet.
Stinky means a
life complete.”

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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.

9 thoughts on “Free writing exercise”

  1. Saals,u have got to get this illustrated and binded and i Want it-i think isa will love it.. Like a commentor said above,reminiscent of Dr.Seuss.. Fun use of words,fun rhythm.. I think writing for kids is your calling.. Dunno if u know that yet .. xoxo

  2. tastes and smells and sounds rolled up on the stick of a lollypop.

    gooey even.

    and rhythm in step to the shoes and stilletoes.. sometimes tinkering heels on tiles,
    sometimes stomping boots in slish-slosh; mud-ridden.

    i like these tastes and smells and sounds all rolled up.

    not melty like an ice cream stick, but goeey, like a lollypop.

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