Neil Coppen

writings/ plays/ poetry/musings/travel journals and newspaper columns

WITHNEIL & I

September30

I’m sitting in the stuffy heated room of a cottage somewhere in Joburgh, Fourways. The corporation has drained most, they wonder around supermarkets with cigarette pinched lips. Backs bent from office chairs.Drunk on a bottle of red. My thatched cottage is sparse, one or two grubby couches, a TV that doesn’t work all that well. Stubbing cigarettes in empty wine glasses and eating dinner out of cans (cause the fridge is fucked). If only I were a better writer then at least I would have a cause to endure. If not for my art –then what? but I have no art, am artless. Expend energy cursing a premature winter, contemplating smearing myself in deep heat to fully inhabit this Withnail existence. Each morning I pass the stables, the property I’m staying on is a farm, a farm in suburbia, funny that, funny how electric fences fend off the city, keep ones pseudo paradises intact (so to hear the lovely coo coo of the high veld doves) At night the braying of horses mingles with police sirens, in the morning, coffee with horse piss. The property people eye it like hawks, I see them arriving every second day, knocking with a higher bid, waving blue prints for more Tuscan villas, one every three meters. White squatter camps- Charm less, ubiquitous. All cities possess a sadness a dirtiness. But without an ocean nothing cleanses .Footprints remain pressed on the back of this ugly insatiable beast.

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