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Anne Whittle

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Bargain Basement Avril Lavigne

I went to see Amos in Jozi last weekend…what a disaster. I met some of his friends and we went to a restaurant in Mellville called Inamorata and it just felt like every time I opened my mouth, I would say something stupid, or I would laugh too loud at a joke. Amos kept trying to draw me in by steering the conversation to subject matters I knew a lot about, as if trying desperately to market me to his friends, a sort of she’s alright guys…give her a chance…I got along with one of his friends though, a writer named Alex somehow we got on to the subject of cool websites like the Tron Guy, and the Chinese Backstreet Boys. He also loves Lesley Hall and we started singing Gem Sweater everybody just looked at us as if we were mad. Amos looked embarrassed and I sank back into the couch. The worst was when Amos’ ex-girlfriend walked in…and he insisted on introducing us. She’s this tall, elegant model type who gave me a lazy appraising look and said “ really Amos, you moved on from me to bargain basement Avril Lavigne?” I really wanted to make some snappy comeback, but all I could do was stand there and feel my face burn with rage, and make the supreme effort of not bursting into tears. I used to be so laid back, what’s happening to me?. It was so awkward between Amos and I this weekend, and I was so looking forward to it .
I got back home on Sunday night and Scar had left a package for me. It was a copy of Liza Sixty’s new poetry book “Alkaline & Acid”. I read it in one sitting, Liza’s not for everybody, but I love her work. I particularly enjoyed Lustre…

Lustre

You, so superstitious
Always careful with lucky numbers pavement cracks
Whilst I danced under ladders
And crossed every black cat

When did you lose your lustre
When did you lose your shine?
When did I start resenting
That your thoughts
no longer reflected mine?

We didn’t feel like one heart anymore
And as “us” lay there bleeding
I chose to self medicate
With my usual stone throwing and attention seeking

I told you every supposed home truth,
Wallowing in the drama I craved
And to this day my biggest lie
was telling you
there was nothing left to save.
- Liza Sixty

Later

R J