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Writer David Chislett

David Chislett is an established writer, born In Portsmouth, raised in Johannesburg and based in Amsterdam. He comes from a strong journalistic background and has published several works in various formats.

David was awarded the Ernst Van Heerden Creative Writing Award in 1998 from WITS University, JHB for the short story: Pin Stripe Punk. He created, edited and contributed to Urban 1 in 2001, edited and contributed to Urban 2 in 2002 and edited Urban 03 in 2003. (All published by Spearhead, an imprint of New Africa Books). He also contributed to “From Joburg To Jozi” published by Penguin Books as well as contributing short fiction to Litnet,, Botsotso, Ons Klyntjie, The Literate Gymnast and Grrr. His debut collection of short stories, “A Body Remembered: Tales From The Underground” was published through Ge’Ko in August 2009. This has subsequently been converted to an e-book and is available world-wide through Xlibris Publishing. David then self-published “1,2,1,2: A Step By Step Guide to the SA Music Industry” in September 2010.

July 2012 saw the release of his debut poetry anthology, “For You Or Someone Like You” and he is currently working on a long term poetry project on crowd-funding platform

David has worked as a freelance features journalist since 1994 for South African magazines, newspapers and websites. He also spent 3 years as an on-air correspondent for 5FM, the national pop radio station. He has worked in television as a script writer, conceptualiser and voice over artist and was associate producer of the documentary film, Punk In Africa.

In addition to this writing and publishing activity, David is an established speaker and trainer, presenting workshops on creativity to individuals and businesses With plenty of experience as an artist entrepreneur, his focus is on empowering everyday people to activate their inherent creativity and take control of the purpose in their lives. He is also an experienced MC, guest speaker and facilitator.

Language is a slippery customer. It is never more than an approximate representation of what we mean... Grammar, vocabulary, context, all mix in with our intention to create patterns of letters that might come close to what we meant, but ultimately are unsatisfying. There is always a gap. Therefore, we return time and again to ideas, trying to find a better way of expressing them, new words, new styles, new points of view.

Each visit results in a new work, based in no small part on the choice pieces of the previous one. It’s a grizzly business! And THAT’s what this poem is about.

Cannibal Royale

Tic turns to toc

Luck turns to lock

Method turns to routine

And write into rut

As naturally into entropy

These thoughts decline

The winds of yesterday

Fuel the fire

That burns work into irrelevance

Through its new and sudden failures

Like ploughing the chaff

Back under the ground

Grinding the fish into fertiliser

A fish head stares up at me

One eye agape and ruined

Asking WHY

When just yesterday you were so proud of me?

Just ash

A long length to be carefully flicked from a burned down cigarette


But temporary

Relentlessly time claims all method

Grinding its teeth

Upon my ankles

Until I can find new fences and channels

To guide this mess of entrails

Into a new body

Suit it up with skin and make it dance

Until once again I line new puppets

In front of the firing squad

Before feeding their carcasses to the ground too

This desk is red with the blood

Of predecessors

© David Chislett 2018

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