archive - issue 1

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  • /

    By MJ Turpin
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  • Apartment / Containers

    By Vincent Bezuidenhout
    These diptychs are the start of a series of images I have been working on regarding the visual landscape we choose to surround ourselves
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  • Collage

    By Claudio Parentela
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  • Drag and Snap

    By Leigh-Anne Niehaus
    This series is inspired by the childhood game of "snapdragon", which allows for simplistic and delightful decision-making through random selections of colour and number.
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  • Human/Nature

    By Lydia Anne McCarthy
    This series explores moments between nature and human beings that are at once idealistic and unsettling. Each picture is an independent narrative, but placed
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  • p u n c t u a t i o n

    By Ula Einstein
    Einstein works with a diverse range of media, including drawings and installation with fire, thread, and blades. The series of drawings and installations with
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  • Pretty Babies

    By Peregrine Honig
    With the premise that "/ " presents what is IN and what is OUT, the "Pretty Babies" series explores the fashion industry's well-published and syndicated DOs
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  • River Bank

    By Mario Sughi
    The symbol / is intended initially as a symbol of division. A real or unreal line divides the girl from the water, the girl from
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  • Seasaw

    By Sol Kjøk
    Here, the motif is conceived of as a seesaw (the typo in the title is intended, as this drawing is part of a series
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  • Series Seven Up

    By Noel Fignier
    Text by João Branco Kyron, HipnóticaThe collision is imminent and in the fraction of time left, the eyes shut and the vision is superbly
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  • A battle over samoosas between the snobbish Cinderella and a homeless electrician is mediated by Cinderella's boyfriend JJ. The samoosa battle is conflated with
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  • Untitled

    By Wilhelm Saayman
    This series of images, made using pen and ink, photographs and Photoshop, explore alternate/dream realities.
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  • Let's go there

    By Leigh Le Roux
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  • The space between.

    By Mehita Iqani
    It's a handy little line, the one that we use to make our options known. Either/Or. Paper and ink or binary code? Its clichéd,
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  • /

    By Ruth Barker
    On the QWERTY layout of my computer keyboard, the symbol / appears beside the questioning symbol ?. They are represented together on the same key, and
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  • I returned home after my first year in college to discover my younger sister had turned gorgeous. This was a disappointment, but not an
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  • Forward! Slash!

    By Travis Lyle
    You think you're a forward-thinking kinda person, do you? Lemme be the one to break it to you, sunshine – you're as lame as the
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  • Letter to the Editor

    By Elan Gamaker
    Dear Sir/Madam I should like strenuously to object to the subject matter ("/") of your current issue. It must first be mentioned, however, that it
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  • Butterfly

    By Adriana de Barros
    The pupa, a silk wrap of emotionsIsolated, within breathing, wanting to bethe intense pronoun of selfIt is silly to be one's own pronounShe giggles
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  • Evidence of Life

    By Tamlyn Martin
    Below is an extract from a series of 11 poems created in parallel with visual artworks. 5. Memories laced with visceral realityFlooding herThe gentle
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  • Immigrants

    By Stanley Onjezani Kenani
    you want to livenothing leaveto liveyou swimor like fresh sardinesyou are packedin boatsyou leaveto live.  you leavegold in the belly of Africaoil in
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  • In Between

    By Tania van Schalkwyk
    Raised in an Arabian land of heat, fire and temper,sometimes the calm of England clamps downlike damp in a bathroom with no windowand a
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  • Or: a line drawing

    By Gabeba Baderoon
    Pencil and nothing. Her face turned almost entirely away. Forehead, cheekbone,jaw,the bun low in her neck,shoulderand down,the long linejust enoughthen left alone.
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  • Scissor

    By Charlotte Gait
    There was a time when you and I were connected by iron, acid, vitamin and blood. Where every mouthful I took was with the
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  • Un Hombre Fuerte

    By Tamo Vonarim Written these words are, at times of a subconscious flow – whether they are mine, I don't know. All I know is that I
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  • Unbroken Awareness

    My life is now a floating shellI am a vessel on that river.The storm, the ship, the sea,Whose shores we lost in crossing.  I
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  • Untitled

    By Aryan Kaganof
    /At R550 rand I thought I'd rather die/ My mother: can I trust this woman?/ I thought the Romans were coming, dinkum/ …and always
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    By Sean Hampton-Cole
    Keys. John speaking. 'Lo?Good morning. May I speak to Bob Mitchell please?Bob in Bonds?I'm not really sure. I'm trying to...You want extension 125. This
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  • Wayne Porter, freelance journalist, donned his anthropologist's birthday suit and hit the bowling alley. Bar the bowlers hat tipped gently off centre, the man
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  • The Incised Wound

    By Joanne Hichens
    "Please, for me, Dave," I placed my hand on his, and really, no begging, just asked him nicely, "Lay off the booze tonight." Whether
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  • He had been driving for hours through that unstable, somnambulist night when he fell asleep at the wheel. He awoke with a start and
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Monday, 01 June 2015 13:52

Writer's Block

I have writer’s block
I have writer’s block
I have writer’s block

I’m sitting in a coffee shop.
I got the table with the comfy sofa.
My coffee is hot because the waiter
brought me hot milk, even though
I asked for cold.
I’m on holiday and I didn’t feel like arguing
on the first day of my holiday.
So I poured in the hot milk.
The coffee is bitter.
One spoon of sugar has made no difference.
I can taste the sugar layered over the bitterness.
The bitterness is still there.
I revel in it.
I have a headache.
The coffee is bitter like medicine.

I have writer’s block
I have writer’s block

There are blonde women in this coffee shop
These women are glamorous.
I am in a corner
at the table with the comfy sofa
with my bitter coffee
and my writer’s block
and my belly which shows when I lean back,
my hair which is silvering.
While I sip my bitter coffee
my ex-husband is driving our children
and his parents
along the coastal road on a journey towards me
in this little town

I have writer’s block
I have writer’s block

Nothing has happened yet to write about.
Everything is on a knife’s edge of nothing happening.
While he drives along the coastal road
and I wait and sip bitter coffee.
The coffee shop sells crafts and arts.
Kitsch but I like them.
Beside the sofa four mannequin legs
stretch flatfooted, toes at my earlobe,
plastered and painted in printed paper,
all in the blues.
The mp3 player plays music from the 60s.
Many people have sat on this sofa before me.
My arse slots into the dip they have left.

My arse.
My comfortable arse
with writer’s block
while I sip bitter coffee.
My belly trembles so I suck it in.
The blondes have no bellies
and no arses, but people with arses
have sat on this sofa before,
left their mark.
The waiter tries to take my plate.
I am staring out the window, fork in my hand.
I have eater’s block.
This is unusual (see belly, see arse).

My eyes are not seeing the blown tree
or the Coca-Cola umbrellas outside.
They are watching the sea on the left
of the car, the traffic on the road,
the wind turbines under which my ex-husband
is driving, with our children and his parents.
I reclaim my plate.
How much easier to resolver eater’s block
than writer’s block.

I have writer’s block
I have writer’s block

His parents and my parents have not been together
in four years,
since we split.
This visit is a big deal.
He is bringing them down the coastal road
to my parent’s house.
I am not a young woman.
I am not glamorous.
I am not blonde.
My belly shows when I lean back.
My hair is silvering.

I sip bitter coffee on a knife edge in a coffee shop.
The mannequin legs toe my ear.
60s music plays on the mp3 player.
From the ceiling plasterboard cutout seagulls sway,
vinyl LPs twist, chokka lamps rock.
They believe maybe that they are still on the boats,
their movement is serene.
I sip my second mug of bitter coffee,
lose myself in the rocking chokka lamps.
The car eats the kilometres.

Four years since our parents were together.
“You’re so lucky” says Jane
(all the artwork says Jane. Her eyes
are the cobalt blue of the sea the chokka boats
are rocking on).
“Divorcing and losing family is so hard
but you’ve kept that friendship.”
“Yes, yes, we’ve worked at it,”
I tell her.

“We’ve worked hard at it,”
I tell my ex-husband at the wheel.
He turns and smiles.
“We’ll be there soon” he tells me.

I sip my bitter coffee.
I embrace my writer’s block
and bitter coffee and scrambled eggs.
The blondes have all left.
Two women hold hands over the other table
with comfy sofas; seagulls drift, LPs twist,
chokka lamps are out at sea.

My ex-husband is driving our children
and his parents down the coastal road.
I am right here;
my arse in the arse-shaped dip,
belly and silver hair,
sipping bitter coffee,
my second mug.

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