archive - issue 14

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 Wilhelm Saayman
    This series of images, made using pen and ink, photographs and Photoshop, explore alternate/dream realities.
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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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Friday, 22 July 2016 17:40

The forgotten love letter

this letter is addressed

to the loneliest love story I have ever read


I found you

lost in the covers of a margin


stitched onto a page of Anne Frank’s Biography

begging to be touched once more


morning came

the sun prayed pity into the library room

romantic literature students

nowhere to be seen

but in this letter

I found something else

in the way the words were felt

from the war

Wakeem wrote:

my dear, my far away star

the one in the sky

scaling emptiness from a home


hearing the hollow heartaches

that the silence of the page projects

pillow cases traced with an outline of her face

daily dosages of words from across the sea

smells of a soldier forgotten

remember, Wakeem says

summer is the time of name giving

I’ve forgotten to tell you

this place inside of me is lonely

I often lay your letters down beside me pretending

that your naked body quietly touches me

the light snores

in between the vowels of you and I

lay empty


this letter is addressed

to the loneliest love story I have ever read

he scratched out a line

that resembled truth

if he were to die

lies were what soothed

he said that war is for the drunken man

in the beginning the war looked like you

a woman

waiting to bloom

bombs were the breasts

that longed to be touched

guns and drones drowned me in white wine

water traced over the inner lines of masculine eyes

blinding me

he says

to what this war was about

a bud in the bare field

of figuring a woman out

but when I got to see men die

at the hands of their wives

I realized that I was right

this war did resemble you

this fight

this time

I looked through you

Smoke drizzling  

ashy memory falling from the bruised blue sky

touching homes

ones we destroyed


we learnt that the women the war resembled

stayed sleeping with us

under our hearts and iron bed mattresses


mediators in the spectacle

suppliers of worn out mothers

stretch markings of love handles

of guns

and buttons

that make babies die


I’ve forgotten to tell you

This place inside of me is lonely

I often lay your letters down beside me pretending

that your naked body quietly touches me

the light snores

in the vowels of you and I

lay empty


the letter is half destroyed

their story has been through war itself

how did I find it here

half addressed to the woman Wakeem loved

and then to me

a stranger he will never meet

a letter that I’ll never hide in books of loss

in concentrated closets of death

under the weight of a soldier’s chest

I have not touched my lover’s letter yet

If he had written me a letter

of what he truly felt

my war would look the same

an assimilate of love and hate


the way his washed out denim shirt does

behind the bedroom door


if I had to read the forgotten love letter

my lover concealed

I’d read about the woman he first loved

the one across the sea

I’d read about the words that rhyme with faith


his silences would worship her

my lover’s letter would be no different to Wakeem’s

the only exception is

the loneliest love story I will ever read

won’t resemble me


I found you

lost in the covers of a margin


stitched on to a page of Anne Frank’s Biography

begging to be touched

once more












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