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, 14 October 2016 21:10

Nairobi Is A Quick Lover

First flash: a business-bright billboard smile;

A suit far too neat for the jam on Jogoo Road;

A suit too well knit, too well fitting, too good

For anyone real.

Then he moves - inside the billboard -

Two steps forward, one to the side

Hand glides out of pocket with a slide

Phone. Best leg forward. Pose.


(") Pause.

Nairobi stops to watch, to save to memory

This magic of a man - perfection personified.

This memory merges with others in vogue:

The hunky hero on movie magic,

A one-time White House guest turned iconic,

The muscled advert-face relic

And any other on any magazine

In Nairobi or any city else.


(>) Play

Feet fall close in a life so fast paced -

Nairobi eyes are bewitched with contact allergy

Like a bad case of cross-eyes.

They are busy eyes.

Shoulders meet hard and repel

Jostling for that wear; that look

Dying to catch Mr. Nairobi's eye -

Actually dying.


When he breathes,

women save for steam irons

For the latest tights on watched weights.

The gyms pack full, lunch spots close shop.

When Nairobi raises his eyes

Women raise their hems.


Boutique prizes shift-up.

Credit firms reach out to you, brother:

A thousand eyes eyeing a single image

With similar need, fast-bred greed -

To have a neat lawn - by a street swept daily at dawn

To park in the mezzanine - a concept car.

(Property agents drop bellies fast.)

To have the next technology now. Now!

The Messaging-optimised E-series with 4G

For sms, for facebook and for flashing with glee!

Or the 2TB HDD, 8GB RAM, 3.2 Ghz Core i7

For single-finger snail-typing,

gaming and getting you the 'Lo!'

From that impossible work mate -

Never mind the fortune

Nairobi likes you looking great!

And anyways, for the neighbour's eye,

What’s too dear to buy?

Be it a tool or a ruse!

Mustn’t you pay for but hardly use

In Nairobi?


In the catch-my-eyes dance

Ubuntu dies and is buried at Kimathi's feet,

To keep stillborn uhuru company.

But Nairobi's a walking city,

Or a one-train-a-day affair,

Matatus shuttling at capacity,

In a jam with single-occupant cars,


And for a single moment, you look like him -

Or right for him.

You are ecstatic, you are Nairobi!

Or Nairobi's newest whore





On-demand smiling




Man and woman.

Nairobi will bed you quick!

Then fire you

Then sue you for bankruptcy

Then auction your concept car

Then you hit the road -

A truly fulfilled fool!

Read 2316 times
Waiganjo Ndirangu

A poem 'When I Be' and a short story, 'I Will Not Get Angry' have been published in the last three years.