archive - issue 18

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  • 10 Characters

    By Anton Krueger
    Nurse Marie Her lapel is a little faded and her lipstick slightly smudged in the corner of her mouth. “It’s an easy job,” she
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    • WRITING
  • A Cry for Help

    By Ross Fleming
    I come from a long line of great worriers. My earliest memory is of Father, the morning paper spread out before him, tearing his
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    • WRITING
  • A selection from a series of polaroids and paintings "We are Definitely Heroes" that calls into question our self-obsessed nature through the lens of
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • a perspective

    By Lucca Munnik
    she’s a contradiction:anxious yet fierce andchallenging yet sensitive. she carries emotions that she hides from people,but then bluntly spurts them out when it gets
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    • POETRY
  • A shortish life in 15 shortish paragraphs   1.       Birth From the start it was all hard work. Later her blue-eyed brothers and sisters made
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    • WRITING
  • All the World

    By Jeannie Wallace McKeown
    Hours spent dreaming herself a role in an infinite movie reel of lives; string theory says she’s living them; somewhere she moved to a
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    • POETRY
  • Commuting in Jozi

    By PALESA RAMEKOANE
    Coming from Polokwane, a small town in Limpopo, Johannesburg is a big city to me. It is a congested, confusing, concrete jungle compared to
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    • WRITING
  • Constellations

    By Caitlin Stobie
    For Ryan   We were meant to be characters: two queer geeks with a Tarot set.   Setting: the day of the velveteen stage,
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    • POETRY
  • de-identified

    By Kirsten Stolle
    de-identified examines the impact of facial recognition technology on individual privacy.  Using augmented portraits of 19th century women and an imagined narrative, de-identified explores how
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • do you

    By Anton Krueger
    do you also hold your breath in movies when a character’s drowning, to see if you can outlast them? do you also miss those
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    • POETRY
  • gogogo is in love

    By esethu esethu
    REMEMBERING HERE an excerpt from "A Long Story Short", an unpublished novella   It was not always as contaminated, the nature of the resentments
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    • WRITING
  • Hugh Hervey Walker

    By Molly Walker
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • I am very angry

    By James Chapangara Mugabe
     Part 1 - Introduction Please let me rant! I am angry, very angry! I am angry with you Comrades Ja! Ek is gatvol! Ini ndakadumbirwa
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    • POETRY
  • I doodled your name by force

    By Naggayi Lydia Sanyu
    I doodled your name by force. Yes please. I was not going to be that girl who'd pass through her teenage years without ever
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    • WRITING
  • It is

    By Kyle Allan
    It is.   It is a ball surrounded by lightning and the mercy of cosmic rays being hurled through space, again and again finding
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    • POETRY
  • Joseph: Starlin

    By Joseph Claassen
    Joseph: Starlin He rolls up on me while I’m whatsapping calls softly from the side to not scare meout here in the city’s dukderma man
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    • POETRY
  • Kinoti's Flower Bud

    By Michael Thuo
    A green writer is one in constant motion. This motion is in the state of mind: seeking ideas, inspiration and appealing to the yet
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    • WRITING
  • La femme obscur

    By Lunette Elle Warren
    She’s a natural brunette. She has an incurable case of Resting Bitch Face. She’s a poet. She’s a dirt road that stretches into the
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    • POETRY
  • 1.   I hid in the church after they left. Some of the stained glass had been broken, and the plain sunlight bled into
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    • WRITING
  • Meeting Kasiobi

    By Mariam Sule
    Few things have evoked my empathy like the evening I spent with a beautiful man named Kasiobi who has lost an ability that I
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    • WRITING
  • Mostly about a Beetle

    By Anthea Garman
    Ken’s red beetle 1963 – I am three years old. I pose against the beetle in the way I have seen my mother do. Fat
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    • WRITING
  • Mountain Heart

    By Maria Kjartans
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • My Grandmother's Name

    By Louella Sullivan
    In her 70s the rigid clack of a label maker stamped out her neat name to be stuck spirit-level straight on cupboards, Tupperware, biscuit
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    • POETRY
  • Nairobi Is A Quick Lover

    By Waiganjo Ndirangu
    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
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    • POETRY
  • There’s an old proverbial postulate that the commercial competitive market model seeks to create the best possible goods at the lowest possible prices (now,
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    • WRITING
  • Image Gallery
    View the embedded image gallery online at:
    https://itch.co.za/archive/issue-18/item/1380-69#sigProId2cbf4bd9ab
    Character resonating out hard into the environs: with physical manifestations in Heaven and Earth; for better or worse; meteorologically, geologically, technologically; synthesising
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • The Garden's Memory

    By Louella Sullivan
    A garden is harder than a marriage you can’t throw sex or wine at it to pacify the wilderness that threatens.   A garden
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    • POETRY
  • The Gathering

    By Emmanuel Uweru Okoh
      Now I ask... What do you see? Eyes with shades of variedness Eyes of diverse vision A hundred feet in this room A
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    • POETRY
  • The prisoner

    By Carla Chait
    The clink-clink of chains along the corridor of area 354 is indicative of the approach of a prisoner. A prisoner is approaching and I
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    • WRITING
  • The Running Man

    By Theodore Senene
    If you happened to be seated in the third coach of the 10 o'clock train heading west,  watching the luscious green countryside flash by,
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    • WRITING
  • By the time they reached one hundred kilometres outside Kamieskroon, on the way to Cape Town, the rhythmic tikketu-tikketu of train meeting track had
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    • WRITING
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 14:48

69

By 
Ah yes, ’69! The year that Woodstock happened. Or perhaps there will be those who will insist that No! - Actually ‘69 was the year the Zeitgeist went ballistic?

I have shattering news for all of you. 1969 will ultimately go down in history as the year that a seven year old boy proved for children everywhere that The Moon Is Not Made Out Of Cheese!

And, incidentally, the year that The Millwood Kindergarten Yearbook printed his astonishing and valuable conclusions.

Allow me to elaborate.

My dear Father was a raconteur of note and he was always partial to a good Camembert. (Aunt Molly said he was actually a compulsive liar and that he was into all sorts of other stuff as well but guess what happened to her!)

I recall a warm July evening in ‘69 when we were gazing up at that wonderfully luminous, lunar beauty, and when he said to me, ‘Look, lad - there’re people up there tonight, and the world needs to know it. Pass the cheese please.’

It was a matter of seconds before we had the family telescope up and out, and were taking a rickety look at that august, astral body. I have a singular memory of Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, lumbering along like a drunken dinosaur, and a sharper focus of him bending down, picking up a soil sample and chewing it. He then spat it out in disgust, and shook his head at his colleague in graphic negation. I have it on reliable authority that our telescope had a tweeter on it, which was a magical instrument for amplifying and accelerating light waves.

Father’s next words will stay with me forever.

‘See any Cheese?’ he asked.

‘No!’ was my firm reply.

And so, while the rest of South Africa hung, poised over their radios, listening to a 2 minute old delayed broadcast of The American President feeling loquacious, Father and I were watching in real time the instant when the most important discovery of the 20th Century was being made! Being of an enterprising ilk, I was quick to describe the situation on my jotter. When I presented my thesis to my grade two teacher the next day, tears of joy welled up in her eyes and she said to me, ‘My child, this has potential!’

The need to enlighten the children of the future has always been my priority. The monstrous lie of endless cheese available for all has gone on for too long. I don’t agree that fairy tales are good for developing minds. Stick to the facts, and the imagination will take care of itself. The moon has never been, and never will be made up of dairy products.

Visualize my anxious quivering in the Monday assembly, when the headmaster asked me to stand up straight so all of my schoolmates could see what strong descriptors I had. Imagine the looks of aching jealousy when my cousins all gathered round my school yearbook at the family Christmas dinner. And of course the offer by my Great Aunt Suzy to pay to ‘send the child to a decent boarding school, where such laudable talent will not go unnoticed’.

The path to my next publication was not arduous. Once my fame had spread, the seeds of success were planted. The entire school community of Woodwind Secondary wept to the tune of Death of a Cheese Wedge, a sensitive allegory about a teenager consuming a midnight snack while dying on the inside.

My Sergeant-Major in the Military could not look me in the eye, saying ‘Take it away - for God’s sake take it away,’ when I presented my postmodernist film script, The Unbearable Temptation of True Stilton, to him during basic training.

The Army Psychiatrist was prompted to stand up from behind his desk, walk around me in fond admiration, and pinch my bottom while murmuring, ‘You’ll go far, Rodney. Let’s see what we can manage.’ He was always calling me Rodney. I put it down to an incredibly high intelligence being preoccupied with urgent matters of National Importance.

If you look at the ’88 graduation class photograph at The University of KwaZulu-Natal, I am the one with a towel over his head in the front row. My friend Winky has a broad smile on his face and is standing just behind me. He had just that morning told me of an invasion of the Science Building by Aliens. Apparently the very same cheese bacteria whose existence I had denied all those years before had come back to exact revenge. Only warm, damp towels applied to the head could protect you. I stand before you today as living proof of this groundbreaking theory. If only the medical profession had the same insight as dear little Winky, may he rest in peace.

My MA dissertation, Of Mice and Cheese – John Steinbeck’s Secret Obsession with Haute Cuisine, achieved the summa cum laude award. The lecturing staff there still talk dreamily of the day I walked off with the prize.

My unpublished memoir, Open Your Mouse Unt Say Cheese, is behind the headboard in my bedroom. Should I disappear in suspicious circumstances, the family solicitor has a soft copy that will go out on the Internet. Already my theme tune is available on YouTube. Watch out for Around the Brie in Eighty Days.

To all of you young writers starting out, I have a message. Follow that youthful vision. Only you can create your own particular flavour of cheese. Don’t be intimidated by editors who ask, How cheesy is that?

My raison d’être was to see the youth of the world liberated from its obsession with nocturnal interplanetary cheese. This mission has largely succeeded. The kids of today are looking to sources closer to home for their cheese. My tombstone will announce to all visiting pilgrims, long after I am gone, the message I lived out: The Cheese isn’t Out There - It’s In Here!
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Ross Fleming

Ross Ian Fleming devotes his days to testing Telecoms software, satisfying his wife’s need for fast food, and educating his three kids. At night, however, he dreams of Poetry. He has written six small volumes of poems, all available on Amazon Kindle

Although occasionally inhabiting an imaginary land beyond description, in reality he lives in Cape Town, South Africa, the next best thing in the chain of being.

He has published work in Itch and New Coin and has won 3 online writing competitions at the SA Writers College over the past 10 years. Also see Slipnet for more.

Website: lemmingpoetry.blogspot.com/