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 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
Friday, 30 September 2016 23:44

A Cry for Help

By 
I come from a long line of great worriers. My earliest memory is of Father, the morning paper spread out before him, tearing his hair out. He was concerned that Aunt Mildred's tea party at the Union Buildings would be interrupted due to the fall in the gold price.

His outburst resulted in a fresh surge of nail-biting on my sister's part, and I promptly wet my nappy in sympathy. The Ugandan au pair, Jane, was possibly the only sane member of the household, and had long ago realized that all of this madness would pass as the day wore on. She merrily picked up our toys and saw to my sister and me while my mother searched the papers for something new to satisfy her appetite for Recreational Anxiety.

Yes, I call this Recreational Anxiety, because it is a common fault of our modern society. We have defined recreational drugs and recreational sex, so why not Recreational Anxiety? We worry about silly, insignificant things. This happens while matters more deserving of our concern go unnoticed. For example, Pravin Gordhan's eyes. Did you notice that while he was reading the budget speech on television recently, he had a nervous tic just above his left eyelid? Maybe you didn't see, but our family gathered round to watch, and all remarked on the repeated clearing of his throat, and his oscillating eyelid. Cancer of the thyroid was Grandad's assessment but my son, Arthur, corrected him by referring to Gray's Book of Infectious Diseases. (We keep a copy on the shelf under the stairs). He read out in his halting schoolboy English, The major symptoms of Thomson's Myofalgium are facial contortions and the inability to swallow properly. Arthur likes exchanging bad news with virtual strangers, and has his own web site - feel free to google have you heard and add your morose predictions to the collection. Leave your details and we'll all sit around discussing your personal problems, and with some luck, things might get worse. If Pravin Gordhan goes, we all go, predicts Grandad.

Possibly the most exciting day of my life was when Nelson Mandela emerged from prison. The feeling in Mafikeng was electrifying. The taxi's all drove up and down hooting while the white people hid indoors, fearing that the revolution had finally come. The Town Clerk was taking 7-5
odds that our little town would be in flames by the end of the week. Sadly nothing of the sort happened and we all went back to worrying about the cost of dog licenses. That was the biggest letdown in the history of our nation. It has gone from bad to worse. I mean, Jake Zuma has nothing but positive predictions for Africa in the next 10 years. Soon there will be nothing left.

Do you know that as I was writing this, a cockroach emerged from a crack in the wall, sniffed the air with his proboscis, and scuttled down to the counter where the remains of dinner are sitting, and is now proceeding to examine the leftovers I had planned for tomorrow's lunch. I am appalled at the paucity of character in a Body Corporate who simply don't give a fig about those of us who have the misfortune to live in Little Paradise. This firms my decision to revoke the debit order on the levy going forward. I shall call my bank manager at the earliest opportunity. This nonsense cannot continue unabated. I shall meet sloth and greed with prompt action!

Anyway, to continue, after having been so rudely interrupted...

I have high hopes of discovering a new source of anxiety to power the people's imagination in the New Year. I am quite keen to start a movement called Think and Worry Today - ThaWT. I feel sure that we can, as a country of nervous thinkers, avert tragedy just by sitting still and thinking about what may happen in the future. If you think about it there is so much to worry about. The papers, the Internet and, closer to home, the people we come into daily contact with, all provide opportunities. Follow me for a moment.

You could be standing next to someone in the checkout line, when an opening gambit sets the tone. 'Looks like rain.' The surprised confidante will possibly scan the ceiling for signs of precipitation and nod cautiously. This is no indicator of failure. Stand erect, brandishing the morning paper, and set your glasses on the edge of your nose. Read out, clearly and in a raised voice, the headlines, City Women Looking Fatter. This headline will raise an eyebrow or two, maybe elicit a hostile cough from the lady behind you. Do not give up. The next question, Excuse me, but do you have funeral cover? opens a whole can of worms. You can tell everyone in the queue about the people you know who have died in suspicious circumstances. If you don't know anyone who died mysteriously, feel free to pick from articles in the newspaper. With luck you could start a Recreational Anxiety support group right there in the supermarket. You could get one another's phone numbers and liaise afterwards. There are a lot of nervous people out there, and ThaWT needs new blood.

Just think about it?
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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/