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
Sunday, 02 October 2016 18:37

A shortish life in 15 shortish paragraphs

By 
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 it sound as if they had the time of their life in the hospital visiting mother and child - having never seen such a thing before they endlessly entertained themselves by flushing things down the toilet. But she knew that it wasn’t all happiness because she thought she remembered a cold misty day when Ma walked into the sea with her belly ripe with herself and stones in her pockets. Luckily a random old man looking for his dog on the beach dived into the waves to save them both.

 

2.       Pure Little Hearts

Despite so much fun Daddy insisted they move back to the village where they had lived before she was born. Ma sat on the veranda with a white towel over her head sighing in Friar’s Balsam. The orchard was full of pink and white blossoms and she liked to bounce on Daddy’s shoulders. At night she would walk down the dark corridor on his feet. Afterwards she and her dark eyed sister knelt at his knees in their nightgowns saying prayers for the purity of their hearts.

 

3.       Burying the tree

One day Daddy was angry and crying so he took a spade and she and her sister followed him into the dark forest where they buried a tree. Ma packed up all their things into boxes. Then they were gone: Ma and Daddy went over the seas and Nothing happened for a while.

 

4.       Furniture Van

When she was seven she watched their things being brought from a furniture van onto a strange lawn in the city where there was neither an orchard or a forest. She noted the thick tread of the tyres and watched the heat tremble from the exhaust and decided that she would hold onto this moment for the rest of her life. Which she did. Except towards the end she did forget a bit.

 

5.       Not much fun in the city

The family wasn’t having much fun in the city. Her blue-eyed brothers played sports and had their noses broken, while her blue-eyed sisters kept telling her to put on her shoes. Her brown-eyed sister put her left hand into the fire to see how hot it really was. It was very hot.

 

6.       Peas

She learned to cook peas. Then rice and gravy. Soon she cooked meals for the whole family.

 

7.       Boxes

She knew that she was destined for great things so when the family once more was made to move she said she would carry all the boxes into the house and unpack them singlehandedly and everybody would be happy again. But somehow the van never arrived. Neither did most of her blue-eyed siblings. Just her dark-eyed sister whom she loved dearly.

 

8.       Secret admirer

She started writing letters and poems to lovers who only existed in books and other illusive places and who loved her dearly and held her close.

 

9.       Wedding

When she was 18 her sister got married. She cooked chicken and rice and peas and gravy for a 100 guests. The bride wore a white glove over her left hand. A brown eyed man made a very long speech. Daddy was angry and Ma blushed - by the time they ate, the food had gone cold.

 

10.   First love

At 20 she followed a silver tongued man who told her that her eyes were deep blue pools and that he would like to drown in them. She let him ravish her over and over again. When he left her for another she was gripped by terror.

 

11.   Delusions of grandeur

After that she lived an ordinary life with just the odd delusions of grandeur and a doggy who got himself lost in the mist quite often.

 

12.   Madness

Ma and Daddy turned old and lost most of their memories. She fed them peas and rice and gravy. Sometimes when she was working in the orchard next to the house she thought she heard them argue.  “You could have flushed her down the toilet,” she thought she heard Daddy say but when she went inside Ma and Daddy looked at her as if she had gone completely mad.

 

13.    For someone who is superstitious this is an unlucky number Nothing Much happened for quite a while.

 

14.    The Pyre

One day she walked into the orchard with an axe and started chopping down all the trees. It took her three months and lots of hard work to complete the job. Then she made a pyre. It was a beautiful fire.

 

15. Death

Soon afterwards she drowned in a pool. She was still relatively young. It was all a mystery because she had always been a reasonable swimmer and her dog had run round and round barking at her. But there was no old man to hear it bark or dive in after her. “That was weird,” she was said to have said as she drew her last (watery) breath.

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