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
Monday, 17 October 2016 17:21

10 Characters

By 
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 says, as her needle sucks up an ampule. “You get to meet all kinds of people.” She likes doctors who don’t wear shoes and laughs when she remembers a doctor calling another doctor a clown. “He said: that clown?” and she laughs again. She’s curious about alternative medicine, but when the homeopath said she must crush the pumpkin pips on the full moon she never went back.

 
Betty

The big woman’s getting ready for her pedicure at the beauty parlour. She’s a little bit pleased to be spoiling herself, but also a bit embarrassed. She says to the girl: “Sorry, I didn’t cut my toe nails, because I knew that I’d be coming here…” She’s sheepish, but also feeling luxurious...  

 
Anxious Annie

She remembered the walls of the Geesteswetenskappe Gebou (the GW). They weren’t quite smooth, but had kind of a bubbly texture, rough. She was nervous about the test and while waiting she scratched her fingernails up and down, up and down. She didn't notice until the blood left a stain on the wall.  

 
Joller

Awe 1 ting u cant beat pmb coz day wil b thumping da music in thiers cab u no shaking day heads 2 beats n yet here in jozi u get 1 o all alone in da cab hole 4 windows down bangin da music 4 da hole of Gp 2 hear bt dat madir lol got his earphones on i jst chune my owens check dis kunt n we al say loud ur pooesss of a kunt....den we al laugh n say nt like he can fuckin hear us. lmfao…Sup ladies eish could those's beautiful ladies that had me on bbm could u guy's plz invite me phone went in 4 a upgrade 39268EEA thankz mwaaahz

 
The Administrator

Edwin discovered that he rather enjoyed the routine tasks of organising, arranging and ordering the world. He lost himself within the flow of lists and was soon swept away by the relegation of folders and the categorisation of activities still outstanding. The Excel was open and Edwin was at peace.

 
Guy

The guy feels out a small chip in his tooth with his tongue.
"This is a part of my life,” he says, “which I’ll never get back.”
She sighs.
“For the rest of my life I’m going to have this chip in my tooth, maybe you can't see it...”
She: "You’re right, I can't see a thing."
He: “But I know it's there...”

 
She

She fell in love with him over his FB posts. He wrote the best updates, so funny. But when she met him it was a disappointment. He wanted to get into hiphop, but she was more into Keats. She found it tough to keep a conversation going. It would have been difficult even if he hadn’t startled her by yelling “Like!” at everything she said. So they went back to keeping it online.

 
Tannie

She turns to her friend and arches a purplish eyebrow: “Nee wat, as dit is hoe Boeddhiste Kersfees vier dan weet ek nie meer mooi nie…”

 
The Unwinder[1]

The dude basically mooches about while his wife is at work. He sometimes plays rhythm guitar in a local cover band when the regular guy is away, but mostly he prefers staying in, lying on the sofa drinking Black Label and streaming series. Occasionally he might engage in a spot of Xbox to break the routine.

Her family don’t think much of the dude. He’s always lolling about while his wife shops, gardens, cleans. What they don’t know is that he provides a secret function, a core motor to her engine. When she’s rushing about her day, he’ll pick up the landline by its tail and let it hang upside down, allowing gravity to let the coil unwind. She never notices how she twists it up when she cradles it on her right shoulder while hastily jotting down her next appointment with a pencil.

So when she’s not looking, he gently allows it to relax open. Slowly, slowly, the coil stretches out those angry twists and turns and regains its default spring. Similarly, the hose pipe, from his days as a roadie he knows you need to give a quarter twist for every loop to keep the cable supple. He also sometimes loosens the lids of jars he knows she needs.


The Monk

The monk sits in contemplation on a raft in the middle of a lake. He looks on quietly at the busy nest of termites eating away at the wood.

1] An earlier version of these last two character sketches is due to be published as part of a longer piece in an anthology of Experimental African Writing currently being edited by Ricardo Félix and Tendai Mwanaka.
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Anton Krueger

Anton Krueger's published works include poetry, prose, drama and criticism. He's also taken pictures, made films and plays some guitar.