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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Hugh Hervey Walker

    By Molly Walker
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Mountain Heart

    By Maria Kjartans
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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Saturday, 03 September 2011 02:00

Fridayyyyy!

By 
'Sultan is alone in his pen. He is hungry. The food that used to arrive regularly has unaccountably ceased coming.

'The man who used to feed him and has now stopped feeding him has stretched a wire over the pen three meters above ground level, and hangs a bunch of bananas from it. Into the pen he drags three wooden crates. Then he disappears, closing the gate behind him, though he is still somewhere in the vicinity as one can smell him.

'Sultan knows: Now one is supposed to think. That is what the bananas up there are about. The bananas are up there to make one think, to spur one to the limits of one's thinking. But what must one think? One thinks: Why is he starving me? One thinks: What have I done? Why has he stopped liking me? Why does he not want these crates any more? But none of these is the right thought.

[...]

'Sultan drags the crates under the bananas, piles them one on top of the other, climbs the tower he has built, and pulls down the bananas. He thinks: Now will he stop punishing me?

'The answer is: No. The next day the man hangs a fresh bunch of bananas from the wire but also fills the crates with stones so that they are too heavy to be dragged. One is not supposed to think: Why has he filled the crates with stones? One is supposed to think: How does one use the crates to get the bananas despite the fact that they are filled with stones?

'One is beginning to see how the man's mind works.

J M Coetzee - The Lives of Animals - Part One




And it's Fridayyyyy Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo yes it's your Randy Rooster Rastus tearin' up the airwaves down here at Ferdie's Farm for Chikkins in Worcester - it's a short lifespan for Battery Roosters guys so Cease Cluckin' an' Begin Fuckin' - that's my motto - Ricardo in the next cage always say you godda peace out an' achieve long cool nirvana but hang it's difficult when they taken your claws an' beak away an' you just sit in your 16 by 13 in the heat an' wait fo the chop know what i mean - live it up i say - go down fightin' - do not go gentle into that goodnight Dylan Tomcat the poet once wrote - rage, rage against the dyin' o' the light 

Yes folks its Fridayyyyy Denton down the way plannin' to celebrate with a spot of LSD into the communal water tank check it out - we'll get everyone goin' stir crazy d'you ever wonder what a thousand roosters contemplate when the weekend comes round? i mean think of it a thousand birds full of testosterone, chikkin antibiotics an' growth hormone - it's all enough to make a cannibal out of you too - put yourself in our place for a second hold your horses calm the crowds - it's Friday see an' there ain't a female in reach - Rastus Denton an' Ricardo tryin' to paint the town red only there's nowhere to go - Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo what did the Ho say to the Rooster when he asked the fatal question - hey any cock'll do guy was the fond reply actually how the heck would i know the only tail i ever see is on Denton's porn stash two mielie kernels a look no lurkin' next please hmmn?

there's a shit load of noise in here dunno how Ricardo does it transcendental medication was his last angle now its Holy Joe with the Rooster Rasta Rebels Don't Eat Your Vitamins Smoke 'Em it's a movement it's a friggin' subculture we all goin' up in the bonfire on Monday anyway - eat drink an' be merry for next week we die who the fuck wrote that mebbe that old hedonist philosopher i forget now - but hey Denton's got connections on the outside you want anythin' Go Directly to Denton - Denton for President! - who you foolin' we all end up on somebody's dinner plate who cares anyways mope mope no but seriously Denton hooked up with some Animal Rights dudes an' he's plannin' a revolution pigg a digg digg animals gonna take over the world Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo - i got the attention span of a goldfish which is why i finish my sentences when the same thought comes round again ten seconds later hence i got the 'quivalent of VD Verbal Diarrhoea you dull prick - who was that philosopher was it... er, hang on it'll come to me in a second - yeah before TM Ricardo was into Hunger Strikes hah big joke in here you godda eat it's the path to the outside

well as i was sayin' its Friday an' this weekend the word is there's gonna be a prison break - get the T-Shirt its hot an' happenin' here at Rastus Rooster's place - i got forethought some cerebral cortex unlike that mad crowd down there i done some deep genetic modification my brain is superfried Cease Cluckin' an' Begin Fuckin' You Retrogrades! yeah come Monday i gonna be footloose and fancy free - Luncheon is for Losers, Death is for Dummies, Gettin' Eaten Is Not Cool Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo

Now Errol down the row got insights into the world of serious literature his favourite is Fun-Filled Fellatio For Fowls written by Chikkin Likkin' fuck what kinda poetry is that i ask you spot the pun but i got a secret copy of Henny Penny Does A Duck on DVD under my mattress dunno where i'm gonna get a player in this place - but hey it's pie in the sky not steak on the plate with an apology to the beef amongst us heh heh - Errol reckons that How to End up as a Wittenberg 'Omlet by "Eggs" Benedict is the ideal way to depart this world - it scored more points on the Deathwish Scale than that old 80's classic - y'know Final Exit - How to Commit Sewerage Pipe in 366 Different Dynamic Positions

yeah it's Friday and the Brothers are restless there's some angry blood in those bastards travellin' ballast i hear on the grapevine there's some dudes called JC and the Sunshine Band workin' to bring about a new order talkin' bout the lilies o' the field and the birds o' the air he has an arbitrarily poetic mind - he say the Hens deserve their freedom and the Roosters should be takin' their rightful place as the head of the home i dunno bout that - henpecked is what we all are down here - family what family - should i give him the time o' day who knows apparently there's a huge Rooster upstairs - no not Farmer Ferdie dude - when i get outta here i got some deep questions for him like how come i never got to lay eggs in this life where do we go when we get eaten when's the sky gonna fall on our heads - i mean what's the sky i ask you with tears in my navy blue eyes

yeah those Moorhens'll get a revolution goin' in here they'll burn anythin' they set fire to Origin of the Species last week said it contravened the Divine Right o' Kings - Malcom Eggs is their candidate for President - even Kaal Mark's Das Eggshell didn't make it through the night burn burn burn all i wanna do is burn i think i know how they all feel between JC and Malcolm i feel sure we got sumpin good on the way - but be careful don count your chikkins before they hatch i always say and of course that ole cooker of wisdom don put all your eggs in one basket - now what's that supposed to mean who thinks up this shit i ask you

yes the headin' of the piece is Fridayyyyy and its gonna be a statement like Fugard's The Island a sublime exposé of the desperate lonely tragedy of the neglected underclasses a voice for the voiceless givin' credence to the battery chikkin's Right to Celebrate Life and Love and Fuckin' Pursuit of Happiness At Least Once A Week Damn You - we're all animals under the skin dunno who said that but we too have a right to email, blackberries and shit and communication too JC Coetzee said it so it mus be true - so nex time you get a stupid email says Fridayyyyy like tomorrows bin cancelled think of us righteous brothers sittin' tight waitin' for the liberatin' armies o' the press to break the chains of chikkin antibiotics and growth hormone - do you know what it feels like to have growth hormone rammed in your system its sick man sick sick sick suicide country

as i was sayin' Friday is breakout day where the chikkins of the world come to power no more Thighs Tax Free no more Simply The Breast those dodgers down at the abattoir gonna get it once and for all we gonna rise up and take what's ours No More Evolution This Is A Revolution - i fancy odds on Malcolm to lead the pack into the future every now and then when my ten seconds comes round again i think bout this JC Coetzee dude what kinda name is that mebbe you ain't got no balls - wassup you godda first name kid? how come you rootin' for the underdog - or the underchikkin in our case - mebbe you had enuff of that steak on a plate - actually sadly you be our only hope - raise the consciousness level for God's sake include the friggin' chikkins for cryin' in a bucket fuck it's hot in here no peace for the wicked breathe deeply or at least try to shit shit shit

Saturday night! Huh! this is the biggest anticlimax since Ducky Lucky dumped Foxy Loxy on account of his credit ratin's blown by the bastards at Debt Counsellin' Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo - don look at me i never read books just hear about it percolatin' on the underground network chikkins can't read silly we just cluck with the occasional quick lucky fuck but lissen lissen lissen to the buzz on the street the kidz are lookin' for an avenue outta here a boulevard with their name on pullets are god's creatures too ssshhh just the soft hum of the aircon the breathin' of the whole goddam outhouse the softer light to make you sleep the mood of the moon harkin' back to early days when we roamed free as birds before friggin' Nando's cornered the market on wings before Ina Paarman's chikkin marinade before Worcester settled here before man walked the earth the peace is palpable i sometimes gaze at the gap in the top of the Duiwelhok and wonder - what - who - why - when - it resembles thought a bit more than my scrambled brains usually do durin' daylight hours and a deep sadness comes over me that i can't articulate a sense of a wasted life - wasted time - wasted youth - wasted consciousness - just a big friggin' waste

Midnight and not a sound from the masses all is still and i think back to Ed an' Marvin an' Pete when we wuz chicks all together rubbin' shoulders with the high an' mighty as well as low and skulkin' no artificial airs an' graces there kid - yeah peckin' seed an' drinkin' g-hormone-soaked-water cultivatin' social skills also known as developin' bullyin' techniques Screw Vocational Guidance it was winner takes all you didn't get to the feedpipe you withered an' died right there on the floor - starvation an' thirst dude i tell you starvation an' thirst - there wuz nobody who'd sneeze sideways if you din wake up one mornin' - the mere fact that i am livin' breathin' thinkin' here in front of you is a testimony to that bastard Jones who one late mornin' kicked me off my nightperch - sleepin' in i was due to flu or sumpin similar mebbe worse felt like shit eyeballs itchy - weak at the knees - toes turnin' upwards an' that sonofa come bump me sideways cos he want my position - saved my life - made late breakfast shame Ed din make it through - avian flu virus got him hushed up by The People Above didn't want no panic in the row folk sellin' up movin' out we had a good corridor then - it was Home not like this place feels like exile only two levels up but it might as well be friggin' Australia fuck those were the days May God Help Us All Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo - thought i saw Pete a while back at a de-wormin' convention but it was too quick to judge ships passin' in the night - in the chikkin's search for meanin' i get a Big Fat Fokol - zero recognition no connections it's just a dream for all i can tell - nightmare more like - we jus a means to an end nourish the master race lay eggs donate organs for the ubermenschen it is all quite simple my good man We are the Masters and You are the Servants yo must lay down yo life that We might live - think of it as a Noble Callin' do not lose heart yo are part of a Solution the Final Solution to be precise it's all for a higher purpose stroke stroke smile smile deeply chillin' little laugh signal to the butler fo another G 'n T clap to dismiss yo from my presence do not linger little one yo is needed for wot yo mus do and i is needed fo what i mus do into each life a little rain mus fall be kiiiiiind to our four footed freeeeends etc etc don make me sick yo can't hold a note kotz kotz Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo

ain't much to think about on this circuit just the next meal when the hell is breakfast gonna arrive either that or wassup with the consistency of the feed Dry As Sawdust Is Not What We Signed Up For - mind you we didn't sign up a damn thing down here it was just oh let's stick him in there and plunk her in here oh shall we feed them mebbe not now later when i had my garlic 'n snails pass the salt ever so nicely dear - meanwhile these peckers are thirsty beyond comprehension there's no thirst like the spiritual emptiness of a life badly lived and regrets piled on regrets and the Deep Fuckin' ANGER at the UNFAIRNESS of it ALL - WHO YOO TINK YOO ARE DON TELL ME TO KEEP QUIET I'LL SHOUT IF I WANT TO YOO'D DO THE SAME IN MY POSITION TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF ME FUCK OFF YOO IT'S DARK IN HERE

IT'S FUKKIN DARK IN HERE


DO YOO UNNESTAND ME? DO YOU? HUH!? - i din ask fo this god how come you put me in here with these million pricks Jesus said His Eye is on the Sparrow and i don see much eyeballin' happenin' down south here terminal case of blind injustice in the immediate vicinity - what a goddam party this is - helloooo i godda itch at the back o' my neck is dere anyone dere who could possibly reach it the humidity is killin' me i godda stretch my legs will mornin' ever come i could sell my soul to the divil an' no-one who give a cluck - o god i's cryin' o god o god o god o god o god tears pourin' down my comb an' neck an' toes an' floor makin' dark mud in the chikkin shit dust - relief? - anywhere? - anyway? - no answer - Silence - i can't even sleep and the smell of a Duiwelhok full o' manure dat's chikkin shit bro overpowerin' my senses risin' up through the floorboards infiltratin' duh very moral fiber o' dis district dis country dis world dis cosmos - lonely lonely lonely damfuck

an' it's suddenly bloody Monday and i see the weekend went out the window like a pig on acid hoo boy so much for the revolution but Never Give Up as Winston Chickhill advocated - it's always darkest before the Pork says some other literary dude and there's been a sound of trucks revvin' for the last hour and hallelujay the top comes off the hokand its bright and i can't see - is this what the sky is terribly painful mebbe we're bein' rescued who knows and i'm bundled into a cage alongside Earl from the Body Corporate and he's playin' with his whiskers terribly important asshole - says he knows where we're goin' - gonna be a holiday farm for Retired Roosters where we get cuddled and stroked and kids playin' and restaurant scraps its called The Barnyard i kid you not - and a mellow feelin' of completion settles over his visage and i'm layin' back an' enjoyin' the ride breeze at my back scenery passin' so this is what scenery is you coulda blown me over with a feather mebbe JC was right after all you can see the face of God through the vent of the mobile hok Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo - check out those two big eyes bigger dan you an' me bigger dan infinity gazin' down at us all watchin' an' waitin' here's a pic beautiful ain't it?

well we get about an hour more of this and then there's a godawful cacophony of bleatin' squealin' lowin' cluckin' and we all dumped/herded into a shed - when i catch sight of Ricardo he's still dealin'dope to the youngsters and Denton strugglin' to get to the top of the edge to make a speech - Friends is all he say when somebody pulls him down and the madness gets worse - noise levels unbearable and a huge hand comes out the sky and Earl is rescued lucky bleeder along with three others there's speculation that it's an armistice committee set up to arbitrate an agreement but then there's this horrible gurglin' sound and Earl goes silent - just the ominously quiet whirrin' of an engine smell of blood everywhere then the hand appears again and a calm serenity comes over me so this is the end - strange aura of peace and the noises get fainter and bang the hand picks me up and i'm clamped upside down into a conveyor belt - blood rushin' to my head sharp blade Ooops and my soul expands into a thousand stars and i go back, back, far back to the beginning, past the avians the reptiles the insects the amoebae into a warm, gentle, musical, rainbowed light and the orchestra tunin' up yes folks and its finally... taran... tara... Fridayyyyy - Cock a Friggin' Doodle Doo
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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/