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
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 16:52

The Winemakers' Manifesto

By 
It had been a tiring fortnight. Since Athens Lucy had had the flu and her holiday to the Greek Isles was turning out to be a disappointment.

They were on a guided tour of a temple of Dionysus. The guide went on in a monotone, about "Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, women and song." They stood before a statue of a young man with long hair and a casual stance. His sidelong glance, fixed through twenty centuries of the artist's impression, seemed to be watching Lucy through veiled eyelids. She sneezed and the tour guide moved on. As she delved in her handbag for another tissue, she heard the voice droning on about this citizen of the Ancient World.

"The worshippers of this God would become drunk on wine, dance around this temple," he indicated backwards with an expansive hand, "in a fertility ritual, finally going on to ..." How boring and irrelevant, she thought, and in her misery coughed like a drain. She thought how she was definitely not enjoying this. The whole trip was an act of rebellion against Cecil. She had been bucking against his disapproving ways since they had first met. Now she was nineteen and he was in no way relenting. He still looked down on her spontaneous nature and disdained her efforts to bring him out of his shell. Oh just for once to see Cecil misbehave, she thought.

"The Ancient God of carefree living, Dionysus's worshippers, when possessed, were held by strong urges," the guide's English working-class accent paused, meaningfully, "largely due to the wine they imbibed."

Her thoughts drifted towards her endeavors to liberate the dear sweet Cecil, and how it seemed that he was too set in his ways to respond. He was now back in Cape Town, spending the holiday amongst his collection of butterflies.

Returning to her hotel room, she kicked off her shoes and blissfully lay down on the soft counterpane. A breeze blew in off the Mediterranean and gently wafted her from wakefulness, and within a minute she was asleep. The next minute there was a knock at the door, and she opened the door to find a waiter with long, greasy hair. He offered a bottle of the local stuff, a red wine of dubious vintage.

"Compliments of the management," he said in a thick Continental tone. "We hope it is to your taste."

"Leave it on the sideboard," snapped Lucy, tired and irritated at this interruption of her sleep. The man obliged giving her a cheeky sideways look that raised her bile. He had heavy eyelids and a sensuous, swarthy look that she found strangely disturbing. When he was gone she called the airport to confirm her flight home the next day. What a relief to get out of this sticky country, she thought. Dear God, where is the Cape South Easter when you need it.

Hmmn ... Next to the wine was a book called The Winemakers' Manifesto: a Guide to Dionysiac Liquoring.

"Absolute New Age rubbish," she thought, but, never one to turn down a free offer, she popped it into her bag.

Back home, Table Mountain stood proud to the skyline and Lucy felt somehow protected as she gazed out of her kitchen window at the sleeping giant. Often she would take a Sunday stroll along the paths of the mountainside, perhaps taking a hamper of food and her companion, Cecil. They would walk until they were exhausted, then find a warm corner and devour their picnic meal. Of course Wilbur, her Alsatian puppy, would accompany them, a caution against muggers and a cheerful presence between the two misanthropes.

It was a warm spring day when they set out as usual to explore the mountainside. They took with them a hamper with sandwiches and a bottle of red wine, one she had brought back from Greece, in fact the bottle she had obtained from the wine-waiter. Cecil looked disapprovingly at the bottle of wine as if it would bite him.

"I daresay the fellow was trying to steal something out of your room!" he said dismissively when told about the incident, but glanced at the Winemakers' Manifesto and tucked it into the basket.

"Come on Wilbur," she whistled at the dog, and slipped the lead around his neck.

It was a still corner where Lucy and Cecil came to rest with their picnic. They spread a rug and set out their meal in anticipation. Below them the Atlantic stretched out blue and idyllic in the spring sunshine. Lucy thought in passing of the aquamarine Mediterranean so many miles away, as she finished a chicken roll and the last of the wine. Afterwards, bathing in the sun with a certain twisting in her stomach, she felt the lightness of the breeze on her cheek and felt herself drift off. Once again she found herself in the room where she had been during the Greek excursion. Once again the knock at the door. Automatically she opened it. But now the Greek waiter was no longer a greasy-haired Neapolitan, but the Greek god Dionysus himself, and behind him were the green fields of Southern Greece. He gave Lucy a sidelong glance under soft eyelashes that she had seen somewhere before. She discovered that she was clad in a loose, flowing dress that outlined her graceful figure, and she willingly danced out onto the hill covered in long grass that swayed in the wind. She found that she was being pursued by this handsome Greek god and playfully she fended him off. He was all around her, and as she ran he turned into ... Cecil?

It was Cecil who was chasing her now and Cecil who had a knowing grin on his face. Cecil the abstemious, Cecil the pompous, Cecil the disapproving nerd who had no right to dictate a damn thing to her. He was in the process of trying to stick his tongue in her ear when Wilbur started to lick. Now Wilbur, or his predecessor, had licked her before, but well, never quite like this. It reminded her of her ride on the Shetland pony at her eleventh birthday party, thrilling, scary, wanting more.

Itchy, tousled and aroused, she sat up to see Cecil looking at her through veiled lids in a way she had seen somewhere before, long ago and far, far away. The Winemakers' Manifesto was propped up against a projecting protuberance that boded well for the future of the afternoon. Hmmn, she thought, and leaned over ...
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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/