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
    Read More
    • WRITING
Lunette Elle Warren

Lunette Elle Warren

Elle Warren has experience in breaking things and not much else. Somehow she managed to finish a PhD in Ancient Cultures before she got restless and moved on.

Her art, both written and visual, has appeared in ItchGravelEntropyStanzas, and elsewhere. She sees emotions in landscapes. She creates because how can she not?

Website URL: www.ellewarren.com
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 10:23

La femme obscur

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 sunset and ends nowhere good or light or graceful.
She’s calculated whimsy.
She’s real, except when she isn’t.
She’s a vegetarian.
All her cosmetics are cruelty-free.
She has four pairs of leather shoes.
Her cruelty-free, organic, vegan, non-gmo shampoo is gluten-free, because so is she.
She hates people.
She’s a social justice warrior.
She’s a feminist.
She’s intersectional.
She’s political.
She’s anti-establishment unless the establishment is the free market.
She buys local.
Her jeans are made in Taiwan.
Her shoes in India.
Her loose floral tees in China.
She grows her own tomatoes.
She buys her fruit at the farmer’s market.
Knows the vendors by name.
She always tips at least fifteen percent, but mostly twenty.
She tells everyone to have a good day.
Her smile is addictive.
Her eyes are the antidote to your bad day.
And her lips touch the air with a charm that paints silence on your tongue.
She’s the venom that makes you spin.
She’s your heroine.
She’s night become adamant.
She’s fire.
She’s a split lip.
She’s a broken nose.
She’s a cold hospital bed.
She’s a bouquet of fresh cut flowers at six am.
Her voice is frost in the winter sun.
She’s an artist.
She’s real.
She’s your heroin.Ragdoll

Saturday, 16 January 2016 16:37

The Traveller

I couldn’t see anything when I came back the first time. There was a man, but I didn’t know him, not really, except that he was dangerous and soft and when he whispered in my neck I ceased to exist. I returned with his words and his scent in the back of my throat. The city cast a shadow in which I was invisible. It was revelry at its purest; it was me at my worst and best and truest self. When I stepped out of it I disappeared, but nothing stays hidden for long where I’m from.

***

Nights in the city breathed the loving beats of fog machines and cloudy neon visions of pleather robots sticking to the walls and the floor and the ceiling. We sucked lollipops for the bitter and pretended it all went away. Smoke filled our lungs and our heads but we kept our hearts to ourselves because some things were sacred, even in this circus town.

In the mornings, which were mostly the afternoons, we watched the ink melt off our skin in the drops of summer sun and leave its tell-tale purple stain. Those days were too bright and too often too intimate. There were weeks in between that we filed under afterglow, but it was probably just a trick of the light. We could have gotten up and gotten out, but the lethargy was comfortable and the effort didn’t seem worth the risk. For hours we languished on park benches and patches of grass covered in chestnut blossoms, talking about ISIS and VAW and FGM and feeling orgasmic in each other’s sentences. He wrote lust letters on my thighs with the tips of his fingers; I composed my most polished poetry in the grips of our sighs. Between us there were no secrets that were worth keeping, and the mundane did not deserve utterance.

***

For a long time afterwards I was a blank space. I filled the cracks with a veneer that refracted light. The surface was a Rothkonian masterpiece; the depths were a kaleidoscopic fuckup. That winter the rain came pouring down by the bucket-load and seeped in through the cracks, disturbing the delicate balance of the colour canvas until nothing was left but shit-stain brown. By the time the southern sun passed by to fade the remnants, the mould had set in.

The progression of time came to be marked by periods of sleep that became longer and more restless until one day I didn’t wake up. I sat in silence at my knuckle-bone desk and took it all in without taking anything in and without giving anything back. At times I felt myself naked as the sun stroked the soles of my feet, but there were places only the moon could reach: the corners of my eyes, the base of my spine, the back of my throat. The walls grew darker even as the clouds gave way to spring and eventually to summer. I wore a chaotic silence like a protective cloak to work, to bed, everywhere, nowhere. Slowly I shed the city and retained only the very necessary. There were times when even that seemed like too much.

***

When at last there was nothing left of me I heard his words in the distance, a siren song for the recently deceased. But I had nowhere to turn and no way to move, and the desire to lose myself overpowered the urge to find him.

Almost.

The city does not let go of you that easily. I had barely tilted my head in the direction of his voice, yet I found myself enveloped in the shadows again. The sameness was comforting, but I was no longer alone in the half-light. My invisibility had stripped itself from me in the place where I was from. The sun clung to me even on the wildest nights. The man, whom I didn’t know, still didn’t know after all this time, didn’t care to know, who didn’t know me, was just another traveller getting lost in the city. Like me he had disappeared in the murky recesses of the carnivale and had been unable to find his way back. We sat in silence on opposite banks staring at the river, waiting for a sign, a hand, anything at all, but it never came and we had nothing more to say.