archive - issue 9

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    By MJ Turpin
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  • Apartment / Containers

    By Vincent Bezuidenhout
    These diptychs are the start of a series of images I have been working on regarding the visual landscape we choose to surround ourselves
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  • Collage

    By Claudio Parentela
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  • Drag and Snap

    By Leigh-Anne Niehaus
    This series is inspired by the childhood game of "snapdragon", which allows for simplistic and delightful decision-making through random selections of colour and number.
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  • Human/Nature

    By Lydia Anne McCarthy
    This series explores moments between nature and human beings that are at once idealistic and unsettling. Each picture is an independent narrative, but placed
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  • p u n c t u a t i o n

    By Ula Einstein
    Einstein works with a diverse range of media, including drawings and installation with fire, thread, and blades. The series of drawings and installations with
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  • Pretty Babies

    By Peregrine Honig
    With the premise that "/ " presents what is IN and what is OUT, the "Pretty Babies" series explores the fashion industry's well-published and syndicated DOs
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  • River Bank

    By Mario Sughi
    The symbol / is intended initially as a symbol of division. A real or unreal line divides the girl from the water, the girl from
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  • Seasaw

    By Sol Kjøk
    Here, the motif is conceived of as a seesaw (the typo in the title is intended, as this drawing is part of a series
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  • Series Seven Up

    By Noel Fignier
    Text by João Branco Kyron, HipnóticaThe collision is imminent and in the fraction of time left, the eyes shut and the vision is superbly
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  • A battle over samoosas between the snobbish Cinderella and a homeless electrician is mediated by Cinderella's boyfriend JJ. The samoosa battle is conflated with
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  • Untitled

    By Wilhelm Saayman
    This series of images, made using pen and ink, photographs and Photoshop, explore alternate/dream realities.
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  • Let's go there

    By Leigh Le Roux
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  • The space between.

    By Mehita Iqani
    It's a handy little line, the one that we use to make our options known. Either/Or. Paper and ink or binary code? Its clichéd,
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  • /

    By Ruth Barker
    On the QWERTY layout of my computer keyboard, the symbol / appears beside the questioning symbol ?. They are represented together on the same key, and
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  • I returned home after my first year in college to discover my younger sister had turned gorgeous. This was a disappointment, but not an
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  • Forward! Slash!

    By Travis Lyle
    You think you're a forward-thinking kinda person, do you? Lemme be the one to break it to you, sunshine – you're as lame as the
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  • Letter to the Editor

    By Elan Gamaker
    Dear Sir/Madam I should like strenuously to object to the subject matter ("/") of your current issue. It must first be mentioned, however, that it
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  • Butterfly

    By Adriana de Barros
    The pupa, a silk wrap of emotionsIsolated, within breathing, wanting to bethe intense pronoun of selfIt is silly to be one's own pronounShe giggles
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  • Evidence of Life

    By Tamlyn Martin
    Below is an extract from a series of 11 poems created in parallel with visual artworks. 5. Memories laced with visceral realityFlooding herThe gentle
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  • Immigrants

    By Stanley Onjezani Kenani
    you want to livenothing else.you leaveto liveyou swimor like fresh sardinesyou are packedin boatsyou leaveto live.  you leavegold in the belly of Africaoil in
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  • In Between

    By Tania van Schalkwyk
    Raised in an Arabian land of heat, fire and temper,sometimes the calm of England clamps downlike damp in a bathroom with no windowand a
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  • Or: a line drawing

    By Gabeba Baderoon
    Pencil and nothing. Her face turned almost entirely away. Forehead, cheekbone,jaw,the bun low in her neck,shoulderand down,the long linejust enoughthen left alone.
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  • Scissor

    By Charlotte Gait
    There was a time when you and I were connected by iron, acid, vitamin and blood. Where every mouthful I took was with the
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  • Un Hombre Fuerte

    By Tamo Vonarim
    Sun.star.kid: Written these words are, at times of a subconscious flow – whether they are mine, I don't know. All I know is that I
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  • Unbroken Awareness

    By TENDAI MWANAKA
    My life is now a floating shellI am a vessel on that river.The storm, the ship, the sea,Whose shores we lost in crossing.  I
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  • Untitled

    By Aryan Kaganof
    /At R550 rand I thought I'd rather die/ My mother: can I trust this woman?/ I thought the Romans were coming, dinkum/ …and always
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  • PATCH

    By Sean Hampton-Cole
    Keys. John speaking. 'Lo?Good morning. May I speak to Bob Mitchell please?Bob in Bonds?I'm not really sure. I'm trying to...You want extension 125. This
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  • Wayne Porter, freelance journalist, donned his anthropologist's birthday suit and hit the bowling alley. Bar the bowlers hat tipped gently off centre, the man
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  • The Incised Wound

    By Joanne Hichens
    "Please, for me, Dave," I placed my hand on his, and really, no begging, just asked him nicely, "Lay off the booze tonight." Whether
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  • He had been driving for hours through that unstable, somnambulist night when he fell asleep at the wheel. He awoke with a start and
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Sunday, 25 May 2008 02:00

Scissor

By  Charlotte Gait

There was a time when you and I were connected by iron, acid, vitamin and blood. Where every mouthful I took was with the express purpose of feeding you into a fat little babeczka I could rip out and sit on my knee, sing songs to and immerse in our tongue. Perhaps with the exception of the occasional vodka, every swallow was specifically packaged for delivery down the snot green umbilical hose so you could grow into the bouncing babeling you are today.
You can look at me all you want out of those large faminous eyes but it's not like I haven't done anything for you up to this dust-covered point in time. The backache balancing you, the dizziness as you leached anaemia into your host, the shattered pelvis and the suckled bones. Yet all the time it was glory to carry you, gift-wrapped recipe of your father and I made flesh.
The delivery was not so fun. The scissor, scissor, scissor before the forceps; your reluctance to engage from the safety of your larder; and, finally, the snip, snip of flesh, fat, uterine wall. But his hand, his breath, all the way through. And, finally, you, our love: tangible, expandable and covered in vernix.
Sharing him with you was never hard, though others worried. He took you to church, the swings, the pool and all the time it was me in you in us. Little family. Your tales gave me him in his absence.
During the week, you and I would pack our suitcases, holiday to the drawing room, paint portraits and orchestrate our private songs, waiting for him to come home and complete us. But recently the holidays have been different and the living room has become a bedroom, a washroom and a flapping pit of despond. Not a kitchen, sadly. And after keeping you warm and carried, precious marriage bundle, thinking you must come first, the pantry is empty and you gnaw at me in a dog-whistle whine while I try to shush the words which got us into this trouble in the first place.
I walk and my calories fall to the ground while the wind cream-whips our water to ice. But worse for him. Still he comes to us, though it's harder now. His soul juts through while his hands hide beneath their calluses. I see him sneaking you his worker's potato peeling, decaying cabbage, on which you gorge, little leech, never acknowledging that with each mouthful you scavenge idly on the other half of me.
Once you seemed to be our future but now the iron foundry rings out night after night and the burning cherishes this hopeless sky. I know he sweats and drops for you but read only this in his crystals: there is no other Him.
But you, Babeczku. Not quite as unique as I once thought. My waiting womb intact, my fresh unpillaged eggs, our love to create something which won't dissolve between your crunching jaws. Little cherubim – sculptable again and again into infinity.
And so, Daddy's greedy little angel. I'll:
Cut off the gannet mouth.
Obstruct the gaping stomach.
My second birth to him.
Quiet now.
Snip, snip.
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There was a time
Milk
Warm
Thick
Close
So close
Pumping
Warm connected flesh
And then:
Butternut
Puree
Peas
Juice
Diluted
Flavour
Laughter, my hair, my face,
Her hair, carpet, shouting, laughing,
Either.
Meal times
Talking
Me talking
This is what I did
Papa
What we made
What that horrid boy
Said to me, before he
Kicked me, kissed me,
It was gross.
Nourishing. Thank you, Mama.
Protect me from boys.
I want to stay here.
Forever.
Silence outside.
Swallow my tongue.
Lower my eyes.
Quicker. Thinner.
Dragged at her speed.
Legs so long.
Yelling. Night. Swaddled.
His panting, her gasping.
My legs aching.
Night. Day. Night.
Picnic. Forage. Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.
The rice. The handout.
The hand-me-down.
The crush.
No rice. Rice. Sometimes
Rice.
I can't eat that.
It's foul.
It moves.
It moves.
It's protein.
I eat.
I dream of eating.
I draw eating in the dust.
He comes. It fills me. More than the potato peel. More than the onion skin.
She remains cold.
No marrow bones.
Her face turns away.
Won't share my peel.
Hisses to give it back.
I offer. He refuses. I chew, chew, chew
Relief.
Touch where she was.
Space.
We growl at each other.
No bonds.
Just cheese dreams, pineapple dreams, her-smile-dreams, her-warmth-dreams.
Nothing now.
No peel to fill me up.
So yes.
I'll hush.
Smile again.
I'll hush.
Snip...
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