Quarterly Cover Image
Summer 2012 - 'Folklife Dancers' (treated photograph)
Summer 2012 - 'Folklife Dancers' (treated photograph)
I’d love to say it’s my hope to see you again, I really would. But what would I say to you? We’re miles apart in age and perception. And somehow, since you seem to frequent the same neighborhood where I work, I’m sure our paths will again cross, but I’ll be too single-minded in my commute to notice you, and you’ll probably be too busy with your friends to see me at all. So let me say that my greatest hope is that one day someone will read this letter to you.
Even better: one day, someone will teach you to read so you can read this yourself and write me back.
Before the splash, I did notice the police barricade tape strung across the intersection. I suppose I could have stopped, but I was puzzled by its height. It was set far above the roadway. I figured it had to be a mistake or a prank. it was neither, and it failed to stop me from driving into three and a half feet of highway runoff.
“Will the youth ever find their future?” Father asked no one in particular. It was a code. He was talking about me again. I was in the next room, getting ready to go out. There would be girls at the march, and I wanted to look and smell as nice as possible.
My Grandfather sat on his old folding chair, listening to American music on his tape player. “The youth will find their way,” he said sagely, his unlit pipe dangling from his lips. “They learn quickly that some things are given, and some must be taken.”
Father grunted at this. Unlike Grandfather, he was a man of few words.
Grandfather chuckled, scanning the room for his matchbook. “Remember“, he said happily, “that I lived to see you take your place, and I will see my Grandson do the same.”
Father eyed me with disapproval as I hurried past him. “Tsamaya sentle”, Grandfather called after me. “Go well.”
That was 1989. Grandfather did not live to see us take our freedom. He never saw Johannesburg become – for better or worse – the place it is today.
Koji is already circling the pond. That’s our cue that it’s time to go. He’s our alpha. Of course, the boys have all noticed, and we are ready. The girls are still huddled together, chattering among themselves.
Koji usually leads when we ride. He’s a machine. The stronger boys-me included-will draft behind, and then the girls after, using whatever order they follow.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s no formation rule. We all have fun when we travel. We migrate thru the formation, meet up with friends, and chat the miles away. Except for Koji. He’s all sweat and determination. It’s like he’s invented a new language. He’ll find the time when we’re done traveling.
Occasionally, someone else will lead. They don’t let me though; I have bad eyesight. There was the one time I mistook a junkyard for a rest area. There were dogs. It was bad.
I stretch my legs one last time, get a running start, and take to the air. Above, over the rush of air thru the feathers of my crest and wings, I can hear Koji calling to the girls.
Renald Sevier (196?-2007) passed away on February 22 during his fifth gender reassignment surgery. Sevier, a self-defined “criminal sculptor” was best known for his monumental and controversial sculpture “Death’s Table”. The work’s concealed poison darts have been the cause of 4 deaths, most notably Sevier’s own agent in 1987. Sevier was also co-owner of the London restaurant “6 Stone 4”, a bistro in which the courses were served in syringes. The restaurant, which opened and closed in the spring of 1981, was apparently celebrated among his then fashion model peers, but was otherwise not well received.
Sevier is survived by three former wives and two former husbands. He was pre-deceased by his second husband, the classical pianist Paul Kovacs, who died of fatal hilarity in 1982 after peering into Sevier’s now infamous “Villainous Rotoscope”.
A celebration of Renald’s extraordinary life will be held on March 3, 1pm, at the Taff Gallery. Viewers are advised to remain a safe distance from the casket.
“I was born on the Fourth of July,” he says. “I fought in the same war, too. They didn’t make a movie about me, though. I guess it’s not the same if you come home safe and sound.”
It’s a blistering July day before the holiday weekend, and Rayfel was just finishing folding the flag when I walked in. I was the last customer and I stood in line and watched as he transformed the flag into a perfect, crisp triangle.
I told him that I’m pleased by his respect for the flag. I told him that a week earlier, I’d seen someone lower the flag until it touched the ground then gather it up and throw it in a shopping bag.
He chuckled. “It’s not easy doing it by yourself,” he said simply.
“So how much,” I asked.
“Three hundred,” The old man answered as he turned to help his other customers.
I went back outside. There, III and Harri were waiting, clearly amused that I’d fallen in love with such a tacky object.
“Three hundred,” I repeated. I’m an artist. I worship at the altar of all things aesthetic. I couldn’t believe I was giving so much time and effort to the purchase of a cigar store Indian. Had I lost my mind? Read the full story
“Hold the elevator,” Joel cried, even as the doors were closing. He needn’t have bothered.
“Have you noticed,” I asked as I pushed the elevator call button, “that no one in this building will hold the elevator for you?”
Joel said that he did not. Ann did. She looked at Joel and I amusedly. “Why don’t you tell Joel what else you’ve noticed?” she asked me.
Read the full story
I’ve always hated shopping malls; those vast wastelands of relentless consumerism. I’ve disliked the suburbs since I began to understand the true nature of its origins. Here’s a segment of society that exists solely because of what I am. Their veiled bigotry is why they all decided to live outside the city, tooling from shopping mall to shopping mall in luxury off-road wagons.
At Christmas-time, I have to suffer both horrors. Suburban shopping malls filled with useless goods and mindless, self-important shoppers. Happy Holidays.
So, as usual, I procrastinated. As usual, I got lost on the way. I don’t know why I decided to go to Virginia; there are plenty of stores in Washington DC. I nearly did a full circuit of the beltway while trying to decide what to give my sister for Christmas. Read the full story
Mario knew he wouldn’t be able to reach terminal velocity in the short hallway, so he started his sprint from the center of the building. He’d planned pretty well. The blank canvas panel was firmly attached to the emergency exit door at the end of the hall. The jars of paint were open and ready in the atrium. Clean towels were waiting for him in the stairwell next to his second set of clothes.
What he didn’t plan for was the hapless freshman coming out of room 812. I was running late as usual, so I guess I didn’t notice the hallway floor had been carefully covered with newsprint. In my defense, I wasn’t expecting to collide with a streaking Spaniard covered in glitter and acrylic paint.
“Oi! Oi!” was all he had time to shout before he hit. For my part, I was only beginning to process the freakish image of a naked man sprinting toward me.