Archive for March, 2011

Voodoo Man

by Tristan Foster

He went to these places, one day standing in the shadows at the back of the hall and breathing its old book smell, sitting in hard chairs with his fists on his knees the next, in the hope that he, simply by being here, could participate in some miracle.

Size was not a concern. What he wanted was something he could walk home with, shoes scratching on the footpath, hold in the dark and think about, and that his thinking about would have no effect on. Something impenetrable. He planned to take it and carry it around with him afterward, to wear it around his neck and under his shirt, kept close to be held between fingers whenever he needed to remember. A thing that was beyond and apart from what he knew, and to question it would make him become aware of the extremities of his skull.

One time he was there and a storm was at the door, an angry wind, which shook the trees and roof beams and sent leaves tapping at the coloured windows like rain. He thought maybe this was it; others leaned away suspiciously, and he knew they thought it was too. But it was only leaves, thrown at the window out of a grey sky.

So he went and listened, mouthing a response like the others, and he waited, eyes wide.


Tristan Foster is a writer from Sydney, Australia. His work has appeared in print and in code. He blogs things of varying obscurity at

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Planned Parenthood

by Sarasi Peiris

She smiled when he arrived at the restaurant carrying flowers.

“Sorry, I’m late,” he muttered sheepishly.

She opened the door and froze, like a deer in the headlights.

“That’s alright. You should’ve called. I’ve ordered my second helping of cake – been craving dessert lately,” she patted her stomach.

He made no comment and checked his phone.

The boy who had promised he loved her yesterday was locking lips with the girl she believed to be her best friend.

“Expecting a message?”

“Oh…um, no.”

Deeply indulging in their passions, they stayed blissfully unaware when she closed the door.

Now she noticed: the tapping of the foot, the glances at the watch, the restless fingers.  She had been played for a fool.  The saddest thing – she had loved him.

Two choices: revelation or revenge.

“Well…” he began awkwardly, “I have some bad news. Don’t take it ha-“.

“I’m pregnant.” She linked her hand in his and lied to his face. “It’s yours. That’s why I wanted to see you… in private.”

His face went pale with shock. Desired reaction.

“How do you know?” he asked, searching her face.

“Morning sickness.”

It was clear her news had big implications and he was getting serious. She could play him just fine.

“I want you to take a pregnancy test. I’ll come with you.”

She got a test kit from the pharmacy. He waited outside for her. But she stayed inside, muted in horror, seeing the test turn pink.


Sarasi Peiris is a manipulator of words that admires ingenuity and innovation and strives to use creativity in writing. Having graduated with a M.A. in Publishing and Communications from the University of Melbourne, currently she’s an editor of two publications and works on her blog writing and taking photos during her spare time.

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Why I Failed Physics

by Emily Lazar

I know you. You were the boy I sat 3 chairs behind in physics… the beautiful one with the dark hair. All the girls giggled at you as you passed them by. Your jeans rested low on your hips. Scuffed Converse, a small hole on the left heel; you used to mark them up with a black sharpie. You were shy. You would doodle sketches of warriors from other planets on the covers of your notebooks. I would stare at the back of your neck and memorize the way it curved and study the way your hair fell as it gently grazed your shoulders… and that tiny mole on the left side, near your clavicle. Sometimes it hid from me, covered by one of your faded concert tees.

I remember you. I would wait in my chair fiddling with papers, buying time at the end of class, in hopes you would pass my desk and I could catch the conflicting scents of baby powder and cigarettes you left in your wake. Ink covered your entire left arm, multi-dimensional drawings of abstract ideas that you had created. They belonged to you alone. All in black and white, you were more beautiful than any color I had ever seen.

That was the first time for me. My insides willfully plundered, my throat exposed waiting to be cut like the neck of a rose. Again and again, I revisit that feeling… so precious in its vulnerability, a taste so sweet to each involved.


M Lazar is the creative force behind the musical art project, September Mourning, as well as a model. Although she resides in Los Angeles, you are more than likely to find her out on tour in the United States or Europe, or gracing the pages of some of your favourite magazines.

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by Gerard Elson

Two pigs in mud:

‘Isn’t this mud lovely and warm?’
‘I’ve felt warmer.’
‘Than this? When?’
‘Just have. This isn’t so warm.’
‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt warmer mud than this.’
‘My ear.’
‘What’s that?’
‘’Course you have.’
‘You’ve felt mud warmer than this in your lifetime.’
‘And how do you know?’
‘Just do. Don’t spoil a nice moment with hyperbole.’
‘I’m not. It’s genuinely the warmest mud I’ve ever known. Hog heaven, I believe, is the term.’
‘— ’
‘Just say it.’
‘— ’
‘— ’
‘Look: we’re pigs. In mud. Be content with that. Enjoyment needn’t always outshine itself. You’ll supernova.’
‘You know, like a star. When it keeps expanding.’
‘Is that what a supernova is?’
‘You can be happy by just being happy, you know – you don’t have to be the happiest you’ve ever been every single time, lest you feel unfulfilled. You’ve grown dependent on emotional escalation. Only yesterday you said, “this is the most satisfying slop I’ve ever eaten.’”
‘It was hearty slop!’
‘So just say that!’
‘— ’
‘— ’
‘Look: I was “happy just being happy” back in the old pen. But here… I can’t open my snout without you negating me. You’re so self-dissatisfied that you can’t stand seeing me content. It’s pathetic.’
‘The most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen?’
‘— ’
‘— ’
‘Maybe I’ll sprout wings and learn how to fly. That way, I could shit on you for once.’


Gerard Elson is the voice behind film blog celluloid tongue. On occasion, his writings appear elsewhere too. He’s returning to uni this year to undertake an Honours degree in Film and Television Studies at Monash. Wish him luck on Twitter (@gerardelson).

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The Ringing In My Ears

by Regina Bresler

Ears are funny things. Funneling in the rest of the world, trapping information. Hanging from our faces, like weather vanes on faulty architecture. Mine hold on to sounds like jars do fireflies. Buzzing about and hitting the sides until the light runs out. Most of last night was flapping its wings the next morning. A single song hung so heavy over my memory that as I sat on the cold porcelain I swore it was blaring through the vents from my neighbor’s apartment. Flicking the light switch down and silencing the fan made the rhythm quit, but up it went, and that voice returned. She must’ve been trying to tell me something about the way I live. About the lack of sleep and smoker’s cough, hitching a ride since the weekend. And here we are, a breath away from the Sabbath.

It is more then sound that lingers. The reverb in my throat seems to be gathering speed. A bit more of my borough is hanging out the hems and drifting into view. But please, don’t point it out. You’ll only make me blush. Throat tickled and hissing out memories, dueling with the bathroom-pipes for airtime, trickling down the dew of the chilled windowpanes we’ve drawn our hearts on. All of me is at attention despite the hour. I am a bass amp with a broken knob. I am the feedback on a frayed copper wire.


Regina Bresler is a Brooklyn, NY native who spends her days running feral through the internet, and her nights talking to strangers.

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