Archive for July, 2011

Lists

by Jamie King-Holden

On the back verandah, Thomas Silver Snr., ex-labourer, ex-pilot, ex-milk-bar-entrepreneur, ex-wannabe-‘nam-vet, stands guard beside the smoking rotisserie like something gothic. I watch him straighten his tissue paper hat, a parenthesis wrapped around his leather ears, now, purely ornamental.

Mrs. Alice Silver, part-time-air-hostess, part-time-lawn-bowler, full-time-worrier, sometime-crier, slices boiled eggs and tells us we are all going to die from smoking.

It’s Christmas. Cicadas scream down at us from the river gums and Thomas Silver Jnr. (bigot-council-worker, bigot-father, bigot-Australian-rules-supporter, bigot-astronomy-enthusiast, bigot-bigot) begins to tell us the problem with homosexuals. I poke my ham. I hold my breath and make a list.

Dexterous, oyster, fountain pen, calcium, sex.

Thomas Jnr.’s children are tearing around the plastic Christmas tree like two Aryan tornados. I try to join in on their game.

Arsenic, test cricket, homo sapiens, Napoleon, caramel, partisan, love.

Taking a recently extinguished piece of my aunt’s plum pudding, I retreat to the axe-initialled peppercorn tree standing stoic and bruised on my grandparents’ front lawn.  One street over, a family belts out a drunken rendition of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’

The wheelie bin on the curb overflows with Christmas litter.  I swallow my pudding.

Wind chime, alphabet, ink, anarchy, corn flakes, unhappiness.

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Jamie King-Holden lives in Geelong and studies literature at Deakin University. Her first book of poetry, ‘Chemistry’ was published by Whitmore press (2011). Jamie co-edits the literary zine ‘Windmills’.

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Rain On Mountains

by Rafael S.W.

They packed in silence and although everyone was excited in one way or another, it would almost have seemed rude to talk about excitement. Excitement was for people who knew that what is about to happen is a single moment in a long line of moments. Nina didn’t have many moments left. She wasn’t cute and she wasn’t dying. That was what Nina had heard her father say, and he was right. She wasn’t dying. But everyone had treated her like she was. The class had even made her a card. Her mother, in an effort to be caring, had asked her what she would like before she went to hospital. It wasn’t even extravagant enough to warrant the effort of the Make-A-Wish Foundation; she just wanted to see the snow.

It was autumn. And even in country Victoria, there was rarely snow. They drove to Mt. Buller and as they were driving there Nina’s brother said, “Look! Snow!” but it was only rain. Her father said it would toughen up, not to worry. He took a drink from the thermos and drove with one hand.

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Rafael S.W. exists for the glorious stories. He has been giving them out like strange candy for about 11 years. He is studying at RMIT, where he is one of the founding members of their newest secret society- ‘Dead Poets’ Fight Club’. Rafael, the writer of broken-hearted boys and the ocean. Rafael whose soul is electricity and banks.

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Stroszek

by Daniel Bennett

A friend of mine put an end to herself one early Friday morning, aged twenty-three and a half, in the garage of her stepmother’s empty home. Upstairs we found the cabinet open, the record player turning empty, as though she had begun to make some pithy final gesture and not known what to have it say.

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Daniel Bennett lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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Transit

by Jo Langdon

The flat still has the smell of paint, and the new carpet is full of static.

He is dressing in the dark, kicking into the cold legs of his jeans when she surfaces from the sheets, hair disordered and eyes shining.

When he leaves he checks the lock by twisting the handle, once, twice, and then he slides the key under the door. Outside he pockets his fists but the cold soon begins to ache in the bones of his hands and feet.

He steps into the slick black street and imagines he is stepping into her dream, but inside she is staring up at the shadowy cracks on the ceiling, as if waiting for sleep, or for the telephone to ring.

She turns sideways to face the window. The sheets are cold and do not smell of anything. A phantasm of snow against the glass reminds her, somehow, of somebody speaking.

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Jo Langdon is a literary studies PhD candidate at Deakin University. Her published fiction and poetry includes work in Mascara Literary ReviewWet Ink, and Voiceworks.

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