When iso’s over I’m buying a coleslaw

handfuls of nectarines, vanilla pudding to keep the

lockdown woes at bay, I’m kinda worried

not rly because I’ve got the spicy cough

                             you know, I’m young – no underlying conditions

but my brother has spent the past week in emergency


blips    and      static

when our dad did that too many times

they told him eventually

to fuck off and he did

for good

The ambulance schedules haven’t gotten much better since then

nursing red-eye on rotation

overworked underpaid care workers, single digit sleep cycles

I watch my phone fill up with outrage

pre-programmed algorithms

performative justice

No1 can decide who we pile onto next

it’s the little things they’ll get you for on Twitter

 ‘her boobs titted around breastily’ @TheSmollestCat

I wish my door closed properly

from the men who came to pay a visit

to my grandmother, well she’s 83

can’t move without a walker but

no one cares much when she screams in the night

except my upstairs neighbour who rings me

in social housing people invite you for coffee

food drops, sometimes for other things too

I’m kinda worried for my mum

she’s been kicked out of houso

for punching her neighbour’s window in

when the guy next door he’s yelling

there’s a woman at this place who kinda reminds me of her

methadone gleam in her eyes, ex nurse wonder tits flyaway hair

she keyed someone’s car and she cut

nan’s umbrella tree muscling the gutters but

she has these frozen blue eyes like opal jewels wrested from brown dirt

                   when I’m walking down the street her eyes freeze on me

               her mouth curves, childish lips, the ones that called the cops

but I just smile coz I’m chicken shit white

you never know it just might save

my arse, the scraggly hibiscus in the garden.

I might just get lucky

It’s the little things / secret daydreams

(She comes in, I say Cheryl, choke me out and she sits on my face)

In reality I’m swiping right thinking it’s left

I’ve got my face on tinder help it’s the same refrain:

Hello hello hello hello hello hello how are you?

Gotta keep it close and personal for social media

they’ll never give me a book deal –

all I’ve got are editors with avos yes AVOs not avocados

million dollar inheritances working class heroes all.

It’s a class act baby!

                                                  Gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss

‘when I got this award I was living in a housing commission area’

babe why didn’t you come say hello?

We’re your neighbours, we don’t bite (hard)

but what do I expect from feminism

what good old J Gil did

on the same day she told Abbott to fuck off

was the day she cut the single parent benefit

my mother’s still living in a tent I guess it’s all a sham

sham wow

LIFE ads

make life more enticing

I guess I should’ve been more grateful for the opportunity

geriatric television screens play

tinnitus on standby

sticky mopheads buzz like flytraps,

scented candles, Ajax spray and wipe

rinse away the dust and wrinkles

blips    and      static

Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn

Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn is a writer living in Tasmania. Her recent work has appeared in The Age, Meanjin and Island magazine. She is the previous editor of Voiceworks.

More by Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn ›

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