Editorial

Type
Editorial
Category
Editorial statement

Last December in an article for Crikey, correspondent-at-large Guy Rundle trenchantly diagnosed the Coalition’s catastrophic miss-management of the universities as a betrayal of the very ‘western values’ they claim to revere. However, he also assigned a mysterious share of the situation’s blame to nefarious left-wing thinkers with their impenetrable queer theory and scandalous intolerance of intolerance.

Type
Essay
Category
Climate politics
Memoir

Pandemic pastoral

Mum and Dad reckoned I was always a waterbaby. As soon as we stopped the car at the beach, I’d take off, a trail of clothes left in my wake, headed straight into the water. I didn’t notice the difference of the cooler waters down here until I was an adult. The water was always a refresher, a relief from baking hot sun and dusty throats. We would swim everywhere—Johanna, Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Ninety Mile Beach, Mallacoota, Gunnamatta, Koonya.

Type
Essay
Category
Family
incarceration

Perpetrators

In the spring of 2019, my dad’s most recent partner called as I was heading out my front door. They’d been dating on and off throughout the year and we’d met once, about a month prior. I couldn’t recall having saved her phone number, but sure enough there was her first name with ‘Dad’s Partner’ in the Company field. Primed for disappointment, I slung my bag over one shoulder, cradled my mobile in the other and answered with a curt ‘what’s happening?’ as I pulled the door shut. She asked how I was, then shifted quickly from the incident to her wishes for his remains, the funeral home, the ceremony.

Type
Essay
Category
UBI

‘Bush pirates’ and other disguises

It seems to me that the utopian potential of Universal Income can easily be exaggerated, but so can its dangers and implausibility. There are struggles all around us which, on a daily basis, we’re forced to abandon and forget. Given increased power over our own attention wouldn’t make these problems disappear, even more would emerge. Material poverty, for all the most airtight policies and implementations, will likely never cease to exist.

Type
Essay
Category
History
Literature
Reading

What lies beyond the vortex

This essay focuses on the novel La vorágine (1924) by José Eustasio Rivera as a document from a chapter in Latin American history. It looks for connections between the effects that modernity was having over Amazonia one century ago, with those that are currently affecting the largest rainforest on the planet. In my work as a fiction writer, I have often explored the relation between the so-called civilised world and the tropical jungle. Approximately one decade ago, I wrote a stage play (which I later turned into a graphic novel) that occurs in a future where the possession, consumption and traffic of meat products have been declared illegal.

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Type
Review
Category
Poetry

Shitheads: well are we doing this?

Lucy Van’s book of poetry The Open, published by Cordite and recently long-listed for the Stella Prize, is made up of mostly prose poems. The sentences that make up Van’s prose are very fun and full of life. Merlinda Bobis in her Introduction puts it well: ‘We’ve just touched what’s here, or are about to touch it, when apprehension is quickly unsettled, halted or reconfigured.’ This is true from sentence to sentence, the way they are stacked.

Type
Essay
Category
Capitalism
History
Language

Corpus Capitalis: on the etymology of capitalism

The paradigm ‘capital’ (of capitalism) has a revealing etymology. Originating from the Latin ‘capitalis’, meaning, ‘of the head’, in contemporary usage, capital typically refers to that which is of greatest importance (such as the capital city); that which comes first and stands out (such as the capital letter); or that which sits above or on top (as the head literally sits above the shoulders, or as a figurative head sits atop a hierarchical structure, such as the head of a family, state or corporation).

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Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

Darryl

The story of Steele Rudd’s whirlwind trip to Sydney in 1899—which is a corker, believe me, you’re going to love it—begins with the writer on a train. He sits by the window of his compartment, trembling fingers preening his dark moustache. Slouched beside him is his travelling companion, a young man with a bushman’s hat drawn over his snoring face.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

The first to lose

I went upstairs and had a cold shower. Afterwards, downstairs in the kitchen, I swallowed some painkillers for a headache I haven’t been able to shake for a few days. Dad’s voice came in from the courtyard and I went out to where he was sitting on a red plastic stool hunched over something. ‘What’s that?’ I asked. Dad turned around. At his feet sat a small cage housing two white ducks with bright yellow beaks. The kind of ducks you saw in kids’ picture books.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

Machine works

Screeching the forklift tynes into the drum lifter, he removed each bin and placed them on the platform scales. He had to lick his thumb and rub the worn display panel to read the numbers which he jotted down in a note pad before taking each barrel outside. He lined them up against the cyclone fence in the car park then manoeuvred the plate steel and rods into the workshop. He began returning the more valuable copper and brass barrels to the workshop to be locked up that night.

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Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

Fontanelle

You remembered the smell of him. Like milk powder, rimmed with the tang of compost. When you held him, you would breathe in deep, and squeeze him so tight he started to wiggle and huff. He came out smaller than a toaster, then took on the shape of a loaf of bread. Now, he was just starting to get lanky. Knobbly knees and feet so big in their fat, laced shoes, still round-toed.

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Traveller

A comrade made of new-cut pine sitting rooms, because of foxed pages and clamorous awnings, warm dregs improved by salt plum —the breakfast nightingale has only commendations, and hangovers, even if Berlin remains what you’re barricaded from.

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Wanala sunset

Spring, seeking the fresh collapse of everything, not least this evening, and the effort of buildings (every cornice and eave) fails to eclipse the vaporising midges, serrated rows of eucalypt trees. Insects sing in full-throated susurrus

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

girl

I am watching her lick her blood off the floor and I am thinking: it is a marvel that the nose can lose so much and remain intact I am thinking: what is a fist a shoe a foot a book what is a belt a wooden spoon a frying pan if not a kind of missile.

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Sapiens

Much of it was impasse—we were hefty, unglamorous, carried ourselves with grace and humility to the boucherie, ached in our bluesiness, modelled self-discipline when convenient, elected botulinum but refused the triple bypass,

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Je te veux house

The house stretched like a big turd that’s been freshly shitted from a gigantic brick beetle and was almost 9351 km from Tibet. You were really into Buddhism, so much so you ate dahl and planned to travel back to Tibet.

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Under the pink house

It was pornographic science fiction inside you. You stretched yourself onto the bed and I was casually stationed as a headless fog. You undressed in the afternoon—the chimerical atmosphere where chatting women turn into chittering insects.

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Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Boys don't cry

Once upon a time, a boy leapt into a poster’s figure, a poster’s figure a boy F lamboyancy! The boy was teased for teasing his hair: Nancy boy! For his 16th birthday the boy received a guitar from his wandering father A Bm C#m D Doesn’t mean you’re one of the boys spat C#m Bm C#m Bm C#m Bm

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