Published in Overland Issue 215 Winter 2014 Uncategorized Castrato Michelle Cahill When the kitten with a dislocated limb is euthanised, you’ve stopped reading my blog, my sister refuses the call, a bargirl on the south side of Sydney is being shagged, when every contract is optional, the ping-pong game is over, the flat day reeks of a stinking premonition on the pretext of afternoon teacake, vanilla-iced, served with the luminous smiles of a stay-at-home mum to reprise me of the stakes I’ve gambled, make-up too bright, or remind me falciparum malaria hooks up to maggots glossing the trash heaps on Manus Island, page 6 – when the slush pile of supplier statements, invoices, failure-to-pays I’ve ignored becomes a pylon, having clocked up as many as twelve angry men who’d expect equality and dignity are unconditional? When I’ve almost crossed the desert hallucinating Lasseter’s cave, with a parasitic strangle when poetry raids every layer of self-respect so I can no longer read newsprint, let alone the opening sentence of my tenth surplus draft, syllable by syllable – I’ll start over like a teenage boy with secret admirers in the back seat of his mother’s 4WD, learning to curse before my voice breaks for the first time. Michelle Cahill Michelle Cahill is a Sydney writer. Her short story collection, Letter to Pessoa, won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for New Writing. She has received prizes in poetry and fiction. More by Michelle Cahill Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 23 March 2023 Trans rights Why gender essentialism is a white supremacist ideology Maddison Stoff The idea that these neo-Nazis are just ‘cosplayers’, rather than the local version of an international and decades-long attempt by numerous lone wolves and paramilitary groups to seize control of multiple countries, is too dangerous to seriously contemplate. The better question might be: why do so many anti-trans rights activists, who often see themselves as left-wing or self-describe as feminists, tolerate or downplay the presence of Nazis in their circles? And, just as importantly, why do neo-Nazis show up to support them? First published in Overland Issue 228 22 March 2023 Cartoons Standing at Solidarity Park Sam Wallman In 1997, in response to anti-union legislation, 30,000 unionists marched on WA Parliament, and were ignored. On May Day, directly across the road from Parliament, aka ‘Bullshit Castle’, a site was pegged and legally claimed by unionists using the Mining Act. Remarkably, Solidarity Park is now Heritage Protected. The site is not just historic though, it’s alive. We ought to keep it overflowing with our movements.