We need to pay our artists, and for the most part we do, but there is a blind spot when it comes to radio. I was contacted by an ABC radio books show to see if I would review a new novel on air. After inquiry it was clear that this work would be unpaid. When I expressed that this was problematic, one of the show’s hosts explained that she agreed it was not ideal but that there was nothing she could do: ABC funding has been cut, and the ABC has a policy of not paying anyone who comes […]
Grammar and temporality. That’s what comes to mind when I consider this blogpost’s brief. The present continuous—the am-reading—implies some kind of vague but unspecified reach. If we’re being pedantic about things, right now, as I write this, I’m only reading my own words as they begin to accumulate on a screen. This very curtailed present, if it amounted to the extent of my graspable stretch, would be too short to make this blogpost interesting. It wouldn’t—come to think of it—be enough to make a person, or a life, interesting. Curtailed presents are political, as I see it. For a while […]
There is a conversation I do not know how to have, a conversation about what happens if we are heading for disaster. It is not a theoretical question for me. I have two daughters. The older has just turned 13, the younger is nine. On current projections we will pass the point at which it is possible to hold warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels before the younger has finished school. By the time she is at university the coral reefs will be gone. By the time they are in their early thirties we will be committed to two […]
The city is shrinking now. Gaining some fiction of cohesion as it recedes into contours and right-angles, pastel-washed slopes, a matrix of shipyards. The brutalist clock tower on the port strikes the hour with an unexpected ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ jingle. I am leaving Piraeus harbour on a ferry at sunset, staking out a seat by the window, attempting to wedge my overstuffed cabin-sized suitcase somewhere out of the path of the (apparently all) more compact and more composed passengers onboard. This is typically how I travel—outsized and overburdened, with books and clothes and vitamins, whatever the mode of transport. […]
The end of a jetty is a nowhere place; no longer on land but not quite at sea. With a glance in the right direction, even time vanishes. Is that a ship on the horizon? White sails catching the winds. Matthew Flinders on deck, scanning distant land. There’s a whiff of smoke blending with the aroma of salty air. Looking back towards the shore, shadowy figures cook fish in coals, while children search rock pools for mussels. Imagination runs wild in nowhere places.
There is shock and horror in the Californian almond region tonight.
Initial reports suggest ten dead and at least a dozen more injured.
It could not have been more ugly. A grey Remembrance Parks no-brand urn. To cater for/cancel out all tastes. Trying so hard not to be what it so clearly was. Modern death is all about discretion. Your name and d.o.d. were printed underneath.
appears on the side
of a building block
in a high rise district
You watch it
a lit wick
until its great glow