For 80 years Meanjin has been a home for the best in Australian long writing, in essays, short fiction, memoir … plus poetry of course. Which is not to say that brevity doesn’t have a lot to recommend it. So here’s a challenge: write an exquisite piece of super-short fiction in 280 characters or less and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #meanjin280 … and yes, we know that leaves you with 269 characters, but these are the constraints of the medium. We did this back in 2017, and now, as then, we’ll be publishing the pick of the […]
Are Extinction Rebellion protesters shooting themselves in the foot? Commentators have been quick to accuse them of doing no more than annoying motorists and alienating the public from their cause. That argument assumes that all protests are aimed at winning over the public to one’s point of view. Put another way, protests are effective only when they operate within the boundaries of the accepted norms of the political system. But that completely misconstrues the strategy of XR’s campaign of civil disobedience. The point is to break out of the boundaries imposed by normal politics and challenging the system, the system […]
Reading Susan Howe On the large table that used to be a tree I’ve set out the Susan Howe books I’ve been most thrilled by over the last four years. My engagement with her work came late. It began in 2015 when I read her essay Vagrancy In The Park during my lunch hour at the legendary and now defunct Barwon Booksellers in Geelong. Those lunch hours were not so much breaks from work as augmentations of what we in the bookshop were already immersed in: words, lines, sentences, paper, bindings, endpapers, boards and covers, the way the polytemporal community […]
In her recent essay about learning to pry herself away from love that drained her, from a man who emptied her, CJ Hauser offers the fable of the crane wife. In the story, she writes, there is a crane who tricks a man into thinking she is a woman so she can marry him. She loves him, but knows that he will not love her if she is a crane so she spends every night plucking out all of her feathers with her beak. She hopes that he will not see what she really is: a bird who must be […]
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