‘the fact that who needs heart shapes getting in the way all the time’ —Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann She is lying in bed in the afternoon, reading a big thick book with lots of pages. The book prompts her to have a thought. Maybe if I have a child, I’ll make sure to take care of the both of us? When a thought is a question, is it still a thought? The book is red and blue and so hefty she used it to press down the collar on one of her shirts a week ago, because she doesn’t […]
The first signs of spring are there now. In the narrow bed by the kitchen window, the climbing roses that I cut back hard to the bud in deep winter are flushing out leaves. Cumquats are green on the bushes down the back, and in the dark chocolate soil there are signs of crimson new growth on the dormant nubs of peonies. These are little flinches of hope in a world that seems otherwise stripped of it, a world treading water in a strange and apprehensive hiatus; signs of nature’s perpetual, rhythmic press forward. It abideth forever. I’m waiting for […]
I’m trying to find the relevance of my PhD project again. I’m sitting in the room where my editing job was made redundant over a Zoom meeting, and I’m watching the time in the corner of my screen. A million years ago, it was March. Yesterday, it was the middle of April and then somehow, somewhere, May and June happened. Finding yourself in the centre of a dystopia while concurrently trying to write a dystopia is an odd thing. The situation is both mundane and frightening. Last year, I had spent the month of November drafting an entire creative manuscript […]
Forgetful princess confuses past, present and future. * * * Last summer I became obsessed with an old mobile game called Monument Valley. Released in 2014, it’s a puzzle game that involves manipulating the landscape for the protagonist, the princess Ida, to move through. This is done via mechanisms both apparent and hidden. I found its Escher-esque design beautifully compelling, its music soothing, and its puzzles gently challenging. I spent hours playing it and its sequels—on the toilet, in bed, on the plane. What I found most intriguing about the game was its narrative: Ida seeks forgiveness for […]
Painting is a silent art, yet so few artists have mastered silence—in Australia, Jeffrey Smart; in America, Edward Hopper; and in Denmark, Vilhelm Hammershøi. If I do not dwell on Smart it is because I sense his debt to Hopper; Smart was born and raised in Adelaide, and though I have wanted him to win my love he has only won my admiration.
He places his hand on her waist and now they’re dancing, a sped-up version of a waltz that’s completely at odds with the song blaring tinnily out of his phone speakers. Inspired, she takes his hand and spins into him then back away, a bastardised version of the classic ballroom move.
I’ve worked as a teacher of English as a foreign and second language for many years and know how to teach the difference between the word ‘house’ and the word ‘home’. I teach that the former is a structure made from concrete or bricks, mortar or wood, while home is a conceptual idea of place and belonging.
The first time I tried to record frogsong
it wasn’t a frog at all, just an insistent
cricket broadcasting his urgent message
to all the females in the neighbourhood—