Just don’t do it: the cornerstone of the Mormon religion. When I was thirteen, I was visiting my friend from church. She had an eleven-year-old brother. While I was visiting, his parents caught him rubbing his crotch up and down the pantry door. He had obviously just discovered how amazing it felt. My friend and I watched as her brother was taken into the living room and sat down for a talk. We listened through the closed door. It was all so funny to us. What was he doing that for? He could have simply been told that it was […]
There’s a cyclone tracking south through Queensland while an intense low is battering south east Australia. At the same time, there’s a leadership spill going on in Westminster and the US is reacting to the jailing of President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. These stories are filling a very busy line-up on morning television. But on the newsstands in Sydney, the front page of The Telegraph has thrown all that aside with a bold headline claiming the media is missing an even bigger story. The paper is right. Just go online and type in the magic combination of words, and there […]
There’s a scene in the classic (albeit overrated) holiday film A Christmas Story (1983) where the neighbours’ bloodhounds demolish Ralphie’s turkey dinner. The final scene has Ralphie, his parents and brother seated in the local Chop Suey Palace serenaded by heavily-accented waiters. Not as common as Christmas movie staples like single moms losing the spirit of the season, or Santa Claus feeling unappreciated, nonetheless, but a recurring festive inclusion is Chinese food: that, on occasions, sweet treats and English-style roasted meats are sidelined in favor of dumplings and stir fries. While watching too many hours of Christmas films for a […]
When Rory burst into our lives, he was an angry pink and already knew how to complain. I should have smothered him right there, taken a pillow from behind Mum’s matted wet hair, saving us all. And I would have, had she ever left his side. Instead I was forced to endure him, to direct my hatred instead toward the blowflies buzzing inside the window ledge, while she repeated over and over, ‘Isn’t he the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?’ How I made my mother so incomplete that she would need a second child, I would never understand. […]
Of the few Indigenous Australian languages still spoken as a first language, Warlpiri is one of the most alive. My people have an earthy, often self-deprecating sense of humour. Their profound linguistic awareness leads them to invent hilarious jokes about their constant mispronunciation of English, and other Aboriginal languages, as well as the mispronunciation of Warlpiri by tin-eared English-speakers.
I promised my wife that she could throw the first stone. There’s a story called ‘The Lottery’. You might have read it. Carnage, very literary, hell of a twist, which is nothing really, not once you’ve come home late and your wife’s in bed, tears streaming down her face, and she can’t get out, not now, and you think, I know what I need to do.
The image of Australia is of a man in an open-necked shirt solemnly enjoying an ice cream. His kiddy is beside him. —Donald Horne. Have we done with the man in the open-necked shirt solemnly enjoying his ice cream? It would appear not. For a long time he was there in the flesh, as real as you or me.
Slippery vinyl, cold glass,
the old smoke of your uncle’s embrace,
pulse flamenco dancing,
as streetlights smudge to neon
in the click and hiss of an aluminium can.