It was all I could taste, despite not having touched the stuff for hours. It has a way of lingering, parsley, and I could feel it in the roof of my mouth, at the back of my throat, and in the strange unsettling warmth in my gut. This, despite the smells: the splashed urine by the grey metal toilet bowl, the beer from the Germans in the next compartment and the musk of old woollen blankets on that ancient Soviet train. It was dark, sometime in the early morning, although I’d had so much cold and flu medication—and Bulgarian cold and […]
For a few seconds, I’m rendered speechless. I look at the academic hosting our session. She half-smiles nervously, but doesn’t intervene. ‘No,’ I finally answer. ‘No. I will not be releasing an album.’
Meanjin has published some fine short memoir pieces in 2017. Memoir can be an act of reportage, resistance or confession. The late and much loved John Clarke writes tenderly of the commonplace…
Their throats are torn and bellies ripped open.
Tubes and organs, red and purple. Fat green blowflies crawl and swarm in their low army hum …
‘Your soul is more important than your body,’ Sister Beatrice said during religious instruction. ‘Your soul is your connection to God. Like a tidy house you must keep it clean.’
It’s always summer in childhood. I remember when we went to see the Peanuts movie Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown for your birthday. Your dad dropped us off outside the cinema and we accidentally went into the wrong cinema and saw The Deep instead. It was 1977. We were nine years old. Lost treasure, Jacqueline Bisset in a wet T-shirt, harpoon guns. We lived next door to each other until we were 15, our back yards joined by a gate cut into the fence, through which we could come and go as we pleased. We climbed to the tops […]
What have Spike Milligan, Weary Dunlop and the Ulster Rising got in common?
The ocean’s benevolence raised me; not fishes hauled and eaten in abundance, but its great iconoclast, the whale. This custody was devised by two parents finally decisive about their irrevocable differences, that the Southern Ocean and the Victorian plains do not cohabit. My mother would never declare ‘I am a whale’ as I declared ‘I am a seal’. Her name’s meaning, ‘dark stranger’, is an internalised marker. A name in vogue in the late 1950s, but maybe even at one day old, they perceived her as foreign. If we tend towards the souls of things, then the bookshelf of hardback […]
The circle puts you back to where you started. The circle is not a solution; it is reflective, contemplative, ceremonial.
I was sitting on the toilet. Plucked from the underpants around my knees, cradled in the palm of my hand, was a blood clot almost the size of my thumb. It was a luminescent red, verging on glittery, the colour of a nail polish bottle I might have picked out at the chemist. What I could never have imagined was that, for a moment, I would think very hard about swallowing that clot. I’m sorry, did you screw up your nose? I don’t blame you. After all, the first rule of miscarriage club is this: you do not talk about […]
Ethanol, Eschar by Charlotte Adderley
Throwing Stuff Away (Saying Goodbye to Dad) by Ginger Gorman