Raw

(With thanks and grat­itude to Robert Borden) 1. 2017 was a good year for fear, a good year for screaming Not like some other good Amer­ican years but it slid out of A year of celebrity death and tele­vised suf­fering that we were all...
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Taming the sea

I My daughter is stretched out on white sand, feeding the ocean. She says she is taming the sea — its wild­ness nibbles at her fin­gers. We have seen no dol­phins today, nor any stin­grays nor whales nor any­thing bigger than spiky brown coral...
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Words

Rough-cut paper tells you it’s a first edi­tion and the must takes you back — Years spent, nose down. Ink-smudges and foun­tain nibs, the romance Of Umberto Eco and sharp-edged medi­eval scores. There’s a deep Con­nec­tion through time...
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POETRY

Flamenco

Flamenco

Long fin­gers and silver rings; that rhythm; that flight Of fore­finger down a string; that tap of the fin­ger­tips Against the golpeador — one of your legs is crossed over The other and it all dis­ap­pears but for the music. That slight frown on your brow...

Memento mori

Memento mori

His mother painted it, in another life. It is small — less than half a metre across, not quite square. At first glance, it’s nothing but greys, as if it could be Some 19th cen­tury indus­trial city­scape or Soviet town, But closer in, you see...

If voting fails, break glass

If voting fails, break glass

It goes without saying that spells of this kind gen­er­ally require a kitten; At least one, more if there’s a storm brewing — the weather Is a fickle assistant. As to breed, well — the more docile spe­ci­mens Tend to dis­rupt pro­ceed­ings less....

A box of old photos

A box of old photos

In storage, one card­board box filled with pho­to­graphs. I know one grey envelope con­tains: Peppy, full name Pep­per­mint, Aged 2 or so, inspecting one minus­cule ball of black kitten fluff, Two weeks old, soon to be Nemesis, by name if not by nature. In...

Peggy

She’s prac­ticed at it. You can tell: expensive dress, eye­shadow just so. The way she dips her eyes and glances over your shoulder, as if There’s some­thing she’s idly won­dering but of course, it’s a ruse. She’s scan­ning escape routes and plan­ning...

Stories

Place

Place

There used to be water in Cali­fornia; snow­melt rushing through rav­ines to coalesce laugh­ingly as lakes and lagoons and other summer indul­gences. That was long away and far ago, in some strange before time when the land wasn’t riven with cracks and the heat had...

The ravine

The ravine

Step off. Or not. It’s one of those decisions that hovers at your peri­pheral vision — are you ready? Wings unfurled at your back, that sen­sa­tion of almost-moistness lingering — will they hold? 

The trip to America…

In October, we went to the US on what Doug called the Tour de Harper. The timing was partly to make it to my cousin David’s wed­ding to the ever awe­some Rachel and partly to get in before Harper’s plane ticket actu­ally cost money. We ended up on nine planes in...

Seattle, home of grunge

Went to Seattle for a hand­fasting (friends of Doug’s). He took photos of the hand­fasting and all that jazz. I saved up my camera work for the next day when we went exploring the city and espe­cially the Exper­i­ence Music Pro­ject, which I’d first written...

San Gregorio

Last night, Doug and I took his new toy for a wander over the moun­tain, on winding roads through red­wood forests and oak and some­thing called cha­parral (which I’d never heard of). We even­tu­ally fol­lowed San Gregorio creek down to where it met the sea,...

Politics

Raw

Raw

(With thanks and grat­itude to Robert Borden) 1. 2017 was a good year for fear, a good year for screaming Not like some other good Amer­ican years but it slid out of A year of celebrity death and tele­vised suf­fering that we were all Only too...

Place

Place

There used to be water in Cali­fornia; snow­melt rushing through rav­ines to coalesce laugh­ingly as lakes and lagoons and other summer indul­gences. That was long away and far ago, in some strange before time when the land wasn’t riven with cracks and the heat had...

And you are listening

It is 10.40pm in Paris and they have taken host­ages at the Bataclan It is 11pm and some­where on Face­book a kid posts: “they are killing every­body. one by one.” It is 4pm in Mel­bourne and my friend is giving birth to a little boy named Clancy but...

Another rape in cyberspace

The Char­lotte Dawson case, which has now res­ulted in her hos­pit­al­isa­tion, says a lot about the way that women are treated in social media spaces and the diver­gent tac­tics that are used to address the issue.

I’m a feminist and I support Wikileaks

Whenever I’ve raised the com­plex inter­ac­tions I see around the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, I find myself mired in defending my pos­i­tion. If I say I sup­port his work and that I wel­come the new world where gov­ern­ments...