Unwritten lists

Today I plaster this page with those unwritten lists. I write for order and progress. So that I might look back and reflect. See how much I’ve achieved. Look what I’ve done. Progress.

Jack Kerouac – ‘the feeling of an empty train station’. It must have just left. The restraint of the still air and the fading warmth from the metal tracks. The distance grows, numbness grows with a subtle vibration. Perhaps another train hurtling along the tracks. Coming or going – I wonder. Just passing through, an A to B of timeliness. Importance and waste tangle with serpents biting themselves. The pit of my stomach, the inability to continue functioning the way I want to. Memory shatters. I am present and fearful of the images and perceptions of others. The almighty well from which they might draw. Endless and eternally possible. Cut and hung in patterns, language like fabric and knotted rope both cover and hang about us. The performance of a lifetime, to pretend at any point it all culminates. I bubble away. “The pot on low”. Occasionally flowing over, spitting pasta on the walls. Nothing sticks, but I’m ready. I will survive. Hot air, food, the path of least resistance not always what I choose. A suffering reality, the thing I’m doing will sustain until there is betters easier though to continue doing what I have always done. My mastery is the test of time, forgetting everything but the task at hand.

This list, this list. Gift to myself, badly wrapped, unconsidered, tissue and news- are the papers which I am used to folding. Save the best for a time when we expect a beginning or something final. The continuity of our speeches and our doings. Report. Report. Report. Blood sweat and tears, whatever bubbles and flows over. My sick liver, and failing detached brain cells. Escapees from the common prison. There will be no gallows, no hanging in the commons. Atlas of my soul on earth. How does it sound, cellophane reality, taste of plastic in my mouth. The heavy posture, this badly wrapped world. Are you happy now? The mirror licked clean, isolated spirits, phone bound and numbers apart. Luck of Herman Hesse presses his German thumbs for luck. Bless your unblinking eyes, your googling, boggling loss. Where was I supposed to be, and where am I without my lists. No reflections, no knowledge, no story. Nothing seeming to connect me with the past or potential. Listless, loss-lacking, lament. Just an empty page. The list of unfulfilled lists, hopeless category . Wishful, task oriented. Miles per hour- fastly approaching the afterlife of age care homes and not so super “annuation”. Let the years go by and my attempts go to the archives. Trivial trials. Guilty trails, in selected in my mind. The pros and cons list never got past the first entry, mute complaints in the beer garden of eden. Take be back in time to see how good I am at shopping. I am not a builder- our knowledge, this time is not for everyone’s survival. Great cities will mumble. A fourteen minute standstill. It all shut down, shops closed, tumbleweed encroached and then took over. The birds started flying again. A natural piece, slivered into our homes. Uncarried by the human hand. Traded in mystery, lost archive. Natures list. Extinction. The unwritten history of all we have achieved, no language survives the way that it was. Not communicated. Moot. The jester with fingers too his liPs. A lion’s paradox. Crouch down. Make notes, pointless animations, diversions and subversions. A list of revolutions. A numbered note for shopping. If places. PhotosX trophies. Conquests. Quests and progress. Success and submissions. Deadlines and the dots. Fine points and ordinary charted moments. Time slots and revelations about what I was doing then and the things I have an opportunity to tackle. Motivation. Limp sketches of the future. Bought into, sketched on paper. Weak recycling habits of a race consumed to run in circles at its own misunderstood job. The lifestyle of the jobless, creative waste, digressions of if’s. The butts of our own monetary joke. Holy holy nights by the candle. Midnight ink and the oils of past people drown in the poor waterways of our Times. Items stem from these lists. Love, gifts and ungracious hope. The carrot on a stick existence files itself way on tissue paper. Tearing the hearts of the ugly believers. More lists tomorrow – true north. A false narrative in a morally Barron and codified eternity. Insignificant dots. Page boys throw melons at passing priests and politicians and then direction is all the same. Cross my fingers and press my thumbs. How can I make a list that saves the world from itself? Or do I: not have to do that?

Take a day. Sunday. And as ‘why’.


Many ticks


Drawing line, connections, between stories.
The work that we’re doing – the love story. It’s all viewed from 20 or thirty years later. Between times, there is a maturity. Travelling the same paths. Doubling over of a line.

Excited openness.
Lets talk about criticism – of women. Deliberate.
Purpose and direction. New York Girl.

Tell me three different things, separation.
All the stops. I’ll tell you the links. Draw it all together.
Anything of this world. Another planet but treatable. Relate –

If you keen the appointments you must, after that when all is done. You are normal. 9-5 production. Morbid outside and beyond.
Jane, not plain. Bony face. Tugging at me.


‭I remember-

Putting wet washers on an ex girlfriends back. Caring.

I remember my brother telling me that my old coin collection wasn’t worth anything.

I remember debating with my dad if it was a wasp or a bee. (It was a bee)

I remember my brother and father telling me that they saw the Easter bunny outside in the back yard, it was raining and they were laughing. My mum told me the truth.

I remember my mother.. As I walk in the door to my hotel, a woman is smoking. She apologizes. I say not to worry about it. It reminds me of someone.

Put away

The short story ‘form’ is something that the magazine publishes, however the content of an entire magazine should hang together and be unified. As such it’s quite reasonable to entertain the idea that a short story written around the experience and culture of Autralian youth it bound up in a changing identity . With affiliations to Australian identity, bound up in a larikan mentality – rich with genocide, outlaws and criminals the possibilities for tangential growth there are definitely opportunities for a Tasmanian renaissance, reovolution and fashioning. There’s certainly room for nuance and reimagining in the Tasmanian magazine space.

Right the way through, the issue tracks changes in big and small politics from feminism to housing. With the huge rage and the freedom to accept written works deemed ‘excellent’ Island presents an opportunity for a variety of submission types.

The emerald green of the trees and sapphire blue of ocean -gag.

The removed from the hubbub of traffic jams and the blistering proximity of the equator. In amongst the old growth forests, nature reserves and green gullies, the Tasmania people thrive. This sense of community is one that acknowledges the difference of setting and enjoys the livelihood of more than just farming. All the while from the opening tone of the editor and chief, there is an the important recognition of the dualism between reading and writing. Without one, there is no use for the other. It’s through this measure of acknowledgement that the magazine sustatins its readership and engages with the wider audience of mainland Australia and the world.

The works are reflective of the cultural diversity and historic richness in Tasmania. These function to represent a general public and nuance views. Herein the intended audience of Island can be perceived as being anyone with a vested interest in any of the overarching principles of reading, writing culture and ideas. The fulcrum of a magazine which collaborates and publishes only works of excellence is that there is buy in from the Australian population. The granular point being, that people read and write for different reasons, at different times, to unique and vastly different topics. Situated thus, the Island ‘sandpit’ can be seen as a welcome invitation to join in a conversation between people from vastly different world views. In acknowledging this, the celebration of Australian Art and Culture has a platform from which a populace may share with one another whether they seek new knowledge, respite, identity confirmation or an altered perspective .

The content of the magazine presupposes a level of interest in the unique setting and characters of Tasmania. Bound up in each issue’s pages are poems, stories, articles, interviews, artworks & photographs. Each of these in turn add a layering to the complex and unique taste plate of Tasmanian fare.

The issue in question speaks with high praise of the lifestyle that’s bundled in with Tassie living, how things have changed since apple farming and paints a positive picture of the future. Digging down into Australian identity, Island excavates with precision the change of focus which has seen us turn from being the mere ‘Apple Isle’ into being a powerhouse arts both inspired and driven to be a positive and sustainable catalyst for change, form the politics of equality to the economics of the universal income.

An island state that is steeped in history , with a bright and blossoming future.

Game & Call

I dreamt of a new game.
like chess (on the same board)
A king – roll a dice. How much you roll is how many raspberry shaped people you get in support.

Go around the circle, place your soldiers wherever you like. (however many you rolled)
In my dreams i rolled a two.

Like blood bowl. Roll to assail armound/defense.
If you beat defense. place piece on side.
If you attack with king your roll is doubled, but your turn ends.

Fallen pieces can be killed once they are prone.

I got a missed call at 6am this morning.
I called it back and a harsh Aussie voice said “speak cunt” and then told me I had called them at ALL HOURS midnight and four am earlier in the week. I explained that my name was Patrick and that they were mistaken.
It was a group call. A very strange discussion.

I hung up.

What is sad?

What’s sad is the absence of something more.

I asked my parent to not say that, they clung to it like a rite. The question, the problem, the task. Explanations, sigh sigh so sick and sucking it all- bone dry.

How many any times do you think we’ve done it?

I didn’t ask because I was drunk, or sad or curious. I asked because she was taking off her jeans. She gave me a look, she gave me a look with a smile. I anticipated more. She gave just a little more. A fraction more. “3/7”.
Probably three times a week. I was nodding the whole time, thinking about the theme for a short story or poem or novel we’d come up with earlier.

It would just come down to how privileged for time we were in the coming months. A moth flickered around the room, chasing rays of light, sound like mandolins, rainbows refracting off the globes of blackness.

It just keeps getting better an better, she whispers into my ears. I hope she’s talking about my writing, but it’s probably to do with the sex. It’s all good stuff, I say out loud.

Prisoner of War – Silver Meadow.

She had an idea, one of her ‘forced ideas of fun’, which I find incredibly challenging, because they fly in the face of my momentary dullness. She’s brilliant like that. Closing my eyes, I follow her example. Using the title of a randomly selected book. Hers was ‘Prisoner of War’, mine – ‘Silver Meadow’.

“I miss your curtain babe, I miss looking up at it, where did it go?”
“Have you had a year without sex since turning 18?”
“Have you had sex with one person for a year? Not a calendar year…”
“What do you think that says about you?”

Yes, please plait my hair // face to face with a possum.

So here we go: disappearing into the treetops, see if you can find me.

I wish I hadn’t been captured. I remember what they’d said in the corps, aboard the freighters, all us diggers, most dead the rest captured I suppose. All I have in my mind is the day before. The fuse of my mind, a flash, the rain and thunder of artillery. Sand spattering, rocks dissolving into shale, leaving a hole and sometimes a scream. Alfred’s leg disappearing in a thud. A ghost and spattering of blood. No matter how good the fucking hats are, this constant bombardment is useless.

They bombed the coast the week before our fleet deployed on the beaches. Gallipoli. A sandy grave, identity lost in a mask of terror. Running commentary of bullets. A sheer rockface, a brief field; the killing ground. Each of us, the nightly skirmish, roaving spotlights, shouts and accented curses.
“thubb-thubbb-taktaktaktaktak”, machine guns and artillery.

My feet haven’t been dry since we landed, the blood, sweat and tears are a ghostly wet that soaks into me and rots me from the outside in. How I wished to be home then, laying between the legs of my sweet young love. It all seems so trivial now. She’d massage my back, run her hands through my hair – so gentle.
That was love and I can see it now, see it clearly. I was so rough back then, but she gave me everything, all of her time and attention. Careful and precious. Now I wish I was dead. The camps are an external torture that I can manage, but it’s my own mind, starvation like i’ve never known. Pushed to the limit of myself. I have become a stomach, acid that burns inside me, kills me. Tongue that drowns me, parched flesh that swells if I don’t have the daily round of breadhusk and water. I am the crust, crushing and folding in on myself with blinking eyes, unable to tear. An ingrown hair on my neck has gone from boil to balloon, it will probably infect and end it all. A wish that I hope comes true, gritting my teeth, lying to myself through the pain. A fear of death takes all the strength I have and pressing against my eyes lids. I popped the horrible welt and thought to myself if the puss that leaked from my neck may be edible. I used it as a lip balm, the lipstick of the sick. Purposeless.

The morning of my capture rose golden over the Adriatic. The Mediterranean, reminded me of the east coast where I grew up. I’d eaten a honey-oat biscuit and watched the sun lean over the horizon. My feet were numb and sodden with sweat which would fast rub blisters and infect. Fighting to my feet, I looked over the camp, small tunnels and an enclave of ditches with blanket coverings. Poor drainage and the sound of the ocean were two things nobody seamed to care much for, we were trying to win a war, there wasn’t space for any of that. I rubbed my lips with the back of my jacket and scorned the surroundings for the sand that chafed at my every bodily interaction. It was hot already. Oddly I felt at home. I looked over the lip of the trench, out and over it all. Some bodies remained, half way towards the hill. Noone had retrieved their corpses, no silver coins closed their eyes. Flies and the smell of shit were the markers that told all. Infected land, with the pointless sick. Money and land, paid for in blood. Gold of the land, red yellow sand and and bullets, bullets everywhere.

There were no attempts that day, no relief, no rest. Just the moon and clouds and the occasional distant chatter of soon-to-be-shrapnel. I looked out over the field. One of ours lay sprawled, face down, while another, maybe someone I knew, perhaps ran with briefly before clambering back behind cover, he’d mounted himself in a way where is back arched and he looked back; eyelids pinned open, gravity pulling them down. He died seeing the world upside down and now stared back at me, black eyes, hollowing with fear and flies. Looking at all of us, compatriots, idiot cowards and survivors alike. I wanted to run out and close his eyes, die drying if I had to- roll over his corpse, to look back on his destroyers. A crippling, gaze that told all. The moon glinted off each bullet in turn. I though back to every time I had change in my pocket, wished for such a time to be now, I could crawls out, taking my two coins and placing them over his empty drilled hollows. The skeleton skull, so full and morose in features, hollow and harrowing, with spiralling buzzing flies, gargantuan from feasting on the riches of the patriotic fallen. I squeezed by eyes shut, shuddering with an strange cold, fever hairs on end, parched lips. I remember the quiet and the cold, the moment before I ran out into that silver-meadow. I thought I’d make it, adrenaline seethed in my veins, iron and shouts and a clanking deep into my bones. My ears filled with a ringing and shouting that may have been my own. Heroic and waster, I fell short of my attempt to rescue us all from the look of death. One more for the ferry man, I thought collapsing. I laughed at the waste of it all. Maybe if I kicked out I’d catch his head with my toes and upset the flies. Am I dying? It was raining down on my and my eyes closed. Small rivers ran down my face and my breathing slowed. I opened my mouth and washed down my spit and blood with the unescaping spirit of patriots. Gunshots rang out all the next day, I scorched and sweated in my boots all the next and then, finally it all went silent.

It was strange to wake up, I may still be dead, but I reckon not. I’m in too much pain to be there, on the other side. its windy too, theres no wind in the afterlife. I believe – it shouldn’t be like this. I’m a prisoner now, skinned, grated down like rope burn on leather tanned hands. Rough sand clog the corners of my eyes. the shackles on my wrist, the blood that cakes for want of circulation. all of it is momentary, strange human politics black and white static shimmers up at me in the moonlight. i think of the maggots inside the skulls of those more fortunate than me. gallipoli having claimed them. the bullet holes werent enough for me to pass over, not yet. so here is my story; the prisoner of war, survivor of the silvermeadow.