Options

by


 

 

Clothes laid out on a table in the opshop. I pick up a huge pink jersey, hear a lady say, ‘I knitted that’. Giggles as I try it on, and another the same colour that’s far too small. I hook a gauzy grey dress over myself – ‘I made that, too’. Shuffle around to a mirror in the middle of the shop. The dress has changed: it’s blue with cartoon panels, including an image of Mickey Mouse. Short, slightly puffed sleeves. Sleek, makes my stomach look flat. I hop up and down in front of the mirror. Shoppers edge away, overly absorbed in cast-offs, but with staring children. I don’t want to leave the mirror. I don’t want to take the dress off. The shop is suddenly cluttered with chairs. I can’t return the dress to the table. I carry on gazing. What kind of shoes?

 

little boy

on the plane, looking for

the magic

Share This

Judging comps

by


Fashion

 

He’s wearing robes, cerise, magenta, loosely draped like wind on the shore – you can garden in them, fix the downpipes. Kilts energised and free, leaf vein yellow, flame and midnight blue. Lavalavas, passionfruit and the light in an orchard at midday. Men will dress this way from now on. I give the designers eleven out of ten.

 

Cookery

 

You can’t go wrong with Indian spices, so long as you know how to prepare them and they’re fresh and they do. Garam masala and lots of it, enough to feel the bite. They give me sensation. I reward them with a trip to Paris to see two of the pinnacles of western culture: a Frenchwoman smoking a cigarette and a Frenchman mounting a bicycle. If they win the final round, they’ll go back in time to gold platforms, glitter and Gibson guitars – the era so holy we do not name it.

Share This

reversed

by


you were the first to make eye contact

 

let’s be the suck-ups at the front

 

Federal Highway

she thought the sign read

Bush  anger

 

deals with feels

 

she went to move her hand   and her other hand moved

 

that just about sums up our relationship

 

I can see by the hinges on your door   that you’re at work

 

you have so many hastes still

 

I actually had an Oscar Wilde moment in my life

 

LOL must have meant lots of love

 

3 a.m.

you rub my back

let me get to sleep

 

Palliative care access

use Flemington Road

Swirl catering

 

their old crackers   still there

 

I don’t want any events near me tomorrow

 

this flip went to Castlemaine

 

sweet smell

furtive schoolboys

smoking

 

another four clicks   and you’re there

 

partial yeah!

 

the system’s changing

 

I’m forced into being passive/agressive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share This

The way we do things round here

by


fifteen years or more

coughing your lungs out

until, four days in hospital

they finally emptied

 

tough, my brother said

one of the hard men, lean

half a stone heavier than you ran

at naval school

 

you never complained

except about the government

and that didn’t count   to me

Arthur Scargill some kind of hero

to you   Thatcher the ultimate villain

along with the Queen and Prince –

we never had spells or wands

just tinsel at Christmas

best enjoyed alone

 

when you eyed that twinkle

I liked you, but only drink

or the thought of a pretty woman

seemed to conjure it, and she was

never mother   never, father –

what had she done?

 

I sought you out

you wrote to me

about the treatment

and as you shrank

stopped walking to the pub each evening

took the car, that

ill-begotten thing on wheels

or accepted a lift

and choked on it till breakfast

 

the birds came and your

cat’s fond bell

herbs and onions

 

you survived

in the house without hot water

toilet at the bottom of the garden

where it belongs

and now   now, I second

your fine ideals, father

Share This

Back to Authors