Excerpts 2022


Sunrises. Yeah. Hey. Beautiful. Mmm. I mean, objectively I know that they’re beautiful. Plus, there’s a whole lot of anecdotal evidence about how sunrises make people feel. Additionally, there’s the metaphorical implications of the start of a new day, the coming of light, the receding of shadows. All that. It’s not that I disagree. I don’t. At all. Intellectually, I know, sunrises are beautiful. But there is a difference between knowing something, and feeling it.


Adam curled his arm over me, so as not to touch. He placed his hand on the ground, beyond my shoulder and hovered. The veins in his shoulders pulsed. He looked at my lips. Then he started to lower himself… closer and closer… to my lips. “Oh my god, he’s going to kiss me!!! He’s going to kiss me. This is the best moment of my whole life. And it’s about to happen”. And so, as he got closer and closer… “oh my god, he really is about to kiss me”… I…

Feigned a stretch. Feigned a yawn. He retracted like an ocky-strap.


We knew this day was coming. The chemo just isn’t enough, sometimes bodies are like that- they have their expiration date. Ya’ know you say that I’m a fighter but there you are holding my hand every step of the way. You’ve been an amazing partner- I never would’ve come this far without you.

You know I’ll always be with you, right? Not here (indicates heart). There (pointing OS). Haunting you from the mantle.

You better not remarry a blonde! I swear I’ll turn poltergeist! Don’t you roll your eyes. I will; the green pea soup and everything. Wait, that’s the exorcist…You know what I mean.


This? Really? Why? Why did you have to do this? I honestly thought that things were going quite well between us. We’ve had some laughs; I’ve met your brother… you’d almost figured out how I like to be fingered. Then you go and write a poem about me? I don’t know what to do with that. I’m sorry, but I think we have to break up. No actually, I’m not sorry. Who writes a poem about someone? It’s weird, and kind of icky. You used the word lover. Twice. And you rhymed it with mother. Ew.


Jerome probably told you I’m one of his worst cases. I read that online in a paper he wrote. He didn’t mention my name of course, he only used my initials…PS. Yes, as in postscript! My parents had me late in life so I probably was a bit of an afterthought. Anyway, when Jerome asked me to be interviewed for his students naturally I said yes… as long as I could do it at home. So I look out this window every day and I can see it all… what my life could have been if things had been different.


You. Are. A. Bad. Feminist. You’re supposed to be body positive and not carry around internalised misogyny and internalised racism or assumptions of allosexuality or virginity, which is an outdated meaningless term anyway… ugh, can I be a good feminist about everyone else in the world and still feel weird about my own body? What if he doesn’t like my body but has to pretend to because that’s his job and …

Okay. You’ve met this guy. He’s very nice. He seems non-judgmental. He’s agreed to this. Just because you don’t know his real name doesn’t mean he’s a serial killer. Killing clients would be very bad for business if you’re an escort.


Right, all set … To begin with, you have to cut the clay. I stretch the wire taut, like so. See how easily it slices through the clay, like a knife through butter. (laughing) I hadn’t thought of it that way: I suppose it does look a bit like a garotte! Today I’m going to show you how to make a vase. Firstly, I need to slap the clay into a ball before I throw it on the wheel. Then I place it bang in the centre so I can control it. Yes, pottery’s very tactile. Your hands go all over the clay, inside and out. You’ve got to make sure it stays well lubricated or it’ll crack.


Teenage girls are the worst. Flagging me down in the street with their phones. Squawking like seagulls. ‘Do the swish for us! Do the swish! C’mon. Please! Please!’

You know the swish, don’t you? (Demonstrates swishing her hair) Get a crick in my neck from having to do it so much. And there’s no way I’m forking out for a physio. Can’t afford that on five hundred bucks an ad.

DeLuxe Lovely Lox

DeLuxe Lovely Lox

For hair that swishes Silky and soft

DeLuxe Lovely Lox


Anzia Yezierska. Born 1880…ish. In Plinsk, Poland. Or Plotsk, Russia – who knows, the border kept shifting. Died 1970. Author. Member of the Federal Writer’s Project, New York, 1935. Catalogued the trees in Central Park.

Azalea. Hydrangea. Linden tree.

After I died, my daughter, Louise, she wrote a biography about me. In it, she calls Red Ribbon on a White Horse – my autobiography – a fiction. It’s because I didn’t mention her. Louise doesn’t figure in the story. I didn’t fictionalize her. I just didn’t mention her. Or her father. Or my first husband. And I changed a few names. And I invented a few minor characters. To get my point across. My point. That’s what an autobiography is for.


It was every single thing I had worked for in my life, it was the summation of each incremental step, it was the pinnacle I had grunted, sweated and strived for. I have pushed aside, carved away and winnowed out my life to make space for this piece of work, for this perfectly planned and executed denouement. If I sound hyperbolic, good. It was both my beginning and middle and end. So, no, Clive, when you say “It was just a cake”. You are incorrect. A 12 layer entremets, each element a lovesong to flavour. Pineapple, then guava, then lemon… but is it? No it’s yuzu! YUZU. NOT LEMON.


When it was time, Kaffeine, the triple-faced god of the skies, formed me in a supermassive black hole and burped me into the universe to find my home. As I made my way between the galaxies, I saw a Skap-beam glittering in the dark near the Emu Gate, and at its source I found this planet. I settled here to rule all, to show my subjects how to grind the elemental beans of Dark Matter down, bathe them in aqua vitae and ingest with contented sighs. My acolytes were loyal, and numerous as the stars in the stellar nurseries of my birth.


There weren’t any witnesses unfortunately, just those ‘first on scene’. There was nothing they could do. But they called Triple 0 and they stayed with him. All their statements said the same thing: his bike lights were still flashing. He always rode with his wallet in the back pocket of his cycling shirt so the police knew who he was but I still had to identify him. They said they had to be sure, sometimes wallets get stolen and so on. I mean, I knew deep down his wallet hadn’t been stolen by a random cyclist who just happened to be struck right near our home. I knew that was ridiculous. But it didn’t stop me half-willing it to be true, right up until they turned back the sheet.