The Cost of Pearls

Bright yellow in the sky as frail, trembling rays of light filtered down to where it met the ocean. The churning waves crashed against each other in sloppy undulations. An eternity of movement swirling on the surface of a calm ocean. Thick and cold, the depths seemed still, motionless in comparison to the surge of movement on the surface.

17 July 2018

At one point your landlord, if that’s what they’re called here, asked where you were from and you had to say that you honestly could not remember but it must not have been good because otherwise you wouldn’t have had such a strong desire to leave.

No Sick Penguins at St Kilda Pier

“It’s a water rat,” I say to Hannah, but she probably already knows that. The rat pulls itself up onto the boardwalk and rests its little hands on the hunk of bread. Its stomach bulges. Hugo takes a nibble and then drags the bread down into the rocks. The white tip of his tail flashes.


The rocking chair swayed back and forth like water against the hull of a ship. Through the window, she could see that the night was still. In the valley below, the soft glow of the town stretched all the way to the shore.

8 June 2018

I open my eyes. The bananas are still there: curved bodies and rubbery skins speckled with dark bruises, decay spreading from the inside. I tug at the smallest one but it doesn’t budge. With a quick, jerky movement of my fist I rip the banana away from the bunch, exposing a crooked line of flesh just below the tip. The distinct smell hits me immediately.

18 April 2018
The Colour of Grey

The contrast was enhanced as the surroundings got progressively darker. I could sense another alien colour, just above the orange, which I had not witnessed till then that day. To him, it was a sky blue. At that point, even the sea began to participate, carrying the sunlight towards us, through the waves.

Regular Abductions

. The streets are threatening. The world is safer all the time. All of life is dangerous to the touch, and every day, fewer men rot away. New government initiatives have reduced the number of plane crashes, children are regularly abducted from well-frequented public playgrounds and canned tomatoes are cheaper at the local supermarket. She rolls her neck—once, twice, three times if it matters, and it could very well matter. The wind, rolling off the sea, continues its surge and tide; the lilac and turquoise stripes above the storefront deform and misalign. A flutter—I think this is right—in the wind.

“Earth to Ale.”

There’s a voice, and suddenly everything around you comes into focus. You see a hand waving insistently in front of your face.

“You okay? You need some air?”

27 March 2018

— Don’t try so hard to be profound. It’s annoying.
— I’m writing how I feel.
— You were eating a chip when you had your first kiss. Okay. Gross. But the chip is not a symbol, Miranda. You don’t feel it flaccid, lukewarm, lodged at the back of your throat as you speak and especially when you remain silent. A potato is not the patriarchy. Anyway, what is this supposed to be? Is it a poem?

14 March 2018
Magnum Optus

This was the umpteenth time I’d had this conversation. I’d spent the last three weeks facing off against a faceless corporation who had come to embody all the frustrations of my metropolitan existence. You were forced to deal with an army of foot soldiers who had a perfect, practical defence of plausible deniability. They met my rage with phrases like “my hands are tied” or “I am on your side”.

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