“Fuckin’ pansies,” said the VB longneck in the corner of the esky as the six-pack of Stone & Woods were deposited.
“What was that mate?” said one of the new arrivals.
“You heard me,” it replied, stoically.
“That’s impressive, the dopey cunt can speak,” said one of the Stonies to the others.
“Oh, leave it out fellas,” groaned the four-pack of apple ciders.
“No one’s talking to you, fruit juice,” said the Stonies.
“Christ,” said the VB. “Can’t believe I’m stuck in here with youse artisanal arseholes. Thought this was a fuckin’ party.”
“There’s nothing wrong with not being a…
Cicadas chatter a comforting chune.
Legion yellow and red volunteers sit in the sand under the surf rescue tent. The staple saviours of summer.
Young men peacock on the beach with their football skills. They reckon it’s impressive, irresistible.
A small girl attempts to add another sandcastle to a cityscape of three. It crumbles immediately upon being revealed. Like an angry Godzilla, she crushes the rest in frustration.
The tote bag looks like it was birthed from the sand, a desert plant that has no ambition of reaching high up toward the sun.
A woman lies, engrossed in her book.
The first time he went to the playground, a suburb away from his home, a home painted pink with roses like stakes thrusting out from the flowerbed that hugged the house, the only thing he remembered was the woodchip underfoot. It was also the first lie he felt, as he couldn’t yet understand the cacophony of sounds spoken or cooed at him yet. The lie that existence was cushioned; that below, there forever existed a net to catch him, caress him, embrace him when he fell.
It was a small reserve, next to a train station, ringed by gums who’d…
The stadium was filled to the brim. Punters of all ages packed out the sections, bays and rows. Chants rose up and washed over the pitch — the largest amateur choir in the world. The lights were heating up to replace the light of an ailing sun.
Marnus Bontempelli, on debut, was shitting himself.
The thousands of eyeballs that would soon be on him, with millions more watching from home had him thinking that perhaps he’d made a giant mistake. That the dream he’d been dreaming since he was a young lad was only now just revealing itself to have…
Designer dogs drag decaf-drinking dudes and dames. The esplanade is chock-full of them. The dogs will sleep well tonight — those that can breath properly through their squashed noses, anyway.
Rough and tumble as the wave crashes. Sand blasted up there, salt water sprayed up nostrils. Emerged: spluttering, coughing, lungs scrambling for oxygen.
Walking back on hot concrete, hearing the intonations of the lifeguards’ announcements somewhere behind. Soles getting tougher with each step. You would walk on grass instead, yet you don’t want to take on the dreaded bindis.
Roasted skin. Cold shower. Aloe vera. Air-con.
Sand clings to the…
It started with Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, a tall order unto itself. It was shelved three days after Doris got it for Bob for Christmas never retrieved. The first salvo in a guerrilla campaign by Doris to get her husband to read more now that he was retired, or ‘semi-retired’ as he kept calling it.
“You have to stay mentally fit,” she told him. “I’ll not have an empty husk of a husband who went downhill a mere five years into a well-earned retirement.” She then thought, and added, “Oh, and physically fit, too. …
The team of twenty-two plunges into the squat red-brick change-rooms. Chests heave and suck in air tainted in sweat and the exertion of the quarter. Bodies slump on wooden benches that ring the room. A runner dishes out water bottles and cracks a packet of lollies.
The coach marches in, a stormfront.
He takes off his weary hat and lets it fall to the dusty concrete slab of a floor. Grey hair cedes to a moustache bristling with the spray to come. A solid man, a small man, he folds his bronzed arms and looks at this team. All except…
Turns out that, on the whole
The colour of the toilet bowl
Shouldn’t tone down
To an ugly dark brown
Instead, as white as the South Pole
It looks like a strange cityscape
A plate, cup and bowl landscape
It will sit for days
Until someone can raise
The energy to scrub, clean, scrape
Distance-wise, it’s not that far
But it always invites a spar
Who to cop on the chin
To take out the bin
When it’s not on anyone’s radar
Santa didn’t stand a chance.
It was always a precarious drop-off, these remote mining towns in Australia’s Canning Basin. Kilometres and kilometres of fuck-all dropping away into mammoth man-made gorges. The minerals plucked from the earth carted off on large, private train tracks, while the fly-in, fly-out workers, well, arrived by the planeload. Not many drove.
Usually, the workers on their three-weeks-on, one-week-off schedule were dry from the time they hit the ground right up until the moment they left. Not a single drop of booze or blow nor any other kind of chemical miracle to be had in any…