Oct 04

An asthmatic, who's been reading Etgar Keret, learns how to breathe

This was shortlisted for the Hachette Australia Prize! The announcement was made at the National Young Writers Festival just a couple of hours ago :)


Dear oxygen,

You are the sweet elixir of life. You swim in the veins of every living creature, a messiah rushing through billions of scarlet tributaries. One tiny molecule capable of corroding iron, incinerating coal, and powering civilisations.

The thing is, though, I didn’t even notice you until you were gone. I’m sorry; it must have been jarring when you rushed into my lungs and was met with an impenetrable barrier of goo. I promise I did everything I could to help you stay. I used the inhaler everyday, with the plastic canister to get the dosage right. I avoided pollen like it was the plague. Unfortunately, asthma is a stubborn son-of-a-bitch.
Aug 24
poem challenge: Definition


1. the activity or skill of writing

1. a powerful act / a violent act / words trickling through your fingers / words dissolving at your lips / words hard-won / words treasured and scrubbed clean / until / there is music / crafted with care and taught to fly / a soul, carved with precision from the ribcage and served hot on a golden platter / singing of humanity / of the holding of hands / of laughter distilled into apple juice on the summer holidays / of hurting breaking healing loving / catharsis
Aug 06
fiction challenge: CJP-2020

In hope of a better time

If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boot.

A police boot.

Imagine its sturdy leather; its handsome shoelaces, wearing a double-knotted smile; its ringed eyes peeking out underneath a blue hem.

Imagine the crust of salt on its sole. Imagine the residue of tear gas, muffled, screaming, beneath its polished mask. Imagine the stench of last breaths clinging to its hide. The final pleas of the dying that decay between its teeth. Imagine the imprint of black throats in the rubber.

The taste of black sweat on its tongue.

The blood of black men on its hands.

Imagine it in a glass cage, empty and unused and fraying. Imagine the small card in front of it. The little black text. In the corner, the numbers '2020'.

Imagine relief.
Aug 06
nonfiction challenge: CJP-2020

Me, the most successful immigrant

"Why doesn't she speak it?" scoffs the nail salon lady. I poke through the dried leaves of my mother tongue. I open my mouth, and close it. The silence swells, a bullfrog, broken by the croak of a fake laugh from my mother.

My search history, an hour later:
learn tagalog
learn tagalog free pdf
tagalog course free online
free ta
how to do filipino accent

Mabuhay. Mah-boo-hay. Whitened syllables. Clumsy tongue rolls. My 'Filipino accent' flops to the floor and oozes.

Eventually, you reach a point.
Jul 26

The Bad Children

His name was Walter.

He had been named after his grandfather. There was the original Walter, and then Walter Junior,
which was him. His first memories: blinding light. The drone of words. A sharp cry- an
impassioned cry- and fragments of smiles.

His first emotion: fear.

Mother and Father were always there to soothe him, to love him. It was this love that was his
whole world. A world of two halves. A big and scary one; and one with Mother and Father. It was
this presence- this theredness- that characterised love. Walter knew that Mother and Father
would be there, and they would not leave.

His happiness consisted of:
The aforementioned theredness of Mother and Father
Slipping away into a world of his own making where down was up and up was down and people
could do whatever they wanted to do at any time.
Jul 26


Jul 23


Jul 23