by Texas Fontanella

Where Are They Now

turn the era

Let Us Take Doors Or Windows

Texas Fontanella is a student at the University of Sydney. His work has previously appeared at Otoliths, PoetryWTF, Uut, ex-ex-lit, Truck & Moss Trill among others.

Write comment (0 Comments)


by Michael Prihoda 


A word from the author:

"Fences is a piece of microfiction told through individual blips of visual poetry, where each paint sample builds on the rest in the series to create an atmosphere above the words. The story and feel of the piece is generated from the colors and the original names of the paint samples, which ultimately operate as a foundation for layering the text to create a narrative."

Check out more from Michael here

Write comment (1 Comment)

U.S.A. Barber

by Sir Francis of the Suburbs


            “Happiness,” says Scotty in his heavy accent, “is the only thing.”

            “There are three kinds of people,” he says, spinning the chair so that I am facing him. He steps directly in front of me, hands bent, shears in one hand clippers in the other, with his wrists touching his hips. I’m seated in the barber’s chair, haircut halfway finished.

            Why do I come to this barbershop? Because the barbers, staff, whoever, they rarely speak to me. They speak to each other in Vietnamese, I think. The speed and grace with which they work, coupled with the foreign cadences of their conversations makes for a very relaxing atmosphere.

            But today Scotty wants to lecture me. No, not lecture, he wants to rap with me. I’m no good at this. But I combine head nods, appropriately timed (shears not near), with “uh huh” and “you got it” well enough not to insult him.

            “One kind of person keep all the money for himself,” he says gesturing grandly, now waving his hands and shears dangerously. “Second kind of person keep some money for him, and give some to others. Giving this money,” he says pointing to his chest/heart area with both equipment-filled hands, “makes him feel something. Feel something good.” Although his speech has only lasted maybe thirty seconds, it feels a lot longer. And it feels as though everyone else in the shop has stopped what they were doing to listen. I’m afraid to move my head much, not because I’m restrained but because I’m not usually supposed to—in the barber's chair, I’m supposed to be completely still. Anyway, I’m not sure how many others are in the shop with us, but it feels like a lot. And it feels as though all eyes are on us.

            “Third kind of person. Do you know what they are?”

            “Uh huh, you got it” I blather out, smiling stupidly.

            “He gives all his money away to others,” answers Scotty, only slightly deterred by my non-answer to his pretty straightforward question. He follows up with, “Why does he do that?”

            Scotty is still directly in front of me, both hands in the air, palms up and still grasping the clippers and shears. His entire body seems like a question mark. For a terrifying second his gaze is locked onto me. I’m following his logic but I have no idea how to answer his question. He waits through my silence just long enough to show everyone watching/listening that I have no clue how to solve his riddle.

            “Because he’s poor and the government come and take it all!” roars Scotty, now bent over clenching at his stomach with laugher. I momentarily worry that Scotty may injure himself with his tools.

            I had misjudged Scotty. He wasn’t quizzing me. He was performing for me. I wonder how many times he’s performed this same, or similar, joke before. “Oh yeah of course. I agree with that!” I lamely reply. Scotty and I are the only ones laughing (and I’m too anxious to really be laughing), so I surmise that the others in the shop hadn’t stopped to watch his performance so much as gauge my reaction.

            “No, but happiness man, that’s the thing,” says Scotty as he goes back to cutting my hair, clippers buzzing away in one hand, shears slicing away in the other.

Write comment (2 Comments)


What are you waiting for? Send us your poem, story, biography, self-portrait, abstract doodle, sculpture, lunch, idea, review, mosaic, belief system....

Write comment (0 Comments)

His Fortress was a Faithful Heart

by Robert Leeming

The flickering outdoor light cast a milky pattern across the garden pond Oonagh had dug on her forty-fifth birthday. Michael stared at the water and remembered the dirt piling up beside the wooden deck chair he had sat in while she worked.

Oonagh had the habit of making household rearrangements to mark milestones. On her fortieth birthday she had smashed through a partition wall to open up the dining and sitting rooms and on her fiftieth she had uprooted several conifer trees that had grown so tall they blocked out the sun for the majority of the day.

He’d objected to the pond, he’d objected to chopping the trees down. He’d become unforgivably objectionable after he stopped working at the RAF base at Cogley Wood, and he had dragged his feet mercilessly as she hacked away at the tree trunks.

“Why don’t you go a little easy,” Michael had shouted at her, “you’re fifty now, you’re not as young as you used to be.”

“If it wasn’t for me,” she said, breaking to breathe after each swing, “nothing would change around here.”

The fact that he could gaze out across the garden to the Robinson place, the fact that he could sit and watch people come and go from the Horse and Jockey pub, the fact that he could make note of the changing seasons, the maypole in the summer, the lighting of the tree in winter, this was her gift of openness to him. Chopping those trees down had kept him connected to the world when he most wanted to be out of it.

“To accept the immediacy of death is the only way to overcome anxiety,” she would say. And, “To grow nightingale roses on the eastern side of a garden is to open up your life to a host of secrets,” among other such maxims that were not so serviceable for reality, but certainly were worth bearing in mind for the next world.

Michael still hated it when people sang ‘Jerusalem’ at weddings, everybody likes the tune but the words are hardly fitting and although they really belted it out on that summer’s day in 1952, he couldn’t help but cringe at the memory. Although her countenance was divine, the holy city paled in comparison to the passion Oonagh would bring forth every Sunday night, down by the beach, with the leaky roof and the jet planes from Cogley Wood roaring overhead.

Miraculous moments come and go, in the blink of an eye, and then, the miracle done, you are left to wonder if it was just a predetermined certainty you were made to wait a little longer for than you were entirely comfortable with.

Oonagh saw the world in Michael and the generational back-and-forth continued until probability conspired that they chop down the trees together, and she looked back at him from amongst the fallen wood, the world opening up before him again, as time proved his heart faithful, and she told him about the changes.

Write comment (0 Comments)