On my tartan picnic blanket
we sat in the residual heat
of August sun,
and waited for dog owners to leave.
We stoked our fire
of twigs and husk,
and by the time our shadows were long
I was under
your swinging rosary.
The arms of trees extended like a priest’s to the sky and the
I still wonder what it meant;
as you put your tights back on and I saw your
I hope your clothes are always soggy,
That every night at 3am you piss yourself with worry.
I hope the waitress you make fun of spits in your iced coffee.
I hope a pigeon shits on your new suit,
I hope your hairline recedes and a unibrow comes through.
And when you’re bursting for a piss, I hope the line’s long.
I hope you find the love of your life, but the time’s wrong.
I hope you pour yourself a lovely bowl of cereal only to find out that the milk’s off, bitch.
Laying there in that meadow; I finally woke up.
Sprinkled with fully ripened daises, the grass was brilliantly green. Early morning birds serenaded me in orchestrated unison as I laid there; thawing in the tender sun, arms and legs spread like a happy star fish. A soft wisp of wind greeted my unveiled skin, followed by the scent of faint Sitka spruce trees and sweet spring flowers. The sun’s lemonade rays flushed my cheeks as I watched the cotton candy clouds idly. I grazed my fingertips over the blades of grass; dew refreshed my warming skin. I was unusually calm. The sky was the perfect shade of baby blue; reminding me of that towel I had when I was 6, the one I would take to the beach even though my mother persistently told me not to. And the sun felt exactly the way it did back then.
A while later I jolted myself up, something didn’t feel right. I scan the field but it looked as it had always done. There was still nobody around, nobody knew about that spot. I tried to relax but a nagging feeling to move forced me to my feet. I stood there for some time, unsure of what to do next. I decided to walk towards the spruce trees. Putting one foot in front of the other felt alien, my legs begging me to sit back down.
The birds suddenly ceased to sing. I walked faster. The grass turned into Astro turf, the blades rough on the soles of my feet. The wind picked up and bitter rain descended from the heavens. I began to run; calves burning, my body screamed for me to stop. I carried on towards the grove, but the distance stayed constant and I was covering no ground.
I glimpsed behind me and the rain defied gravity before my eyes. I turned and walked away in the opposite direction. As I got closer, I noticed that rather than hitting the ground, pellets of rain were gliding down what appeared to be glass. I outstretch my arm and my hand confirms the barrier. I look up. The wall of glass towers over me. I walk east, tracing my hand along the glass as I go. The wall was infinite and like before, I was getting nowhere. I slide my hand in front of me and I’m greeted by more glass. I began to panic. Running back towards the spruces, hand never leaving the translucent barricade. Next thing I know I’m running face first into it; streaks of rain distorted the trees on the other side. Warm droplets run down my cheeks. I’m so confused.
Two bottles of wine
Two bodies on a rooftop
Dressed like thieves in balaclavas
Four stories high
Four feet dangle off the edge
Swinging black scuffed sneakers
One body on a roof
Little girl painting her toes in the mirror grapefruit pink “Daddy’s home!” but she pretends she doesn’t hear Monday rolls around and Mummy’s still got a swollen eye A week
later Daddy takes his pills again and cleans the counters and brings tulips home
It’s now July and the girl watches fat bees gorge on orchids She picks one that’s apricot orange
After school she rides the bus to see Mummy but the flowers are already rusting at the tips “Thank you sweetie”
Says the nurse “I’ll make sure she gets it when she wakes up”
“Breathe your gentle fire, dragon.
Emanate your warmth
Sending shivers across wintry flesh.
Hot blood coursing your veins,
Radiating onto cool skin.”
Alice and the Fly
by James Rice
It’s a book about an endearing boy named Greg, who suffers with psychotic episodes at the thought of ‘them’ (spoiler alert, they’re spiders). His family consists of an egotistic mum, an unfaithful dad, and a bulimic sister. Not to mention that everyone at school thinks he’s a psycho. We follow him in his day to day life of living in a dysfunctional home, dealing with people at school, slaving away at a butcher’s, and of course meeting Alice.
I adore fiction surrounding mental illness but this book left me slightly disappointed. It’s an easy read; the writing smooth and enjoyable… but I found it to be slightly self indulgent. Some parts of the book were very well executed in terms of swaying me to feel sorry for Greg; Alice’s dad and brother especially made me want to reach through the pages and hug him. However, often I had the urge to roll my eyes at the over writing of some characters and scenes; it was almost as if I was being told how I should feel about them. There are things that are better left unsaid. Also, Greg developed feelings for Alice so suddenly they seemed kind of out of place, but I guess it could arguably be an intentional part of his quirky and awkward personality.