Thursday, July 03, 2008

Eternal Youth

The streets of Sydney are once again being blocked off. Last year it was for the secular end of hot air in the guise of the APEC summit, this time it's for the Catholic Church in all its atavistic glory. We are even getting our trickle of medieval milksops up here above the snow line, and I can't decide whether my teeth are clenched against the cold or the sanguine chatter of believers. I do not begrudge them their life choices, merely the imposition of them on the rest of us. What we have here is state-funded proselytizing courtesy of a New South Wales government still in thrall to the old DLP/Santamaria Catholic left. Like the church it is playing host to, it is decades behind public opinion and only retains power in the absence of any effective opposition. Apparently I can be cautioned, or perhaps even fined $5500, for remonstrating with a Catholic youth trying to sell me their wares. Indeed, so vague are the laws passed in the dead of night a few weeks back, that the police seem tongue-tied when trying to explain them to the general public. All I can suggest is that all we cemented agnostics with a tendency to flashes of anger in the face of the untried and the supine keep off the streets of dear old Sydney as much as possible for the next few weeks. I'm sure whatever is up there is looking down with an oily smirk on its lonely, indelible face.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

New Poetry by Phillip A. Ellis


He eats
of their flesh,
devouring his young.
How he fears,
as he swallows it all,
flesh, blood, bone,
stone alike.
How he is undone
by his rapacity.
How he dooms
his fellow Titans.

- Phillip A. Ellis 2008

Memento Mori

Three dead trees
against the eastern sky:

beyond us are death,
skeletons of rabbits,
and you cannot ever
return from whence
you must go.

Three magpies
in the burgeoning dawn,
in the carolling dawn,
on the frostbitten lawn,
and I’m back beyond
dead trees against the sky.

- Phillip A. Ellis 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New prose by Jen Craig

The decorative circle

Last week, she told me, as she was driving, she happened to listen to a radio feature on the life and work of Hildegard von Bingen – a twelfth century mystic who had so fascinated her during the nineteen eighties that she had bought a book of her illuminations and writings.

It was only as the actor read the line, My new song must float like a feather on the breath of god, that she realised, not only did she fail to recognise these words, but that she could not even recall actually reading the book she had bought and treasured through so many moves and changes of relationships. In fact, all that she remembered of it, right then in the car, was that the cover was a pale egg yolk yellow and, in the centre on the front, there was some kind of mandala, or at least decorative circle, which, now that she came to think about it properly, she said, was very likely the one thing that had attracted her to Hildegard von Bingen in the first place.

- Jen Craig 2008

Jen Craig’s short stories have appeared in various Australian literary magazines. In 2007 she finished a MA in Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney, with the completion of her first novel, Since the Accident. Her blog of micro prose can be found at