Can Kirby Come Out and Play?

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There’s something to be said of the fact that I’d decided to return to a specific place, to the creek in Prospect, to remember Kirby. Walking down the gentle slope of my old street I thought that, even though I had no desire to ever go back to the “Westie” suburb of my childhood, as I tried to write about Kirby on the narrow front balcony of my rented terrace in Surry Hills the words on the page sounded forced, fictive, like I was being dishonest. 

“Come on, Kirby!” my brother and his mates used to say.  

We're friends

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So, here we are at Lou’s birthday. All the boys have taken over the fire, fighting with each other about who can best build up the flames, drinking and smoking, and talking a whole lot of shit. I was over there about 20 minutes ago, and guess what they were talking about? Premier League fantasy football. No shit, they really were. They were all sitting there with their phones lighting up their faces, comparing teams, players, and some other stuff that I got bored of super quickly.

Time

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I got drunk one night and hit someone outside a pub. I broke his jaw and he fell and smashed his teeth on the concrete curb, knocked him out. CCTV footage got it. Police rustled me up around 3am. I did some time. When I got out I called Sharon but she didn’t want to know me. I called Pete but he was too busy and we’d catch up. Yeah.

Raven the Bicycle

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You were like the marks that trail along the road
the breaking of the wind
All of you shown
When me and you would spin

We came home, and we came out again
Me the letter, delivered to a friend
You carried me all the way
Just so we can see the end

You are like the raven without it’s wings
Yet you were fast like the thunder
Black as shadow, but bright when the angel sings

Uptown?

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The cab driver shakes his head
when I look in his direction.
He’s not free.

I ask a passerby.
Which direction is uptown?
A few foreign words spill from her lips.
She probably thinks 
I’m asking for change.

It’s starting to rain a little.
I curse myself for leaving my umbrella
in the hotel room.

The traffic is loud and loathsome,
none of it going my way.
The taste of the morning’s coffee,
straight from the La Brea tar pits,
is still on my tongue.
I despise not knowing where I am.

Always a Fight

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Last Friday night, Andy, Clay and l met at the park on Old Maryborough Rd. We had organised the finer details of when and what to bring on the stifling bus home after school. Andy would bring the booze, Clay, the weed and I would bring the bong. Clay had even floated the idea of inviting Kim and Tracy but I wasn’t so keen on it. Girls always seemed to bring about trouble; sirens that somehow convince us to sell our souls and loyalty for a furtive hand job behind the toilets at the skate park. 

I thought you'd be different

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In the dim light of the stairwell Olivia couldn’t make out just where she was. There was an amber gloom as the afternoon sunlight seeped through the orange glass side panels around the front door. Robert groped for one of those push-button light switches that leaves the bulb on for a couple of minutes. He said that his place was on the first floor. He grabbed her hand and cried, “Come on!” This was the first time that Olivia had been to his place, though he’d stayed over at hers a few times since they’d started going out. The rather musty air of the stairs persisted on the landing.

The Visitor

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    He was attempting to collect his thoughts, to remember why he’d ventured down this way, when he found her standing by the river. She stood with her back to him, staring out at the snake-brown water. Jake didn’t know where the woman was from, or where she was going. He’d never seen her before; yet there she was, lingering on his land as if doing so were the most natural thing in the world.

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A Man Of His Word

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His guts churn something shocking, so he reaches for the pills and washes down a couple with a good clump of spit. The knot loosens, relief flushes. The kitchen sink is clean. Did the dishes last night. Do the dishes and wake up to a clean caravan. New man, new decisions. Sign of things to come. 

The sun chases him over the mattress until one more roll will see him face plant the floor. Been a while since it’s had a mop. Plus, imagine yelling out to the other long termers and asking to help lift him up: all six-four inches and a hundred odd kilos.