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Emilie Collyer, who had an awesome piece in the latest Torpedo, has a creative, thoughtful and immediate kind of blog, between the cracks

- Literary Minded

Between the cracks is an ongoing collection of moments and observations, captured in words. Designed to give pause for thought, maybe a laugh or other kind of cerebral refreshment. I hope you enjoy.

The work on here is a small sample of what I do.

Words from between the cracks.

Where sometimes you unexpectedly find fifty cents and sometimes you find whole new worlds.



A Euphemism Too Far

This poem was recently rejected by a journal on a number of grounds, one of them being that it was 'gratuitous'. A comment I've never had  before about my poetry. Kind of proud, 'cause I worked hard on that list of euphemisms ...


On the question of breasts


Pressing at lumps, I let Google tell me that because

I’ve never breast fed, my chances of cancer could increase.


The woman at the front desk eyes me with suspicion:

How old are you? I agree – not mature enough.


A mammogram is for breasts: not tits or norgs,

puppies or boobs, cans, racks, fun bags, honkers or jugs.


It’s unfair that breasts have anything except

biological connotations, because it makes squishing them


between two plates of glass much weirder, like it might

be a fetish and how do mine compare?


After, I lie down in a room and a young guy

with efficient cold hands examines my recalcitrant bosoms.


I want to ask what he thinks:

Is it just our species? I mean, do bulls find udders a turn on?


But I never find the right moment.




In your St Kilda flat

we eat Rogan Josh, drink gin with lime,

licking our lips for every taste.


Sunday morning bagels, fill the bed

with crumbs, eat mangoes, sucking juice from

the skin. Nothing this good lasts forever


but while it does I learn that

green chillies are addictive and garlic lingers

on finger tips for days.


This poem was published on the wonderful online journal site: PASH capsule


Tipping point

I've been writer in residence for Pop Up Playground since late last year and have a few new stories up on their web page. It's a very cool gig. They organise immersive and interactive games of all kinds. My job is to take part, get inspired and write a story in response.

This one is called Tipping point and is a response to The Whispering Society that was part of White Night Melbourne.

The intro is here and then the link takes you to the rest of the story. Enjoy!


Tipping point

All he did was stop for a coffee.

            Tuesday morning, city square. Autumn sunlight bouncing off the little canal they built into the concrete pavers. The smell of promise in the air. Autumn in Melbourne always smells like promise.

            His grey suit, nice cut, looking like he forked out a bit for it. Maybe he’s on his way to an interview. He’s nervous. Low self-esteem. The shoes are worn but polished and just a bit too much after-shave scent trailing in his wake. Soapy, with undertones of cigarette smoke. Hands shaking gently as he wraps them around the cardboard cup, flicks the lid off, blows on the coffee.

            It’s one of those pretty coffees. The barista has taken care, drawn a delicate swirl in the crema, shaped like a love heart. If the guy had looked closely it might have been warning enough. But only if he’d recognised the symbol. And why would he? He was a regular guy, with ordinary hopes and petty fears, feeling a bit flat on a Tuesday morning, wanting the buzz of a caffeine lift.

            He wasn’t one of us.

            If he’d heard anything he would have put it down to city noise, the girls chattering like gulls on the other side of the street. Did he hear anything? Or just feel a twinge in his chest, put it down to the coffee and wonder why he couldn’t shake the growing sense of anger inside him for the rest of the day. Would he have been conscious of the change? When his girlfriend or boyfriend or kids or whoever later that night asked him what was wrong, why he was acting strange, would he have seen himself through their eyes and got a creeping terror inside? Or would it have been too late by then, he was all but gone, subsumed by the Return, catapulting towards some act of destruction beyond his control.

            ‘Don’t stop there!’ I should have yelled out to the guy. ‘Keep moving! You’re in the middle of a Fabric Hole and your body is about to be snatched!’

            Every time I see one I think that. But what can I do? Follow every person around like a frigging guard dog? Not possible. There are too many people, too many holes and too many souls seeking the Return. We were never allowed to interfere. Now the Society’s all but dead I guess I could. Some have, still do. But how the hell would I choose who to save and who to let go?

Read the rest of the story here ...



Inside all day

Stuck in the middle of the second draft

Something's not right and I don't know what it is

Can't keep going until I figure it out

Maybe a run will shake the answer from its hiding place in my body

Looks like a big storm brewing but I go out anyway

Thunder! Lightning! Hail! 

Running through the storm, being pelted by hail stones, the insight lands

Round and deep and complete

I arrive back home, drenched, small red bruises on my arm

Minutes later, the storm has passed, the sun is out

I'd created a huge plot hole unawares

And it was only by running into the storm that I was able to see it



Poem from a friend

Debbie Lee wrote this great poem partly inspired by between the cracks. It's a beauty. Check out Debbie's blog

Between the cracks

The art of letter writing has fallen between the cracks;
yet I admire the messiness of hand printing chaos
and a signature for more than eftpos or debit needs.

Sometimes, I spill ruby ink onto the pages, reclaiming
the beauty of red for more than editing adjustments,
tumbling and twirling the pen, so my ambitious letters

can form the basis of non-bill mail for friends;
replacing the barren loneliness of a blank page,
or trigger a thought or association I treasure.

like the idea of purple graphemes voraciously
collecting together, especially superficial,
before they moan and whimper below your hand.

When reading about linguistics, I first thought
grapheme, phoneme and digraph were oppositional,
revolting, tormented by conjoined formation.

But I have since reconsidered them complementary;
symbiotic, meaningless without the imbued
connection – like misplaced hieroglyphics.

want to understand language, rather than
change its meaning repeatedly and falsely,
to absorb letters like soil subsumes water.

Hand-written messages seem to be engraved upon 
a pillaged earth, like oasis in a desert. When 
complete, light and forsaken waterstains remain,

but alongside the smile I wear with each 
letter I pen or receive, there is also a distant 
memory of being part of a broader story that is

lost in translation.