New Zealand Fiction I issued a complaint to the Ministry of Lost CausesThey responded: tena koe %clientName we’re sorry to hearyou were upset, but our staff keep flying away; the earth is too heavy, their shoes are too light. Nga mihi,%staffMember All these stories by straight old white men;we need new voices, new perspectives—like me, a young gay white man. The future is here: it is %currentGeneration. I’m not sure I can tell you It’s a sorta fucky thinggalloping, downwards indigent, collapsing welt-foot, barebackfragments of bone we lost at night. Does that make sense? No but okay, there’s heat right? There’s this instra-us wiringthat bends when we walk; that skeletons the silence.Flashbulbs and nitrate-stink and little pieces of the nightand all that, you know? Okay yeah sorta but more like— the smell of lightning/the[…]
2 Dear Ted, hello. I find myself laid out before the horn of morning– I last wrote from the grey and yet my hands shake still. The dew holds a memory of frost yet I wander ever onwards. 2.1 Dear Ted, I have been diving again. I chased a strange gossamer worm to the bottom of the world. It taught me nothing. It made me afraid. 2.1.1 Dear Ted, Do not worry. I have said it before but I mean it this time. There is a cliff with a giant below. His eyes are open but mine are too; I know his name. 3 Dear Ted, I became lost somewhere in the whirl of it– a thousand channels blaring and the men[…]
NB: this piece was written for the I Don’t Even Own a Television podcast’s short story competition, where the prompt was ‘Shaq is about to eat five gyros’. It was soundly and fairly beaten by the actual winner, but I’m still very proud of it, and to this day I’m sad I never got to hear Chris Collision read it. It is immensely silly, and for some reason remains one of my most popular stories. Shaq stared at the menu, and wept. He wanted the gyro with fries. He wanted the gyro without fries. He wanted the chicken gyro, and the lamb gyro. Most of all, he wanted the dark pleasure of the Everything gyro, which contained chicken, lamb, and a superposition of both fries[…]
Waiting for Winnie In time, Labour ascendant Winter for the Hosk came Winston, surly, unto Wellington and surely crown’d Jacinda Ardern Queen. The Hosk’s despair was palpable: his mouth a twisted scream. Let’s laugh at Hosking, Lol. Jacinda rises — after nine years, some sunlight: Hosk melts in spring heat.
He sees the towers rise into the sky and wonders if he was once a god or a king or a man with two gold dollars to rub together. In a life before life, was he locked in his sar- coughing as a bus rolls by and he inhales the stale gasoline air and wonders whether– there was once a gold top atop the grand pyramid; now there is only stone. We stand amongst wonders of stone and steel, and marvel at the delicate tyranny of the open sky. In times of old we stand clad in gold and we wondered whether– there’s a Cairo, Illinois, where the Mississippi carves its way between three States. There’s a Cairo, Georgia, just north of Calvary.[…]