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HEAT Series 3

Animal Poems

HEAT Series 3 Number 8
2023

The Leech / You’re a sycophant, repugnant. Vile bacchant— /
you suck and glut, fill like a slimy phial. No denial /
of the claret in our veins. Fat phlebotomist, /
yes, you were used to treat ailments—fevers, gout, /
haemorrhoids, headaches, clots, bleeding wounds /
and gums—you thrived, made doctors rich.

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Three Poems

HEAT Series 3 Number 14
2024

8) he followed me on Instagram, I followed him back / just to be kind, and he introduced himself as a physicist / building a time machine and asked if I / was interested to go back to the precolonial Tapanuli / because he had the white man’s guilt, / the Dutch person’s guilt, the coloniser’s guilt, / but also the urge / to verify if my ancestors were really man-eaters, / ‘Aren’t you at least a bit, teeny, tiny, curious?’ / he replied, ending it with a chicken leg emoji

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Two Stories

HEAT Series 3 Number 4
2022

I was sitting on a park bench in winter waiting for my spine to register the chill. The sun was on the side of my face, and I could hear a soccer match. I tried to follow each player without looking at the oval; the players scattered and flickered, and I wanted to be the literature, the story – was sick of merely gusting at the side of it. I figured the first step would be to get cold, to be still, and yet activate a thought. To run my fingers.

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The New Violence

HEAT Series 3 Number 13
2024

It is autumn when László sends his introductory message on the dating app. Seasonal is gripping on to their job while their life falls apart in a foreign country. They are not sure that talking to the world in this state is a good idea, but they don’t know what else to do while they are in free fall. They try to trust that this breaking apart is also a coming together.

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Marrickville Light

HEAT Series 3 Number 4
2022

Australian voices remind Kate of dead people. The people she loved as a child, who loved sun and ciggies. More than life itself, as it turned out. A large cup of syrupy black coffee was on the bench table. Her left hand was bunched in a fist to conceal a dozen or so almonds. She pinched out a couple with the fingers of her right hand and passed them to her mouth, crunched and chewed, and took a drink.

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Fuck Up

HEAT Series 3 Number 7
2023

The cat surged down with no preamble, startling Mooks, whose set-up tumbled to the ground. Robertson leant down and snatched up the thing before it could go for the filters, and Mitch watched as a single ginger cat hair descended with cosmic slowness into the open tub of hummus.

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Un Amor

HEAT Series 3 Number 11
2023

It takes him a while to find the words, but this delay doesn’t seem to suggest any discomfort with the message, but rather an uncertainty about the use of language itself. Waiting for him to speak, Nat is intrigued, albeit slightly indifferent, as if what he was about to say – or propose, since it’s obviously a proposal – didn’t concern her.

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Under the Bed

HEAT Series 3 Number 5
2022

Today I watered the front garden by hand. Maybe not the most efficient method but efficiency has its limits. I decided to pick three long stalks of feverfew daisies growing near the nectarine tree as they had started to lie down. They have an intense and complex scent half-mint half-chrysanthemum. It is an insect-repelling herb.

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Five Poems

HEAT Series 3 Number 3
2022

She said to him, When a woman informs you that she’s a little drunk / this is actually a warning that she’s liable to collapse at any moment. / And when she tells you of a lost happiness / she means that you’re responsible for giving it back to her / on a silver platter, like those knights in the stories of Caliphs / who return home with the heads of enemies on their spears.

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Australian Capital Territory

HEAT Series 3 Number 3
2022

On that day in Canberra we had been together thirteen months. Steady, happy months. We owned Ikea furniture together, had combined our books, were joint owners of a Turkish kilim, a record player, and a vibrator. Maybe we would start gardening. Maybe we would get a dog. Maybe we would have a baby, a girl, with curly, black hair.

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Life’s Work

HEAT Series 3 Number 10
2023

I’m chasing after something faster than me, that refuses to be pinned down. I find myself getting lost in its contradictions and capaciousness. How to write about something that is made for no one, but imagines, or hopes for, an audience anyway?

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Sit Down Young Stranger

HEAT Series 3 Number 2
2022

There was a dim lantern filled with dead insects near the amphitheatre, and the moon was hidden by the top of an old apartment beside the station. Moths made silent sweeps at the flickering lantern, and Liam placed his open guitar case underneath, so that anyone wandering down the winding path could pay their respects to his work.

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Unlock to Ride

HEAT Series 3 Number 2
2022

The roastery was a cover for the accommodation rort our landlord was pulling. The whole warehouse was divided with heavy curtains into small rectangular spaces where we all slept in single beds. Every space looked the same and it was hard to tell them apart. Our landlord called them pods but it was more like a battery.

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