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HEAT Series 3

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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Two Stories

HEAT Series 3 Number 9
2023

I spent a few years working in cafés after graduating from art school. I didn’t see what else I could do. The work kept me moving, I was fed, had nice coffees and beers and wines, and most of all I enjoyed the many faces constantly passing in front of my eyes.

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Shopping

HEAT Series 3 Number 8
2023

Emily was aware she had a problem, but it was a good, distracting problem from the more real, emotionally crippling problem of being in love with her boss. In the last few months, however, her shopping obsession had reached new problematic highs.

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Small Talk

HEAT Series 3 Number 3
2022

As a man writes this down, he calls to mind those many instances in which he wished he was at home, reading. He would say to himself, I wish I were at home now, and then picture himself huddled up with a book of no particular title, but nevertheless certain that the pleasure and comfort he found in that imagined tableau would exceed anything before his eyes.

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Send Me a Sign?

HEAT Series 3 Number 8
2023

The medium is a woman in her sixties, with long, thin, blonde hair stretched back into a ponytail. She rises from her chair and moves to the centre of the stage. Energy in the room shifts immediately. Everyone goes still and silent and sits up slightly taller in their white plastic chairs.

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Ludic Literature

HEAT Series 3 Number 2
2022

The vastness of fiction’s playground (and the seeming abundance of slides and ladders) makes it possible for the reader of ludic literature to flee the corner inhabited by the kids who don’t play and crash into the hall of King Arthur for all the wonder of Camelot on New Year’s Day.

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Brief Lives

HEAT Series 3 Number 1
2022

There was a kind of shuffling about. People looked uneasy, as though a crime were about to be committed. Somebody coughed as sirens sounded in the distance, then an old woman who looked as though she had been asleep, her head back and her mouth open, took up the skein of talk like a trout after a fly.

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