Welcome. Anonymous Author holds a mirror to the face of humanity, asking what it really means to be human,

and in doing so blurs the line between what is good and bad writing.

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Friday, January 4, 2013


Apparently blogs are so 2012. That is to say they are old hat. Like a Busby, geddit? 

Friday, October 26, 2012


First published at http://flash-frontier.com
“You. After school. Basketball court. Snap my fingers snap your neck.”
Kevin’s experienced fist thwacks his palm. A rainy afternoon scrap’s arranged to test the mettle of the new boy on the block. I’ve no choice, and at 3.30pm unwillingly comply. For too long I flail miserably, impotently. The repugnant young spectators bray. Then I see red, as they say. Thrash him. Give him a nose twister, a nasturtium. Cave Kevin’s face in. Bones splinter. Kevin sees red, too. Blood red, then grey. He crumples with an awful permanence. Something has shifted forever.
I freak out. Fight or flight? Fight and flight. Across the field, out the gates, into town. It’s rain-dark. Silverbeet-coloured trees, which are neither silver nor red, shroud the slick roads. I run fast, bouncing off strangers. Mist permeates their angry, sibilant voices with coldness and the white noise of tyres on wet asphalt becomes ugly. I would have welcomed the punch in the face – it was the threat of the punch that caused more damage. Peering back every few steps, through the inkiness, I feel sick.
“We want to see the colour of your fear,” he’d told me. Well, this was it: a boy tearing through blackness, all his light absorbed. I’m inseparably linked to the end of the world. Or think I am. Or want to be. It pours. The sky pounds a percussive dirge on the footpath. Bleak rhythms belt against the concrete. I’m still running.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012


First published at http://flash-frontier.com

Toby’s in bed. He fights sleep. His memory remains vital, his memories many. He recalls childhood, the episodes and chapters that authored his life, as if yesterday. He recollects the time he listened to Badjelly the Witch on the large-buttoned cassette player. How the “ding-ding” of a triangle heralded an exotic foreign accent which instructed him to “Turn the page…now.” And how Mother, vanilla-perfumed, had cradled him, held the book in front of him and offered “Would you like me to turn the page, dear?”
Toby remembers a fever: he’d hallucinated Sesame Street puppets which crawled out of the television to attack. He remembers, too, he’d not told Mother that earlier he’d swallowed the bottle of banana-flavoured medicine in one delicious swig. And, with ever-present Catholic guilt, he recalls a day he played hide-and-seek. Paralysed with fear of discovery, he’d stayed rooted to the spot and pooed in Mrs Lockhart’s bushes. The stinky mess had smeared warmly, shockingly, down the back of his thighs.
From this bed, which roils senselessly in past and present tense, Toby reviews his edited, now abridged, life. Forty is too abbreviated. Reminiscence narrates reality. Morphine induces horrific visions. Faeces leak disgracefully from his colostomy bag. The triangle-like “ding-ding” of his heart monitor heralds – what? He barely contemplates the book in front of him. A pine-scented nurse places an antiseptic hand on his shoulder, asks “Would you like me to turn the page, dear?”

Monday, August 27, 2012


First published at http://flash-frontier.com

The Greatest Show on Earth

I feel like the spindly drawings in the corners of pages of books, flicked
through to animate this two dimensional space I inhabit. Here I am
mid-stride. Poised…
My wife! She left me for another! What a Bozo he turned out to be. She
feared no one took her seriously. I cannot change the past. The future’s a
different story, which starts somewhere.
“You’re a clown,” she once whispered, affectionately.
At college, I learned that in summary, the visual joke brings on a quicker
reaction, but the verbal joke is more widely quoted and remembered longer. 
I add audio for effect. The punch line is always a fart. An arse-blossom. An amusing answer blowing in the wind.
“You’re a CLOWN!” She once accused, peeved.
People who suffer from coulrophobia bother me. I’m a sad cliché. Like a dyslexic man who walks into a bra, my life is laughable. A real hoot. Aoooggahh! Klaxon horns give me tinnitus.
“YOU ARE A CLOWN!” She once screamed, then slapped my creamy white face red.
Behind this scumbled visage of makeup, which radiates a cartoon sun, are tears. Mirth is infectious, like Ebola. On my deathbed, I think I’ll find that, actually, morphine is the best medicine.
…my oversized plastic clodhopper casts a shadow. Children perch on bleachers, peer under flapping fabric into the murk. They’re desperate for lightness. Ruthless absurdity enriches their lives.
A banana skin. I slip, flip, fall, land, fart. Hilarious.
Later, my fans depart: art distorts life; life funfair-mirrors art.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Our native language now. Is it local or is it digital? Code or chit-chat? We shared a common tongue once, you and me. Many times, actually, but I really mean Once Upon A Time. Similar stories. On the same page. Pages of our history were more like an epic romp. An historical page-turning bodice-ripping yarn. Then, one day, or night, or two nights or many days, speaking in tongues led not to silence but to schisms, to uncomfortable clicks and clearings of throats and cocked heads and blank stares as we lost our voices, as our voices got shriller and said less of things out louder, and made less sense and unravelled the very things we we're trying to mend through talking, even though when we started we didn't know they needed mending. Talk does that. Conversation unstitches the intimate fabric of relationships that have been left unspoken for too long or spoken of too much so they become threadbare. Don't worry though. These are easily repaired.  They require words as webbing, deed as the trees to which they are attached. But oh, what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to weave webs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


What did he have to do to stop being the butt of Carl’s stupid jokes? Did he have to become a notorious alcoholic, first rate carouser, develop a callousness that erased all empathy, laugh in the face of other’s misfortune, embrace suffering, reject redemption, reach rock bottom at a rate of knots and not stop, ever, to finally register above dull-mocking on the barometer of his fair-weather friends?
Against all logic it seemed harder to ditch colleagues in adult years than as children, William considered. As children and teens it’s so abrupt. A decision is taken and acted upon. Grown-ups find it more difficult to cut ties.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Venn Diagram.


First published at http://flash-frontier.com/

An irresistible force meets an immovable object.

YOU. ARE. SHITTING. ME! The pine trees too?!
Richard’s rising intonation peaked, piqued with indignation.
He was heightened, his brother remained grounded.
“This hill, the track, the cottage, that hill, the wool shed…” He squatted to batten level, closed one eye and focussed into the distance: “…the hay paddock, and the FUCKING PINE TREES?!”
“Yep,” said James.
Richard leapt, full stretch, like the live wire had given him a jolt. James was still, forearms resting on a strainer post.
“NO. WAY! Are they going to carpet bomb the place? It’s a massive chunk. Massive. It’ll be gutted. Ruined!”
James regarded Richard. He’d visit what, twice, maybe three times a year? On the way to Matakana (Havelock North’s immature sister, James called it). Now though, as soon as the plans were finalised, he’d been up from Auckland like a shot. ‘Concerned’ for the place. Of course. Funny that. His unspoken but not unknown dreams of a subdivided ticky tacky toy town dealt a significant blow by a competing progress. You’d think gracious resignation would be in order. But no. One last roll of the dice.
“What about the cows and sheep?”
“Heifers and ewes’ll be temporarily moved. May get to run more stock by way of compensation.”
That was that, then. Richard sped away, perplexed, like he’d lost something he’d never had. James enjoyed the irony. The farm was secured a future as a farm. Albeit with a new motorway through its middle.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Flash fiction first published at: http://flash-frontier.com/2012/04/20/april-after-the-party/ 

Orphans' Christmas.

‘Orphans’. All rounded lips, sibilants and breathy voiceless fricatives. The word has a softness which belies its hard factual edge. 


My brother and I wondered who’d rung the cops.

When our parents drove south for their eighteenth anniversary, in late December 1988, we held an impromptu party. The lounge, where usually mum knitted as dad commented through newspapers, became a den of iniquity. Friends gathered. Thirty swelled to sixty. We roughly pushed aside the lush fresh-smelling Christmas tree. Music played. Pot was smoked, beer was sculled. Noise control visited, twice. Drunk kids lurched onto the street, hurtled over fences, traipsed through gardens and rolled semi-naked on front lawns. Neighbours’ tempers frayed. The cops came the next morning – later than anticipated, considering. 

I answered the door to a navy blue uniform. From under its severe peaked cap, a deep voice demanded an answer: “Ashley and Paul Adams?” 

A silent colleague stood unblinking beneath his own authoritative headgear. Scared, I recalled the night’s illegal activity.

“I’m Ashley,” my brother bravely admitted. His age advantage determined he speak first. 

The deep voice delivered a sucker punch. “We regret to inform you... .” 

It wasn’t what we’d feared. 


Now, every Christmas, a decorated tree’s scent evokes extant memories of that night: a former version of itself topples at our party while a larger remote manifestation simultaneously falls unseen across SH5 near Napier, failing to be avoided by my parents’ southbound Holden Commodore. 

‘Christmas’. After the party, the word’s joyous sonance belies its truthful dread.   

Monday, July 2, 2012


Flash Fiction, first published at: http://flash-frontier.com/2012/06/28/june-hold-my-hand/

Hear our voices.

1.0 – The Great New Zealand Literary Vignette
The literary vignette has cancer of the eyes. Daring to look up from its
navel, gazing outwards, surveying You in preference to Itself, its
malignant words broadcast the true shapes of lives.
2.0 – Tall Poppy
“‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ was invented to avoid criticism. Success isn’t your
flaw; your personality is. You’re a jerk. Blaming your fall from grace on
‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’,” Jane mumbles to no one, “is another way you’re a
3.0 – 100% Pure Imperfection
David, who once won advertising awards and is now constantly anxious,
ducks around the corner to smoke a large bowl. Sweating, he returns to his
spot on Queen Street. “Y’know who I used to be?” he spits. He used to be
the small boy who’d fall asleep with his head on his sister’s lap. He
misses Jane.
4.0 – No.8 Wahine
Jane was a ward of the state during the 70s. Today she walks past leaky
homes in Waterview. Workers erecting a wire fence cat-call “Phoooowar!”
Leering men with calloused hands are something Jane’s always been used to.
5.0 – A Common Senseless Approach
Dad died in what was reported to be a home invasion. Brutal and
newsworthy. David learned this via a static-filled radio, between hisses
and scratches of analogue interference. The report was later amended: no
one else was sought in connection with Peter’s death. But by then, David
was already living on the streets.
6.0 – Hand of the Wrong Frightened Crowd
Northland’s forests, Southland’s fields, Westland’s bush, Eastland’s
hills, New Zealand’s homes are in this with us. Jane and David extend their
hands as cancer spreads from the vignette’s eyes into the Yous and Wes

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Flash Fiction, first published at http://flash-frontier.com/

An Aphonic Discourse
Silence screams an awkward glance over its shoulder to someone else who might be listening: the voyeur behind the musty drapes. I smell of those drapes, I smell sadly of their terrifying stories. I look under rugs of matted hair and insects for a trapdoor out of here. If it was a matter of communication it’d be easy, but the more said the less heeded. Skin and bones of sentences wilt lamely where they should stand proudly singing, freed of fat. Conversation is no bird tonight.

Hayley rocks on aching feet, stirs cubed beef into thick sauce, waits for her husband to come home.
Panic sets in. Peristalsis forces words to the surface. They hurt: the difficulty of their conception; their birth. Take them, sculpt them into what you will.
Unseemly custard-yellow foam innards spill through the oven mitt’s floral cotton casing into the pristine kitchen – threaten to overflow into the pot, spoiling the meal.
I imagine a time when my speech is sea and surges with regard for neither sand nor stone. Each lofty crest releases the finest misty nuance, brushes your face with meaning. Flowing from my lips, cold and thinly layered, water on a desert skin.
Unwelcome splinters of images of Brad cause her to flinch.
Your clothes I hate, your scent I hate, everything I hate. Love you? I can never love you.
Hayley vigorously attacks the coagulating mixture with a shallow steel spoon, her blue-black arm stirring in bruised, ever-decreasing, claustrophobic circles.

Monday, May 28, 2012


From the collection '8 poems about me and you'.


of the infinite number of ways I might die
the spectre whose shape fills my deathly dull days
the ritual I'm drawn to despite what I've said
my stoic assertion 'I'm fine on my own'
my penchant for wishing to leave with a bang

involves only me warm in sun on my bed 
a view with soft sleep and no pain 
and the touch of another (i'll take it all back)
to not be alone at the end.

Monday, May 7, 2012


... "I know writers don't like to talk about their projects until they're finished. Put to bed... isn't that how you say it?" William blushed and felt a prickle of sweat in the small of his back. What did she look like asleep he wondered? "So I won't be nosy as to what it's about. Unless you'd like to share?" She raised her immaculately tapered eyebrows. They wriggled almost into the shape of an italicised question mark. A mocking tone; or Teresa was genuinely interested. He couldn't tell. Her eyes gave nothing away, were like glass buttons. And that innuendo, what's that all about?  He didn't dare answer his own thought in case he was wrong...