HoL H2O the great fire in a box

Only Shirley Hazzard could end a novel by writing explicitly of a virgin woman’s clitoris – which she describes with a kind of cheerful poetic simplicity as ‘the final fleshly inch where he could wake her and touch her, and say her name’ – using it to literally embody survival, and art, and all of […]


Big guy who shouldered in front of me to the vegetable stall on the markets kept picking up and fondling everything, laying things lingeringly down. In between handling the produce he was adjusting his own paper bag, at the crotch, for greater personal comfort. I avoided all the produce his omnivorous fingers had touched but […]

HoL H2O white paper flower

Today I am sitting beside my father while he sleeps. It is the last time, probably ever. We are outdoors in the sunny Queensland day and I can hear all the birds. These birds are what I miss. I miss the little endearing coy breezes, the big leaves that rattle like jewels. My father has […]

HoL H2O verdigreen ii

Last week I stood on water for the first time in my life. So eerie. My friend rang, saying, there are people on the river! and I ran down to look. There they were, casual as anything, crossing the water from side to side. Today it is raining in a dreary way as though the […]

HoL H2O apple hearts metrofeet

I saw a girl on the Underground travelling with the man she’s in love with and the girl he likes. They were Italian. Crisp faces. Hers, naturally, a little long and sad; the other girl’s, naturally, coquettish and confident. He had a lovely outlook, solid stance, good beard, and kind expression; compared to them he […]

HoL H2O new york chinatown markets

If I ruled the world for one day: to do list 1. make leafblowers illegal. These waste fossil fuel and create pollution & noise pollution. They’re useless and they encourage blame-shifting. Communities who can afford the use of leafblowers invariably need more physical activity. Raking leaves is peaceful and calming. 2. all toilet paper to […]

H2O HoL pine apple to big apple

New York I am going to climb right up in your lap and press my face to your grimy heart. Where five hundred million faces have been imprinted before. The photobomber in your every selfie sweet New York. Asking scarves of passersby do you know who invented ‘photobomber’. Who invented ‘selfie.’ Brilliant language. Melted together […]

H2O HoL teepee at frank's colourful

Imagine a lake. It is vast and extends, if you swim out to the middle and gaze round, at either end as far as the horizon. We set off very early in the morning from town and have cycled for hours, climbing endless sandy paths. It’s ferociously hot, nearly forty degrees, we have left the […]

H2O HoL no spitting

Jeez, America, stop shooting each other. At least in Australia we only drown refugee babies, jail children, beat young Indigenous men to death in jail cells with phone books. I am thinking today of the Albanian security guard who came out of her way to welcome us to the Cloisters, a museum in Tryon Park […]

H2O HoL squeeze players in Madrid

Philip Glass: a man who halfway through his own memoir, written by himself about his own life, can start a paragraph with: “But look at it from my point of view…” The innocent jostle of his ego crowds every page. He takes up plumbing as a day job in order to support his children, whose […]