Another collaboration with Magdalena Ball. I started this one with the title and first two sentences and then we played email pingpong. It’s great to begin a poem and have no idea where it might end up. I remember I found an online cowboy dictionary and two new (for me) expressions “absquatulate” and “bone orchard” and couldn’t wait to use them! I love Maggie’s “the wind ate his skin” and the “hat hovering over his face.” Once we’d finished it, Maggie suggested submitting it to Loud Zoo, which I hadn’t heard of. We each recorded a version (it was a challenge trying to sound as American as Maggie!) and I cut up the vocals, sharing lines. Then it seemed only right to record some atmospheric music with acoustic & slide guitar,  blues harp and some shakuhachi for the wind.

It may have been as long as a year between the original concept and publication but it was worth the wait.

Thanks Maggie for another great collaboration.

Thanks Loud Zoo – you are unique!

SEE the poem.


HEAR the poem


suicide & pure slush…


Another short story in Pure Slush Vol. 13.

I couldn’t imagine ever being that sad that you didn’t want to wake up. When I was a kid, I mean.” from Toppin’ y’self by Rob Walker


Pure Slush is an anthology edited By Matt Potter. The latest volume is “stories, essays and poems by Alex Reece Abbott, Duff Allen, Samantha Armatys, David S. Atkinson, Jane Banning, Tina Barry, Paul Beckman, Irene Buckler, Megan Crosbie, Peter DiChellis, Glen Donaldson, Kristina England, Brad Garber, Flora Gaugg, Mark Govier, John Grey, Diana Grove, Matthew Harrison, Robin Hillard, Stephen House, Mark Hudson, A.J. Huffman, Hasen Hull, Phillis Ideal, Em Koenig, Donna Krause, Len Kuntz, John Lambremont, Kathryn Lee, Lucy Logsdon, JP Lundstrom, Catfish McDaris, Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, Richie Narvaez, Pádraig Ó Cúana, Edward O’Dwyer, Carl ‘Papa’ Palmer, Joseph Pete, Ben Pitts, Martin Jon Porter, Matt Potter, Melisa Quigley, Stephen V Ramey, Alex Robertson, Jennifer Rose, Ruth Sabath Rosenthal, Andrew Stancek, J. J. Steinfeld, Dianne Turner, Rob Walker, Anne E. Weisgerber, Michael Webb, Andrew West, Robb T. White and Allan J. Wills, all prompted by the theme ‘freak.’ ”

Thanks to Matt Potter for including my work in this edition!


four W #27


Happy to have another short story published in fourW New Writing. It’s the fifth time I’ve had work published in this excellent annual anthology out of Charles Sturt Uni in Wagga. I share the honour with a lot of other Australian writers but I’d especially like to congratulate writerly-friends Ivy Alvarez, Rory Harris, Jill Jones, Jules Leigh Koch, Ron Pretty, Graham Rowlands, Les Wicks and perennial editor David Gilbey.

My story, entitled The River, is a kind of horror story where the antagonist is the river…