Issue Thirteen Table of Contents

Issue Thirteen is available now from our website or the usual e-book stores.


Plum, by Gemma Mahadeo

Gemma Mahadeo emigrated to Australia from the UK in 1987. She has lived in the Philippines, and spent most of her time in Melbourne. Her work has appeared in local and national journals, in print and online. Most recent work includes a villanelle in Writ Poetry Review, and a sonnet in the Pozible-funded Tenderness Journal. She once gave the New Zealand brewers of Yeastie Boys fame a beer poem whilst they were all stuck on a tram together.

‘Plum’ first appeared in Issue Eleven. Please support our work and buy a copy today.



Sli-vo-vitz, you susurrate.

It already sounds alluring

in your Eastern European accent,

and mandatory to the tongue.

I recall snatches

of Williams’ frozen plums;

fairytale plums dusted

in sleet-glaze sugar.

You don’t need to check the icebox—

my blood-stained fingertips and

plump mucous membranes

will attest to the crime.

—after W. C. Williams’ poem “This Is Just To Say” (1934) <>.


Suburban Songs, by Kathryn Hummel

Kathryn Hummel writes non-fiction, fiction and poetry, sometimes combined with her original photography. Her diverse work has been published and performed throughout Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Eastern, Western and Southern Asia; her debut collection Poems From Here (Walleah Press) was published in 2014. More details available at Kathryn’s non-fiction piece, ‘A Night Inside’, was published in Issue Eight of Tincture Journal and this poem, ‘Suburban Songs’ appeared in Issue Eleven.

Please support our work and buy a copy today.



Girl resembles toothpaste:

sensitive original.

Beware beware!

Read directions

before using.



Intensity has a bad rep.

Take away the cliché association with vaginas,

possessiveness, stalking, dead pets, death threats—

and you have pure passion

the kind that not only creates diamonds

but blasts them out of mountains.


Issue Twelve Editorial, by Stuart Barnes

Issue Twelve is now available from our website.


Cover image courtesy of Adam Byatt, copyright 2015

I started writing this editorial as Rockhampton’s jacarandas were beginning to churn their purple rain, and on the day that The Red Room Company announced the winners of its Poetry Object 2015: “a free poetry writing competition for students and teachers which invites young writers and their teachers to submit poems about objects that hold special significance to them”.

While walking beside the Fitzroy River the following day I bumped into two acquaintances who pressed me to remind them what I do for work—“Poet, poetry editor of Tincture Journal”—then declared “Poetry’s dead because it’s not taught in schools anymore”. I was delighted, then, to be able to direct them to The Red Room Company’s website (“our public projects and education programs have provided professional employment and creative opportunities for more than 700 poets and over 10,000 students across Australia and beyond”) and neutralise their too-cliché-to-be-repeated barbarity about Sylvia Plath.

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Issue Twelve Table of Contents

Issue Twelve is finally here! Grab a copy here or as part of our 2015 value bundle.


  • Editorial, by Stuart Barnes
  • Auguries, by Adam Ouston
  • To Wake and Then, by Angela Meyer
  • And the Rest Is History, by Chance Lee
  • Natural Assets, Law 2003, by David Stavanger
  • The Reference, by Jane Rawson
  • Smalahove, by Mark William Jackson
  • A Creature of Intelligence, by Zahid Gamieldien
  • Jaboticaba, by Chloë Callistemon
  • Tagged, by Eva Lomski
  • Only the Raven, by Edith Speers
  • Creature, by Shannon Burns
  • DErt Rendezvous, by Natalie D-Napoleon
  • Crow Girl, by Joyce Chng
  • What We Are, by Craig Hildebrand-Burke
  • Shatter, by Gabrielle Reid
  • Not the Best Way to Cope with Things, by Katerina Bryant
  • Cologne’s Zentrum Anatomie, by Benjamin Dodds
  • Elias, by Sevana Ohandjanian
  • Fluid Symmetry, by Gareth Jenkins
  • Too Much of a Good Thing, by Lech Blaine
  • The Cusp, by Seabird Brooks
  • Motionless Chariot, by Dave Drayton
  • Firth Avenue, by Rebecca Jessen
  • Message Stick, by Phillip Hall
  • Alcohol and Me, by Kate Iselin
  • The Defiant Night, by Karen Andrews
  • Man in a Black Hat, by Joe Nuttall


DErt Rendezvous, by Natalie D-Napoleon

Natalie D-Napoleon was “born sandy devotional”, having been raised on a farm on the outskirts of Perth, Western Australia. For twenty years she has toured and performed as a singer-songwriter. Currently, she is working as a writing tutor while completing a Master’s in Writing. This poem is part of a full-length book erasure project titled The Sands of My Life, an erasure of Emily Wright’s book of the same title.


Burning the Green, by Ariella Van Luyn

Ariella Van Luyn is a writer, researcher and teacher living in Townsville, North Queensland. Her fiction has appeared in Voiceworks, The Lifted Brow, Overland and Lip Magazine.

This story first appeared in Issue Eleven of Tincture Journal. Please support our work and the payment of our contributors by purchasing a copy.



The soot from the cane fires had washed up underneath the benches and Callum was down amongst it. Doris could feel him behind her feet. He was fiddling with the back of her shoe, pressing his fingers up against the stitching. Doris watched him arch his fingers, walk them forward. He touched her skin. She twitched and Callum drew his hands up into his chest for safety. He surprised her sometimes with these little gestures of fear, the way his breath became shallow when he brought her a torn exercise book or his muddied uniform.

Doris looked away, down the bush track, where a ute rounded the corner of the cane fields and pulled up opposite the station. When the door opened, she saw it was Lester Banes, their neighbour, who hurled his stubbies and rotten pumpkins into the gully that bordered their properties. Doris went down once, to where the refuse pooled between two rocks. She found a woman’s perfume bottle, wrapped with metal fretwork and studded with enamel flowers the colour of violas. Up against the light, the stylus was visible inside, holding the last drops of perfume. Lester wasn’t married and this gave her the idea of him as a secretive man. She often watched his car, wondered how he got the women onto his property without her seeing. Lester sat in the driver’s seat with his head against the headrest and his arms out in front of him.

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Train to Quakers, by Rico Craig

Recent poetry by Rico Craig has been published by Meanjin, Cordite and Minor Literature[s]. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the University of Canberra Poetry Prize and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poem Angelo was awarded third prize in the 2014 Dorothy Porter prize by Meanjin. For additional work visit

This story first appeared in Issue Eleven of Tincture Journal. Please support our work and the payment of our contributors by purchasing a copy.


Image by Abbie Foxton:

I am a ghost coming home. The dove

on your wrist has turned to ash. No song

will bring you back. Old awnings and their flaking

messages bewilder me; the sound of a siren

in front of Red Rooster, slow-changing traffic lights

where I cupped your head as you fell

into an electric riddle; your epileptic body

in desperate shapes on the pavement. I still

feel your shaved scalp beside my thumb,

hear the ticking of bangles as you shake

visions from your fingers, see the pitch of your

eyes turned back. Those days were a gift.

My memory is pale witness to the sight of you

twisting on a bed, a cigarette burn by your right breast,

this young mind an ember in your hands. Today

has found all our secret rendezvous. I can taste

your Winfield Reds and hear the spindle of your

lighter scratching. I left these memories, years ago;

bundled in a waterproof jacket beside the train line

to Quakers, under a mound of rocks, never to be

retrieved. Now our dancing shadows have returned,

our gaunt teen desires are on their feet. The hidden

part of me that plucked colours from your bird

ribs is alive again and I have a final secret to share.

Forest Girl, by Laura McPhee-Browne

Laura McPhee-Browne is a social worker who writes short stories. She hails from Melbourne, Australia and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Most of her published work can be found on her website:

This story first appeared in Issue Eleven of Tincture Journal. Please support our work and the payment of our contributors by purchasing a copy.


I get to work late, and everyone on the cash registers is talking about Forest Boy. I ask them who Forest Boy is, and Sam Lennox tells me that Forest Boy is all over the news and haven’t I heard anything? I tell Sam Lennox that no, I haven’t heard anything because my grandpa has been very sick and I haven’t had any time to watch the telly or read the newspapers. I put my hands in my pockets and cross my fingers to make sure that Grandpa Morris doesn’t get sick because I lied and said he was, and then I point out to Sam Lennox that he’s picked a pimple on his cheek too much and has blood on his face and he goes red and hurries off to the toilet.

I learn more about Forest Boy throughout the day. Marlena tells me about how he turned up in Berlin two days ago and told the authorities that he’d been living in the forest since he was twelve, and that he’s all alone and his dad died and he buried him out there, and the red-faced man she is serving chimes in with the fact that he heard that Forest Boy speaks funny, and that he can’t eat with a knife and fork, but only with his hands. Then the red-faced man walks to a table and sits down, picking up his fries and the pickle from his Whopper with his fat fingers and stuffing them in his mouth.

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Nothing but Mammals, by Ramon Glazov

Ramon Glazov is a civilizing force that demands respect. His pieces have appeared in Overland, The Monthly, Jacobin, NSFWCorp and The eXiled. He lives between Perth and Italy.

This story first appeared in Issue Nine of Tincture Journal. Please support our work and the payment of our contributors by purchasing a copy.


Once she’d closed reception for the night, Mrs Dott brought out a chair and waited beside the pebbly driveway. Another weekend, another sad little arsonist plaguing the Ranges! Even here at the bed and breakfast it was almost too smoggy to see to the front gate.

Mrs Dott felt woozy and tight-chested. She couldn’t help thinking of the Middle Ages—of warty crones tied to stakes, blanketed by faggot-fumes, swiftly losing consciousness. All the same, she understood it wasn’t fresh air she needed but a well-deserved smoke. She plucked a Horizon from its olive-drab carton. Her vigil resumed in smog she trusted.

An old green Mitsubishi came up the drive at a quarter to ten. Through the haze, its headlight beams looked as solid as rafters. The engine, lucky to last another year, whined like a Papuan singing dog. A spindly Englishman sat at the wheel with a ring of monkish black hair garlanding his bald spot. He wore a clip-on bowtie and a rumpled, lustreless pinstripe suit. Shaking Mrs Dott’s hand, he announced himself as Dr George Harold Gobinot.

He’d called a month earlier, describing himself as an “emeritus psychotherapist, writer and advocate” interested in “highly non-classical traumas”. After reading in the Herald-Sun about Mrs Dott’s daughter Ninian and her baffling ordeal, Dr Gobinot was anxious to visit the Dandenongs and meet her. For that, Mrs Dott showed no enthusiasm, until Gobinot suggested his methods could “help survivors recuperate their voices”.

She wasn’t easily taken in. She assumed her caller was a convenient shaman at best—that any “voices” he managed to “facilitate” would be his own ventriloquism. Yet maybe a talented ghostwriter was Ninny’s only hope. The girl was seventeen now. If she had no other way of living in the real world after what happened, perhaps she could dine off her story. So Mrs Dott agreed to give Gobinot complimentary lodging at Shalott Castle Cottages B&B.

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