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


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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Issue Eleven Editorial

Issue Eleven is now available from our website.

The astronaut made me cry. She made her way across the stage with a perfect mock-zero-gravity space-walk. Smoke rushed out of the door behind her; the other actors arranged rectangular blocks in circular patterns around her. I’m still trying to work out why this particular scene brought on the tears. But anyway: the astronaut made me cry.

I’m talking about the recent Sydney Theatre Company production of Love and Information, written by Caryl Churchill. The fact that I cried is a testament to the power that seemingly-unconnected vignettes can have, as long as they are carefully constructed and arranged to highlight their underlying themes. I was thinking about this when trying to arrange this issue’s submissions into a coherent and satisfying order. It’s never easy, and it’s not—despite what you may think—about picking favourites from what are already our favourite pieces out of a very large pool of submissions.

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Issue Eleven Table of Contents

Issue Eleven is now available from our website.


  • Editorial, by Daniel Young
  • The Clicker, by B.J. Jones
  • In the moments Worker A spends thoroughly washing a jam jar in the communal kitchen on the twenty-fourth floor, by Tristan Foster
  • Terrain: An Exploration in Two Parts, by Rory Kennett-Lister
  • A Sydneysider in Adelaide, by Heather Taylor Johnson
  • Cubbyhouses, by Jemma Payne
  • A Funeral Year, by Omar J. Sakr
  • At Arm’s Length, by Jodi Cleghorn
  • Fountain, by Sam van Zweden
  • Interview with Sam van Zweden
  • Burning the Green, by Ariella van Luyn
  • The Last Train, by Justin Lowe
  • A.B.C.D., by Kate Elkington
  • Suburban Songs, by Kathryn Hummel
  • Panic Hour, by Danielle Spinks
  • Hoa Hakananai’a, the Easter Island statue at the British Museum, speaks, by Lisa Brockwell
  • Forest Girl, by Laura McPhee-Browne
  • Train to Quakers, by Rico Craig
  • The Visit, by Melissa Goodes
  • What a Roo Does, by T.J. Robinson
  • Mourner’s Kaddish, by Magdalena Ball
  • A Cloud Withdrew, by Magdalena Ball
  • Final Shot, by Brian Rowe
  • Plum, by Gemma Mahadeo
  • Honey, by Ally Scale
  • Slow Napalm, by Daniel Lynch
  • Summer Rain, by Katelin Farnsworth
  • Yes, No, Maybe, by Kailash Srinivasan
  • Stay As You Are, by Stephen Koster
  • Ringo, by Cindy Matthews

Nothing by Mouth, by Cindy Matthews

Cindy Matthews has worked as a chamber maid, potato peeler, data entry operator, teacher, and vice-principal of special education programs. She writes, paints, and instructs online courses for teachers in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada.

This creative non-fiction piece, “Nothing by Mouth”, was shortlisted in the 2014 Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest. Cindy’s non-fiction will also appear in Issue Eleven of Tincture Journal in September 2015. Find more of her work at


In the bathroom garbage Muti’s toilet paper sat like ghosts wearing lipstick. Those bloodied tissues compelled me to nudge her to get a bowel scope. After Dad died, Muti reluctantly tolerated my meddling. When I asked about the blood, she said, “Oh, don’t make a huge deal. The doctor said stop straining.”

“You’re constipated? Since when?” I asked.

There were multiple conflicting bowel symptoms. Muti had gone from pushing until she cried to bouts of unpredictable diarrhoea. Then, a few days before Christmas she called. “I need a drive to St Mary’s. For a colonoscopy,” she told me. “Pencil me into your busy principal schedule.”

“Vice-principal. Remember, I’m dead against promotion.”

On the day of the scope, a check of the bathroom garbage shows it’s empty. Muti never flushes toilet paper unless she wants the septic to back up. Drained bottles of Fleet and plastic containers of Wink are tipped into the basin. Before washing my hands, I rest the empties in front of the trash receptacle. They stand like proprietors on a street of pawn shops.

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The Third Bolaño, by Robin Reich

Robin Reich lives in Ulladulla, NSW and is a trained primary school teacher. His first published work was ‘The Trout’, which can be found in Issue Seven of Tincture Journal.


In homage to Roberto.

The Part About a Death

Joseph Ratu, who was never a chief and possessed no such regal ancestry, dreamt his home island in the Pacific had been abandoned by the human race, a race that long ago genetically engineered humanity and had dispensed with many of the traits he possessed, namely pride, integrity, and humility. During the dream Joseph became aware that he had died more than six centuries ago and he lucidly discerned he was thousands of kilometres away from his homeland-bound twelve-year-old daughter. Then he awoke, pained, to a sound from another universe. In the freezing pre-dawn hour he heard a knock, then many knocks, on the door of the unpowered caravan he shared with his nephew, who stirred above him. The knocking sounds continued, some at the same time, from all around the shell of their abode, from the rows of grape vines in the isolated farming area outside, from the rest of the world that had been so far away.

Joseph’s nephew got down from his bunk and opened the door. Narrow beams of light made their way into the caravan. Joseph fearfully remained in his bed and couldn’t see who had so uncannily interrupted his sleep. Then he heard a woman speak, as if she read from a script. The soft female voice slowly calmed Joseph as he tried in vain to hear exactly what she said. After a few moments Joseph’s nephew implored him to come outside. They both cautiously exited the caravan and were temporarily blinded by flashlights. Joseph understood, from what seemed a far-away void, that the people who surrounded him were immigration officers who held a warrant to search the area. Joseph was promptly separated from his nephew, then silently escorted away by five officers toward a fleet of vehicles that were parked on the nearest road, a few hundred metres away. Joseph was bewildered as, in turn, he looked at each of his captors. He thought he may have been in another dream, a dream of bad luck. Then they arrived at a grey Volkswagen van and Joseph was instructed by an officer to sit in the side door well. He was advised that a statutory interview would be conducted to determine his present and future immigration status. Joseph spoke his first words of that day when he told the officers he would not talk while he was apart from his nephew. First light appeared, the air became colder, and the officers tried without success to interview Joseph.

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Where to Start? by Yi Yu

Yi Yu, originally from China, writes in English and Chinese. She started writing poetry in English from summer 2012.

This poem appears in Issue Ten of Tincture Journal. Please support our work and buy a copy today.

Perito Moreno Glacier throwing off some ice (5470451664) (2)

Where to Start?
by Yi Yu

What if everything were in reverse?

Eating to get hungry,

singing to hear silence,

writing to erase the traces of existence,

to touch the world as it is only after you die.

Reading to recognise no words,

finding a partner to feel lonely,

and dying to be born.

The glacier lies back.

Water flows up to the sky.

The man has been coming here for fifty years,

saying “hi” everyday.

Is he saying goodbye?


This poem was inspired by a video I watched about a Tibetan man who lived near a field of glaciers in Tibet. He started shooting photos of the glaciers in the 1960s, and continues on to this day—collecting in the process half a century of photographs. While watching the video, I was struck by his demeanour when he was talking with a reporter at the site where he took the photographs. He kept sighing, as his sorrowful eyes gazed up at the melting glaciers on the mountains around him and, interspersed with this scene, the camera panned on the photographs he’d taken over the years, showing their slow but steady dissolution. The scene as a whole was powerfully moving. Responding to this, the poem reflects the emotions of approaching the end of life, the end of existence, and questions the nature of working cycles.