Valentine 2024 – 3 writers

Ruth Wyer won our mini Valentine open mic (see story below) at our first event in our new venue WestWords, Parramatta. Her book award was Australiana by Yumna Kassab.

The story of the time she dated the Nazi Punk

When she tells the story of the time she dated the Nazi Punk she tells of how he wore a replica cap and boots and a swastika armband, and how he would spit at the feet of people walking on the footpath towards him, and how he slept beneath a Nazi flag that she bought for him at an army disposal store near Central station and gave to him on Valentine’s Day.

She doesn’t say that his brother, whom he idolised, called them fucking morons when he saw it. Nor that her boyfriend had chronic allergies and his phlegm was not directed at anybody, just at the ground where people happened to be walking. She doesn’t mention that she daydreamed through lessons at school and knew nothing of the horrors inflicted in Hitler’s name. Nor does she clarify that her boyfriend was just an immature kid with lineage to a German ally and a misguided loyalty to a homeland in which he had never lived, and that the flag to him symbolised only the independence of a land taken so violently from his own ancestors.

By the time she sees him in a pub, years later, and they acknowledge the enormity of what they condoned but did not understand, she has stopped telling the story all together, but still carries the weight of all the words she failed to say, and the ones she tossed so flippantly, so carelessly, that she cannot know where, or how hard, they fell.

Danielle Catherine won a copy of Avant La Lettre, a bi-lingual Romanian and English anthology edited by Mihaela Cristescu. See Danielle’s poem below.

Daily symphony

Secret musical companion, let’s converse.
Fill my abstract gap, my autobiographical urge.
Laughter, sigh, question, answer: a bass and treble harmony
With gentle jocular repartee
We transcend the changing of light bulbs
The routine restocking of sustenance
The mundane stream of ‘friendly reminders’ in our inboxes.

The doorbell rings.
Another Amazon delivery
Disrupts the disruptive while I’m
Scrawling ‘Apples’ then ‘Bananas’ on a shopping list.

Siham Chamoun won a copy of NWG Inc’s Ambiguous Loss, an anthology of Western Sydney stories and poetry. If memory serves us, Siham has won Valentine book awards before… See her poem below.

Insomnia

A masterminded thief stole my sleep 
And went on demanding a ransom.
I ignored his request
And said you’re a pest
Take it and leave 
The slumber you reave.
I will not budge
Or hold a grudge, 
Only because you are handsome.