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by George Douglas Anderson



Miracle Cures


After diagnosed

with pancreatic cancer

Sarah scoured

the net

for miracle cures-


super vitamins

live cell tumor profiling



a strict vegan diet

& later hypnotherapy.


During her first Skype session

at $100 per hour

she crashed deeply

within 10 minutes


and awoke

five hours later-


her bill metastasizing.



a line, (a short blue one)



A Chinese Restaurant Fetish


Outside a Chinese Restaurant

in Orange

two German tourists swap

places to take photos

of each other smiling

& flashing the peace sign.


Curious, I ask the duo.

"You dudes into Chinese tucker?"


"No," one bloke says, “but we love the irony

of all the kitsch! You know, the dragon iconography,

the plastic shop front meals in rice bowls,

the logograms, the noxious smell of MSG.”


“Do you have a favourite, go-to meal?”


"Stuff that, we would never ever eat the shit

they dish up in regional Oz.”




a line, (a short blue one)



Joseph Conrad & the State of the Novel in Mid-Twentieth Century France


In Bathurst

I purchase two bargain books

in a Salvation Army store

on the main esplanade

for only twenty cents each:


Joseph Conrad’s novel Victory (1914)

& The Novel in France by Martin Turnell (1950).


The bookstore attendant is thick-glassed

& presumptuously says to me:


“A nice selection, Sir, but I can confidently tell you

that most people who live around here have no idea.”


“About what?” I ask.


“The good life, you know, the life of the mind.”


“All I know,” I tell the bloke,

“is that I’m going to make good use of these beauties.

Old crumbling paperbacks make terrific fire-starters!”




a line, (a short blue one)



What’s your Conception of Reality?


Being a soft-fisted student

I sat posturing in uni bars

up to my neck in bullshit


& for a few semesters

when in or on the way to class

or guzzling it down or spruiking it


I had gone weak in the head from reading

too much Dostoyevsky & Camus


& in meeting others for the first time

I’d go all intense & high-browed

& ask them matter-of-factly by way

of an introductory pretentious quip,

“What’s your conception of reality?”


Some would run the other way,

others would mutter “heavy shit”

& order me a beer, others would quote at length

Spinoza or Hegel or Marx or Kierkegaard


& usually after several rounds of beer

everything would be disputed, absolved

& quickly forgotten.


One time during this period I put the question

to my best friend Pud who left high school at 16

to work in the railways as a pipe-fitter. He lands

a shuddering, purposeful blow to my right shoulder

& tersely smiles, “That’s my conception of reality!”




a line, (a short blue one)




He wryly

& callously called his latest cat

a derogatory name


but the pet

quickly merited it-


having thought it sensible

to cross the six-lane highway


on the prowl

late into the night.



a line, (a blue one)


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