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Common People

A collection of sketches, poems, vignettes set in contemporary Australia. Vaguely post-migrant, not exclusively so.


A Big and Little Joke

part 1 of Common People

A nice man! Tall, but not too tall, because then you -- you too short, eh-mar, for a very tall man with a beard...

Genre   realistic

Style   first person

Tags   australian, gender themes, post-migrant

Relationships   family


Another Cup Of?

part 2 of Common People

Now, before I forget, darlin', here's your prezzie, you love Milk Tray, I remember you do, don't you?

Genre   satire

Style   conversational

Tags   australian, gender themes, modern life, 500 creativity exercises

Relationships   family


(S)Cream

part 3 of Common People

hello, face! you are a useful thing.

Genre   satire

Style   freeform

Tags   gender themes, modern life


Paradox

part 4 of Common People

when you have altered beyond recognition

Genre   realistic

Style   free verse

Tags   modern life


Depthless

part 5 of Common People

Three hundred and sixty degrees she turned, and as if trapped in an early version of a three dimensional gamer's world, she turned and turned and only saw her face. She had no sides, no curves but for the hourglass defining her.

Genre   realistic

Style   sketch, third person

Tags   australian, gender themes, post-migrant, 500 creativity exercises, 2010-01

Relationships   f/m


Within and Without

part 6 of Common People

Her mother could not find a photographer. No one sits at the bridal table. Beloved's friends are not by her side.

Genre   realistic

Style   sketch, third person

Tags   australian, consent issues, 500 creativity exercises, alcohol

Relationships   family


Too Much Head

part 7 of Common People

When I visited Over There, it had been forty two years since I left. Every second question was 'why aren't you married'. Gone forty two years and there's no 'how are you, what do you do, tell us about your life!' No, it's all, 'where's your husband? Where's your boyfriend? Why aren't you married?'

Genre   realistic

Style   first person

Tags   australian, gender themes, post-migrant, 500 creativity exercises

Relationships   family


Can't Do It

part 8 of Common People

Still, she's never been much for others, my mother: at the time I didn't know if she realised her sister was actually on her deathbed, but now I'm starting to think she just had no sympathy for the situation.

Genre   realistic

Style   first person

Tags   australian, aging, post-migrant, 500 creativity exercises

Relationships   family


Couldn't Give Away The Pearls

part 9 of Common People

you're amazing! don't forget to wash your hands

Genre   satire

Style   free verse

Tags   gender themes, modern life

Relationships   family


Alien

part 10 of Common People

She is polite to these strangers around her, radiates love, affection, hoping they will not hurt her. The same as when she came to this place the first time, her anger and the fear unexpected. Be polite, be modest, be loveable, and the strangers won't hurt her.

Genre   realistic

Style   third person, stream of consciousness

Tags   australian, aging, alienation, post-migrant

Relationships   family


Out Of Control

part 11 of Common People

...no, I'm thinking, oh no, no, no, did I really eat all that frozen bread, I'm not supposed to eat flour! I'm not supposed to eat bread! -- and I'm thinking of all those wasted days, days I tell you, of half-starving and it's all gone down the toilet like a huge gluten-fat floaty turd, you know, those slick yellow ones, I can't fight myself if I'm going to eat while I'm sleeping...

Genre   realistic

Style   sketch, dialogue only

Tags   australian, gender themes

Relationships   family


Sentiment

part 12 of Common People

Gilt with sentiment, he should not have been surprised to see her wedding ring atop the dresser where he habitually discarded his own.


Divorce

part 13 of Common People

For your information and in regards to any further technical queries, please be aware that the gentleman with whom you associated is no longer with the company.


Walking the Dog at 10pm

part 14 of Common People

suburban bane of shiftworkers, us night walkers and they; the canine chorus multiplies, heralding our way.

Genre   realistic

Style   couplets

Tags   suburban, alternative lifestyle


If It Can Be Changed, Mock It

part 15 of Common People

The children understood her competence in adversity even without language, for how often must she have been mocked to have learned her fluid, unemotional pre-emptive strategy?

Genre   realistic

Style   third person

Tags   australian, childhood, 2011-09


Who Needs Eden?

part 16 of Common People

If with no consideration for the fate of ferns.

Genre   realistic

Style   third person

Tags   australian, infidelity, 2010-11

Relationships   f/m, family


Apart

part 17 of Common People

suddenly he left the room

Style   free verse

Tags   modern life


Pantomime

part 18 of Common People

On the sofa, their commentary faces forwards, as though the television is their audience, and their life is a kind of inverted pantomime.

Genre   realistic

Style   third person

Tags   australian, suburban, 500 creativity exercises

Relationships   f/m


Inconclusive

part 19 of Common People

However searing the sun, space was never a glorious frontier.

Genre   realistic

Style   sketch

Tags   australian, 500 creativity exercises

Relationships   family


Strine

part 20 of Common People

along with your shadow let your accent lengthen

Genre   realistic

Style   free verse

Tags   australian, modern life


Solution

part 21 of Common People

Flicking between trite morning offerings, they come across a show listing in an astoundingly compressed point form (that is, under five criteria per side) the reasons why marriages succeed or fail.

Genre   realistic

Style   third person

Tags   modern life

Relationships   family


Love/Lawn

part 22 of Common People

on the air the smell of haloumi grilling

Genre   realistic

Style   free verse

Tags   australian, class themes, suburban, modern life


Scant Heritage

part 23 of Common People

A home just isn't complete without Nazi memorabilia, one salesman says.

Genre   realistic

Style   third person

Tags   australian, military, 2011-07

Relationships   f/m


Iced Tea

part 24 of Common People

Fifteen new workplaces in seventeen years, always with oversized men, the labouring hulks of the south-east corridor, too proud or smart to be unemployed, too proud or stubborn to get a trade. He makes himself fit in.

Genre   realistic

Style   third person

Tags   australian, class themes, 2011-07

Relationships   f/m


Dilemma

part 25 of Common People

Well, a kid's going to cost a lot. Add that to the negatives.

Genre   realistic

Style   dialogue only

Tags   suburban, modern life, parenthood

Relationships   f/m