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FREE Edition 11 | August 2016 Your Student Mag

Inside This Edition Girl Dog Days Eternal Scar Trump's Wall Your Favourite Time


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Edition 11 | August 2016

contact@versemag.com.au www.versemag.com.au Head Editor Emmylou Macdonald Editor Jordan Leović Communications Editor Adrienne Goode Graphic Designer Nicole Scriva Contributors George Vlassis, Bianca Iovino, Jack Stobart, Aidan Varnas, Rebecca Chave, Danny Jarratt, Scott Murphy, Erin Abell, Joseph Baynes, S. Z. Telford, Sarah Strum, Dave Court, Taylor Summers, Daniel Zander, Carli Stasinopoulos, Emiko Artemis, Judah Cricelli, Emma Cuppleditch, Christian Fleetwood, Thomas Ashby, Mitch Caon, Teagan Mudge, Will Chau, Sarah Quartuccio, Naomi Beacham, Jessica May Mason, Rob Whighton, Caitlin Nicks, Rhys Stalba-Smith, Bradley Irvine-Thomas, Bridgette Minuzzo, Piper Denholm, Frances Cannon, Cailtin Tait, Laura Marcus, Hazel Ahmadi, Elyshia Lay, Wendy Dixon-Whiley, Tanner Muller, Dead Ties. Cover Aidan Varnas Printer Newstyle Design & Production Consultant Georgie Smith The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily representative of the views of USASA or the editors.

@versemagazine @versemagadelaide @versemag_adl

Original Cover Image â–ś Aidan Varnas

Verse Magazine is brought to you by Edition 11 2016

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Editor’s Letter Head Editor | Emmylou Macdonald

The recent slab of uni holidays has given all of us some much needed time to think. Striking thoughts and fierce opinions saturate the pages ahead, addressing public figures, the government, technology giants and more. With the federal election still fresh in our minds and the US presidential election fast approaching, it’s become clear that some people’s opinions are uninformed, narrow-minded and completely out of touch. Pauline Hanson and Donald Trump, I’m looking at you. Racism and xenophobia have reared their ugly heads both overseas and in our own backyard, prompting George Vlassis and Daniel Zander to address the issue head-on. This edition of Verse Mag (and every other one) celebrates diversity. We embrace differences and promote individuality, making sure everyone has a voice. Dive into this unapologetic edition without hesitation—it’s colourful in more ways than one.

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Contents Edition 11 | August 2016

02 Editor’s Letter

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04 Trump's Wall 06 Tyrone's Fire 07 Divided 08 Should We Be Scared Of AI? 12 Jack's Star 14 Tiny Gallery 16 Please Explain? 18 Moments

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20 In[ter]view: Dave Court 26 A Whisper 28 It 30 Imag[in]e: Aidan Varnas 38 Vox: Student Voice 42 Centenary Fields Cemetery 46 Welcome Or Not? 48 Girl

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51 Your Favourite Time 53 Blinding Night 54 Dog Days 58 Eternal Scar 60 Bitter Band Chat: Dead Ties 62 Horrorscopes

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Words & Image ▶ George Vlassis

George Vlassis shares his thoughts on Donald Trump’s bid for presidency. A new wall may be emerging. It’s not The Wall from TV drama Game of Thrones. Nor is it another Pink Floyd album title. This is a particularly vile and hideous type of wall. It’s called the Trump wall. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has gained tremendous popularity in recent months, with his hopes of taking over the presidential reign in early 2017 looking like it could be a scary reality. It begs the question, where has this momentum come from? One thing is for certain and that is his unorthodox approach to campaigning which is laced with politically incorrect policy proposals, outlandish personal attacks on fellow politicians and his very unique way of perpetuating the message that modern-day politics is riddled with self agendas. If you ask a Trump supporter, they’re likely to express how refreshing it is to have a candidate really tell it how it is, a quality people seem to celebrate. Another treat, which seems to make him all the more sweeter, is that his entire campaign is self-funded and he doesn’t rely on external donors or lobby groups. Does that make Mr Trump a lone ranger? Perhaps a loan ranger calling the shots, pardon my pun. Trump represents himself and he’s not in it for the interest of others. Some would say it’s a breath of fresh air but the concern remains: how will the future look with a president who is unqualified, inexperienced and completely crass in political discourse? As much as people like Trump’s tell-it-how-it-is approach, this is a man who wants to build a giant wall across the American southern border. A wall that is intended to reduce foreign integration and marginalise people of particular backgrounds—most notably Mexicans and Muslims. Trump also wants to create a list of every Muslim living in the US. That’s right, a list. Sound familiar?

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If we allow this type of talk and potential action to dictate political importance, then unfortunately American society is running backwards into a type of belief system that mimics Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Perhaps a harsh comparison, but the similarities are there. Trump’s campaign is fuelled by the notion that others are responsible for America’s apparent decline. His campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is an insinuation that America has fallen behind other nations and is no longer the super power it once was. According to Republicans, their great nation has been crippled by China’s current economic dominance coupled with Obama’s weak stance on foreign policy. Another interesting comparison can be made between Trump and Hitler, considering he rose to power after the Great Depression and blamed the Jews for Germany’s unstable economic climate at the time. Based on Trump’s popularity gain, this suggests that the American people are afraid of being perceived as weak and have fallen for Trumps scare tactics in blaming particular minorities for the apparent decline.

"How will the future look with a president who is unqualified, inexperienced and completely crass in political discourse?" I struggle to understand how building a giant wall and creating a list of every Muslim living in the States will help America regain its ‘great again’ status. Trump hasn’t even been able to clarify how a wall of this proportion will even be built. People seem to be falling for Trump’s persona rather than his policies. If he prevails, America will be on one hell of a roller coaster ride until the next election. Hopefully cooler heads prevail and the American people see beyond Trump’s bark.


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Tyrone’s Fire Words ▶ Bianca Iovino | Image ▶ Jack Stobart Her bare exposure an outfit of radiating beauty and courage.

the ashes of the past. With the burns as proof of hurt and

measured by

healing.

locks. Selfless intent constant. It bellows in the elements. Her soul— wild. A woman of Bacchus. Frenzied love

Luna’s light a constant reflection in the wave of her convex ocean. Blinking through floods and clenched frowns. Giving innards and oxygen supply to cubs is she. Self-preservation— second.

for spawn and

Rip through

vulnerable

fleshy layers

surrogates.

and watch the heart

They pump through her veins

pump black and gold— the essence of a balanced ego.

as she dances.

Magical and

Jagged edges

beautifully frightening.

and rough shading— epitome of true women. Defiant of Edition 11 2016

raised herself from

Priority

unruly auburn

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A phoenix—

artificial symmetry.

But she is mother— hear her raw.


Divided Words ▶ Rebecca Chave | Image ▶ Danny Jarratt At dinner my Grandmother and I got into an argument about asylum seekers. She’s old. I’m young. She completed Grade 10. I completed University. She wants to stop the boats. I believe there’s nothing worse. I had tears in my eyes as she spewed spit across the table, yelling about how they were all terrorists. I said I would rather save 10,000 refugees and take the risk that one might be a terrorist than have the deaths of that many people on my conscience. I probably shouldn’t have sworn. She probably shouldn’t be racist.


Words ▶ Scott Murphy | Images ▶ Joseph Baynes

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The ability to create a remarkable machine which learns and interacts with the world like a human brain comes across as a madman's dream brought forth by sci-fi novels and movies. The very thought of computers developing themselves into more intelligent systems brings up arguments questioning the dangerous concept while invoking fear stimulated by the power such machines would have. The concept is known as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the idea is nothing new. In fact, the engineering of AI systems is responsible for much of the massive technological advancements we have experienced over the last 25 years. Although humanity has always played with the idea of AI and used it to make our lives easier, we are now reaching a point where it’s going to be used to do things we otherwise can’t. A prime example of this presents itself in Facebook's plan for the future where engineers are creating AI which builds AI. We are beginning to not only use this madman's dream to run our lives, but we are now entrusting it to advance our technology beyond what we can do alone. If Hollywood's prediction proves true, the reality of Terminator’s Skynet is just around the corner. Earlier this year, Microsoft launched an AI bot into the world which crashed and burned in the process. It was a computer program which could tweet and react without guidance or pre-hash sentences. Named Tay by its developers, the bot's first release into the Tweetosphere lasted around 16 hours before being shut down as a result of racist, homicidal and incredibly inappropriate remarks being generated and tweeted. Designed to mimic the language of a 19 year old American girl, this AI learned what to say from other Twitter users. Unsurprisingly, Tay's learning curve was abused by the online community and although resulting in what is an amusing story, her time alive in the world forms nothing more than the setting of a tragedy. Microsoft issued an apology shortly after, saying they did not anticipate the amount of abuse their system would receive. The glaring question resulting from this experiment is how do we teach a computer what is right and what is wrong, and furthermore, who decides this?

"How do we teach a computer what is right and what is wrong, and furthermore, who decides this?" Despite the failed launch of Tay, Facebook announced they would be incorporating AI bots to respond to questions posted to Facebook Pages. The application of AI in Facebook runs most of its backend already, in fact whenever you upload a photo to its servers an AI system has learned what your friends’ faces look like and even tags them for you. On the 4th of January, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work." After their first quarterly conference in April however, the term 'simple' seems to have dropped from the tech innovator's plan, replaced with the objective of crafting 'True AI' systems.


"If AI is already outsmarting us in a board game, when will it begin outsmarting humans in general?"

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The social media giant announced that they will be using AI to generate orders for products so users can apply natural language when shopping online, similar to what would be experienced in a physical store. On launching this service Mr. Zuckerberg said, "So the biggest thing that we're focused on with artificial intelligence is building computer services that have better perception than people." Also revealed was Facebook's plan to create AI which could create AI. This massive step in technological advancement, and progressing AI beyond human input, is met by competing tech giant Google and the truth of this becoming real has already passed. In early 2014, Google acquired AI development company DeepMind Technologies for approximately $500 million USD, renaming it to Google DeepMind. A condition of sale agreed upon by Google was the establishment of an in-house AI ethics board which would oversee the technology and ensure it was safely applied. The members of this board remain a mystery even today, with neither DeepMind nor Google willing to comment on what the board does, let alone who’s in it. In March this year, DeepMind's AI made headlines after it beat professional Go player Lee Sedol in an intense close contest. The game Go follows a simple concept but due to a large number of potential moves available it is tough for computer systems to outsmart professional players. This defeat marks a real-world example of how this technology is already tricking even the most dedicated human. While this particular display revolved around a board game, the application of AI now extends into healthcare, with DeepMind acquiring records from the National Health Service in the UK, bringing with it concerns

regarding what a free-thinking computer system can do with such information. As Google DeepMind experiments with board games and the health records of the UK, "[supporting] clinicians by providing technical expertise," Facebook and Microsoft are developing AI to replace salespeople and online personalities. Medical advice could soon be administered by a computer, while sales and entertainment could become immensely integrated into our lives by how the masses interact with an artificially learning program. For now, the employment of ethics within this technology is of the utmost public interest. While it is reasonable to assume the best interests of humanity is directing AI development, the questions into the sustainability and practically of this technology should be public rather than corporate. This technology is still a long way off being human-like in the same way we approach all things, but it is rapidly developing. If AI is already outsmarting us in a board game, when will it begin outsmarting humans in general?


Jack’s Star Words ▶ S. Z. Telford | Image ▶ Sarah Strum

Bright star, would I be as luminous as thou art, But shadows are home to my stalwart love Dark eyes with to watch the women depart, And hollow sounds of blades from above. To move like water down the cobbled lanes, Rushing in waves to drown silent words In pleasure, relished and derived from pain, Hate in all its passion, and with the devils slur No- yet still in lust, still a hunger unsatisfied Steely fingers clawed upon my lovers throat To look on such beauty but to be still deprived, Tortured forever by a loveless note Still, still to take her tender breath And rejoice forever in her bloody death

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Jack scrunched up the already crinkled note for what seemed like the hundredth time. His fury boiled inside him as he sharpened the six inch knife he had prized for so long. Standing suddenly, Jack picked up the bottle of whiskey next to him and flung it at the wall. The empty bottle shattered into a million tiny shards just as Jack’s heart had when she gave him the note. “How dare she!” he roared with a thunderous voice, thick with anguish. Throwing on his cloak and hat, Jack stormed through his door to the cobbled streets of England and into the dark of night. He made his way across rooftops as not to be seen and, sitting with his legs dangling off the side of a roof, he watched as a beautiful young lady left the house of a local merchant. She smiled and laughed, kissing the man who had walked her out on the cheek. Jack sat in the darkness and sharpened his blade as the couple below argued about whether she needed to be escorted home. After a short time the man resigned to his dwelling and the lovely lady began her walk home in the darkness that was peppered with streetlights. Jack ran above her, following with an intense passion despite feeling the effects of the whiskey as he perilously balanced along windy roofs. When the fair lady had entered a dimly lit, isolated section of London’s Whitechapel he slung himself down a gutter and proceeded on foot. He followed her for quite some time, fuming at the thought of rejection. “Why,” he thought to himself as he stalked his unknowing prey, “Why does she not accept my love? Why am I to be tortured by such beauty forever unobtainable?” The thoughts drove him mad—they had for some time now. A bright star in the sky reflected on the sleek steel of the knife Jack had produced in the moonlight. Closer now, he could nearly touch her milky skin and the scent of roses danced in his nostrils. Jack moved right up behind her. She struggled, he knew she would, but with relative ease Jack brought the knife to her throat and released a cascade of precious rubies onto the cobblestone road beneath them.

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Tiny Gallery Taylor Summers, a.k.a. Trance, is an Adelaide Hills artist that creates her work both in studio and on the street. Specialising in acrylics and spray paint, she prides herself on depicting new perspectives on everyday objects and experiences. Taylor's art is very textured, using thick paint drips and splatters to create layers, adding a new dimension to her canvas work. She is currently studying a bachelor of Visual Communication. facebook.com/taylorsummerstrance

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Please Explain? Words ▶ Daniel Zander | Image ▶ Erin Abell


Daniel Zander shares his opinion on Pauline Hanson’s return to parliament. The 2nd of July was a sad day for Australia. Not because of the uncertainty that followed election day but because Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party potentially gained enough votes to land at least three seats in the Senate. It’s been 18 years since we saw her in parliament, made infamous in Australian culture after her ‘please explain’ retort on a 60 Minutes special. This election she promoted a war against Islam, wanting to ban Halal certification, the burka, and ceasing the construction of Islamic schools and mosques. She stands for zero net immigration, previously asserting Australia was being ‘swamped by Asians,’ having recently called for a ban on Muslim refugees. Hanson longs to bring back a ‘closed Australia’ however I’m not sure it ever really existed. Saturday night on Seven Network’s coverage of the election, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari extended an invitation for Hanson to join him for a halal snack pack, similar to Adelaide’s AB. She responded with an angry tirade about how she doesn’t believe in halal certification, and perhaps most shockingly, that 98% of Australians are also against the certification —a fabricated statistic. She believes halal certification fees paid by companies go towards funding the Islamification of Australia and possibly even terrorism, however such links have never been found despite a Senate inquiry. We’ve come a long way as a country since she was last in parliament. Foreign-born Australians now constitute approximately 28% of the population, with 45% of Australians having at least one foreign-born parent. The largest ethnic groups in Australia are those from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Mainland China, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Italy. Australians collectively speak more than 200 languages at home—Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese each have approximately 200,000 to 400,000 home-speakers. Only 62% of Australians speak only English and yet the country’s cultural diversity has not hampered social harmony. Nor has it stunted economic growth.

Australia had one of its largest immigrant intakes ever during the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 and yet the economy grew, unemployment remained low, and it was probably one of the largest drivers of economic growth. Zero net immigration, and more specifically legislating against Muslim immigrants, would create barriers for some of the world’s brightest minds to contribute to Australian society, close the country off to trade opportunities with booming markets, and limit the nation’s celebrated culinary diversity.

"...there is no room for more hate in the world." With only 2.2% of Australians practicing Islam, Hanson’s war against the religion seems to be something more personal. Islam has been present in Australia since the 1860s, even before the end of convict transportation. Hanson yearns for a more racially and religiously pure, homogenous society. One of Australia’s best qualities is its multiculturalism and despite Hanson claiming multiculturalism has failed across the world, it’s undeniably Australia’s best success story. Considering the Islamophobia and hateful acts seen across the US with the rise of Presidential candidate Donald Trump who also stands to legislate against Muslims and Islam; the racial and religious hate spike in the UK following Brexit; and Europe’s response to Muslim refugees, there is no room for more hate in the world. People preaching hate, like Hanson, do not belong in parliament. She and her supporters are the ones causing the most harm to Australia—hatred of and the refusal to accept difference aren’t two Aussie values that we should uphold. We don’t need people like her legislating against minorities. That would be detrimental to Australia’s racial and religious harmony and the wellbeing of minorities who would surely experience a rise in haterelated incidents. It’s disappointing to see how popular her campaign has become and the three Senate seats she and One Nation have potentially secured as a result. As one of the world’s richest and most diverse countries, I thought we were better than that.

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Words ▶ Carli Stasinopoulos | Images ▶ Emiko Artemis

Fall in love with yourself the way you fall in love with other people. I see it in your eyes. You take everything in. You fall in love with people when they merely exist. You fall in love with their moments. While others stare at the intensity of someone’s eyes when engulfed in a book, you however, stare at their hands and the way their fingertips rub against the yellowing pages. When someone catches their reflection, and for a second their eyes linger before they walk away, you wonder why their biggest insecurity is the sunburn on their chin. After all, it is only proof the sun has lit up their smile. You watched the boy you like slip on a green hooded jumper and now you haven’t seen the colour green the same since. It’s in everything. You feel too deeply, you love too deeply—it’s either all or nothing. I know it kills you.

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It kills you to know that not everyone feels as intensely as you do. You do all of this in the hopes that, one day, someone will fall in love with your moments. If you could see the way your face lights up when your favourite band plays on the radio and the way your dimples cave in so deeply, you would stop studying the faces of strangers wearing headphones on the bus. If you could only feel a quarter of the amount of true, deep, burning, passionate, love that flows through your veins when you’re out there doing what you love the most, you would stop trying to cling onto the half-assed attempts you see strangers trying to convince themselves they have. If you could see how beautiful and radiant your soul really is, you’ll never go to bed at night fearing that no one will ever fall in love with you. Please, stop waiting for someone to fall in love with your moments and fall in love with them yourself. Take everything in. Engulf yourself in your existence. But please take your time. There is so much to see.

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In[ter]view Verse Mag’s Regular Graduate Interview

Nothing stands in the way of creativity for Dave Court, a local artist with an eye for fashion. He runs his own clothing label foolsandtrolls while simultaneously taking care of Created Range and designing the artwork for local publication Yewth Magazine. Words ▶ Jordan Leović | Images ▶ Dave Court What inspired you to start your own clothing label? I was always interested in drawing and making things. It was through music that I got into art and clothing when I was around 14-15. I also discovered artists through album artwork and merch from hardcore bands around that time. What’s the story behind the name foolsandtrolls? It came from that time when Charlie Sheen had a meltdown and one of the things he kept saying was, ‘I’m surrounded by fools and trolls’. I thought it was an amusing turn of phrase.

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What are the biggest challenges you face as a business owner? All the boring business stuff. Retail is tough right now, Adelaide is small, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. How helpful was your university degree in starting foolsandtrolls? I started foolsandtrolls while I was in my second year of Visual Arts, doing a printmaking course. There weren’t any teachers that taught screen printing at the time so I taught myself with a bit of help and had free run of the screen printing facilities at uni. It was good to be around and work with other people making cool things as well. You’re also accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. How does this tie in with your own beliefs? I believe that it’s a good thing to avoid causing misery and exploitation in general. With clothing being my chosen area, I’m in a position of responsibility to make sure that everyone in my supply chain has fair pay and conditions.

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Who would you ideally like to see wearing the foolsandtrolls label and why? Anyone who wants to. Charlie Sheen. I also printed a matching tracksuit for my grandpa recently. Where would you like to see foolsandtrolls in five years? Stocked in some more nice stores interstate and internationally and making lots of different, cool things. You can check out more of Dave’s groovy designs at www.foolsandtrolls.com or visit his Created Range store at Shop 13 in Regent Arcade.

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A Whisper Words ▶ Judah Cricelli | Image ▶ Emma Cuppleditch With whispers white, my back-bound beard— A blinded blight, a soul that's seared— Through lilacs lingers on my skin Among the mists, malign me, grin, Beneath they blossom in black clay, The sculptor's hands from sutures stray, And futures find in furling flame Him scorching sculptures of his shame, That wind will find, in dying time, The fleeting rhyme of clockwork's chime Finds little comfort in your heart, Which beat with sanguine from the start.

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Words ▶ Christian Fleetwood | Image ▶ Sarah Strum

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A poignant illustration of domestic violence from a child’s perspective. It’s loud. I can’t sleep. Daddy had his special drink tonight. The one that smells of stale gasoline. He says I’m not tall enough to try it. Good. I didn’t want to try it anyway. He told me that this drink is special. He says it sends him to the moon. It’s his rocket fuel. But he never leaves that chair. He’s a liar. He’s never been to the moon. He just sits there in front of the box drinking. Daddy goes quiet after his third little glass. He looks tired all of a sudden. His body swings in front of the box. It’s like his bones go soft like plasticine. Mommy doesn’t like it when Daddy gets like that. She never has. She gave up on telling him that. Now Daddy talks to the box more than he talks to Mommy. It makes me sad to see her eyes sparkle. They’re like little stars. They sprinkle down her cheeks when she sees him. She watches him from the kitchen because she doesn’t like the smell of the lounge. It’s stale and rotten in there from Daddy. He fits right into the hole in the middle of the sofa. He says it was made for him but not for us. It’s all a trick. Daddy’s not really tired. He’s yelling at the box. Soon he’ll yell at Mommy. That’s how it starts. Maybe tonight was different. Maybe they’re taping up the cracks. Maybe Daddy’s getting rid of the nasty sofa and the silly box. They don’t talk. Not anymore. It used to be different though. They used to be happy. We’d all sit down together at the table for dinner. Daddy would sit across from Mommy and he would look straight at her. He’d look in her eyes. He used to smile and when he did Mommy’s eyes would sparkle. But not like they do now. Everything’s different now. Now they just yell. They’re yelling now. I can hear it. They woke me again with their booming. It’s dark. I can’t see. It must still be night time because the monsters are everywhere. I can’t get away. Not at night. They’re on the walls and above where the light shines.

They’re under the bed. I’m scared. My eyes are all mucky still. But there’s a little glow. I can hear Mommy yelling again and I think that’s where the glow is. I can see it all a bit better now. I think Ted’s hiding at the bedside. Are you there? I can’t hear him. He must be afraid. I think I can see him. There. By the bed and in between the sheets. I’ve got you. You’re safe now. He’s so cold. We’ll warm together under the blankets. Away from the monsters. We’re in the dark but at least we’re out of the shadows. Is that thunder? I felt the floor shake. Daddy’s yelling now. It’s getting louder. I can’t hear Mommy. Was that thunder? Mommy told me about the Thunderbird. She says that’s who makes the thunder. From his big wings that flap when it rains. I wish I could be like that. Big and free. He could go anywhere. And he wouldn’t have to be afraid of anyone. I’ve never been afraid of the thunder. Or lightning. Or the rain. They’re all so special. When it rains it’s almost like the world is crying. Like the day has been too hard on the world and she just has to cry and let it all out. When it rains I know that I have to be strong. For the world and for Mommy. It sounds like rain out there. There’s thunder in the kitchen. The storm is inside. I can’t hear Mommy. The glow is gone.

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The art of Aidan Varnas

Imag[in]e Verse Mag’s Regular Student Art & Design feature

Visual Arts student Aidan Varnas is an ever-changing chameleon. Adopting the identities of glamorous vixens through the power of makeup, his alter egos come alive through singing, songwriting and drag performance. Words ▶ Emmylou Macdonald | Images ▶ Aidan Varnas

Lucy 2016.

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Gaga, 2016.

Tell us about your beginnings as a drag performer. Is there anything you were surprised to know about the industry? I guess you could say I have been doing drag since I could walk. While most kids were interested in toys or games I was most attracted to dressing up and performing although it wasn't until I was sixteen that I actually went out in public to take part in some of the Adelaide pride events. It's surprising to see how much drag and drag culture has changed over the past eight years, although it isn’t shown on mainstream television here, RuPaul's Drag Race has had a huge impact which is exciting! It's great to have a platform like that, making drag more celebrated and less taboo. How did you discover your love for makeup? My love for makeup started very early on as well. I'd ask my grandma if she could help me turn into Cruella de Vil so she'd smear red lipstick on my mouth and put black eyeshadow on my eyes! In my teens I was a typical outsider and didn't like myself a whole lot so I started using makeup to feel better about myself and my appearance. I'd have smudged brown eyeliner on with lashings of mascara and very very thick eyebrows. It wasn't anybody's typical idea of beauty but it helped me having that mask. What's the story behind the stage name Wundes? Apart from doing drag I'm a singer/songwriter so the name actually comes from one of my songs Wasted Wonder Years. I started to write ‘wonder’ and accidentally wrote ‘Wundes’. It just looked right and made perfect sense to me as I see my drag persona as something that has been born out of my wounds and experiences.

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Love, 2016.

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Who would be your ultimate makeup transformation? There are a few that I'm waiting to do so I can get them just right but I'd have to say Judy Garland circa A Star is Born. Judy's face is always so expressive and the colour aesthetic of the film is so beautiful, I'd love to recreate that in a photograph. Would you consider Wundes an alter ego? Yes, I'd consider Wundes an alter ego. I mean it's still me but probably more than I would normally allow myself to be. What is your favourite thing about switching identities? The challenge! When I decided to do these celebrity inspired transformations it was really to challenge myself and my makeup ability to see if I could do it! I also love performing as the characters by bringing them to life at Mary's Poppin on the weekends with my other divas! What is your best piece of advice for someone wanting to pursue something outside the box? There is no right way or wrong way to do something. Everything takes time and you may not be the best at first but you evolve quickly if you're dedicated enough. Also don't let anybody tell you how you should look or sing or act or dance. Just do what you do and take inspirations from where you find them. Everyone has an opinion but nobody has your vision! Where do you see yourself in five years? Still growing and learning! I'd love to travel overseas and continue to push the boundaries of gender identity through art.

Lana, 2016 Right: Angie, 2016

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Mona Lisa, 2016.

Madonna, 2016.

See more of Aidan’s work at facebook.com/wundesqueen

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Right: Joan, 2016.


VO X: Student Voice Thoughts on the election, how to get through the uni year, and the pros and cons of winter according to UniSA students. Words & Images ▶ Adrienne Goode

Thomas Ashby Bachelor of Communication & Marketing What’s getting you through the uni year? The light at the end of the tunnel and the fact that I’m finishing uni at the end of the year. I can finally see an end point. Also, not doing any homework! What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about winter? I like being able to smash crunch coffees guilt-free but I don't like the consistent cold weather.

Mitch Caon Bachelor of Psychology What are your thoughts on the election? I think it’s all a bit of a shamble to be honest. A lot of my friends that voted didn’t know what they were doing and the ignorance throughout the country is pretty bad. What’s getting you through the uni year? Chocolate!

Teagan Mudge Bachelor of Education (Primary/Middle) What are your thoughts on the election? I’m a little disappointed. Rather than each party scaring us into not voting for the other for whatever reason, maybe tell us what they're planning on doing to improve Australia. What’s your favourite thing about winter? Nothing beats a hot choccie while watching a lightning storm.

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Will Chau Bachelor of Law & Psychology What’s getting you through the uni year? Wine and beer. What’s your favourite thing about winter? I love going for walks through nature parks in winter because the weather is really cool like a rainforest.

Sarah Quartuccio Bachelor of Communication & Media What are your thoughts on the election? I'm not too interested in politics but I think we are extremely lucky to live somewhere where we can freely and safely vote for whomever we choose.

Naomi Beacham Bachelor of Psychological Science What are your thoughts on the election? I think it's super important for young people to have a voice and take this election and any further elections seriously. It seemed to be a bit of a mess when there was no result for a week! What’s your favourite thing about winter? Being able to rug up in bed all day and wear a bunch of warm clothes.

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Jessica May Mason Bachelor of Media & Communication Management What's getting you through the uni year? Lots of coffee and determination. What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about winter? I like winter fashion and hot chocolates but don’t like trying to learn how to use and control an umbrella.

Rob Whighton Bachelor of Public Relations What are your thoughts on the election? It went for too long. What’s getting you through the uni year? Mostly coffee.

Caitlin Nicks Bachelor of Public Relations What are your thoughts on the election? Very disappointed that the Coalition have formed government again and that my polling booth had no sausage sizzle. What's getting you through the uni year? Stocking up on copious amounts of stationary from Officeworks, including colourful post it notes, tabs and highlighters. At City West, Tammy's Meat Rolls is an essential weekly lunch ritual.

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August USASA Band Comp Heats Watch UniSA’s finest bands battle it out at JIVE for prizes, groupies* and glory. UniSA Heats: Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 August, JIVE, 181 Hindley Street. 6.00pm

What the heck is there to do around here? These things. 1st-31st: SALA Festival 5th: SP5 Enrol By Date

Then the UniSA, Flinders and Adelaide winners fight for the title of state champion. State Final: Thursday 25 August The Jade Monkey, 7.30pm 12th: Last Day Withdraw Fail SP4 12th: Occupational Therapy Ball 15th: Verse Mag Edition #12 Submission Deadline

17th & 18th: UniSA Band Comp Heats

UniCast Pub Crawl

19th: Radio-Active Pubcrawl

The UniCast Radio Club is proud to present the inaugural Radio-active Pubcrawl! Come along to a night of frivolity with all of your minor campus personalities. Buy your shirt at USASA.sa.edu.au for $20. 24th: Magill Sunrise Market 25th: Band Comp State Final

If you’d like to organise an event, join or start a club visit USASA.sa.edu.au/clubs


What’s dead should stay dead. Words ▶ Rhys Stalba-Smith | Images ▶ Nicole Scriva At the end of ‘35 we buried a lady called Petunia Kikupp. She was a great lady that was heavily involved in the community up until she lost her husband and son to the First War which consequently took her will to live, too. She existed on for a while after, but never fully regained her joy for life. By the end she didn't leave her house nor really eat, so when they found her dead it was in quite a state.

About one month after Petunia’s burial, the tree seemed off—not dying, but not growing either. At this stage I should mention we'd finished winter, and being Australia, our Spring and Summer extend to the end of the year. With all the rains we'd had, this tree should be shouting up to the almighty saying 'Hello beautiful world! Hello!’ Instead it looked as though it was mourning like some of our most frequent visitors.

We buried her on a beautiful day. The rains had ceased and the sun was shining. The ground was soft and made for easy digging. The pastor gave a good ceremony and those that had attended all shed a tear, for this sad lady had finally joined her family. However it would be the last time the Lord smiled upon her.

Phillip first noted that some of the leaves had begun to fall a few months after we'd buried Petunia and like a new worker who's still keen to prove himself, he wanted to fix it—a decent lad. Now he watered that tree. Every day. He didn't overwater it, nor underwater it, he just made sure it had a good environment to grow in. For a while it looked like it been returning to its normal self, but not so in the end.

Her plot was under a tree close to the edge of the cemetery. A beautiful Ash that Ms Daniels, one of the board members, had planted at the opening of the cemetery. By ‘35 it was large and robust.

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By this stage a strange sound had been heard comin’ out of the tree. It had a hollow half way up. I would tell Phillip


it was owls sitting themselves inside and having a hoot, but he was convinced otherwise. He was convinced they was sobs coming out. While he agreed a sob was close to an owl's hoot, a sob is a sob. I'd sat through enough funerals to know what he meant, too. It got to me. Fast-forward a couple more months, we all was hearing the sobs now—at night they sounded like a wailing wind! We used to work later in summer because it was cool and you can't do much during the day when it's hot except sleep. But those wails began to get to us too, an' so the Summer of 35’–36’ saw us working during the days.

"The lack of sound became deafening. It was weighing in on me with so much force that I felt I was being crushed." The whole ordeal had been wearing at Phillip. Being a young'un too, I told him that he was just new to the cemetery game and was just thinking of stories. The brain will do what it wants sometimes, I told him. But he still freaked out a little bit. He'd spend his lunches in the library a little ways away downtown, looking up the

occult. I thought it was a crock, but eventually he started getting through to the other fellas that worked with us. Pretty soon I was the only one tending to that side of the fields, and more importantly, Petunia and her tree. See, I haven't really mentioned Petunia much because at that stage it hadn't really been much to mention—a tree above her grave made a noise but not enough concerned me to stop me doing my job. Having said that, I remember the New Years Eve of ‘35 like it happened on the day of my wedding! I’d spent the night before celebrating with my wife, son, and his new fiancé. On account of the celebrating, I was late to work and therefore, would be working late—after dark most likely. I tried to work Petunia's side early, get it out of the way kinda thing. I wasn't paranoid, but at the same time I wasn't trying to find out what was going on. By this stage everyone at the cemetery, and even in the town, had heard about Petunia’s grave and her tree. We'd given up on the tree by now as it really did look like it was dying. The leaves had fallen away, even though it was evergreen, and the droop in the limbs was more than noticeable. For whatever reasons, Phillip had been sent home sick that day, so I had his jobs to do as well. By the time I got to Petunia's side the sun was setting, and oddly for a


summer so warm, it had gotten so cold. I was snipping and trimming like no one's business. I pruned the flowers, prepped the new plots, and checked on the old ones. I was always working towards but avoiding her plot. Everyone’s stories had started to get to me in that cold twilight. The sobs began. I worked faster. Then wails. I was gonna leave the work for another day and just leave, but then I thought, 'Craig, your parents didn't raise you to quit because your brain's trying to trick your spine!' So I worked on. To this day I still wish I’d left then and there, but I didn’t. I worked on. While I worked a pocket of silence grew out of the air that still chills me to this day. The sobbing and wailing had stopped, along with the birds finishing for the day and no insects chirping up. I actually felt safe for a split second before the silence began scaring me. The lack of sound became deafening. It was weighing in on me with so much force that I felt I was being

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crushed. I felt like my body was beginning to constrict. My eardrums felt like they were going to explode. The silence was straining all of my senses to their absolute limit and I felt like I would never inhale a breath again. Then a scream erupted. I’m not sure if it was from the tree or me but it pierced my ears and brought me to my knees. It sounded like the most heart wrenching sob you’d ever heard strangled by frustration. Like the spine was trying to squeeze the blood out of each chamber and into the veins to stay. Hugging the heart to death to stop the pain of the mind. To end the torturous battle between two warring emotions. I jumped up from the flowerbed and looked around me, jamming my fingers into my ears. I couldn't see anyone or anything but I knew as I took in breaths that the sound was coming out of that tree from something’s deepest lungs. I ran away and left my tools there. I didn't say nothing to no one and just pretended like all was normal. I'd start work early the day after and no one would know better. And no one did.


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Welcome Or Not? Words ▶ Bradley Irvine-Thomas | Images ▶ Bridgette Minuzzo

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"So, are these legitimate refugees now welcome? Or do we intend on their indefinite detention?" Political liberation is a recalcitrant, intractable, and unmanageable notion that falsely brings hope to those which attempt irregular, or illegal, migration to Australia without valid visas, and without refugee status. Our laws will simply continue to seek the prevention of their immigration into the foreseeable future. It may seem an undesirable, or unsympathetic, stance on the issue of asylum in Australia, but it’s unfortunately the reality of the situation. Media bias does, admittedly, contribute to the prejudice of asylum seekers and refugees with negative connotation on politically-centred reports and the deliberate choice of language to persuade, anger, or confound the viewer. Political voices, like the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who has repeatedly stated that irregular maritime arrivals and other illegal immigrations ‘will not be settled in Australia’, have great impact on the persuadable public opinion. Peter Dutton has experienced austere criticism over the past days for comments concerning innumerate and illiterate refugees ‘taking Australian jobs’ or remaining unemployed and ‘languishing in unemployment queues and on Medicare’. This unscrupulous attack will not, and cannot, be accepted. It is the moral duty of a parliamentarian to uphold a universal standard of justice or goodness, not to insult the benighted. Under constitutional law, Australia’s offshore processing of asylum seekers and irregular maritime arrivals is legal and does not violate, or constitute violation of, any doctrines, treaties, conventions, or international laws pertaining to the treatment and rights of refugees.

However when the Papua New Guinean Supreme Court ruled Australia’s detention of asylum seekers as illegal on the 26th April this year, questions had to be posed: Why has this ruling been handed down? What don’t we, the public, know? What will happen to the 850 men—half of whom have been awarded refugee status—who remain at the Manus Island Detention Centre? If they’re accepted into the Australian community, where will they go? Can our economy sustain with their entry? Unemployment rates are unnecessarily high as is; will the immigration of these refugees affect, or even devastate, those of permanent residence already struggling? These are all questions that will most likely stumble, perplex, and concern the Australian people. But, the prejudice and negative public opinion is ignorant to the fact that by slighting the less fortunate, or those in desperate need of assistance for legitimate reasons, we as Australians convict ourselves to a resplendent fall from the moral high ground. So, are these legitimate refugees now welcome? Or do we intend on their indefinite detention? In the case of the Manus Island shutdown, one can only hope that the desired, benevolent, and charitable decision is made. With the option of Australia being made home to these men quashed by parliament, and a ratified convention detailing a non-refoulement, it is unknown what will happen to the victims of this transposition. In truth, it is disheartening to think that in the present millennial era legitimately displaced and frightened people can be subject to the foundering of personal and political liberty. We, as humans, should expect to live free from oppression, or coercion. Yet, simultaneously, we create it.


Words â–¶ Piper Denholm

Self by Caitlin Tait

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Self-love, diversity and feminism in the life of UniSA student Caitlin Tait. “I am inspiring, I am loving, I am generous, I am supporting, I am encouraging, I am kind, I am optimistic— scarily so. I am honest, I am intelligent, I am open minded and I am constantly learning.” These are the words of Caitlin Tait, a 21-year-old woman who has grown into her body and soul, discarded the conditioning of what is beautiful, journeyed to reclaim her body and unapologetically embraced the feminist movement. Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality for the sexes, and many exploring this movement find themselves on a journey of rediscovering and relearning. Caitlin is quick to explain to me that feminism for her is not only unlearning all that society has engrained as normal but reclaiming all that society and her body has to offer. As she slowly swings on her chair with her pink hemp-covered socks gripping the bed, her navy polo cap sits high enough on her head to still allow for her short fringe to frame the slender structure of her glowing, tanned skin. I can see an assortment of emotions that pass her by. This journey for a woman of so much love has been damaging but as she now presents, she is white, cis-gendered and bisexual. She knows nothing else. This is Caitlin. As a child, Caitlin grew up largely without male influence. With two older sisters, her only exposure to men was her openly emotional father, Peter, who Caitlin has admired since she was young. Troublesome schooling and boyfriends naturally contributed to Caitlin’s love and appreciation for women. As I lay on Caitlin’s bed, she positions herself on an aged, mahogany desk chair—similar to that of Sylvia Plath. We’re in the midst of discussing the importance of language and word choices through the so-called compliments of ex-lovers and true to her nature, Caitlin is deeply rooted within social media. Her comfort in her home and with me resonates through her unashamed phone use. She stops herself mid-sentence to comment

on an Instagram photo.“Oooh that was a cute photo,” she says, “I’ll chuck it a like.” ‘In love with you both’ she comments. This is Caitlin. She uses the supremacy of social platforms to discuss, explore, support and celebrate feminism. She celebrates girls and everything they do. We continued our discussion into her social media passions. Instagram in particular is her favourite—“I just love everything about it, and it’s helped me hugely to understand parts of feminism and myself.”

"I am in charge of me, I can do whatever I want and that is a very empowering thing for me to do." Her self-admitted obsession with social media comes from women supporting women, being acknowledged by others who are out promoting positivity and self-love, and being able to provide a purpose to the mindless scrolling. Women online have made their content valuable she says. “They’d post a photo of them and their body, a picture of their hips and stretch marks and say ‘I love my body’, it was more body positivity that came with it and understanding that was a part of feminism.” Caitlin stressed to me that, “if you have social media, start incorporating people of diversity and you are going to see yourself reflected back eventually through parts of different people.” That being exactly what Caitlin did. As quickly as I could, I tried to remember all the names she threw at me, her dark brown eyes widened as each name left her grin that reached from dimple to dimple. Petra Collins. Rupi Kaur. Emma Watson. Isabella Manfredi. Tavi Gevinson. Emily Ratajkowski. Rowan Blanchard. Kylie Jenner. Lula Hyers. Natalie Yang.

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These empowering women are taking to social media to simply be girls. They are promoting equality, acceptance and love—core values of feminism. They are using their love to incorporate diversity and are proudly standing for themselves and not the conformable norms of society. Two of her inspirations, Ella Denton and Frances Cannon preach feminism via social media in a non-threatening, consumable way. Caitlin’s beliefs align with theirs, despite the three of them expressing their opinions in their individual artistic ways. Frances is an artist who uses the ideas of the body, self-love and relationships. She explores the female form through simplistic sketches in an aim to help women feel beautiful, strong and worthy of love. Her depictions of women have not only inspired Caitlin to find her own style of drawing, but prompted further discussions on broader societal issues such as body hair. Caitlin recalls when she started growing out her body hair. “I was travelling with a close friend at the time and I told her I wasn’t shaving and she was like ‘okay cool’ and I just felt like I needed to tell someone, it felt as if I had to come out.” YouTuber and feminist, Ella Denton writes in a blog post that, in society’s eyes, to be a successful female means conforming to attitudes and beliefs that have been

Team Woman by Frances Cannon

embedded so deeply in our cultures they seem completely natural and normal to us, and for many, we shave without knowing why. But for Caitlin, not shaving wasn’t her showing the world she was a feminist but her representing the core values of feminism. “I was like why do I shave? I really can’t be fucked, I am just going to let it happen.” Through time, she finds herself reclaiming her body. Events such as break-ups have prompted her to be more free and express herself. “I found myself reclaiming my body after seeing the relationship not working out. It was me abandoning that bralette I used to wear. I am in charge of me, I can do whatever I want and that is a very empowering thing for me to do. You know, I will wear tops that are super tight and wear no bra and go through my period and not take pain relief because I am empowered. Look at me being a woman.” To represent Caitlin’s self-journey, you will see ‘girl’ tattooed on her left shoulder as a testament to how much she grew in the past year. With every generation, feminism will continue to be deconstructed and people will start to learn from a personal perspective, just as Caitlin did.

girl tattoo by Caitlin Tait

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Words ▶ Cailtin Tait | Image ▶ Laura Marcus

You lean toward me in the middle of a crowded room. ‘Do you wanna go home?’ You whisper in my ear. You could look at me like that for years. I’d always put down my wine glass to follow you. Even though we’re going to our separate beds under our separate roofs, we act as though ‘going home’ means our home. Maybe that space already exists. We’ve been building the foundation for years. Bricks, windows, the front door. Everything is solid. All that’s left is to cover the walls in bright blues that look like a clear sky and your eyes. We say our goodbyes. Your hand on my shoulder and mine touching your cheek. I’m not sure if it’s habit or comfort or us trying to feel how the other feels. As though our skin will reveal braille that will tell us what we’re not ready to admit. The freckles on my shoulder tell you almost and your dimples tells me soon. Last night you called me the time of day you look forward to. As though I’m on your watch instead of 7.34pm. As though instead of eating dinner, you binge on me. You call me ‘babe’ and compare me to honey. I tell you ‘you’re so bright’ but that doesn’t quite cover the planets that collide or the bridges that burn when you ask if you want to leave the party. You drive me home and in the silence we decorate rooms. Our kitchen table holds a vase filled with sunflowers, your shoes are by the front door and our toothbrushes sit in the same cup.

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Blinding Night Words ▶ Hazel Ahmadi | Image ▶ Wendy Dixon-Whiley Run. A white Volkswagen screeches to a halt a metre or two away, causing a cacophony of honking. I reflexively hold up my arms to shield my eyes from the bright headlights and keep going, leaving behind the smell of burnt tires. Run. Up ahead, there are more lights, like those Christmas ones. They’re displayed atop and around a fenced area—an area I could lose him in if there was a big enough crowd. I bite down a scream as I feel a hot breath at my neck, wincing as a metallic taste explodes in my mouth. I flee. Reaching the entrance, I stop, attempting to compose myself. A young lady in a beret, whose complexion is unearthly white smiles at me, but it never quite reaches her eyes. I scramble away deeper into the venue.

antique knickknacks and clotheslines with an array of underpants on them. Picture frames are haphazardly stuck up. For a fleeting moment, I had forgotten all about him. The end of the pathway leads to sculptures of bicycles, machinery, boom boxes and more washing machines. Goose pimples cover my skin as the moonlight breathes life into commonplace shadows, turning them into body-like silhouettes. Run. I’m back where I started. I stare at the entrance of the maze, deliberating whether or not I should even try. The effort keeping me alive, now seeps from my pores, exhaustion kicking in. How long was I supposed to run for? Would he ever give up? Something grips my arm. I let out a curdling shriek. ‘Jesus! Honey, are you okay?’ It was the girl in the beret. ‘I’m afraid it’s ten-‘

Run.

Run.

The crowd was supposed to conceal me but there’s barely anyone here. I stammer under my breath, trying to make out what my next move would be when a chill courses through my body.

He stands there a few metres back, eyes shielded by his bucket of ebony hair, but that scar running jagged against his jaw gives him away. Without a breath I shoulder past the girl and run inside.

He’s here.

Left.

Run.

Right.

With one foot in front of the other I struggle towards the front where a young boy is singing a familiar melody atop the stage. As he sets his eyes on me he leers at me, just like the girl. My stomach clenches. To the right I suss out a hiding spot amongst the rows and rows of washing machines.

Right.

Run. From here the music is a thrum and I wipe the sweat beading on my forehead, slowing my pace. To the right there is a pathway lined with cupboards containing

Straight. Left. Dead-end. I throw myself against the maze wall, fear sending my body into spasms. Footsteps thud behind me. How was he this fast? ‘At last,’ his voice slithers into my mind.

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Dog Days Words ▶ Christian Fleetwood | Images ▶ Nicole Scriva

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Panting, he lay there atop the cool square tiles of the kitchen, tempered in the heat. It was a hot autumn; hotter than it should be in May. The seasons were different that year—out of sync—but it was a perfect time regardless to be by the water. He was damp and salty from the sand and cool water of the oasis. It was his home by the bay and it set him at ease to lie at the edge of this open space, staring out at the world from inside the tight squeeze of the raised patio. When he lay there atop the groaning wooden floors gazing out to sea, he felt alive and at peace; the sights, sounds and smells, all set him at ease. This secluded paradise was only ever cherished from the balcony of a holiday shack. It was a place, of a moment, which would altogether vanish in time. It was temporary. The promise of paradise was only ever witnessed on an escape from monotony. The day was pleasant while the sun still shone and the waves continued to whirr. The swell of the ocean slid lightly into the ancient bay, over the low sandbar that held the basin apart from the open gulf that lay beyond leading out to deeper, darker waters, where a haze in the horizon made it appear as though the sky, and the waters beneath it, were as one. The view of the foamy, broken swell as it slowed across the sandbar was a nourishing sight; bubbles of salty brine rose from the break mingled with the moisture in the air. It foreshadowed a storm that would awaken as the day went on. The slow, shaking waters of the gulf interrupted the silence in the peak of the day, where, along with the swell, the wind made the world dance to an ambling rhythm. With a cool breath, the heat of the day spread like steam, whipping in the spear grass, around and atop the small sand dunes. The easterly breeze of the day made the sand move seductively—calm with the shimmering sound of tiny grains sliding in unison like the movement of a gliding snake. A stale smell, sickly enough to interrupt his comfortable thoughts, drifted across the cool wind. The odour was of barnacles and it was a stench like sun-dried fish. It wafted up to the parapet from the shallow seabed below, where, at 12 in the afternoon, the tide had pulled back across the sandbar like a blanket atop a mattress. Drawn and curious of the sour smell, he crawled to the edge of the creaking,

wooden parapet, where, below and around him, he saw a dry seabed teeming with life. Across the bay to where the bridge was hanging, rustridden and eroded, were mussels and barnacles left dormant in the tidal pools. The less limber mollusks, which clung for dear life aboard the sides of the bridge, would wait patiently for the waters to return at dusk—for now, they were exposed and helpless. The snails, mussels, and oysters left behind had enticed the gulls that nested by the headwater in the dunes. The shoals of the shallow seabed, while naked and bare, revealed a nation of aliens just a few feet below. These were aberrations of the world and none of them belonged in the sun or out of the water. Their forms and states, ghoulish and abhorrent, followed the insane designs and machinations of nature. The sights here were boundless. It was a spectacle that came once a day. Many of the creatures lay dormant among the long lengths of soggy kelp and seaweed, waiting for the hopeful, life-giving, crystal waters to return. But others blossomed in the peak of the day, idling in the small pools left by the shifting tide, evading or pursuing one another for survival.

"They began to forget him but he waited quietly and patiently day by day." The animals, of land and sea, found peace on the island. It was a national park, decreed to belong with, yet apart from the rest of the coast. It was a place of protection and it was a slice of paradise for the creatures at the seaside however watching from the rickety timbers of the holiday home, he knew this place wasn’t meant for him. He was bound to those confines, without permission to explore and appreciate the green dunes which were so often made home to an abundance of Gulls, Noddies, and Terns. The birds came seasonally, year by year, and stayed for months at a time. He was there to watch the Terns leave in early autumn; they were always the last of the birds to roost and they would get by among the eggshells which the flocks of Gulls and Noddies before had left

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behind. It was loud, and somewhat exhausting, when they were there but the land felt empty without them— something was missing. He could see the eggs that had been left behind, like litter atop the sands, by and under the bridge that crossed the bay, and around the waving salt brush and spear grass of the higher dunes. Some even bobbed and bounced atop the wavy waters beyond the sandbar while others nestled among the soggy sand left behind in the tidal pools— now homes for crustaceans. The eggs were grey at a distance like bleached and withered stones, blending into the land as a part of the seaside. Beneath the parapet, the shells coalesced with shattered cuttlefish bones—apart of the long, pebbled beach. The harmony of the shore, though, was easily disturbed. The eggs crumbled at the lightest of touches— they were unfit for heavy paws and curious hands. By early winter the eggs will be gone, cast away atop the gulf where they will sink, slowly and out of sight, to the bottom of the sea floor. As they left for the west, the Terns spread guano on the sands, atop the road, and on the bridge. For a while, it tarnished the land, caking the coast in a layer of impure white but after some time, the coast adorned and absorbed the filth, and in its place there sprouted life replacing the white with green. Thankfully, for the birds, the roads were clear at this time of year and they could leave in peace. Autumn was quiet and the bouncy teenagers and their frat-boy suitors weren’t expected until summer when visitors from the metro would make their way down to the seaside. During the warmer months, the coastline became the habitat of zombies—the jokers—who sully the land without respect or foresight. The bottles that allude to the sins of the summer passed still littered the roads; shattered by countless cars passing out of the bay. The bottles, now drained, were dangerous in a very different way. The coast had been cleaned to preserve the peace for the parks permanent residents. Away from his home-away-from-home, his days were spent in waiting. His owners were an unhappily married couple but in the beginning they didn’t allow their

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own problems to get in the way of their care. He was their saving grace. Their last hope. So they fed and bathed him well. They raised him on a diet of delicacies and brought him to the seaside—an area of fleeting, open space. They gave him everything he could ever want. But not what he needed. There was always something missing. Their care waned and in their house, on the unsteady foundations of their marriage, they broke their promise. They began to forget him but he waited quietly and patiently day by day. He was a pleasantly unfussy dog and he adored this place. His time seemed pristine. It was a pleasant life, for a while it was perfect. It wasn’t the leaving that upset him, it was the lack of attention he was given. He craved simple gestures; the moments that arrive within seconds yet stay with you for a long time afterward. They’re small virtues, like a soft hand, or a warm hug and they would be enough to satisfy his spirit. They didn’t understand the way to his heart wasn’t through his stomach, it was through his soul. But maybe they weren’t searching to satisfy a spiritual craving. All he wanted was recognition. A sense of understanding and compassion, just small acts of kindness, all simple things for those capable of pulling themselves out of the centre of their own stories. But for some, the thought of stepping down as the lord and commander of their own enterprise, away from their own problems for the sake of those that love them unconditionally is a difficult and daunting proposition; especially for the narcissistic. Dogs are not mirrors of their owners. Among some, companionship may sprout similarity but those that savour blossoming fellowship are the few among many, who through kindness find a partnership of sparkling lovingness. The potential for that love is, however, present outside of that kinship. Inside that heart there is love and like a seed, it can sprout if given the right care. The love doesn't spring forth, as though it would appear, out of nothing. It isn’t created but found within with the right care. It's always there, ready to be awakened within while lying dormant inside a kind heart. But he’s still waiting.


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Words ▶ Tanner Muller | Image ▶ Elyshia Lay

Childhood incidents of sexual abuse do not define a person but the memories are eternal. You led me into the room, your hands pressed into my waist. Instantly, I felt a sense of discomfort. There was no escaping these four walls I had become so familiar with. In that moment, my bedroom felt distorted somehow, as though you had painted the walls or shifted the furniture. I sat on the bed, although it did not feel like my own. You winked at me, like you were proud of what you were about to achieve—to finally replace your imagination with reality, to fulfil your vile fantasy. Those on the other side were unaware of the revolting acts that were about to ensue. You revealed to them only a small fragment of who you were. But, I saw your truest form. ‘I’m going to take my top off now,’ you proclaimed. You took command of the atmosphere and manipulated my undeveloped sense of being. You stood in front of the bed, your body towering over me like a skyscraper. You removed each article of your clothing slowly—bit by bit. I quivered in fear as you took my hand and placed it on your neck. It felt cold and rough to the touch. From that point onwards, you strung me around like a puppet, using those strings to move me however you pleased. Your wish was my command. There was a clear look of uncertainty riddled upon my face, yet you proceeded regardless. You probably got a kick out of taking advantage of my youth. The more discomfort I revealed to you, the better it seemed in your mind. ‘Touch it,’ you said gently, almost like a whisper. ‘I think mum and dad will be mad at me.’ ‘That’s why you don’t tell them. It’s our little secret. You have to keep it to yourself.’ ‘Mum said that secrets are bad because they can hurt people.’ 58

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‘Well, you don’t want your mum to get hurt do you?’ ‘No, no I don’t.’ ‘Then don’t say a word about this to anyone.’ Over the coming years, these acts formed part of a routine I grew to expect. From that point onwards, I recognised it as something ordinary and natural. I became your instrument. With more practice, the more your skills developed. I was your hobby, your toy, your thing, and there was no way out. I could see no exits, only stop signs. You owned me entirely. As for now, my thoughts are ingrained with doubt. Although recovered from the ordeal, it has plagued my existence, formed part of my past, present and future—like a scar that will never vanish, no matter the lengths I go to in order to conceal it. It would be wrong of me to acknowledge how I look towards the future with anticipation. I do not let the incidents of my childhood reflect who I am, or who I want to be. I see developments within myself to rid these thoughts from my memory. There is light at the end of the tunnel but I will always and forever be infected by the thought of you.

The national sexual assault, domestic family violence couselling service can be contacted 24/7 via 1800 RESPECT and www.1800respect.org.au


Verse Mag’s Regular Band Chat

These troubled young metalheads who call themselves Dead Ties approached this meeting more like a therapy session than an interview. Unsurprisingly, gloomy backgrounds were revealed, including a lack of decent fathers and pole dancing endeavours. Words ▶ Jordan Leović | Images ▶ Courtesy of Dead Ties

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What inspires white, suburban, middle-class youths like yourselves to write such angsty, depressing music?

What separates you from the plethora of other hardcore bands who write whiny lyrics about their ex-girlfriends?

You know, it could be the lack of white, suburban, middleaged dads that some of us didn't have around growing up. Thanks for bringing that up once again.

It could be that we haven't had a plethora (big words confuse us) of ex-girlfriends to actually write about. Most of our songs are usually whinging about something much more serious. For instance, ‘mum telling us to clean our room’ or ‘Centrelink won’t give us rockstar money'.

Which category of metal fits you best: goth or emo? That really depends on how much we've listened to David Guetta’s hit song 'Titanium' on the day. While the song has a very emo (short for emotional) feel, we also believe that because the song is about a particular type of metal, it must go hard in the disco clubs. So, in conclusion, we are most definitely NOT goth. We get it. You play heavy metal, you're depressed and want to die. What would be your ideal way to meet your maker? Probably falling from a vast height. We live life on the edge. You recently supported an internationally-touring hardcore band called Jack The Stripper. Is that some kind of weird heavy metal/pole dancing crossover act? Do you plan to follow this path?

When are you playing your next ULTRA HARDCORE gig and why should we come? We are heading cross-country to take our rock and roll all the way to Wrangler Studios in Melbourne on the 6th of August with some other emo and goth bands including Coves, Incentives, Diamond Construct and The Gloom in the Corner. The show starts at 2pm and we are expecting a crowd of at least three to four people, so that alone is the reason you should come (please come, we don’t want to play to another empty crowd). Catch them at facebook.com/DeadTiesADL

Oh my god. YES. At the moment we’re actually training super hard in order to gain as much weight as we possibly can. Then we can play topless and eventually take on the new, more seductive stage name of Dead Tits.

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Stargazing â–ś Nicole Scriva

Keep your eyes and hearts open to embrace your lucky omen!!!

a

b

March 21 - April 20

April 21 - May 21

c May 22 - June 21

You will have a spell of food envy; when in doubt go for the hot chips.

You will get into a Twitter beef that can't be won. #thatsucks

A Yelp review you left last year will come back to haunt you.

Lucky omen: Brown stain on a bus seat.

Lucky omen: Pigeon eating a cigarette butt.

Lucky omen: Fellow motorist picking nose.

g September 24 - October 23

h October 24 - November 22

i November 23 - December 22

You will have a supernatural experience that ends up being super boring.

The one page you need will be unavailable on Google Books.

You will spend a public transport ride in boring small talk with someone you went to high school with.

Lucky omen: Pile of street vomit.

Lucky omen: A very stinky train ride.

Lucky omen: Man walking a cat.

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d

e

June 22 - July 23

July 24 - August 23

f August 24 - September 23

You will spend several hours on hold. The hold music is a loop of Nyan Cat.

That library book that you need will never be yours.

You will win $25 from a Take 5 magazine word search! Score.

Lucky omen: Labrador mid-poop.

Lucky omen: Busker playing show tunes.

Lucky omen: Illegally dumped couch.

j December 23 - January 20

k

l

January 21 - February 19

February 20 - March 20

You will experience 15 minutes of fame. It will leave you thirsty for more.

You will have awkward conversations every time you leave the house this month.

Your neighbours will decide to start building a gazebo, working on it very, very early in the mornings.

Lucky omen: Running out of toilet paper in a public loo.

Lucky omen: Lots of red lights when driving.

Lucky omen: PokĂŠmon.

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Verse Magazine Edition #11 | August 2016  

Inside this edition: Girl, Dog Days, Eternal Scar, Trump's Wall, Your Favourite Time, and more!

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