Category Archives: Uncategorized


The rudest thing I do, or one of the rudest things, is sometimes I don’t get back to people. This has been going on for years, and it’s a deranged and filthy habit. It has got so bad, so embarrassing, … Continue reading

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Yesterday I was filmed ‘being a writer’, for the Windham Campbell Prize, which is having its ten-year anniversary this year. It was a slightly freaky experience: I’ve always had this fantasy of myself as someone who would be quite good … Continue reading

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Helen Garner’s hair.

‘Went and had a little haircut.’—Helen Garner, 1986 I keep thinking about Helen Garner’s hair. Her short, scraggy, square hair. All through the three volumes of her diaries there are small (but somehow … immense) moments when she thinks of … Continue reading

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New Year’s paragraphs

On Christmas Day a fly was bothering us outside near all the food. My niece Iris ran inside and got the fly swat and presented it to my brother JP, who said, ‘No, we don’t do that outside.’ ‘Yes, otherwise … Continue reading

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Wicked form

I remember the boy and I standing in a trailer in his driveway. He was staring at me, waiting for me to answer his question. ‘Hug,’ I finally said. It was a bad option, but it was the least bad … Continue reading

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Bad News

In the morning there was a Linden treewhose whole body looked on fire.Its branches had grown in a desperate way.It came closer, knowing I’d be trying to write something laterand that I would almost certainly want a tree in it. … Continue reading

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Transcription errors in a conversation with Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry

Unknown Speaker 31:54: A friend of mine, she wrote her first book by opening a book of chickens. Unknown Speaker 32:32: Animals initial animals.  Unknown Speaker 14:17: She’s got my lower jaw. A lot of bone.  Unknown Speaker 47:30 The pretentious line is to say … Continue reading

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Rehashing (iv)

I promise I won’t keep doing this too much longer. Maybe one more after this. But here’s one more rehashed newspaper column from the past, this one from June this year, which still feels like a long enough time ago … Continue reading

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Rehashing (iii)

Today’s rehashed column is from August 2019, just after Ronnie Van Hout’s sculpture Quasimodo was installed on the roof of the Wellington City Gallery. The Hand      I’m going to look at the Hand in Wellington’s Civic Square for the first … Continue reading

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Looking at a house

Hundreds of dolphins are in the Cook Strait. Dolphins and dolphins. The water is leaping with them. I look and look. Their bodies gleam and fizz, silver and white. It’s more dolphin than water. I will remember this crossing forever. … Continue reading

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