Mean Spirited

Rory Hawkins


‘I’m a free spirit,’ you said.

The line must’ve been bad

because you couldn’t hear

the irony. Free? No, Issy.

Isabel of a splintered family name,

Issy on train platform in blue, my

apologies. Now I only know you

one way too well.

Because spirits are just something we like

to drink, and so freely you love

to drink, as if substance could surrogate for

your own. I’ve at least seen part

of you bask in strobe light, swaying,

glass in each hand; your shelter, a newly

aged spirituality spilling to brim. Senses

of feeling, belonging, and the numbed

space between your lips. Limbs tethered

round waists so we wouldn’t free

float away from all that hot air

ghosting between us.

For how long? The bar’s close

enough no one needs to find out.

There’s no reason to stop, money

no cost. Nights into weekends,

work and health, good friends.

Everything goes on tab ‘til your price

isn’t so cheap.

Author: Rory Hawkins second year Creative Writing student who is very, very slowly garnering readership via an elaborate phishing scam you don’t need to know more about. If any of his marks read this, his entire business model is fucked. Find more of his prose and poetry work online with previous issues of ScratchThat, Glass magazine, read aloud with QUT Lit Salon, and through his Instagram @rory_writes_sometimes

Artist: Yongzheng Wang is a visual arts student from China, currently studying at QUT and living in Brisbane, specialising in traditional painting such as classical oil painting and academic sketching. While studying art in China, he won a first prize in landscape drawing in institute. He is fluent in Chinese, French, English and Italian and has a good knowledge of Western art theory.

Editors: Jasmine Tait and Eliana Fritz