Spilled Ink

Week 8

Jo’s watching


In the cold pit where my heart should be rests this show. It warms me up and circulates the blood in my veins so that the brain can function at peak efficiency—as Kuroo would say. Haikyu!! is a slice-of-life sports anime that was first a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. It’s so much more than that though. I love this series for how realistically out of reach the team’s goals feel, and how they care so single-mindedly about them. They just want to play volleyball, that’s it.  

To anyone entering a career in ‘gambling’—any job in the sports industry, history, sciences, or the arts, where you are not guaranteed a stable income and a lot of it comes down to immense hard work and sheer luck—this will be relatable. 

Olivia’s reading

My Containment by Shannon Scott

Content Warning: Abusive Relationships, Child Abuse  

This week I’m back to the short fiction. My Containment concerns a narrator, an Irish ‘river woman’ who will die if she dries out, and an American man who finds her on a trip to Ireland and decides that they are in love.  

Over the duration of the American’s trip, he continues to visit her, stepping out into the river and asking her questions. On his last visit to the river, she transforms into a fish for him, eager to please and delight him. But in one swift movement he betrays her, catching her in a net and trapping her, in fish form, in a plastic bag of water. 

The American brings her back to his home, impossibly distant from hers, and runs a bath where she is to be kept indefinitely. With only the safety of the bathtub keeping her hydrated and alive, she dreams of escape and revenge. But, until such opportunity arises, she transforms into an ugly trout instead of the beautiful woman the American wants her to be. She bides her time, refusing to perform for her captor. 

My Containment is horror in the tradition of having horrible things happen to horrible people. The American’s comeuppance is darkly sweet and cathartic, even as presumed innocents are caught in the crossfire. A solid recommend from me, but mind the content warnings.  

Callum’s listening

Searows Guard Dog 

‘Reflective, careful, torrential,’ is Searows’ response to Guard Dog in an interview with Lola Jacob from Coup De Main. From ‘Start’ to ‘Crybaby,’ I agree that his answer is linear. The memories that flow from tapes and humming, create a soft, thoughtful space for listeners, easing us into reflection. That contemplation carries into ‘Roadkill’, where he remembers how he used to take home dead animals and bury them in his backyard and other places that aren’t the road.  

We follow this path toward careful when we hit ‘Haunted’, where remnants of reflection still grasp us, connecting moments that Searows somehow perfectly explains. The care—the cautiousness—is prominent in ‘Keep The Rain’ as he tells us, ‘I don’t know what steps to take, I do the easy ones until it helps’. He is aware of his surroundings, offering his perspective of impending defeat, ‘I’m already going under’, but then questions himself: ‘Am I comfortable in silence?’. 

Torrential moments, for me, come with ‘Sleeping With The Lights On’—realisation, disappointment, and struggling to forgive are all compacted into beautiful lyrics. Searows puts it simply, saying ‘I would have followed you anywhere.’  

I found that as I listed to this album on repeat, I became more and more comfortable with the memories and emotions it evoked. I listened to it on long walks, drives, and moments on public transport. I listened when doing the dishes, washing, and mopping, and soon, with everything I did. It’s beautiful; it makes me feel comfortable in the skin I’ve inherited, and even in the moments I’d long blocked from my brain. The mundane became breathable because of Searows’ Guard Dog. 

Callum Ross-Rowland (he/him) is a Brisbane-based creative writing student at QUT. He was 2023 Literary Salon’s Photographer with his recent Diploma in Photo Imaging from Billy Blue (Torrens). He was recently shortlisted for Photographer of the year in the Animal and Nature category and regularly photographs for Artful Heads magazine where he captures portraits of artists from different mediums. Find him on Instagram @alrightatart.

Josephine Renee (she/her) is a 23-year-old Meanjin author majoring in creative writing at QUT. She is the Brisbane Writers Festival 2024 Youth Ambassador and a co-president of the QUT Literary Salon, as well as the 2023 recipient of the Kellie van Meurs Memorial Scholarship. She has travelled Europe for two years, spent a year and a half in North America, and recently returned from Paris. When not gaining worldbuilding inspiration, she dedicates her time to writing and illustrating. She has work published in WhyNot, ScratchThat Magazine, and Glass Magazine. Find her on Instagram @josephine_renee_official or at josephinerenee.com.

Olivia J Pryor (She/They) is a 25-year-old Meanjin based queer trans woman writer in her final year of studying creative writing at QUT. She is a lover of speculative fiction in all its forms: sci-fi; fantasy; horror; weird fiction and others, but still enjoys reading, watching, and listening to media in all genres and forms. She cares deeply about marginalised voices in the arts, particularly queer and trans women.


Logo created by Josephine Renee

Art created by Sophie Gollant


Sophie Gollant (she/her) is marked by her earnest oil paintings and photographs of earthly, isolated scenes. Sophie’s practice is steeped in metaphors and motifs that earnestly draw on her experiences of womanhood, chronic illness, and solitude.

Instagram: @soggolla