Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The Audio Series: Bobish


Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen."  was originally hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.

Today, Magdalena Ball is reading from her book Bobish. Magdalena is a novelist, poet, reviewer and interviewer who grew up on Lenape land (NY) in the US, and currently lives and writes on Awabakal land (NSW) in Australia. She is Managing Editor of Compulsive Reader, and her work has been widely published in literary journals such as Meanjin, Cordite, and Westerly, along with many anthologies, and is the author of a number of fiction and poetry books, most recently, Bobish, a verse-memoir published by Puncher & Wattmann.  

Click on the soundbar below to hear 

Ocean Mandala


Solitude was the feedback loop 

she'd sailed in on. 


Every shade of blue reduced, saturated



Her eyes became a kaleidoscope

spiralling with the water, refracted 


through tears she kept from falling 

as the boat steamed towards a destination 


imagined and unknown. She was younger 

then she looked and she looked like a child. 


The steamship was so cramped she claimed 

the space beneath her feet just to breathe. 


Do I look sick in the eyes? 

The sky and the ocean reflected one another


polarised light roiling with the boat. 

She swallowed her sickness. 


Sickness was not allowed so she kept 

her head up, straightened narrow shoulders. 


When the boat docked, the city opened from 

the deck in blue cobwebs, spirals, tunnels


an interconnected pattern she would learn 

to understand. There were so many people 


it took three days to disembark. She had been 

promised a house, a job, food. 


Dizzy, she grabbed the rail for balance. 

When she earned enough she would 


send a ticket for her parents 

if she could find them again.


In the meantime, memory was Prussian Blue

a cyanotype carried like ghostly love.

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