A Spell to Exorcise a Bad Housemate • Tonka • Musée des Frisson


A Spell to Exorcise a Bad Housemate

Prepare a cauldron or the kitchen’s largest non-stick pot with no fixed owner. It’s best if you begin this ritual when your housemates are in bed.

Activate the vessel with a squirt of floor cleaner on a low heat. In a pinch, use washing-up liquid.

Add a stolen cup of milk – preferably the last of the carton.

Shred and stir in an unpaid bill.

Turn on all the lights and play Red Hot Chilli Peppers into the cauldron. The potion should begin to bubble. If not, increase the volume or choose a live album.

Add the clipped toenail of a boyfriend (not yours) whose ass-sweat has stained your couch.

If you’re lucky enough to have one to hand, add a freshly caught live flea or maggot.

Grate in the zest of your last nerve.

In an unwashed Nutribullet, whizz a teaspoon of each shade of mould from bedroom-hoarded mugs. Thin out this paste with a tablespoon of bong water or the wet contents of a condom unwrapped in a common bin.

Increase the heat as you add this mixture to the base potion, while chanting the names of “lost” or broken household items.

Affix a passive-aggressive note to the handle of a wooden spoon and slowly stir the pot.

While you mix with your wand hand, call up your preferred real estate blog with the other. Invoke the well-lit corners: the warm and untouched homes of northside, east, west, southside, and Grand Designs.

Pour the mixture into a rectangular cake tin. Drop in a key to an often-unlocked door and bake at 200° until the household blueprint sears into the surface.

Allow to cool on a bench in the kitchen. Wait for a slice to go missing.

Be sure to safeguard honest housemates with a verbal warning. Once cursed, the bad housemate will vanish without collecting bond.

Sell, discard or bury their possessions before the next full moon – this is crucial.

To complete the banishment, lay a generous ring of bicarb soda around the house, including windowsills, and block the bad housemate on both Facebook and Twitter.


Museum of Tropical Queensland

Superstar of the north – Tonka,
the bare-nosed orphan wombat
hand-raised on the affection of tourists –
was euthanised last spring, at seven years.

His depression was well documented.
When the park closed for renos, he lost
his steady touch-diet and couldn’t eat,
just slept, and nuzzled lonely through dozens
of stuffed replicas of himself
from the Billabong gift shop.

The papers called it Resurrection: Tonka
rescued from cremation, at the last,
by a kindly taxidermist.

Nine months after death,
the stone rolled back, curtains too:
stuffed like his cloned companions,
posed chewing on his favourite bootstrap.

Musée des Frisson

museums stalk me best

I fell in love with destruction:
    a flexible concept

the real intrigue is robotic
I’m in a hurry
    for future mess

deconstructing is totally me

often it was public
    deception of memory

eventually I fell apart

come in: construct another language
in conflicting tones

    order and chaos
    are intuitive

Remixed from an interview with Tricky Walsh in Overland


About the author

Zenobia Frost is a Brisbane-based writer who was recently shortlisted in the Judith Wright Prize. Her poems have been commissioned by Red Room Company, ABR States of Poetry and the Commonwealth Games Festival. A Queensland Literary Awards Writers Fellowship supports her work through 2018.

Don't forget to tip the author

We want to support writers. If you enjoyed or were moved by Zenobia's poetry, please consider giving a 'tip'. You can tip the author as little or as much as you like, no pressure. 80% of what you donate goes directly to the author while 20% goes back into keeping the volunteer-run Subbed In & Ibis House projects afloat. Thank you!