When a whale washes up on the shore of a beach only one thing is certain: it must explode. Sometimes a bystander, anticipating the inevitable, pokes the stranded creature. Its swollen skin rips, and it is done. Our world can feel like the brimming belly of a beached whale. Pressure builds. An indeterminate force compels us to take an explosive action. A beautiful thing erupts, against its will, even when it makes little to no sense.
Inside the whale, a girl takes a pair of shears to a black-dashed line on her skin; a woman tries to stem the flow of snake venom in the blood of a man who is already dead; an epileptic wears a crash helmet ’round the clock; a man with only one good arm cuts it off with a chainsaw—but how?
After every explosion, a throng of people wander through the ruin along the beach, absorbing its resonance.
Introduced by celebrated Australian essayist, poet and critic, Fiona Wright, And Watch the Whale Explode is the 31st edition of the UTS Writers’ Anthology.