YOU’LL SEE THE SIGN PAST THE RED MAILBOX.
Time rusts away at anticipation and so few things stay the same when red dust covers your boots and you don’t know the face at the milkbar or the hands at the teller anymore It’s so hot out here Languid heat that salivates down your back The real Victoria desert where even the wind loses breath late at night You don’t know if you want to be here anymore Paws in pockets and a layer of sugar over everything you do It’s too much to try to beat them out of it You used to be dog tired but forward shooting Now you’re just dog tired And sometimes as the vegemite toast washes down your throat with the tea all de facto stops completely and you stand naked and woolgathering You won’t talk to anyone about the stone in your gut the conch heart You won’t talk to Martha whose bosom knows your groin with her sticky flotsam smile And your daughter wouldn’t listen if you tried with her Dad Don’t Be Silly and I Don’t Have Time For This With Two Little Ones So you use one of the long ones on a Monday morning and get it done quickly
WHEN YOU ARE, THIS IS.
black , the colour , ‘black’s not a colour’ the schoolchildren chant
the sensation in your throat of a specific kind when you come upon your ex-lover
holding hands in a jumper you never knew
burnt tongue , two days on
the feeling that is located between puff and qualm when you score one compliment
after weeks of none
the first sight in first eyeglasses , ‘I am just legs and a head’
the ache , the ache that perhaps comes quickly upon your heart when you see an
elderly man stumble off the tram, one day your father
WHERE IS HANGDOG.
As we breathe and cuss above spolic Australian soil
colour is our covert code
and my shame
will not sustain you
See I was educated by lapsed Christians
And together we poured water on an already diluted history
You are different
Your people pace lightly on our land
A land I have never even bothered to kneel down and kiss
I am normal
I only tiptoe to steal inspiration from open caskets
Wine bleeds a piteous heart
and my voice takes on tones of soupy morality
I presume to empower you with this voice
It is a bullshit I squawk
in a Carltonian courtyard
with my left-feathered parrots
and it separates you and I like rancid hollandaise on a British plate
Even this poem has sprouted warts
of humble integrity
I’ll sleep well knowing I wrote it
Though the warts will grow faster and fester
My weakness stinking through their pores
As I type sorry in bold with baby soft pads
SHOW US THE WHOLE FLOWER.
The rapeseed fields rose yellow in my belly as we played catch with a bottle on the side of the road.
Now I kick with youth on the basketball court and pick up wattle to coax words.
Wattle jewelled our knotted tops in the playground back then.
These days I cannot seem to muster a wildness.
Where are the minutes. The long ones flung out over tongues and lips. The June days when I must have felt something.
If they came out of hiding would we know them.
Still, if I stand at the basin on the way to hygiene I can hear my uncle touting, ‘brush across, not just down, brush across’, making it a game with his apple bobbing.
I brushed my teeth all the way across this morning.
Yesterday I felt so raw & gorgeous
I told my friend I would no longer shave my armpits
That I had come to love the hair that licked out silkily from in there
Though I would continue to smooth over my legs
She justified this disparity
My dear lesbian friend with her slim deer beauty
‘It’s better one than nothing’
Neither of us wearing lipstick
My dark caverns seeing the light
A rare optimism