Four poems


the boy in brown looks dazed

a fire crackles, in French

starts reciting a poem out of nowhere

whispers into a wound

as if that will clean it


all very romantic



someone who doesn’t know how to work the         news report

whistles instead

because you can’t subtitle the sound of a bomb


the mother is obscured by a bright white light


it’s always white               in war

except for one shade of

uniform that is more the colour of blood

than blood itself.


the cycle

the dawn cyclists are discussing over green tea whether or not women should be allowed to commentate the tour de fuckery. they’re all for it, but they have to be good don’t they. they have to fucking know what they’re talking about. bridie knows what she’s talking about good on her. but bald lycra says he can only do her for about an hour. after that it’s too much. of what? we’ll never know. all we know about him so far is that he was “working” during the gfc, he once hit a cyclist in his car, which is so ironic I cough my coffee, and he names all the characters in his stories by their age and/or race. i catch his eye across the cafe and drill a judgement hole into his frontal lobe with my bare eyes and a smirk. you can see his cogs turning over: mmmmmmmmmisogyny is that you? inside me? to self-correct he says that he’s been noticing the female commentators get interrupted quite a lot. one guy called robbie does a lot of “talking over”. interesting about-turn, I think. but then pink lycra lurches over, tapping his clip shoes in time to his opinion, which is that the interruptions are usually just to protect the ladies from saying something stupid. robbie talks over bridie to stop her from embarrassing herself on live television. god she can say some dumb shit sometimes can’t she. robbie is one of the best. upon hearing this argument, our changed hairless man is sucked right back down the male urethra and into the balls of it all. what can you do.


no shooting

there are “no shooting” signs all over this forest, clearly meant for old sportsmen with duck rifles as they are the only ones who’d read them and think

yep, no worries and follow instruction

these words are here to mitigate a sorry mistake where the hunter thinks you’re a duck        ha

this is funny to me in the way that terrible things are funny when you have seen much, much worse.


the touching tree (outside northcote plaza)

I think that this will be my touching tree. I will pass it each evening after scrubbing the word “tired” on my chest with sun ink and pressing ten toes to the grass. it is a ritual rife with glass shards and dog shit but I will grin and bare feet, empathising with the earth whom these foreign objects also invade. I will end each walk blood-footed and warm-blooded here at your trunk. do you mind if I press my palm to yours? I am only here to hear you. you can say whatever you like. take it out on me. I will be your touching human. you will guide me home.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on June 3, 2023 as "Four poems".

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