Woman Leaves Poetry Seminar
(for Kevin Brophy)
finished with the poetry thing
now I have to deal with
dirty nappies, screaming,
a husband who thinks poetry’s quaint
where is it all leading?
there it goes
through the traffic
leaving a trail of tail lights
smudging up the rain
there it is
carved up on a butcher’s tray
but not yet dead
& there it was
in the split of curtain
drawn down in Jesus’ last words
the poetry thing is over
the reading, the talking
now for the living
where the bloody poetry thing
keeps on appearing
leading to places
where words are used
to describe what words cannot
& I’m a fool that tries
originally appeared in fourW
Not a religion, poem. Key?
This is consciously a poem and so must try
to outstare itself. It knows itself by its
line breaks. And clever self-referencing.
Its lack of narrative is clear–
‘Here’ lies. an opportunity. Your eyes can speak
of symbols, signs of things that haven’t come
in a visual age: an end to war, despite a War
to end them all. And suffering, despite a fat man’s
sculpted illusion. You have your peace, B.
I prefer my conflicted version.
But this is consciously a poem, not
a religion. It’s a chance to speak
without dogmatism, without a voice
if you choose. And to read without one, too.
Chance forewords drop from the air
or out of your mind’s eye, whetted and appetised
No pictures anywhere! So is reality nowhere?
Yes, we can be happy at last. Reality freed.
Costing nothing, giving nothing. All
consuming, a self-conscious //
“not mean”. Or try this ~
Art? Always ‘not art’. Its one
great purpose. Don’t blame the // or the ~
or even the ____ for their re-thanking.
When you’re in a dark cell, ancient
ring pulls from Coke cans feel like keys.
first appeared in Eureka Street
Conversation at the Publishing House
Poor cultures can afford poetry, wealthy cultures can’t – Les Murray
Who’s that on the phone?
I think it’s that poet again
He wanted something, didn’t he, I wrote it down–
Our publishing guidelines—
Tell him no one’s funding poetry
Tell him poetry strained a back muscle
Tell him poetry attempted a double
somersault with pike, landed on its belly
Tell him my bra strap’s loose
Tell him your shirt’s too tight
Tell him there’s a lot of competition
Words aren’t cheap
toads have warts
and ice-cream shouldn’t be left
in the car at the supermarket—
He’s just hung up . . .
Has he? Bloody poets
originally appeared in a Melb Poets Union anthology
Roll of Meaning
I read a poem about how meaninglessness
compounds in language until it means something.
I think I know what this means, which maybe
shows I don’t. I’m not sure I want to.
The title, ‘a poem without dice’, seems chancy.
Perhaps the poet wanted to mean, ‘a dice
without spots’? On the bathtub corner
I spot a small white cube. It’s pointless
to say, ‘It’s true’ –
Originally appeared in Blue Dog
It’s no use showing me poems about music;
I’m tone deaf.
There’s nothing wrong with that one,
just needs more brilliance.
Yeah, you’ve written a shocker there.
Having died you never completely come back.
I had a rehearsal for the big stage.
Great poem. And full of love.
* Don’t use tired images when you feel
you are at a crucial point.
Don’t crowd the idea. Have confidence
the point is made and
has this poem got hungry pockets?