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States of Poetry QLD poems

... and my mind is a washing machine filled with houses made from soil in Stalingrad, of having to detonate explosives found in trains, of stealing wheat all night long for his sister and baby ...

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My father can find
any building in unfamiliar
surroundings. I do not have this sense ...

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During the war tick
your parents
tick tick
didn’t want to leave everything behind again ...

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Dots twirl along my veins
At least a dozen in each arm
Blood-test confetti
from a diagnosis party ...

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Maps are for memory. I see
palm trees by the forest. Their shadows
form an X at noon. I dig
using hands feet mouth, bite
against treasure – not gold but worry dolls that I spit
out like multi-coloured teeth into my palm.

Amnesia findings images SoP

On Pompeii, 79AD

The violence of that night. I sat
notating Livy, through
the earth’s contractions.

A thin dawn-choked sky
shook chariots. The crowd rolled back
onto itself. Neptune threw up animals.
Every thing convulsed. On the shore
across, a great black cloud broke

with light. Shrieks rang out: endless
night, with gods up ...

1. Toowong

A possum nestles
in the split
                 crook of the kitchen’s
                 plasterboard ceiling.

I shake my attention
back to the man who peddles
the empty front ...

It’s a town with a veggie patch
in the cop shop yard.

Outside the grocer, with shelves
of tins and faded VHS tapes,
a boy on a scooter asks,
Are you looking for wi-fi? as if
he’s bootlegged some to sell.

In the café we bemoan the goat-track
we drove in on: the Elephant Pass.
Swaying huge and daft,
the van was elephant enough< ...

Maroochydore, 1999After 10 Things I Hate About You


A girls’ weekend. Just me, Mum
and Blockbuster, probably fish ‘n’ chips,
surely chocolate.

Maybe I mistook the word menarche
for men-ache, watching Mum watch Heath Ledger
croon the song that she said
once lured her into marriage: ‘You’re just too good

\\ everything before was
fine \ sure \ orderly love
\ I recollect \ aisles of ex
in home-brand \ sober
\ procedural acts \ leg
by leg \ recipes for low-
fat sex \ clear-cut \ past
tense \ a lab report on
routine me-and-thems

\ but \\ oh // and then

/ emboss the date of I
and you / you effortless /
a loo ...