'Distractions at Rental Inspections' by Zenobia Frost | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

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 room:

                working ceiling fan   carpet
                with pleasing bath-mat grit
                natural light self-steaming
                equipped with tilting dresser   if you want it
                and a front-row view    of a famous graveyard.

I let the texture of his pitch
wash over,    sneak my eye contact
in increments
                up into the furrow: the sleeping possum,
                the ceiling’s luxury embossing,
which  like any real fur insists
                touch me    touch me    touch me


2. Moorooka

It’s a break-lease.
We inch across tidal boards
that dip and creak, asthmatic
in the damp and dust.

We follow the agent
past orphaned dressers,
shelves, a piece of torn shirt.

The house smells of wet earth,
the bitter spice of deep-
                             dug yards.

Downstairs,   the agent
               unlocks the chain
and   with two hands   wrenches
the sliding door
               off the bricked-in   under-house,
rests it like a ladder   against the wall.

In the yawning space, a nest
    of mattresses.

The toilet
veiled by a shower curtain
              seems subtle in contrast.

We are silent in the doorway. The agent
shrugs. I half expect to see
a pair of pliers,
              a few loose teeth,
                             a bucket.

It’s as-is,     the agent says,
                but make an offer.

Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost is a writer from Brisbane, Australia. Her work has appeared in Overland, Cordite, Arc (Canada), Scum, Woolf Pack, and the Hunter Anthology of Contemporary Feminist Poetry. In 2015, an ArtStart grant allowed her to study poetry in Germany at the Black Forest Writing Seminars and through digital workshops with Warsan Shire. Her first collection, Salt and Bone, was published by Walleah Press in 2014, and was shortlisted for the Thomas Shapcott Prize and Anne Elder Awards. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the inaugural Red Room Poetry Fellowship. Zenobia is a Master’s candidate at QUT, researching the poetics of transient domestic spaces in Queensland.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.