States of Poetry Series Two

'A Father's Silences' by Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan
06 June 2018

Were you with a girl at the footy?
my father asks while weighing down
on a milker. His large, freckled hand
like a stone on the claw of the machines
draining a back quarter of an old Jersey
reluctant to give. I lean against a post
darkened and polished by our shoulders.
No, I was just going for a walk. He looks
at me, adds, I saw you beh ... More

'The Things They Carry' by Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan
06 June 2018

‘The things they carried were largely determined by necessity.’
Tim O’Brien

The beeping of horns, the relentless waves of scooters –
a whine that spirals to a high-pitched roar
scooting down alleys and footpaths
flowing like oil around taxis, through roundabouts
across bridges. Nob ... More

'Farmer's Wife' by Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan
06 June 2018

Cracks in the clay, locusts flittering over bleached stalks
old couches in the herringbone, ribbons of bird shit down the walls.

She married into the district, thin as a whisper
a woman who was summoned to the front rows at Mass.

Each day the wind passes, paddocks of rye grass sway.
She smiled through luncheons, gatherings

made the small talk that fertilis ... More

'The Internet Is Poorer Without You' by Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan
06 June 2018

In memory of Max Richards

Somehow you found the articles and poems
I needed to read.
Your key word searches driven by connection,
of passing it on.
Whether it be through the nodes of ADSL2
or the poetry of Heaney, Murray, or MacFarlane’s
nature writing,
whether you be in Doncaster or Seattle
or your shelves of books and manilla folders< ... More

About Brendan Ryan

06 June 2018

Brendan Ryan grew up on a dairy farm at Panmure in Victoria. His poetry, reviews, and essays have been published in literary journals and newspapers. He has had poems published in The Best Australian Poems series (Black Inc). His second collection of poetry, A Paddock in his Head, was shortlisted for the 2008 ACT Poetry Prize. His most recent colle ... More

'Principle of Insufficient Reason' by Gig Ryan

Gig Ryan
06 June 2018

 I remember you as you were, polished and dismissive
now sawdust and spangles lie on cedar.
‘Insufficient funds’ responds to my favoured transaction
at the checkout’s dystopia, a green-haired maenad slices the machine.
You saw in the eyes the future going awa ... More

About Gig Ryan

06 June 2018

Gig Ryan’s last book was New and Selected Poems (Giramondo, 2011), published in the United Kingdom as Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2012). Manners of an Astronaut (Hale & Iremonger, 1984) was re-issued by Shearsman Books, UK, in 2018. She was Poetry Editor of The Age from 1998 to 2016. Her work first appeared ... More

'Confessions' by Bella Li

Bella Li
06 June 2018

First

That I have written, of places I have not been. To Carthage I came, where there sang around me in my ears a cauldron of unholy loves. And in the vast courts of memory, the caverns  of the mind. I have heard great waves upon the shore, I have remembered what it is. In other ears: the scaling of heights. These circuits of stars, compass and pass by. ... More

About Bella Li

06 June 2018

Bella Li is the author of Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017), which was commended in the 2017 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, highly commended in the 2017 Anne Elder Award, and won the 2018 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry and the 2018 Kenneth Slessor Prize. Her work has been published in a range of journals and anthologies, including Best Australia ... More

'Mirror, Palace' by Lisa Gorton

Lisa Gorton
05 June 2018

– if that indeed can be called composition –
wrote Coleridge –
in which the images rose up before him as things –

‘In the summer of the year – the Author, then in ill health, had
retired to a lonely farmhouse – ’
where, seated in his illeism by a window, the Author passed
into the background of his imagery –
     ... More

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