States of Poetry 2016

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Orphan’s Boot’ by Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs
15 April 2016

(found in rubble beneath a church — New Norcia)

Distempered walls crowd in cold at the old
schoolroom, resonant with the chant of times
tables, scrape of chalk on slate; a nun might
have leant over a child, white dust on her cuff.

This afternoon, light from a slit window catches
a silver crucifix and reflects onto the dome
of glass cabinet, li ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Surely Someone’ by Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs
15 April 2016

Tenement Building (black & white photograph)
Chris Kilip, Tate Britain, 2014

 

you view the house from across the street
part of a terrace       it fills the frame
the roof is cut off       no sky      dim light

upstairs      a balcony
More

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Triple Mirrors’ by Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs
15 April 2016

After you died, Nana, I went to your room,
it was dark like that place beneath the breakwater
where barnacles cling and children never dare hide

I opened a blind, a stuck window, breeze fanned
and fanned the room, light across your dressing-
table, triple mirrors. Amidst perfume bottles,

hairbrush, amber beads, your art deco box,
walnut with inlaid mothe ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Tulips in Black and White’ by Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs
15 April 2016

Sadness overwhelms me in this circle of cut
flowers; some face me, plead for help, but if

I were to cradle one tulip-heavy head in my palm
like a premature baby, would its petals (that remind

me of my mother's skin when she was old) fall
to the floor? Others turn away in a dried blush

of shame. Just a few plump bodies flaunt sheen
on velvet cloaks, ye ... More

States of Poetry - New South Wales | 'egress' by Susie Anderson

Susie Anderson
15 April 2016

someone is leaving a plane and feeling the city wrap around them again. the atmosphere, it is always heavy around here. what that means is that it's humid. within the person there is an internal battle, then there is a decision, then there is action. while the consequences of the action play out, crickets play and not even in the background. the sound rises and all of a sudden it feels like the ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'Utopia / After Oz' by Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton
03 May 2016

The storm blows you back
              its funnel ardent
              its wide hungry eye
Its tongue croons you
onto flatline of prairie

When poppies drowsed you
red breath drew
gravity into your limbs:
you yearned for tall ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'Ascriptions' by Pam Brown

Pam Brown
28 April 2016

I love the whole world
          she said,
  without sounding
   corporate

           (Agnes Martin
                          said it) ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'minimum spend' by Susie Anderson

Susie Anderson
03 May 2016

at the patisserie the waitresses speak in French to each other while they slowly put in your coffee order. they do not seem rushed and their dialogue makes the experience seem authentic. I did not have cash and asked if they had a minimum on card. it was $10 and I had to add a chocolate truffle to my order to meet the price. I laughed to deflect attention from getting chocolate in the morning a ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'small town apocalypse' by Susie Anderson

Susie Anderson
03 May 2016

she used to walk out to the road at the end of town, put her arms and legs up to the sky and stretch out to reach all of the stars. the next summer it seemed like she would never have the chance to do it again, because of the locusts. everywhere in the town there were dead locusts covering the roads. locusts met their deaths on windscreens of cars and meshed inextricably into the grates of the ... More

States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'the bus' by Susie Anderson

Susie Anderson
03 May 2016

I am always on the edge of being careless. if I am leaving a table at a bar, for example, people always remind me to pick up my phone or my wallet as opposed to forgetting it. it is kind that people care to remind me. leaving the bus I didn't have enough time to do my checklist, which involves locating important items like my Opal card, wallet and phone. after I got off I knew I didn't have my ... More

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