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Red Room

I thought things were wrong:
it manifested in me buying
and wearing Ulysses blue
eyeshadow. It didn’t suit
me. One day I stared into
the mirror at the caked crystal
of smudged me and said ‘You
look like a whore’. I was cheap,
cheeky, comehithersome—but
clientless. Makeup remover in
hand, I finally admitted that you
had left without me. That you
weren’t coming back. That the
rocket we’d saved so hard for
belonged to you alone.

On the moon, water tastes
like oysters and makes you
orgasm when drunk and vegetables
are as small as the teeniest seashells
yet pack a bomb of good—one
mouthful lasts a week. The sky is a
new colour, a colour called star,
it is a secret worth keeping. The
ground is sponge. You bounce
everywhere. You, you dance through
life like a Premier danseur noble
a luck-soaked Latvian superstar,
strong, unbound, dramatic. All this
is true (for you).  I am jealous.

So that’s dickhead you, on the moon,
with your new diva life. Up there.
Away. And here I am, on earth, ever
unable to afford a home, washing
our old, faded towels, still stale
with your secretly spent sperm. I am
working my way through the pile
of leftover you, leftbehind me. It is
more satisfying than you’d credit.

Are you happy there, homeless
but free? Duty has its own splendour, so
they say. I’m pretty busy. But missing
you—that’s my next chore: to mark
that unmapped galaxy.

This poem was written for The Disappearing, an app that (literally) explores poetry and place, which you can download for free
Susan Bradley Smith began her writing life as a rock journalist in Sydney and London and has published extensively as a theatre historian, literary critic, and creative writer. Her latest books are the memoir Friday Forever and the poetry collection supermodernprayerbook which was shortlisted for the 2011 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, and The Age Book of the Year Award 2011. Currently working on a biography of Sarah Churchill, and a new collection of poetry, Girl on Fire, she lives in Melbourne and teaches in English at La Trobe University.

(after the monoprint by Michael Donnelly) [click to continue…]

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Abendessen [click to continue…]

Cassette Sonnet [click to continue…]

Empire [click to continue…]


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Visual Poetry

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The Magic Cat [click to continue…]

Francis Thompson 1859-1907
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The Poetry Object encourages young writers and their teachers submit poems and photographs about objects that are special to them. [click to continue…]

A kennings poem for Bellevue Hill Public School

Rusted whales
beached in the Bay of Bengal.
Ribs dismantled, returned
to metalled mud.

Ships splinter,
brittle as bone.
No time to
carve tombstones
in sand.

Blueprints don’t detail
these distances or depths,
boys hide and seek
in hulls.

Debris blazes on
scrapyard shores. Fractured shifts
of salvaged sleep,
dreams set adrift with

tomorrow’s satellites.
Below, there is a broken city,
the ocean can’t recall
all it has kept.

Tamryn Bennett is an Australian writer and visual artist currently living in Mexico. Since 2004 she has exhibited artists books (Showers and Clearing and Polaroids and Postcards) illustrations and comics in Sydney, Melbourne and Mexico. Her poetry, illustrations and articles have appeared in Five Bells, Nth Degree, Mascara Literary Review and various academic publications. She has a PhD in ‘Comics Poetry’ from The University of New South Wales and when in Sydney was Art & Publications Director for The Red Room Company.