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Bradstreet is an outlier of most received literary groupings.

So, thus far, I am both annoyed and delighted all at once, and I have a sneaking suspicion the poet would not mind that I be both annoyed (or irritated/agitated like a clam) and delighted all at once.

floats down river worries about mud lice and loss of power stops in no parking zones will recall a brief encounter with a Gospel piano enters the playground of roofs yields nothing to hungry dogs or startled onlookers no longer holds blood orange and old sausage bumps into bridges asks nothing of river bank mourns broken seals steals past ships notes other white goods on top of cars at the bottom of swimming pools cannot avoid direct sunlight releases carbon slowly into surging brown water born to beer once dated an esky hovers over houses is alarmed by outboard motor drifts past factories plays dodgem with bus stops glides through the drive through carries no change does not order a fudge sundae bears more than it’s own weight ferries the [...]

FIRST SNOW

Abendessen The statues of Berlin spent decades underwater- during the final days all of them were tossed, all those iron men were tossed into the canals for safekeeping. Picture the face of Geothe caressed by weeds, at home beneath a sheet of solid ice unmovable through the darkest months. There are no ghosts: only statues. Haunting is a notion too obscene, there are no ghosts: this house is clean. tourists, students of human atrocity swarm and sip from glass phials her ashen residues as verigated diverse and seductive as any French wine, or Belgian chocolate. The water itself remembers, though its course is fixed: the tour begins at Zoo station and will conclude at the Jewish Memorial. But where do they sleep these innumerable children of trauma? do they make [...]

Dear Uncle Sam

In 2002, I had the privilege of interviewing Ms Jarrell for a proposed documentary on the World War II air war, and the literature that had defined it. Though the project never came to fruition, the interview was, of course, invaluable in its own way, and took on a life of its own.

You will hear in workshops: "Show, don't tell," but that's a bunch of malarkey. It should be: "Show what tells."

The Nudists mean well but don't have meaning you can put a finger on

Cassette Sonnet You gaze through a little window at brown wound around two circles and with a pen, straighten curlicues. A circle shrinks as a circle grows a half-drawn curtain in a rectangle. Fading names, epitaphs, hits. Dirty heads and the diva quits. All wow and flutter, the lyrics are mangled, spilling their guts which the machine eats. Unkempt brunette, cold on the shoulder, “You’ll dig it less when you’re older.” The cases break and melt in heat. They’re second-hand for 20 cents, yet the catch amid the kitsch is the write-protected glitch: You turn into your parents and it’s curtains. Stop/Eject, kaput! You dozed off to Gordon Lightfoot. A note on the poem These 18-line pseudo-sonnets are a hybrid of the English and Italian. Four enclosed Italian quatrains (abba), [...]

Mother puts on my lipstick

Poets want to get away with murder.

Empire Five winters stone has kept my fingers agile Reaching into coat’s warm pocket hand navigates ancient Plovdiv in a piece of gravel—weather’s shrapnel— as my old coat’s wool weaves heat into my skin All this stone’s patient indifference observes in press of passing seasons All this discarded time reflected in petroglyph’s striation as now the oil of human hands laid on as now their second hand fever warms a fragment of lost Thrace lost empire   Kate Middleton is a Melbourne writer. She has completed a music degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in composition and is currently completing Honours in Literature. Her poems have been published in many Australian newspapers and journals including The Age,The Australian, Heat and Meanjin, and have been set to music by many Melbourne composers. She has written the [...]

TORCH SONG: QUIT SONG

The poet as alchemist, transmuting the socio-political reality using the mundane elements found in the (social) environment with the transformative energies of consciousness.

Suits black ink faded to green and stretched over weathered fingers the tribal heart an illusion due to my grandmother’s name layers of memory etched into his skin five cents a name and twenty dollars to hide his impulsive nature I never knew the other woman the symbols of his past shine through grease and scars and sweat and his honest work tools held aloft like a sabre hands that fixed all the people around them but still broke every thing they touched pieces of video recorders and televisions still litter our world I remember tracing each image with tiny fingers and feeling dwarfed by his greatness he lead by example those identifying marks saved him when I could not recognise his clean shaven face and screamed for my bearded [...]