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I try to rely on composition as much or more than instinct.

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 [...]

THE ICE

Contrapuntal is not a book about diametrics, bipolarity, or extremes, but rather a sonic and sonorous exploration of the way music, sound, time, and relationships exist throughout the body, mind, and self.

What is the difference between a poem we call mawkish, or overly sentimental, and a poem that carries the right amount of sentimentality and wit?

(after the monoprint by Michael Donnelly) Stars empty themselves – no show tonight. The Bowl opens its mouth and your teeth shudder. The ground contracts with cold: you’re trembling. Your head falls against the steel cables the lights go off in Government house. Far above you the Arts Centre spire extends its white finger into the night: gulls circle crying holy holy holy Down here a Leunig festival of weeping alone in the dark while Government house is sleeping. Stars get nailed to the night sky. You take the silence for an answer. This poem was written for The Disappearing, an app that (literally) explores poetry and place, which you can download for free Cathy Altmann is a Melbourne poet, teacher and musician. Her poetry has been published on Melbourne’s trains [...]

What Night Knows
After Gaugin’s Le Cheval Blanc

The Eggshell Parade brings you a reading and interview from poet Marie-Elizabeth Mali.

Life's a Beach

The Eggshell Parade brings you a reading and interview from poet Kelli Russell Agodon.

Now that we have mapped the Ocean it is just so much more difficult for the boats to disappear. Even so, our phones died in tandem that first night, we smashed the bottle neck open against the sun spoiled steel of the barge. And the wine poured freely as all of those rivers, now redirected, might swarm to one arcane place. Today I would notice that this swing bridge to nowhere was not dismantled; that the asphalt tearing pines were left to tower the valley. Their spiny fingers leaning in and covering invisible mouths, as if to promise a secret well kept. Only then, I had never dreamed of being hidden by the cover of another body so completely – the freeway above seemed to silence itself. We will never [...]

Ornithology Lesson

The poems of Trick Vessels are not the imposed order and false certainties of neo-conservatism, but an embracing of the power and force of night through the spell casting power of language--the magic that does not destroy uncertainty but which gives it value, and purpose.

If Ashbery’s poems are premised, if distantly, on a hope for the future, a hope for new imaginary communities, a hope for a new way of speaking, Creeley’s poem are cynical about the future, isolated from community, and unable to even speak.

You sit down to write a report entitled, “How is it possible for one person to kill another?” An hour later you wander off into the streets, leaving a blank page pocked with dark nothings. You see people cover coughs, remove glasses, wave goodbyes, adjust headsets, thumb mobiles, stub out cigarettes and arrange hair in ways that suggest intimate worlds and private moments. Almost every action unaware, an unnoticed use of the hands. You wonder how many more steps in the direction of unconsciousness would be required for one of those pairs of hands to be raised against another. You fall into the hole between the hand and the heart and stay there because it is easier than answering such questions. Australian born Richard James Allen has published nine books [...]

dream in which you survive and in the morning things are back to normal