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Dear Uncle Sam

Several years ago, 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 [...]


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 [...]


Voices of Haiti is a synchronic document, the proverbial Bermuda grass of sensory experiences; it has no fixed center, no predominate bassline, and no resounding agenda, other than that of presenting the shimmering diversity of lives in the post-earthquake world of Haiti.

No motion has she now, no force / she neither hears nor sees

Traci Brimhall & Eryn Cruft

Visual Poetry Rachael Briggs is a research fellow in the philosophy department at the Australian National University, and writes poetry to unwind.  She is the winner of the 2011 Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry, and the cafe poet at the Cafe Checcocho (through the Australian Poetry Centre’s Cafe Poet program).