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the red room company

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…]

Suits

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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…]

The Pieces
A group poem

If my hand had fallen into yours earlier, I might
_______still be holding you.
I’ll always remember what you told me:
In order to build a castle, learn how to build a
____________________________house first.
I’m excited and nervous at the same time.
I can’t wait to come home.
Listening to your echoes surrounding me.
I’m sick of this jail because of the lockins.
Curiosity and patience grow longer
____Awaiting an answer that feels like eternity.
I look out the window at night
And see the brick wall and the shadow
Behind the security lights which
Light up the premises to form a sparkle
Which reflects off the shiny razor wire.

I’ve realized that it’s not the time here that’s bothering me
______But the time I’ve lost with you.

____________________________________I need a new pen…
This is my everyday life.
I long to carry your burdens.

____________________With a positive mentality better days await.

We’ve picked up the pieces, broken from a mirror.
We placed them so everything seems clearer.
The crushing and crowding of our space, just thee
________________________________and me no more.
How quickly this changes and crumbles.
_______________________________________________________
The John Morony Correctional Complex is located 5 km south of Windsor. A group of students from the Intensive Learning Centre took part in the Unlocked project, with poet Lindsay Tuggle. Their poems are collected in the Unlocked Anthology.