A double tanka for Lyn 

used Carrara marble 
mined from a mountain 
where men still die stealing
the new way of pricing art 

my friend travelled 
to the ‘cathedral’ mountain
she stands in slurry
with marble dust in her hair 
     still as a statue

Lachlan Brown #1 On the night before I teach…

On the night before I teach…

I have this dream where I enter a hoarder’s house and discover that some of the rooms are being used as a kind of hotel. For some reason there is also a creative writing class set up in the living area, chairs carefully placed around huge piles of clothes and rubbish. I know that I am meant to teach this class, but after introducing myself I instead start talking about Gerald Murnane. I say that Gerald would probably hate creative writing classes, because his peculiar writing is an example of the opposite of any kind of advice one might receive in a writing class. Then Luke Carman (apparently in the class, somewhere up the back) pipes up and says, ‘I hate Gerald Murnane. I hate his work and everything he stands for.’ I am a little taken aback by this outburst, but then a great defender quickly appears from a sidedoor and interjects with an eloquent defence of Murnane’s work. The students sit there, dutifully taking notes.


Dylan Jones #31 Halloween Sky

Robert Verdon, #345, if


having four perfect lines

to rescue from backbeat time

plumb the plangent present

plain as a rolled oat

on a golden spoon

succulent enough to plant upon the moon




Rob Schackne #131 – The Visit

The Visit

One day in July
three men came

in the same suits
they were polite

we need ya to stay
on the other side

I asked them where
the other side was

see that corner well
don’t go there anymore

Kristen de Kline #22 – Five blue figures

This one comes out of nowhere,
that’s what the guy who wrote it says.

Nobody seemed to know what it means:
“There’s five blue figures on a white circle” …
… something about making arrangements, keeping each other in line.

’82. At parties you hear people saying:
it’s based on numerology
five figure settlements
doodles on a note-pad
colour therapy
divorce lawyers
call centres

On You Tube you watch the scratched over clip of the Blams:
punk boys
dangling on a knife-edge

’82. Night before dole day, we raid the roach jar, roll-another-number
crank up ‘Don’t fight it Marsha’ on the turntable
sit in the living room in Kilmore Street with the blackened out windows
as if we’ve gone back to the London Blitz
Does anyone get the lyrics: ‘There’s five blue figures on a white circle’?
Moira says she knew the chick it was written for, it always made her cry,
it was about her relationship
Then the skinhead, who ends up inside for dealing,
can’t remember his name,
just the pet rat on the shoulder of his army jacket,
the birth mark stain strangling his neck
like a vicious love bite.
He tells us:
It’s written by a punk who wants to write songs about the way we live
getting wasted
smashing cars
but they never go anywhere
so he ends up writing lyrics all about
household appliances

Nobody seems to know what it means.
Five blue figures on a white circle.
This one comes out of nowhere goes nowhere comes out of nowhere.

Sarah St Vincent Welch #290 Cloth

a lap for children
cover for bruised knees
pocket for wooden pegs
catcher of stains and tears
patchwork gala of pain
where the peels curled
you fronting up for work
fronting up for work
the tie tightened
hand behind
finger knot
here, where I hid my face

Lizz Murphy – # 303: Head xxxviii. This has become my language –

Media: Oil pastel & found text. Size: A6.

Sorry folks a few more heads – can’t haul a word out of me currently

Mikaela Castledine #299 – #303 The Sea


We are always trying and failing

to write new poems about the sea

but they have all been written before

and been mostly sunk

in the greening deep


The sea is

an epiglottal flood

a snorting catarrh

a misting cataract across your vision

the sea is an infection in a fracture

an oozing effluvian wound

that needs salt washing

before it eats away

The sea grows in the belly swelling

spreads through the vessels to the nodes

it cannot be contained cut out or chemo-ed

and will get you in the end


The sea is old skin

pinch pleated

easily bruised

festering beneath

slow to heal over

Punch drunk and reeling


the sea swallows its own tongue


The sea is never happy

anxiety quelled

by obsessive and compulsive

washing and rewashing


The sea is vocal

all the sirens shanties and odes

are only air suck blown and redirected

through the conch of a shell sky

curled over a sea horizon

The sea is mezzo

the sea is baritone

Kit Kelen #304 – Dido

love is a wrestle
from the ground up
man, woman
make a tree
put out leaves
it takes attention
you have to know the tune
forget the words
they’ll come to you
and burn
love has us by the short and curlies
trim and it comes back thicker
raze to the ground
there’s a myth like Carthage
elephants over the Alps
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