Riot Control/Public Order

Riot Control/Public Order is inspired by the photographs of Sarah Pickering, particularly her collection Public Order – “a project exploring the Metropolitan Police Public Order Training Centre, a simulated urban environment where officers rehearse responses to civic unrest.”

The poem investigates the idea of protest, civil disobedience and the response of the government. 

Riot Control/Public Order is one  of the new poems included in the updated edition of Bone Ink released through University of Western Australia Publishing

Head to the link to pick up a copy of the collection

 

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Thane part 1: Jasper Road 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting extracts from some of the new poems in the updated edition of Bone Ink released through University of Western Australia Publishing

Head to the link to pick up a copy of the collection.

 

Thane

part 1: Jasper Road

 

You lavished thoughts

on empty spaces, collected wings fallen from cicadas, 

filled your drawers with Dead Kennedys T-shirts; 

your only ally had no limbs —

all wheels, torque and escape’s punctured muffler. 

 

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Bonfire

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting extracts from some of the new poems in the updated edition of Bone Ink released through University of Western Australia Publishing

Head to the link to pick up a copy of the collection!

Bonfire

I built a bonfire in his belly
and I’m burning our bones.
It’s cavernous in here, there’s no light,
no stars, no moon;
instead of wind,
the sound organs make,
the breath, the heartbeat,
rivers of blood complicating his fingers

 

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Shut Down Strangers & Hot Rod Angels an anthology inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen

Two of my poems are included in the Shut Down Strangers anthology released to celebrate Springsteen’s 70th birthday and to capture all the different reasons and ways people have of​ loving Springsteen’s work. 

The anthology is published by Bone & Ink Press it contains a range of work – fiction, non fiction and poetry – that bounces off Springsteen’s songs.

“The work in this anthology speaks deeply to the gift that is Springsteen’s music and is a testament to the way his lyrics play in our heads, resonate in our souls, and help us make sense of the world and feel so much less alone. This book is evidence that almost anyone can find their way into his songs, as if Springsteen purposely left space for them. His characters capture the imagination of these writers and live on, becoming as real as anything, infusing the reader with the sense of belonging, connection, and community found in listening to Springsteen’s songs.”

Shawna Lemay is the author of Rumi and the Red Handbag and other books.

I created two centos from Springsteen songs, which is a VERY unusual way for me to write, usually I’m totally uninterested in writing that involves puzzling around with other people’s words, but this was heaps of fun. Here’s an extract from my poem that used the lyrics from Its Hard to be a Saint in the City and Lost in the Flood

dressed in drag for homicide

‘hey kid…this countryside is a hurricane
oil and blood
breaking beams and crosses
senses thrown to war
tracks clack
every noise boy smiles sweet
and pleads immaculate conception’

Head over to Bone & Ink Press to get a copy of the anthology. 

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Train Delays

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting extracts from some of the new poems in the updated edition of Bone Ink released through University of Western Australia Publishing

Head to the link to pick up a copy of the collection!

The poem below digs into the often slightly frightening moment when you see a person in a public space that you don’t expect to see…and don’t really want to see.

Train Delays

You’re under

the indicator board, it’s scrolling
through stations, there are dead leaves

spilling from your pockets. I hear the rumour
as you hide your hands. A nursery rhyme I half remember.

I recognise the sound shapes make as they lose hold.
What you know of me

is on the concourse tiles

 

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Cicada Wings – in Grieve vol 7

Super happy to have my poem Cicada Wings in the latest Grieve Anthology – released by Hunter Writers Centre! This is an annual project run by the writers centre collecting poetry, non fiction and pieces of fiction that explore ideas around grief and loss. There are some great pieces in the current collection.

My poem – Cicada Wings – is also included in the updated version of my collection Bone Ink – which is now available for pre order from UWA Publishing.

The updated version of Bone Ink includes all the original poem plus and additional 25 poems that explore the Bone Ink world.

Here’s a section from Cicada Wings:

Cicada Wings

They say the youngest child dies
on a Sunday. I wish I’d beaten more time
into your chest. Our twenties were carved from dust;

a decade living casual, lugging bubble-wrapped computers,
drinking gin from Solo cans while we waited
in loading bays for delivery trucks to arrive.

The best nights were spent in parked cars, telling lies
to shoestring glamours with tatts on their wrists;
they held your face like a stolen knife.

You collected friends, hoarded each breath
in your shoebox full of cicada wings.
You told me how we were all insects caught in stone,

preserved between layers of rock.

 

You can pick up a copy of the anthology here. 

Four Children, Fifty-Seven Envelopes – Rico Craig

 

Fantastic to have a new poem – Four Children, Fifty-Seven Envelopes – included in issue 11 of Spry Literary Journal.

The poem is an odd exploration of confusion and reflection created by loss. The first stanza is below, to read the whole poem head over to Spry Lit for a look.

Tonight, at the back fence, on my knees
in the bed where pumpkin vines
have turned to ogres,
I’m hiding teeth, enamelled seeds,
two knuckles deep
in the cold earth.

This poem is one of the new poems that will be included in the updated republication of Bone Ink.

Speaking of – I’m super happy to share the news that UWA Publishing have decided to re-release Bone Ink in October 2019. The updated version will include all the poems from the original version, including some that have been slightly reworked, and forty pages of new poems. It’s great to know that soon Bone Ink will be back out in the world.

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A Cheekbone For You To Climb Over – in Stilts Journal Issue 3

Pretty sure this will be my last publication of the year. It’s feeling like a great way to finish off: issue three of a revamped Australian journal – Stilts, a new poem alongside some  fantastic writers – Judith Beveridge, Maria Takolander, Anne Elvey, Anne Casey and Bonnie Cassidy

A Cheekbone For You To Climb Over is one of the new poems that will be part of the expanded reprint of Bone Ink due out with UWA Publishing in 2019. I’m really happy to have it out in the world, it reminds me of a lot of things – London in winter, secrets in stairwells and council flats.

Here’s a short extract, to read the rest head over to Stilts Journal.

A Cheekbone For You To Climb Over

There were nights you ate grass,
just because it was cold and the taste
reminded you not to smoke;

carried tufts in your pocket to chew
as we drifted place to place in mini-cabs,
meditating against the cold. Nothing is solid,

we are as transparent as the terraces,
our boots empty; most of what we know
holds court in the first light morning tricks

over the nearest horizon.

 

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BABIES IN HER HAIR at Mikrokosmos Journal

Great to have a poem up at Mikrokosmos Journal – Mojo #15. You can find my poem, Babies in Her Hair, in among a line up of fascinating pieces and some great visual art.

The visual art is from Alex Moore, his image to accompany Babies in Her Hair is below.

Babies in Her Hair will be one of the extra poems added to the Bone Ink collection when it’s re-released by UWAP in 2019.

Here a short extract from the poem, to read the rest head over to Mojo #15

Soon you’ll be locked in your cabin.
Breathe with the old woman as she combs babies

from her hair. They’ll drop, fine as insects,
to the ground, translucent embryos
in motion, crawling for the gap
beneath the door, a subtle swarm
disappearing into the sunlit corridor.

 

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