Monday, October 4, 2010


Milling about the city’s nightlife,
she threads through the quilted crowd
who rug themselves up, flattering
each others’ leathers and wispy flair.
She stands on the fringe like a lost
strand of hair listening to the needles,
the knit-knot words, the pinning-up of
phrases — cottoning on to their lingo.
She’s ready to be brushed aside
when some guy’s quip poufs her up
like a pillow, and she responds by
chewing a ball of fluff because, for
some fuzzy reason, she wants his hide.
sewing what’s left of her heart to
her sleeve — a threadbare cliché that
his quiff-like puns pierce like
a pin-cushion. With conversation
wearing thin, his hand reaching for
her velvet, she remembers the lint
piling up in the corners of her
apartment; the frayed curtains she’s
never closed on her view of the city.
She can see it now from her bedroom
window: the silhouetted skyline, a
tattered hem; the stars, little white
cross-stitches forming a sky of blind
eyes; and rolling over Centrepoint,
the moon, a silver ball of wool,

(previously published on the Red Room, 2010, and
in Best Australian Poems 2011, ed. John Tranter)


Who would’ve thought that

at birth, my double-helix world would be dropped

on its head — that it would spiral on its mis-

informed axis into grand self-delusions

— upside-down, dyslexic! What an

eternalisation of nothing but ego

standing on its head, looking

down at the sky, the abyss —

cities like stalactites,

elevators to the tips.

I drop my lot out the windows,

watch it plummet into space — take

out birds along the way to the cosmic

pits. The poles will capsize (or right them-

selves, who knows?) — so to breathe in the

auroras orbiting the meridians, I hang myself from

lightning conductors like a big red, weighted balloon

awaiting my last breath.

(previously published on The Wordshed, 2006)