Index of poets

Andrew Burke


Andrew Burke
Jen Crawford
MTC Cronin
Del Ray Cross
Laurie Duggan
kari edwards
Michael Farrell
William Fox
Angela Gardner
Kristin Hannaford
Jill Jones
Jayne Fenton Keane
S.K. Kelen
John Leonard
Anthony Lynch
Aoife Mannix
Chris Mansell
Heather Matthew
Peter Minter
Brendan Ryan
Jaya Savige
Gerald Schwartz
Lawrence Upton
Les Wicks
Tim Yu

Brown Bag in Freo

I write this on a brown paper bag
John Forbes' Collected inside .
echoes of O'Hara writing Lunch Poems
on display typewriters, circa
1950s. New York poets, yes -
we had your Sydney to my Perth.

        Over there
    a young man in everything black
        waves his guitar, present tense,
    at the traffic in Freo's High Street.
        He crosses to New Edition. Perhaps
    I've bought the book he wanted
        to spend his busking money on.

The Collected. How our days
are wrapped in commercial papers,
faces on the cover,
poems pinned to each page
reverently. I want to put
coffee rings on each one, a little weed
here and there, sprinkle
a proprietary pharmaceutical line
over all like holy water ('In the name of ... )

   Our busker doesn't have
        a case for his guitar, strings open
   to the weather, face grimacing
        at the exhaust of buses before
   a night of simple human exhaust.

Among the common exhausts of life
we had moving furniture in common -
Queen Anne wardrobes, sets of
jarrah drawers, even old Frigidaires
(great to look at, mind you, with
their round shoulders and weird handle,
but too heavy for the wages).
Already the myths need regassing
in poetry's major minor league.

So now I write this on a paper bag,
John Forbes mummified inside.
I shake him like a rattle: echoes
spill out, click-clack rhythms
of the heart to start, neuro waves
extend. I take John out, put the bag
to my lips, fill it with air, then
burst it against my neck.

The Other Woman

Nina Simone died yesterday.  The bookshop girl
told me when I asked, 'Who's on piano ... that's nice.'
'That's Nina  Simone,' she said.  'She died today.'
I stopped  and stood, confused. 'That's what happened
to me when I heard,' the girl said. I smiled, 'But she's
been around ...' I stumbled over words
to teenage nights, girl on my lap, lights
low, Nina on the stereo.  My sweet
affair lasted months - Nina and I,
forty years. Dead at seventy in her home
in France. Now jazz jockeys play 'Nina at Newport'.
A record company has a tribute ready. It's a long time
since that girl was in my lap. We had lunch
last Thursday. I didn't hear what was playing.


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