Archive for May, 2021

Monday, 31 May 2021

I Have Lost My Appetite by Silvia Cuevas-Morales

So we chew on tears
suffocating in the heat,
splinters of words
sticking between our teeth.
Unsuccessfully we try to spit them out,
ungracefully they just fall out.

Syllables running top to end.
Falling out,
we vomit them out,
and they lie confused,
lost in all sense.

tortured words.
They are all in uniform,
and they wear a mask>

Soundlessly falling on dead ears,
effortlessly falling off our tongues.
Vocal cords have no meaning,
they are only insipid pieces of flesh
drowning the fool’s lament.

The questioning does not end,
but the machine is getting rusty.
And as it slowly comes to a halt
only a hoarse scream can be heard
in the middle of the night.

People wake up in fear
holding on to their loved ones.
The mad woman has no one.
She has only herself to embrace.

And she is doubly scared,
for she has heard that scream before…

From: Cuevas, Silvia, ‘I Have Lost My Appetite’ in Westerly, No. 3, Spring 1992, p. 54.

Date: 1992

By: Silvia Cuevas-Morales (1962- )

Sunday, 30 May 2021

I Have Lived by Anne Walsh Donnelly

In his body
Grazed my hand on his stubbly head
Lost myself in his rainforest armpits
Sheltered under the ledge of his chin
Roamed the plains of his chest like a nomad
Swirled his Jack Daniels in my mouth
Ran with bulls through his fields of desire
Oiled my iron walls to ease his entrance.

In her body
Grasped her bleached marram grass
Surfed her peaks and troughs
Licked maple syrup from her lips
Bathed naked in her volcanic springs
Settled my cheek on the inside of her thigh
Sipped her dry gin
Let her light a candle in my cave.

What is there left to explore?


Date: 2019

By: Anne Walsh Donnelly (19??- )

Saturday, 29 May 2021

I Still Love Without My Head by Anne Walsh

Poseidon wanted me for a time.
And I was a fool.
He only ever loved himself.
Jealous Athena made me into a gorgon with a head of snakes.
Funny I had always seen myself that way anyway.
Now no one can look at me without turning to stone.
All the stones of grief, my gorgeous snakes
are not the venomous part of me.
My hopelessness is.
My lack of touch is basilisk.
You think I don’t see your shield, Perseus?
I look into it on purpose just to behold my monster face
that isn’t mine but that love made.
Mine was so tender, a poem.
You cut off my willing head
(no wonder you can’t think anymore).
But from my hopeless heart a winged horse springs.
Where she paws earth, water bursts and muses drink.
But the first thing that comes into my mind without my head
(my heart did all my thinking anyway)
when the stars touched down as hooves
was love again, akin to dread .


Date: 2019

By: Anne Walsh (19??- )

Friday, 28 May 2021

Stet Stet Stet by Ange Mlinko

Where the curve of the road rhymes with the reservoir’s
and cleared of the leafy veils that for six months
obscured it,
the landscape’s wet chestnut
in the gray descended cloud
intones You’re lucky to live in a watershed
so no vast tracts of tacky drywall
turn the land into peremptory enclosures.
You’ve bought in.
The venial sin:
being exceptional.
Reading Hölderlin.
And the natural hallucinogen of joy
leaving wordy outputs
hanging on piney tenterhooks
while all the wild protected liminal woods
contrive a blind.


Date: 2010

By: Ange Mlinko (1969- )

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Escape by Barbara Ann Pinson Guest

After so many hours spent in the room,
One wonders what the room will do.
Whether speech or action will be first,
And whether the weather will be first
To begin.

Such long inaction is unnatural.
But why should it happen to you, when
Outside, the street has silver cars,
All unoccupied, equipped and ready
For departure? Even the kitchens
Are ready with pans, and the dishes for something
Heretofore unplanned. The people who pass
Whisper and stare, then say, “house.”
Why not accept the waiting and forego
The known? After all,
Occupancy is only a matter of making up
One’s mind. The silver cars are square
And the room is long.

Interruption would be different in a car.
It would come on the road, like trees and fern.
Like the flowers whose names have been learned.
Or sandwiches made in layers; the friction
Would be brief and quickly swallowed.
Not people. Not the stranger with the listening
Heart, or the girl without a mind. Not
Person. The encroachment would be barely
Visible. It would happen on a side road,
A detour, or a highway cut by mistake.
You would wipe it off like the windshield
And be ready for the next advance.

After all, this house is old.
How many people come creeping,
After the spider, upstairs. Some with bags
And some with baskets, and all going nowhere. They
Only want to settle under the roof like pigeons;
Quarter their young and prepare for the future.

But you are different. You have watched
The vanishing of the separate ghosts. You have seen,
Over the bannister, the disappearance
Even of those who tried to remain.
You should not wait for the walls
To speak. Go into the bathroom,
Turn on the faucett, and swim into the street.


Date: c1945

By: Barbara Ann Pinson Guest (1920-2006)

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Strange World by Sol Funaroff

I think upon a time when men are happy
and their strange words, strange thoughts, strange faces.

They ask of me from their distant world:
Why do you shed tears?
What sad, tormented faces!

And I reply:
perhaps you will remember.
We warred for bread and destroyed the crop in the wheatfield.
We fed the hung babe with the nipples of bombs,
The word of peace was sweet on our tongues
and we warred for it.
We warred for love, and winning, won hatred.
Wars of the sword, wars of the word, wars of the heart,
the scars of war are deep and embitter our faces.
Our world lies torn and bleeding.

Remember us!
We scattered armies and triumphed that you might live.

They smile, they raise their eyebrows gently,
they do not understand, and they pity us
with their strange, happy faces.

From: Funaroff, S, ‘Strange World’ in Poetry, Vol. LII, No. III, June 1938 p. 138.

Date: 1938

By: Sol Funaroff (1911-1942)

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

[To say ‘We were right’ is not boastful] by Edwin Rolfe (Solomon Fishman)

To say We were right is not boastful,
or We saw, when all others were blind
or We acted, while others ignored or uselessly wept.

We have the right to say this
because in purest truth we can also record
We died, while others in cowardice lived on.

Just as the man is false who never says I
nor asserts his own deeds in pride, or disclaims his wrongs,
so too would we be less than truly men

if we did not now, to all the embattled world, proudly proclaim
We saw. We acted. Fought. Died. While others in cowardice slept.

New York, November 1939

From: Rolfe, Edwin, ‘[To say We were right is not boastful] in New Masses, Vol. 50, No. 3, 18 January 1944, p. 12.

Date: 1939

By: Edwin Rolfe (Solomon Fishman) (1909-1954)

Monday, 24 May 2021

Portrait by Neika Lehman

When I was 24 I was cheating on my boyfriend
and my mother had cancer. Now I’m 28 I sleep with
women, read dirty poetry and laugh at jokes about
theorists I don’t understand.

My country is dry, but when you think of my country
it is wet. I am de-colonial frantic, a blip in your ocean.
These days I have more freckles than I do sins. I
carry my ancestor’s see-through jawbone on a string
around my neck. I am beneath a she-oak of social
media. I am always already falling for you. We have
already broken up.

From: Blak Brow: ‘Portrait’ by Neika Lehman — The Lifted Brow

Date: 2018

By: Neika Lehman (19??- )

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Souvenir by Kate Middleton

What else fashioned from earth survives?
Bone white; fired terracotta;
trickster raven black with turquoise eyes.
The geometric autograph of pueblo.

I can read some of those angles
in the palm of my hand: there in clay
and here in the palest nectarine flesh
of my broken-in child hands

—hands that chose the modest bowl
for a gift. The bowl’s turquoise eyes
alert to passage, unblinking as they are sunk
into a cardboard box. Paid in cash.

—Bought from hand that once closed
around its clay, moist, as if in prayer;
later wrapped it as roughly
as any piece of broken earth.

From: Souvenir | New Australian poetry, contemporary Australian writers & poetry education | Red Room Poetry

Date: 2013

By: Kate Middleton (19??- )

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Hospital Poem by Jini Maxwell

someone is always taking up where someone else ended. It is
‘in the nature of the beast’: someone walks down the wrong
supermarket aisle, someone has left the dishes soaking,
and here these busy shapes silhouette through curtains,

a siren resolves into speech at a rapid staccato
but when the response comes, the voice is kind

in the Tenebrae of the hall after hours, someone
still stops to buy almonds, and continues
their pilgrimage to the wrong room

and someone answers a question that no-one is asking,
that no-one has been asking for a very long time.

From: Get Ready with Me: 6 Poems by Jini Maxwell | Cordite Poetry Review | Page 4

Date: 2020

By: Jini Maxwell (1991- )