water beading towards the glass rim the bar trimmed

of rumination like a hot afternoon whittled to its core,

she’s mindful of fainting spells, cocooned in a gusseted calico.


bartenders are all miserly. comes with the vocation.

to this we herd the desperation of our Acre blocks,

sidestepping all logic and entering the parlour of gazes.

now the fan rattles and she baulks at my first word,

another blade, turns…


it bleeds out this history, slowly. works around

& aground like a pathetic joke a stalemate

bringing on the tired 5 seconds of awkward

silence. shadow boxing with my thoughts


i wish for mermaids

talking animals

cucumber sandwiches & tea.

regress with me.


anyway no. we’d do well not to get lost

in such narratives: imagine yourself 13

imagine yourself 18 imagine yourself

25 imagine yourself 55. whatever:

inflate in the views of others;

use the power of yarn. do it.


instead of ‘girl makes good’ instead

there’s an endless alpine of peaks & troughs

a story of nothings & everythings jolts

in both quick & slow succession,

depending on the micro-gusts of

weather. nothing matters.


sketching out witticisms i celebrate you

i’m enamoured & momentous. so far.

the plains of separation are so peculiar

to me alone, you know. the common weeds grow,

although it’s so damned hard & slow, to nail your character.


not so much, a hook for a picture frame is it?

i’m failing at life: drinking my way to a pine box

not even breaking a corseted sweat,

before two paths meet, a thirst wet:


let’s shuffle stools and make haste and speak, then.

punch words above our weights,

all our lives, all things in common:

battling to go faster,

to escape the collected burdens.


from How Stumpy Made the Weight (2014) – available through Western Riverina Arts