Sunday, December 30, 2012

Volume 1, No. 1, Summer 2013


Volume 1, No. 1, Summer 2013


Initially NO
Stu Hatton
Matt Heatherington
Anna Ryan-Punch
Bronwen Manger
Hoa Pham
Bronwyn Lovell
Paul Fearne

Initially NO

Time before language

Memories of when
I was in a pram
Being pushed along
Pathways that had
That signature
Which doesn’t articulate
Any more than I was
Able to say words
Back then, while in the pram
Being pushed down
Past sign posts
That haven’t changed
For over thirty years.
Something about them
Has remained
And I am spell bound
Looking at a time
Before words
Were something to me
Within the babble
Of various noises.
Something says that I
Once lived at this place
But I can’t say
What that is.
Maybe the curving paths,
Maybe the type of trees,
Maybe the atmosphere,
Maybe the earth’s beat;
But I can’t say
Exactly what that is
Except in gibberish.

Dr Seuss memories…
My Dad reading
The same old pages
Of rhyming and rhyming
Words and pictures
That sent us sleeping.
The endless repetitions!
He must’ve found it boring,
When we would ask again
For the same old book
For him to read us
Well then, he’d say, okay then
And take a look
And never make a fuss.

It is said piano is a percussion instrument,
As inside the hammer hit the strings…
My memories of pianos are of when young I
Spent a year playing the same piece
Of music for my perfectionist piano teacher
In order to enter competitions and win.
I didn’t have perfect pitch
Like my brother, who played Percy Granger’s
‘Gollywog’s cake walk,’ without fear
He was making raciest music.
I would perdure the peregrination
From one town to another
In search of competitions where
My brother, the prodigy, would perform.
I would also play piano there
And practice per diem, but not ad nausium.
My persistence on the piano keys didn’t pay off
Though. I was more into painting.
I once saw a painted piano
And my mother remarked, ‘How awful,
That paint would ruin the piano’s tone.’
I thought how, instead of plain pink,
I would paint pixies playing other instruments
In a perfume of pigments,
Making the piano less perfunctory.
There was a lot I didn’t see
That was hidden percolating silently
For those who could periscope
The deep waters and unpick the poetry
Of the stave of notes, signs, signatures and lines
Put down by pain-staking composers of the pianoforte.

Stu Hatton


there is much to keep silent about 


that serial mic-in-mouth dream: 

hardbodies mass,

your book-smarts

amount to nothing


the morning mopes,

hardly good smoking weather


a status bar worms


to little purpose 


timepoor breakfast

eaten off a mirror


fast-acting cap

slows the room 

to baseline


you practise your dice-rolls

but there’s no 

need to undress

that billboard girl 

(she only ever loves a warrior)


a nest is a gathering (opportunity point)

less an escape than a hiding (hiding centres the body)

a morning for lingering (no one is waiting)

pushing the bike uphill (no, the day not in shreds)

reversing that wheel, the eye (stir a little p.m. into the a.m.)

as if you could open anything, seed anything (the xanax beginning to sprout)

how to differ (trembling to the point of weightlessness)

limiting yourself to a certain era (ease outward: other rooms)

to act a tad skylike (become a believer in birds)

orchid dormant (how to make a robe of it?)

inertia’s home (or a buddha, a noon point)


Ants crawl the beach, distributing
data. Sand drifts into patterns:
ripples, cusps. Sand-waves, sea-
dunes. The vast. Sun surging
amber/violet. Scapes of cloud,
smudging, shaping analogues

of lifeforms. Fractals of
your face … your circuitries.  
Chemical morning: sleep-
deprived, I rest in
your pulse; vistas scroll
over your skin. These layers

and layers. Imagined
and after-image: busy mandalas
bend the spectrum. No linearities,
no wrestling with a cloud. Letting
go into patterning. Footprints on
sand … or footprints of sand … ?

Matt Hetherington


srry wll b late bout
45 u cool w that

no u no how it
is smtmes am jus v

chnge of plans cn we
do 2moro wll txt u

hey rite now its th
best i cn do all
i cn say is hey

jus go til all yr
eyes c is pixels x








The Tomb of Edgar Poe

As to Himself at last eternity changes him,
The Poet incites with a naked sword
His age aghast at never having heard
That death had triumphed in this strange voice!

They, as the vile hydra once recoiled to hear the angel
Give a purer meaning to the words of the tribe
Proclaimed most loudly the fateful spell imbibed
In the humourless flood of some darkened brew.

From hostile soil and cloud, O grief!
If our idea cannot carve a bas-relief
For the resplendent tomb of Poe to be adorned,

Calm block fallen here below from some obscure disaster,
May this granite at least forever mark a bourne
To the dark flights of Blasphemy scattered in the future.

Stephane Mallarme, trans. Matt Hetherington

Anna Ryan-Punch


Last time she was safe
a neat-fronted doll’s house
dragged tears past wet gravel
to whipped-up playground sobs
spread out a coat; sat under the slide
blared out of her head with
wine and iron melody


When she walked past
pretended she was a sister
come to visit. Then                                                             stopped.
Hunched in bus shelter
away from sunburn
stink of shit and bad plans

It’s a long wait home
forget the hours active
in scrawl and slump
keep the iPhone photo:
chipped out greys, blue
wooden calves walk
hours and hours and hours


Breathe through my mouth for weeks
Cutting off one sense too many
I draw the smell back into a grey
faecal fug. Predictively habit-forming
This chopping back wires into the world
No one lands in hospital
I prefer to disappear, block off nostrils
with the back of my tongue
My jawline alters a snip
You wouldn’t notice.
I smile as air whistles
through my teeth.

Punch drunk

I believe I need a fine feathered idea
almost no one has massive plans for coping.

You’re the second window I’ve kicked in
locked away in a toilet cubicle.

Eight years in a fortnight of therapy
is not enough to extinguish the rumpus.

If I’m lost, or I’m forgiven
I’m sorry. I beat up the bathroom.

At the sisters’ house I shattered
spun handles from green vacancy to red.

I felt like he was me, in his loudest voice.

Bronwen Manger

Bronwen Manger is a poet from the outer east of Melbourne. She has performed her work on television and radio, and her poems have appeared in journals, zines, anthologies and The Age newspaper. When Bronwen is not writing, she attends poetry readings around Melbourne and works as a research assistant.

The Scream

Tonight we poise & pace
into some offhand orange dayfall,
take the air & every war
is truced now lest one distant gun
outdraw our footsteps or the hush
of wind on bay. Dear, we are
acquitted from the thwarted roil
of all before this pier. This jury
finds us glorious, all
side-by-side without a wince
of doubt to twang the seagulls’
songs to mockery. Dear, this
blotted earth is beauty yet,
is Eden still. The fraught tumult
of yesterday flutters from
our calendar as the hills
& shore wash into darkness,
landscaped peace like picture stone.
Dearest speak, tell me
how the water clasps
the light beyond its daily term;
& which vaunted feet have sung
their story ‘cross these
wooden keys before. Tell me
where we’ll wake ensconced
as morning ribbons through
our panes. And Dearest
who is that screaming behind us?

How I Sold My Soul

It was not some lamé devil’s incendiary ballpoint; nor
the oilslick eyes of any quintessential executive. Death
did not unfurl immortality for me in a rickety burlesque.
Neither genies spilling from streetlights nor fairies
sweeping back their leaf-litter coats did it.

There was no parchment, no
scales, no star-keyed
cosmic cash


It was the
beach, mostly. The
sun swaying through the
shallows; bright wind in its salt
finery; hopscotch with driftwood, a hundred
thousand shells in colours to confound paint.

Yes, it was that old hijacked wrung muse the beach
that did it – and how to get back there. My sold soul I
carry with me now, laid-away, waiting. And a pocket
full of sand, spilling graciously and interminably.

Four Mississippis

I held you for
four Mississippis
when we last said goodnight.

You were brighter than
all the lights of the city
as you slipped from my sight.

I was washed away
by those four Mississippis;
I was carried out to sea.

Now writing this
lonely little ditty
couldn’t express what you mean to me.

I want to hold you for
more Mississippis;
hold you for
more than a while.

I want to hold you for
four hundred Mississippis,
twenty Ganges,
ten Euphrates,
and the Nile.

Hoa Pham

Berlin Poems

Peace Walk  Berlin October 2009
Stepping on the bronze plaques of history
Haunting concrete slabs of those who had gone before
Stillness ebbs and flows.

Holocaust Memorial
Rectangular sentinels of the dead
Play hide and seek in visions
With gaps in memory 
Quick disappearances.

Plain black type on white
Protests against immigration
In a neighbourhood full of darker friendlier faces
Lounging on tables with coffee and cigarettes.

Bronwyn Lovell

     (the phases between molting
in the development of an insect)

You will wear several skins
and outgrow all of them.
You’ll sense the pull of
tightness before

the fabric splits.

So leave them behind you
like plastic wrappers,
or human dresses
discarded in the rain.

Feel the relief
of each release,
the freedom
to expand again.


Curious light-footed
creatures of the sky,

in a journey
of generations

everyone knows the way:
south ahead of the first frost,

then wheel north again.

Your antennae: one magnetic compass
guiding you back to the same trees

your great-great-grandparents knew
or, if the winds are right, you could

escape tradition: fly somewhere
entirely new.


Like everything, it comes back
to reproduction. You must
live long enough to do it.

Your colours –
for all their allure
are merely

a camouflage, a warning,
a way to impress.
We might migrate

or even sleep long and still
like icicles
through winter frost

but once mated
not one of us will live
to see our young.

Paul Fearne

There are things which should not be said

          there are things which should not be said
     there are times which should only be put aside
and when we are through with them
we will come again
in a new form
and a new chance
at what the stars
have only ever felt

Never found again

a river that flows with the trappings of time
an eclipse of the sun that drips the dreams of tomorrow

in the middle of a lake of mist
the echoed silence of times forgotten
sing with the breath of what may have been

                      hold me close
                              for in the morning
             the vines that cover this antique cabinet
will forgive the dust that marks the passing of each day

what is here now
is a forgery of hoped for lullabies
that will guide these reckless autumn leaves
              to a place
                      that will never be found again

The ghosts of moonlight shadows

An ancient tomb
that cradles a home for butterflies
it breathes
as the light of centuries
washes over its dust
footprints lead from its entrance
they are left by the ghosts of moonlight shadows
as they dance through the porticoes
wheeling and diving
like the embers of a forgotten fire
that once lit the world
but now
only dream of silence
and the frayed tapestries of twilight