Friday, December 5, 2014



The southern of someplace

is an uncullable guide book,
others bunged
into a grimy skip
out the back
at the besser brick mall
the narcolept's flat out 
rough guide open 
drooping hand
'the desert begins
just beyond the suburb'
broken hill,
nice type
poliphilus roman
blado italic,
C15th & C16th
night stars appear
like the future
like little cysts
like dandruff dust.
my sister's interstices
muttering, muddled,
yet methodical,
hungover, self-conscious,
caught in a laugh trap,
frowning, shuffling,
never standing still,
splinters under skin
a real busy fidget
going places
on the down escalator
passing everyone going up

(from 'Home by Dark' published by Shearsman Books, 2013)

All fuelled out

watercolour's a riddle, the city
fucked-up & not like Paris,
watery suburbs as watery depictions,
like a Raoul Dufy biscuit box lid
or Emil Nolde slumped over chips,
pommes frites to the ornamental bugger
who pecks and putts his flirty air kisses
towards your coral aquarelles.
doodling on the bubbled backs
of soaked-off claret labels, sunk
into a bucket of silence.

(from 'Home by Dark' published by Shearsman Books, 2013)

Desired outcome
                        'anywhere out of the world'
                                                       CHARLES BAUDELAIRE

I woke up
     in an episode of Tremé Series 3,

but I could hear
       i Muvrini's Corsican songs
                                 in the distance

mineral turpentine
                   clinging to my cilia -
     sticky door frame,      sticky sills

I had forgotten the half-an-onion
                                     fume deterrent


Rimbaud is 160 years old,
                           everything is going on

opening the door
                             to a ghost & his boxes -
     old books with discoloured edges -
he never looked better             just last year
                           on his album cover

dropped in the hallway,


                                       in general,
it's great to hear
          what learned people say
without doing any prior reading,
                             it's a vacation, really
I adore your think tank
      but I need the recycling service
                             really quickly

for a limited time only,
                                 that's the offer
        if you want to sleep soundly,
                      as they say

Not really ready

biscuits, near stale,
                 five a.m.

fog lies around
    like shower steam

an ambulance siren
    sets off
 some cooped up dogs

brushing the polish
                      like dad

    his immaculate uniform
                 for bivouac


                mineral wars

columbite & tantalite,
           we love you


brochure difficulties
          I'm not really ready for


 Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima
                no plan
             to visit

sickly fields
        weed,  burr
                          & clover
            synthetic zeolite


where butterflies mutate


fog lifts,
          start the engine

Feed the orchid

says the note
near the radio,
tuning in to
New Weird Australia,
dangle a tea bag
into a mug,
sound sounds
experiment, montage,
batteries flat,
dance on nothing,
have to go
suck a stone
measuring up
sight unseen
sound unheard,
dogged continuum -
swallow the algae,
long for the moss,
fondle the root,
a wasp hovers
over a corn cob,
wasp or bee?
makes me think
of Maeterlinck,
Count Maurice
his second name
was Polydore,
in countless ways -
his never-made
Metro Goldwyn Mayer
movie        based on
'The Life of the Bee'.
is this  a
sappy nature poem?
notate imperilled
imperilling plants,
vanishing insects,
the superseded
cochineal beetle.
missing grasses,
what weed
is that ?
too bad about
the prickly pear.

(from 'Home by Dark' published by Shearsman Books, 2013)


Pam Brown was born in Victoria, Australia. She grew up on military bases in Queensland and has spent her adult life living and working in Sydney. She has published seventeen books, ten chapbooks, and an e-book: most recently, Home by Dark (Shearsman Books, 2013).  A bilingual French-English edition of her poems, Alibis, (translated by Jane Zemiro) was published by Société Jamais-Jamais in 2014. She has been an editor for Overland, Jacket, Jacket2, PennSound, is currently a contributing editor for Fulcrum and VLAK and in 2014 she edited ten new poetry titles - the 'deciBels' series - for Vagabond Press. She blogs occasionally at

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