If our experience is anything to go by, poetry in Australia is alive and kicking. Sure, most main avenues of Australian cultural discourse don't seem to pay much attention to contemporary poetry. I couldn't tell you the last time I stumbled upon a review of an Australian poetry collection in The Guardian or any Fairfax paper. Add to that the consistently depressing image that we project of Australia as allergic to any kind of intellectual conversation, and it might look grim sometimes.
2018 is almost at an end. And what an amazing year it's been. Brain drip would like to thank everyone who submitted works to us this year. We had a blast reading them, and the quality of the submissions was definitely above our expectations. We look forward to reading more in the year ahead.
Our most popular published piece this year was I Thought You'd Be Different by Sydney writer Annette Freeman. Congratulations Annette! What a thrilling and compelling story it is too. If you haven't read it yet, do so now!
I start the day of my death like every other: barely alive.
Sleepless and cruising mindlessly through the shopping centre that some town planner has sketched out next to my regional train station, and probably the train station after that. I imagine a carbon copy of me in the next town over, scurrying to pick up the exact same shrink-wrapped and canned goods that will help me subsist during the workday. Tuna. Sweetcorn. More tuna. A limp and vaguely chemical-tasting salad if it’s Monday (which it is) and you’re detoxing, (which I am).
There’s something to be said of the fact that I’d decided to return to a specific place, to the creek in Prospect, to remember Kirby. Walking down the gentle slope of my old street I thought that, even though I had no desire to ever go back to the “Westie” suburb of my childhood, as I tried to write about Kirby on the narrow front balcony of my rented terrace in Surry Hills the words on the page sounded forced, fictive, like I was being dishonest.
“Come on, Kirby!” my brother and his mates used to say.
So, here we are at Lou’s birthday. All the boys have taken over the fire, fighting with each other about who can best build up the flames, drinking and smoking, and talking a whole lot of shit. I was over there about 20 minutes ago, and guess what they were talking about? Premier League fantasy football. No shit, they really were. They were all sitting there with their phones lighting up their faces, comparing teams, players, and some other stuff that I got bored of super quickly.
I got drunk one night and hit someone outside a pub. I broke his jaw and he fell and smashed his teeth on the concrete curb, knocked him out. CCTV footage got it. Police rustled me up around 3am. I did some time. When I got out I called Sharon but she didn’t want to know me. I called Pete but he was too busy and we’d catch up. Yeah.
You were like the marks that trail along the road
the breaking of the wind
All of you shown
When me and you would spin
We came home, and we came out again
Me the letter, delivered to a friend
You carried me all the way
Just so we can see the end
You are like the raven without it’s wings
Yet you were fast like the thunder
Black as shadow, but bright when the angel sings
The cab driver shakes his head
when I look in his direction.
He’s not free.
I ask a passerby.
Which direction is uptown?
A few foreign words spill from her lips.
She probably thinks
I’m asking for change.
It’s starting to rain a little.
I curse myself for leaving my umbrella
in the hotel room.
The traffic is loud and loathsome,
none of it going my way.
The taste of the morning’s coffee,
straight from the La Brea tar pits,
is still on my tongue.
I despise not knowing where I am.
He guides the knife in and runs it
along the ridge of backbone.
Slices through the section
Last Friday night, Andy, Clay and l met at the park on Old Maryborough Rd. We had organised the finer details of when and what to bring on the stifling bus home after school. Andy would bring the booze, Clay, the weed and I would bring the bong. Clay had even floated the idea of inviting Kim and Tracy but I wasn’t so keen on it. Girls always seemed to bring about trouble; sirens that somehow convince us to sell our souls and loyalty for a furtive hand job behind the toilets at the skate park.