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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

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Australia

Charlotte Olayinka’s launch speech for Tony Messenger’s “Poems to be found in the desert”

I would like to acknowledge the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people here today.

I acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded and send a plea to you to continue to work within your communities to decolonise our political and educational systems, the media, the arts and our society at large. I urge you to move together towards establishing recognition, treaty, self-determination and rightful representation in the governance of this land. Continue reading “Charlotte Olayinka’s launch speech for Tony Messenger’s “Poems to be found in the desert””

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Faulkner on the Balcony by Tristan Foster

I probably shouldn’t write this. 

Reading Faulkner on a balcony in Melbourne. A cold morning, as they usually are. Yesterday read Joyce by the bay, feet bare, the sand chilly and soft as snow, thinking that maybe we will have kidney. We? Who is we? You are not here and, last I heard, you are afraid I will find someone else in these small days.

I sit on the balcony with a hot coffee and a story about a funeral. Baudelaire in the suitcase. In pain and I can’t concentrate, let me tell you why. I am on street level, rocking back in a dirty weatherproof chair. Messy empty bed in the room behind me. A woman stands in the sun across the road, hoody on, smoking a cigarette fussily and checking her phone. I shouldn’t write this because these are secrets I wouldn’t tell anyone. Continue reading “Faulkner on the Balcony by Tristan Foster”

Last of the Barbary Lions and other poems; a haibun sequence by Rico Craig

Last of the Barbary Lions

 

ii.

There’s no Hippocratic Oath for vets;

in this world a man is what morals make him. I’m indentured to a thug

with a pocket full of mobile phones,

two weeks into a handshake pact of pills and powders.

I’ve been paid to wait, collude

in the plaza haze, my feet

kicking alleys of August wind.

Perched on a stool in Calle Melos limestone glower,

watching ocean and sea blur in the Strait.

I’m doling tablets to door knocks,

cutting chorizo with a necktie knife; listing

on a nightly lullaby of horse tranquillisers.

I breathe in the dry air, breath out

a stem of opioid desire

and settle at the bar,

petals in my mouth.

This is my last night swallowing broken Spanish,

feet on the solstice line

a half step ahead of winter shade.

The ferries from Morocco

are on endless loop, red hulls

split sky and sea.

  Continue reading “Last of the Barbary Lions and other poems; a haibun sequence by Rico Craig”

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