Contemporary Australian Poetry.

Newlywed by Nathanael O'Reilly

Slow News by Bonny Cassidy

Rapunzel’s Hair; Some Other Uses

by Chloe Wilson

 

1.

Stuff a mattress. Dress the bed

in fresh white linen; on top, toss a Dickensian

heroine, blonde, preferably weeping.

 

2.

Grab a hank in each hand; shake

in the face of a charging stag.

Recognising you’re a puma,

he’ll reconsider his advance.

 

3.

For those artistically inclined,

it can be coaxed into a sculpture –

a replica Venus de Milo, for instance,

or perhaps the Eiffel Tower.

 

4.

Weave into a sack; fill with the heads

of your enemies. Send it via courier

across the hostile border.

 

5.

Let it take the place of a foetus.

The body will encase it

just the same, and let it swell

to a newborn’s dimensions.

 

6.

Birds are famously laissez-faire.

To form nests, they’ll mesh it

with more traditional debris.

 

7.

Tesselate into a decorative pattern.

Frame in jet, and use gilt to pick out

the letters: in memory etc. Attach

to the breast of any loitering Victorian.

 

8.

Chop finely. As the bride emerges,

beaming, from the church,

throw it into her face.

 

9.

Dip the tip in ink, and write letters

to your least impressive ex-lovers.

Use those lines you’ve been saving

about his bald spot, her ankles.

 

10.

Suspend from a rod and hooks.

Part down the centre, secure with ribbons,

then stand back to admire the view.

 

11.

Eat enough, and it will inhabit

the whole length of your bowel.

The hair will twist itself

into a rope, too slippery

for prince or witch to grip.

Chloe Wilson's first collection, The Mermaid Problem, was commended in the Anne Elder Award and Highly Commended in the Mary Gilmore Award. She won the 2014 Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry, and was a co-winner of the 2013 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize.