Contemporary Australian Poetry.
Newlywed by Nathanael O'Reilly
Slow News by Bonny Cassidy
Stuff a mattress. Dress the bed
in fresh white linen; on top, toss a Dickensian
heroine, blonde, preferably weeping.
Grab a hank in each hand; shake
in the face of a charging stag.
Recognising you’re a puma,
he’ll reconsider his advance.
For those artistically inclined,
it can be coaxed into a sculpture –
a replica Venus de Milo, for instance,
or perhaps the Eiffel Tower.
Weave into a sack; fill with the heads
of your enemies. Send it via courier
across the hostile border.
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.
Birds are famously laissez-faire.
To form nests, they’ll mesh it
with more traditional debris.
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.
Chop finely. As the bride emerges,
beaming, from the church,
throw it into her face.
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.
Suspend from a rod and hooks.
Part down the centre, secure with ribbons,
then stand back to admire the view.
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 She won the 2014 Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for Unpublished Poetry, and was a co-winner of the 2013 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize.