Contemporary Australian Poetry.

wakings by Stu Hatton

When I last spoke to Cocteau by Mark William Jackson


by Felicity Plunkett


‘The stain of love/Is upon the world’

(William Carlos Williams)




In the love-stained world

day after day stutters yellow

yellow. Aureate, xanthic,

surprising as a giant canary,

you have flicked a switch, love.




Big. Big as loneliness.

At our wedding he cried

and cried. She darkens, shoves

scrambled egg into a child’s mouth.

The joy of having once

been wanted congeals. She spoons

a final mouthful.




Intravenous gold, you

bubble under my skin

like joy, like lust; like blister

and hum. Affection and want slop bright

like fat in a surgeon’s bucket.




Peel back epidermis, dermis: papillary, reticular:

in the stratum subcutaneum nerves

roll and spring

like a clock’s workings: a

butter-and-honey retirement

token. Love, you are permanent

as the dissolution of duty.




Each egg drops like a lover’s

eye; watches then looks away

catches his glow

and throws back a promise

of sleep-fracturing cries.




F. Scott Fitzgerald invented his.

My epigraph is flipped:

west and east eggs easy over

with all this trampolining.


¡noʎ ǝʌɐɥ ʇsnɯ ı

:ǝʌoן ƃuıdɯnɾ-ɥƃıɥ

'ʇuɐıpɐɹ-ʍoןןǝʎ 'pǝʇʇɐɥ-ʍoןןǝʎ

Previously published in Australian Book Review.

Felicity Plunkett’s Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was short-listed for a number of other awards. Seastrands (2011) was published in Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects. She is the editor of Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011), Poetry Editor at UQP and a widely-published critic.