Sunday, August 06, 2017

New Poetry by Christine Burrows










Autumn pivot

March is endings
small sacrifices
no lollies for lent

May shucks you down
slim as a rock limpet
resisting coldening wind

April finds its fools, caught short
at daylight savings end, raking up
summer dreams amongst sodden leaves


- Christine Burrows 2017



Christine is a Melbourne poet, originally from New Zealand. Recent work has appeared in anthologies and journals, including Audacious, Cordite, Landfall, Westerly and Australian Poetry Anthology (2016). Her work explores diverse aspects and levels of human experience - trauma, loss and dislocation being regular themes. Poetry keeps her going.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

The Wig

Not just with me but in general, she had never observed all the rules of social etiquette which I found myself unable to disobey. Sending a RSVP to anything to which I was invited, being on time for an appointment, acknowledging holidays and birthdays via cards.

As a sort of experiment, I gave in, or more accurately, I gave up on all sense of formality with her.  It did not seem to faze her although my methods were faulty and the accuracy of my experiment were in question as we had never actually been that close.

Where I grabbing a drink after finishing a piece, I would linger far longer than had I just popped out for a break. If we ran into each other on one of these occasions, then we would spend some time together. There was something mercenary in her look when aroused which both appealed and repulsed me. I think the last time I saw her it had been the latter and so with only a faint echo of a warning klaxon in the back of my mind, I lost track of how long it had been.

I had achieved all kinds of things but when home I went to the same places as they offered me what I needed. The inspiration which they still gave me after these years of walking my streets, I am a sort of Antaeus of Midtown.

I had just come back from once again having been on the road. Now here I was in my favorite seat at my usual bar when she came in. Two years had gone by since our last encounter.

She had moved to Seattle. Instinctually my mind went towards reprimands for not having told me beforehand nor having been dropped a note once she had settled in. I saw the futility of uttering anything along those lines as it would not stick and it would waste my brief downtime on something neither of us would care to be part of. Instead my mouth twisted into a sort of grin which was not one hundred percent about mirth nor pleasure.

“So, what are you doing back?”

Her aunt had died and she was supposed to go through her house and see if there was anything she wanted before the rest was thrown out. I vaguely recalled an older witchy looking woman who drove a rusted-out Volkswagen that I had briefly met once in passing at a farmer’s market.

 “You should come, there is an overgrown garden which I bet you could do some amazing sketches of.”

It sounded jerkier than I had intended when I said yes but that I did not have all day.


I was surprised I had not seen her aunt out and about more often as her place was a quick walk from all my usual haunts. I stopped to tie my shoe but she had kept walking although at a slower pace. Looking at her from behind as I sought to catch up. The same jacket as ever. She had put on a few pounds but wore it well. What would she look like in a decade?

We let ourselves in but I could tell by how tentatively she walked over the threshold it was strange for her too. The place was not dirty but very cluttered. Piles of paperbacks, mismatched furniture, most of which had afghans thrown over their backs and arranged so that to walk to certain parts of the room one had to squeeze between two pieces set at odd angles.

“Do not worry, we are not going to be here all day. I am just going to check her bedroom as that is where her photo albums and anything which may interest me might be. Why don’t you go out back and sketch? You must leave something to hold the door open or it will lock behind you. Just use one of the paperbacks, don’t worry about it.”

The backyard garden was gloriously savage. At one point, great care must have been put into it as even with it having grown wild there was still loose bordered order to the groupings of herbs and vegetables.

Of course, I recognized the oregano and rosemary. Some of the others I used to know but had grown rusty in my identification. Looking at one cluster I found interesting I eventually snapped my fingers and said “Hyssop!” after which I looked around to see if anyone had seen me do so.

I became absorbed in my drawing until having grown thirsty. An hour had passed. I decided to go in and check on her. Squeezing by the piles of books that lined the hallway wall, I head towards the bedroom. The sound of her breath coming in sharp rhythmic patterns. I had avoided the potential drama of a fight by not having scolded her but would now have the even worse scene of having to provide comfort to her in her grief, something which I was terrible at in general.

Standing in the doorway, I was surprised to not immediately see her as in my mind’s eye I had pictured her, sitting on the end of the bed, perhaps with some trinket in her hand sobbing. My eyes scanned the room.

Wearing only underwear and a bra, she was on the floor with her back against the closed bathroom door. The way her bottom jaw jutted forward then back and her nostrils slightly flared. She was not crying. Her body shook for a moment and in that moment, I forgot what jerks we both could be. She opened her eyes and looked at me. The sun caught the beads of perspiration on her forehead in jewel like shimmering.

“Where did you get the wig?”

“It was my aunt’s.”

Fini


Wayne H.W Wolfson 2017


www.waynewolfson.com