Hear Jackson’s new poems 24 Sep at Perth Poetry Club, 9 Sep at OOTA

Jackson performs poetry 2016

Save the date for my feature at Perth Poetry Club on 24 September 2016. 2-4pm at The Moon Cafe, 323 William Street, Northbridge. Plus open mike.

I’m also the reader at OOTA‘s “Poetry Bites” lunch on Friday 9 September. 11:45pm in the cafe at Fremantle Arts Centre.

froth

And you?
You’re a cafe
with retro decor
On the wall
you have a picture
of Audrey Hepburn
as Holly Golightly
wearing that dress
showing you
something
in black
and white

You know
that Audrey is dead
and Holly lived only
in Capote’s mind
Neither of them
will ever
come in

Each woman
who comes in
has a coffee at one
of your little tables
Maybe your faded formica surface
and chrome edges and screws
feel like her mother
and father

She raises
your warm black cup
Considers the froth
the white heart
you’ve drawn for her
Puts her mouth to it
Sucks it
to an abstract

as Audrey
and Holly
watch
from your wall

First published in Uneven Floor.
An earlier version was commended in the 2013 Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition.

How long?

How long, how long, how long, how long, to sing this song?
— U2, channelling the Psalmist

The music's cruisy     trancy     wordless

The father walks away
from the mother
On the father's hip the baby cries Mamma Mamma
The father walks away
so the mother can do
the workshop
On the father's hip the baby cries Mamma Mamma

Is he old enough already
to learn that his mum
is a person?

Or is he young enough still
to learn that Mother
is not
always
Mother?

Now the music
is American hiphop
Niggaz bitchez
money in yo pocketz

The father comes back
with the baby
The mother is dancing
The music's cruisy again
The baby? Silent

Mamma, Mamma — a moment?
Mamma, Mamma — eternity?
Mamma, Mamma —
how long?

First published in Poetry Matters

disqualified

I dreamed I was starting
in a running race
There were four 400-metre laps
Everyone else limbered up
When the gun went they took off
sending up divots from their spiked shoes
I stretched myself a bit and looked around
The finish line was only 50 metres from the starting blocks
Just there
Practically in front of me
so I walked forward until my belly touched the tape and said, Well?
But the man with the flag said
You're disqualified
You didn't run the four laps
What the hell were you thinking? Get out of here!

First published in Creatrix