Deathwish (2019 edit)

If I were a man, you’d
call me brother. We’d
drink beer sing songs read poetry
late into the night

But I have a body that makes
you look. Legs
babyface symmetry plump lips and that thing
you have knows no language — only
a wombwish

You might
be the man in my dream — the one
about the old house with books
paintings guitars cats
friends —

but the woman in my dream
isn’t me.

She’s the cushion woman
the carpet woman
the send you hearts on facebook woman
The sari woman
the sandalwood patchouli woman
the bells on her fingers rose vanilla lavender butterfly tattoo woman

She’s the tongue woman
the womb woman
the open up and make room woman
the overflowing cup woman
the boneless chicken salt tarragon lemon your name her breath woman

But I’m the
cut you down to size woman the
right back at ya woman the
eye to eye hand to hand side by side woman the
boots woman the bare
truth woman the knife
and leather belt woman the don’t
mess with or else woman.
I’m not

the soft-poemed
scented woman
lighting the candles
arranging the cushions.

If I were a man, you’d
call me brother. We’d
drink beer sing songs read poetry
late into the night

From my book “The emptied bridge”, coming soon from Mulla Mulla Press. The original version of this poem was published in 2010.

Check my legs

Tight top
Slim skirt

I can’t lie back on grass to watch the clouds
I can’t sprint through the rain
I can’t sit cross-legged on the railway platform when my hips hurt
I can’t relax on the train: the seats face others
and every second I check my legs
are shut

First published in Tamba 59, December 2016

Stupider and stupider

The White Rabbit scurried past
I’m late I’m late I’m late and she had
to follow him why? I hated
the story it went nowhere stupider
and stupider creepy
smoking caterpillar vicious
Queen of Hearts horrible
pigbaby and I only
six what to make of it? and
at the end the letdown
it was all a dream
so lame
she woke up
back in Victorian England
instead of sorting herself out
instead of escaping
from that hell-pit
by her own wits
like a proper heroine
she just
woke up
lying among the whatever
daisies butterflies
in her pinafore
in her alice band
in her prim little shoes
with her big sister close by
and no deranged
dealers of millinery no
melancholy reptiles no
lakes of tears no
pointlessly battling
rotund little men
I hated the whole story

except for the Cheshire Cat who
seemed the only one who
had it together

First published in LiNQ 43, Feb 2017

The silicon lip of the precipice

In my dream there wasn’t a magpie
warbling caroling arguing garbling
back and forth back and forth
with another about resources

There wasn’t a lorikeet,
shrieking competing wreaking clichéd
havoc in the last remaining
clichéd freaking shivering tuart trees

There wasn’t a raven
hahring and harking electric on the lines,
calling conversing drak, black, smack,
crack on the concrete lawns

In my dream there weren’t sixteen
lightly birded hedged picketed lines
There was only the edge of everything
The silicon lip of the precipice and you

on it
with your eyes
like the ice that’s about to melt,
and in your grip

a broken bottle, its razor neck
like a talon or a hooked beak,
bald as a silver dollar
or a Jolly Roger, you

on it
with your eyes
warding off my tooth and clichéd
nail and greedy breathing

Book cover 'A coat of Ashes' by Jackson
The above poem is from my book “A coat of ashes” (Recent Work Press 2018). Click the image to order a copy.