Issue 19




Two Poems


Philip Hammial





Ballet Mécanique



As subcutaneous as picket-line plumage, ring-barked

spruikers spew peacock sludge on victim theory, all

in a night’s work. Bastards, we cop it sweet

in the offshore sense of inept papacy in a room all doors


shredding relics, surveillance videos paused forever.

Bastards, they climbed my boat, took my bucket,

filled it with calf horns, cuckcoldry livid with anti-

vivisectionist double talk. So what you mean by


honour song? Dosage nil? Reshuffled consolations

admonishing sales-pitch? As sad as the milk (sour)

of human kindness taking another hit we get the stunts

wrong, again/cut. At this rate there won’t be a wrap


until the cows come home – a tracking shot

focused on… yes, you guessed right: milk, its process

(progress) as reliable as real estate coming clean

on the history of that gussied up whaling station, ours


for a song. It must finally

become serious (Marion). We’ve had our fill

of your tickertape nostalgia for in-harness road-kills, every

loving spouse out to conjure a perfect death for Jack


or Jill, joy ride thrills as cheap as cavalry

as the credits roll, any hijack much preferred to this

would-be wonderkind soundtrack with its squeals

& catalogues of woe, chuck-a-wobble English


drowned out by moratorium, more junk for Lady Jane’s

Séance Museum, free entry, no exit. No excuse

for this post-coital grave stink you’ve been warned:

bathe in shuttle, in metaphysics, in remedial


pawnshop whatever it takes the denouement (in case

you haven’t noticed) is already upon you, talk-back radio

settling your account with a cortege of closed-circuit icons,

you & your poppycock icons shuffling the light-fantastic. 





Wild & Blue



If it wasn’t for those cutthroat priests

the flip side would have been the right side: the

last escapee from Pablo Escobar’s zoo not caught

in the foyer of the Excelsior, a rhino if

I remember correctly, or was it a leopard? Pray God

about creatures, that Creation let them roam free, not

caged for gawking at.

                                    Looking down

on us: the collective eye of ten thousand chattering

starlings getting ready to roost on the roof

of the Lucknow train station. Which reminds me: have

you seen the new Bollywood hit Love King Murder? – that

scene where they’re listening to Death’s ting-a-ling? Bring

it on, whatever it is – another seven minute war with its

big air where quick-smart you get told don’t

Bogart that joint (rifle barrel), consideration

for others. If I had my druthers I’d dodge these

kill fellows & run with the cowards. 


dead yet? So when? – time issuing

prayer emanating from correct posture in

no-harm place, never too late for the start of making

sweet sleep, sheets

                               thrown off

for body worship? At last a healing place? – Radio Noir’s

chattering to settle us? No, this is a war place, healing’s

(hearing’s) over yonder on platform 10 where, wild & blue,

they’re tuning in to Death’s ting-a-ling.  










Philip Hammial has had 26 poetry collections published.  His poems have appeared in 25 poetry anthologies (in five countries) & in 108 journals in twelve countries.  He has represented Australia at eight international poetry festivals, most recently at Granada, Nicaragua, in February 2014.  In 2009/10 he was the Australian writer-in-residence for six months at the Cité International des Arts in Paris. 



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