I remember the lost skirt of Carlton

Nimble and nineteen, perhaps twenty, I saw you;
velvet A-line, satin belt, and my heart dropped open
knowing how you would swathe me in excellence
hang just right, soft as a crop of Labrador’s dark ears.
Student poor, with a world to change, I stood outside,
longing, mental tongue lapping, dressed in thin dream.

Today, girt in husband’s semi-silken wage,
(and the splendid coin of Poesie)
I could command your like be snipped
to the pattern of sweet memory.
But my waist has grown
along with his pay,
so perfect skirt, in time or space,
will always always

PS Cottier


Based on a True Incident, this is a very old, but (I think) unpublished poem. It describes a true first world problem, but both Canberra and Melbourne (of which Carlton is a university infested suburb, or just about) are in the first world, so that’s hardly surprising.

Fashion is interesting in that usually only young people look the best in retro or vintage gear; people assume that middle-aged people have been wearing 50s gear since it was new, and just forgot to change over the intervening decades.

Speaking of change, this seems to mark a difference from the usual socio-political cleverness for which this blog is known by some! And hello to you, dear Some.

A timely monster

And if I could drink youth in
through my eyes — a vampire
of glance, lapping it from
perfect blush of skin —
would it be possible not to
drink and rise, leaving years
like a phone lost in cushions?
And yet, and yet…
before my eyes suck, remember
the self-consciousness,
the rash redness of life
before it wrapped itself in time?
To take, and lose a burden,
is to lift another,
cutting into hands or mind,
like an overloaded bag.
So let them pass, and let me yearn
and learn to stop, just here.
I’ll sit, and plait kind memory
through this smoked nostalgia of hair.

P.S. Cottier


Very traditional matter there, about the passing of time, given a sprinkle of Polidori. I like ‘my eyes suck’. Certainly not over-poetic! Monday was a public holiday in Canberra, so I did a little revision of this poem, and decided to post it.

More and more I find myself unable to wait the months that some journals take to say yes or no to a piece. I pity the editors, but I value my own work more! This blog now has many readers (hello to you all, from France to India to the Americas to Binalong) so why not self-publish?

Of course, I am foregoing the huge piles of pelf that poetry usually attracts, and there are some journals and anthologies that I really want to be part of, but I do like the immediacy of this medium. Particularly when I can find such cool pictures for free at Old Book Illustrations!

Other poets enjoy that too, whether they are posting their own poems, or those of others. Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets. They are definitely worth the clicks.

For Amy

August 12, 2011

For Amy

14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011

A claret voice, thick liquid copper,
poured out of her skin, sweat honeyed,
hair bee-hived. No droning sweetness;
such a tangy longing. If only she’d lasted
a few more years, we say, as if she were
a bottle to be stored and turned, turned,
until she matured into something else,
ordinaried into age, lees less special.
She’s gone; jade asps of notes remain
to remind how beauty often stings.

P.S. Cottier