Issue 5: Stuart Cooke

Postcard from Orebic

for Michael Farrell

A sad, rusted pipe arches from the water

like an old outback lyre, crumbling

away before touching the shore. And

Australia, that dry beast,

has grown on frozen love and England,

cast down into the caverns, has melted

into the ether. Thousands flock to find it

but the wilting lyres of the sea

strand them on rocky islands where pleasures

emerge in the smoke of limestone

and cracked, orange paint. We can return

to England at any time, of course,

though only in books – old books –

and on the voices of elderly women

in Lindfield backyards. It is love, however,

that will always be lost. For love, stretched

taut on a rusting Dalmatian lyre,

both thrives in the far away seas

and forever anticipates our wandering

sorrow. That startling, ethereal love!

‘… out of the caves, Darkness cast a handful of pale

tumbling pigeons into the light…’

     - Sonnet 2.11, Sonnets to Orpheus, by Rainer Maria Rilke


fast habitats and dirigible

fetish i

deas floating various skel

etons = ships like burning

like hazy place burning

incorruptible corrosion and needle

hole t

races inky

sea Cooks white gho

sts spasms marching


luminous lum

inaries strolling the s

fs for tree traces

and humble tar

tans draped over

crackling white


Cook + men firm sha

dows of men in b/w

shrubs lamps

burning forthright kneading

space marching


ing fires slump un

der midnight faces

painted team colours th

ere’s a place just

back from here

smoke ri

sing up stars mimicking


new avenues in

rhyme retro

grade amnesty smoke ri

sing up up u

p into stars

floating skeletons =

ships ship laced

together pound the man

icured length of law

n back there my point

place my backyard law

n light wispy

leaves you saw it you c

lawed did heavens

help us but i

wasnt there ei


Stuart Cooke was born in 1980 and lives in Sydney. His poetry, translations, fiction and essays have been published widely in Australia, and in the USA and UK. He is currently completing a PhD thesis on Australian and Chilean Indigenous poetics.