Issue 18: Aidan Coleman

Sprints with Elizabethan Sighs


The clearing weather and sweet

bounce of dial-up

(heard a decade later) have you chasing

a ball and its dog

through valleys you would build from Lego,

if only they made blocks green.


I’d never rent in a David Lynch film

but others are stuck inside them

or endless meditation

classes in places less

than California.


Every childhood has a dog

bite that grows as the pitches shrink,

like places you remember

from Monopoly

too vaguely to pass GO

with the date you talked into the Friday evening quiz.


A cry for help is punctuated the way bestsellers

warn against,

so instead of crowd-funding

a heady rescue, we search for clues

in your parents’ wardrobe – find nothing

but functional coats.


The greens and blues

of California Games were commensurate

with the lack of skill,

insisted the Professor of Surf Studies,

crying on so many levels.


Before his conviction

for stealing a roof,

I remember him, whiter than lightning down the left,

gesticulating madly

on the playing fields of youth.

Aidan Coleman was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, in 1976 and moved to Australia when he was eight. He has two poetry collections, which were shortlisted for national book awards in Australia. His poems have appeared in The Australian, Australian Book Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Ireland Review and The Warwick Review. Besides poetry, he writes speeches, book reviews and Shakespeare textbooks. He lives in Adelaide.