Emily Stewart

New Year’s Eve Eve

I’m not the only mammal living here
the question is

 star achiever
enduring theme

I’ve swapped cheese for nutritional yeast
now if you could

 friends with benefits movie
develop the courage to ask her

where is the cyclone
who is in the hammock

 easy and natural conversationalist
take into the next world

the banned Iranian director Jafar Panahi
the original idea

 the secrets I know about my friend’s friends
I see them occasionally at the cinema

malatang dinner
where you choose

Gramsci and Keats, the graveyard in Rome
the new coronavirus

 Pomodoro technique
turn right down Rose St past the tennis courts

enough water for three days
it wasn’t a perfect film

 no Rosemary’s Baby
what did you learn this year

how to ocean swim
ethical banking

 next visit I’ll
say hi and pass on my love

am I on shaky ground

 which bad habit did you kick
is that q too private

serenade me

I want to believe the wombat shares its burrow
there was a cigarette box on Gramsci’s grave

 my modest savings
what do you know about grime

I smoked one of them
tiredness in the extreme

 I gave the money to a family member
they’re not the ones

looking for the right
1970s glass bead curtain

 it will take an enormous amount of water
I gave the money to a friend

to mix the concrete
to build the wind farm

if we move the holiday period

the colour of sand
being ordinary

 small, dead marsupial
in an ALDI shopping bag

social fever
floating floor

 say the same thing back at me
through the mirror

there are plenty of other problems
that person deserved to get dragged

 comms person
this anger

insistent rhythm

 say the same thing back at me

say hi arid love!
Keats’s grave was in a charming position

 take into the next world
that major theorist. no

fold down the sofa
I’m searching for practical advice

 old horror, new horror
slip up, speculate and roam

total stocktake of foibles
cute clash—lemon and violet

 I’ll sip at your drain

there is great wisdom, beyond intellect

 I’m entering a more hopeful period

but for the dimming world


invoking the letter of the law
a hand-drawn map

 it will get worse
in what small way

can I help
my beautiful father

non-violent direct communication

 take a deep—‘self-care poem’—breath
dinner party feat. Jerusalem artichoke

trying every day to cast irony aside
the tone of the interviewer

 don’t ask me to formulate a jury
an effect simply morphs

its form evolves
young talented baker

 charmless lawyer
weekend hiker

is it blowing over

 breathing the same air
rising dough

bird book left by the ridge
initials on every page

cracked windscreen
Eton mess

 I walked across that river you like
the epithet

guitar solo
a nice place to be

 lie on the grass
at the top of the salary range

she is whole
still without power

 tent and annexe
pieces of the puzzle

sate my hunger

 undo grammar
vulnerable position

climb the fence
love what you do

move towards forgiveness
stingers beneath

 dreary little interior
a clean soul

if it’s supernatural it’s not reality
surround sound

money tree

I’m cosy in my second body
swimming cap

 send for help
retreating further and further away

sing the phrase badly

what day is it
thrillseeker, orientation

 in the open air

linen sky

 lying on the floor

not chipboard, polished concrete

 an eloquent cough might save us
limited shade

so willing to confide
the spirit of the system

loading up on groceries, bags and bags

the edge that is softest
a gummy edge

 prose afternoon
a sharp, sharp pencil

the architecture of the rose
recipient of a long generous letter

 cutting the secret
every mark so well drawn

terrible glare

 follow your interests
aerobic activity

protected from the wind
smiling eyes

 large cactus

sweep, knot
aura or shadow

idea for a character and scene

hidden clause
earring, blood-sport

 tacking out the pattern

city and suburb
hibiscus iced tea lemon & mint

replace a door
away from the countryside

 the sorrows of young Werther

that feeling of excitement
Casio beat

 this will be remembered
reproduction pinned on the wall

theatrical sleeper

tennis welcome
okay earth

 we knew leisure, not catastrophe
the production of overtime

uploaded to academia

 I’ll tell you what happened
terrible argument

model citizen

 reimagining wealth

 I was in trouble but I was allowed my story
going for a run

comprising argument and evidence
picking up your rubbish

 driving slowly, parallel to the main street
fibro emotion

furnished bedroom
untangled cords

 climate change handbag

I barely know which question, or what is—
a question

 today is a leap day
I saw there was a diagram on the tree

eyes lighting up
it was likely that x substance

 just quietly
pose savassana

my climbing vine won’t climb
Hume Highway

 that’s what you get
the complete breakdown

world health
choir power

 we killed an hour
trial period

 here in my chest
small brushstrokes create texture

such enigmatic torpor
my metier

tit for tat

world id
the community’s roaming fauna

 I’ll go along with it
a midnight fantasia

seeking comfort
human and impressionable

 next gen
the legendary wall of sound

Emily Stewart is the author of the poetry collection Knocks (Vagabond, 2016), winner of the Noel Rowe Poetry Award, and three chapbooks: Like (Bulky News Press 2015), Australia’s Largest DIY (SOd Press 2016) and The Internet Blue (First Draft 2017). She lives in Sydney.

< aj carruthers

By Emily Stewart

is the author of the poetry collection Knocks (Vagabond, 2016), winner of the Noel Rowe Poetry Award, and three chapbooks: Like (Bulky News Press 2015), Australia’s Largest DIY (SOd Press 2016) and The Internet Blue (First Draft 2017). She lives in Sydney.