James Lucas

James Lucas's debut collection Rare Bird (Recent Work Press, 2021) was reviewed in Australian Book Review August 2021 and Commended in the 2021 Anne Elder Award. His poems have been widely published in Australian journals. He teaches English at Sydney Grammar School and lives in Cameraygal, Sydney.

Open the Frog App

Open the frog app. This is an app for collecting facts. Record and upload. A singer’s added to the frog song map. The frog app is a translation app. I record clapsticks and duelling washboards. I record a zydeco band. …

Posted in 106: OPEN | Tagged

Dodge the Dodo

It’s 10:15 on George a Tuesday call it a rostered off day I take slow admiring the art deco lobby of the Dymocks Building because somewhere up above is Birdland who’ve rung to tell me my Esbjörn Svensson Trio Good …

Posted in 105: NO THEME 11 | Tagged

Karma Bin

Our fifth for dinner sits out in the dirt, holds its voracious mouth up to receive within the keeping of its dalek skirt our skin and core and stone and rind and leaf and laughter and the pip: all table …

Posted in 82: LAND | Tagged

At Western Plains

When siamang gibbons sing to hold their ground an air-tight pouch vibrates beneath each chin. Upright primates gather, marvel at the sound and over-acted gestures. Rounded mouths shape reverb like a didge’s barking din. When siamang gibbons sing to hold …

Posted in 80: NO THEME VI | Tagged

Square Peg

I spent my twenties writing stories, trying to wait tables. I waited tables like Rabelais and Orwell wrote of shagging— unconvincingly. I’d not aspired to waiting tables. I waited tables like Pollock juggling scotch bottle and dentist drill— catastrophically. I’d …

Posted in 71: TOIL | Tagged

The Garden

ii With threaded beads of rain the spiderwebs raise arch on vaulted arch of eyebrow studs (say ‘garland fairy lights’ to please the mob), the micro-metallurgist at each hub extruding a St Andrew’s cross long-limbed awaiting prey vibration of its …

Posted in 70: UMAMI | Tagged


i. m. John Forbes While peaking lungs slap shut as thin air wallets & kitchen floors resound to confessions & to noisy fucks you’re out, reconnoitering the package deal fringes of paradise where dented aspirations come to light at carboot …

Posted in 06: NEW POETRY | Tagged


1 Three UK years & a day long haul to hear it strange: the Heathrow tongue stretched flat at Kingsford-Smith dessicated as Mascot lawns look; fruit coughed up in DECLARE IT FOR AUSTRALIA quarantine stalls recompressing feet lop-sided on an …

Posted in 02: UNTHEMED | Tagged