Jennifer Compton

Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne and is a poet and playwright who also writes prose.

Your Common Or Garden Mint

Beg a few inches of the white root and put it almost anywhere. It is forgiving. Clings on. Goes underground if conditions are extreme. Twines and twines and twines inside a pot. Throws out runners if unchecked and seems to …

Posted in 112: TREAT | Tagged

Jennifer Compton Reviews Sarah Holland-Batt and Gavin Yuan Gao

Both of these considerable books, The Jaguar by Sarah Holland-Batt and At the Altar of Touch by Gavin Yuan Gao, arrived into my hands, out of their padded envelope, with all of the gravitas of prize-winners. They are, both of them, winning books—they shine with sincerity and reach and craft—and they won me over with minimal resistance on my part.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Another View

Landscape and jacaranda — Grace Cossington Smith Is she sitting? Or is she standing? In the open air. No, she is sitting. Her eyeline lifts towards the flowering. The sun is behind her but I cannot see her shadow on …

Posted in 96: NO THEME IX | Tagged

Under the House

I would put on dress-ups and run around our house singing. You could run right the way around our house. I would run, a little bit skippingly, with draggle skirts and shawls awry. And the song I would sing was …

Posted in 95: EARTH | Tagged


All the good songs come from the men leaning on staves – watching sheep graze on a field without fences. So I am told. In this country they dry hay on this sort of wooden rack – and in that …

Posted in 33: PASTORAL | Tagged

Open City

Like breathing out forever we announce our imminent absence. The oracle told each of us at the same time in a specific voice that the great conversation of armed rhetoric and counter-attack that the flags and insignia, the fine, high …

Posted in 31: SECRET CITIES | Tagged

The Woman of Rome

La Romana. By Alberto Moravia. I read it at 13 snugged up in bed in my aunt's house in Kilbirnie – having rejected my own home in Rongotai. For the usual reasons. One hand on my mons veneris eyebrows approaching …

Posted in 28: INNOCENCE | Tagged

The Devil His Due

The Professor of Philosophy with sad black holes in his head riffs the collective consciousness in the Cafe of Hopeful Poets she is negatively charged her hair writhes she is smoking seething she reefs in her bitter tongue with the …

Posted in 06: NEW POETRY | Tagged

Safe House

for David Quinlivan and the Wingello Rural Fire Brigade caught in the fire near Johnstones Creek on New Years Day Turn this house inside out braced and joisted by a man with a builder’s smile he hummed as he worked …

Posted in 04: UNTHEMED | Tagged

In the Worst Way

I want to sniff your armpits arsehole: I want to lick your toes until they clench & writhe: I want to nibble buttocks: strive against your tautened breasts: sink teeth into your clattering eyes: sing on a note of garbled …

Posted in 03: NEXT WAVE | Tagged

Dear Les,

I think you ought to write a poem BUSH POET AT DEATH’S DOOR. I wonder what death’s door looks like. I’ve been there, in fact stepped through it – to be precise in an ambulance stopped at the red lights …

Posted in 01: UNTHEMED | Tagged