joanne burns: no disguises

1 October 2008


                                     god laughs on as his mulberry

                                     shoes skylark down george street

                                     misunderstanding shreds the air

                                     like a flaming galah, the skate

                                     boarders flash by in mercurial

                                     currents loud as the rocks of



                                     he sang to her from the bank

                                     of screens in the store window like

                                     a blue shadow but there were so many

                                     of him she couldn't work out which

                                     one was real her eyes swam with

                                     the dazzle of eurovision, too late

                                     to enrol in the refresher course

                                     in ancient greek



                                     where can this walk round

                                     the shore of traffic lights take us

                                     your silky dreams collapse like

                                     the virtues of tofu     the oysters

                                     may be smoked inside the tin

                                     of their coffins covered in cardboard

                                     but aw shucks you still recall how

                                     to row      a new torch hangs on its

                                     hook      this isn't weekend

                                     poetry;                the tide is edging in

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About Joanne Burns

Joanne Burns's most recent poetry collection is brush, Giramondo Publishing 2014, which won the 2016 NSW Premier's Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. She lives in Sydney.

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