Brendan Ryan

View of the New Estates

Instead of church spires, mobile towers offer reception on treeless ridges. A scattering of solar panels glints amongst the tessellated greys and browns. Trees are kept to an acceptable height. Each garden holds a two-year history of yuccas, cordylines or …

Posted in 84: SUBURBIA | Tagged

David Gilbey Reviews Ann Vickery and Brendan Ryan

These two recent volumes from the distinguished Hunter Contemporary Australian Poets series are about as different from each other as umeboshi and camembert, and – as I’ve found when wanting to impress Japanese visitors with a striking new taste combination that has the energy and disorder of a good poem (to cite Tom Shapcott’s useful terms) – such obverses delight with both surprise and recognition.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Q&A with Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan grew up on a dairy farm at Panmure in Western Victoria. One of ten children, the themes of farming and family have influenced his poetry for over twenty years. His first chapbook, Mungo Poems was published by Soup …

Posted in GUNCOTTON | Tagged ,

The Man on the Gate

Oilskin keeping out the cold the muscles in his legs wearing down through the under 12s, netball, under 14s, under 18s, reserves and finally seniors around two. A job we all expect somebody to do. A man who complements the …

Posted in 47: NO THEME! | Tagged

Factory Boys

White overalls, rubber boots and a hairnet a red surname sewn into the chest pocket – I was ready. To sacrifice sunlight for the punishing noise of steel clanging on steel, revolving guillotine blades carving lengths of cheese the pressure …

Posted in 30: EXPERIENCE | Tagged

Strategic Education Plan

Grinding your teeth as you pursue the unobtainable, the deep, tossing and turning the fear of entering a class, your voice rising in self-doubt as students walk out, their complaints minuted. You've become a teacher cornered in the staff room; …

Posted in 30: EXPERIENCE | Tagged

Washing the Dishes with R.E.M.

A sense of haste helps me slide across the floorboards, stack the dishwasher, clear benches, return salt, pepper and oil to their rightful places. Nostalgia has its purposes; each song a key to an other self I fall into, or …

Posted in 30: EXPERIENCE | Tagged

Better Roads

The roads we drive on are breaking apart. Potholes riddle the surface, corrugations catch us out. Each road is a waking dream, each road is a ruin we're learning to trust. Every few weeks the council seals the damage with …

Posted in 30: EXPERIENCE | Tagged

Shakepeare Didn’t Play Guitar

With the death of Elvis I could no longer believe. Since listening to Flaming Star on a winter Saturday, 1973 I had been a sucker for his elegies. Suspicious Minds took me out of the paddocks and into a bedroom …

Posted in 09: MUSIC | Tagged

Argyle St

The sky fractures like a windscreen the blue Mobil Mart sign keeps the intersection alive. Somewhere a tram, dance music. A council worker weaves out of a pub doorway. The idea of living here amongst slabs of 70s red brick …

Posted in 04: UNTHEMED | Tagged