Two Poems

by Stephen House

arriving

crawling on beach rocks bare knees grazing blood
no other reason but perceiving approaching panic
as whining dog watches baby cry spit and mother
lights one cigarette off another halleluiah shouts no

stop lights flash red to green and bang back yellow
then freeze as i’m amused by drivers confusion more
than what this musters in our present isolated struggle
with my own seeking need for newly exaggerated zilch

a thin drawn couple i had by pull down tin shutter
swear and fight gabble faces curled lips tight white
grasping wrist as my second-hand coat mirrors poverty
i wonder to motivate care help their toil but maybe not

he said don’t post collected explicit you know your past
stinks of what others gape only in movies and i say back
i’m not crouching on fuck lies for god’s sake i never hid
sex drugs slide creative as everyone waiting knew my all

so hoarding junk is reason enough for fearful apathy
to ride my ageing distance of self-grown answers wanting
not found in vending machines that bubble from dreams
i don’t know anyone’s names so call them all whatever

the best thing happening in my failing is being dropped
by mean clutch of old friend as he wrote rules of need
yawning on tablets of bile not living up loyal be is dead
stacked in box accountable was only tally screaming go

as summarising at crossing roadway gives knowledge blind
consumed by greedy seekers of look here comes another one
staring in cracks as cruisers suck pop music sensation need
and i just cry relief finally arriving at what i never was

queer nomad (artist)

and memory back slide to time wallow fun plenty
of body in playful be mine with man finding
in seeking the chasing be cruising hot chatting
online gay bar night club dim sauna quiet backroom
park warm dark beach moonlight glow i am of calling
encounter them nameless fast starting connection
not judging who care less hold lust pair defining
join grasp touch kiss sometimes grip needy in being
be wander to where on road life write creating
play poem script monologue prose short versing long
performing work theatre club gig fringe stage festive
time out new found project retreat funding score
countless bags packed rooms tents squats under moonlight
low earning need dollar pitch show paid commission
production be craved accept job by the wanting
workshop team touring rehearse actor gig start
identity slide factor in given not chosen
influence true be street life unfolding or thrown
judgement accepted but not by it conditioned
queer living risk years gone but not so forgotten
love weathered sought by need mix dreaming selected
way of be regret nil proud rambling existence
refusing hard rules slapped they shout straight is normal
stand high crawl low fall consequence outlaw being

and now in my sixties chase hook up grow some less
by choice be it mostly for some seek searching old
but memory bright can come drift back me to life young
flesh bent living beauty past men with men amble
creative drift wandering proud queer nomad (artist)
years gone time in passing smile float sing recalling
fortunate was me in game play with art all consuming
now calm bliss reflection together him joy friend us


Stephen House is an award winning playwright, poet and actor. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild) , Adelaide Fringe Award, Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, Goolwa Poetry Cup, Feast Short Story Prize and more. He’s been shortlisted for Lane Cove Literary Award, Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, Greenroom best actor Award and more. He’s received Australia Council literature residencies to Ireland and Canada, and an India Asia-link. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press Australia. He is published often and performs his work widely.

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