Pam Brown

Low to go

throttled and threatened
with being thrown
from the third tier
of the bricked-up block.
the kids dumped
in the campervan
out the back
for safety's sake.
the statistic in Japan
90 people suicide
every day,
matchmaker websites
arranging catastrophic
to suffocate together
in a car.
nothing like that
in a compound like this,
the stale odour
of a plebian estate
on a hot summer day.
a man in bare feet
dismantling a car
with his cracked hands.
the bumper bars
the doors the grill
prised off and filed away
in a shed full
of buckled chrome
and brake discs
and greasy cable.
amateur wrecker
'nothing happens here
nothing gets done
but you get to like it'


sliding along
before vanishing
they keep
the lights on
through the night
I slip by
like a whisp
of toner dust
eluding dreams,
rasping inhalation,
hypnagogic flecks
I lie waiting
for the 2 a.m. foghorn,
a cargo ship entering
Sydney harbour.
barring sleep
for night's duration
television sound
or dvds
droning on
til early light
pinching through
the wooden slats
outlines the furniture.
on the top floor
a baby wakes
and wails for morning.
my scurf and scraps
and scattered nerves
begin their daily cycle,
two packed buses
to and through
the indifferent city
to work         where
nothing makes sense
on the databases,
released by flexitime
from a short routine,
late afternoons
in the cinema's womb
dozing through

Cubists in suburbia

monday's twilight dimming
          on the last few brown leaves
   of dreary autumn,
thin branches jut
                     like grissini
from camouflage-patterned trunks,
     it's the plane tree         the tree
                     the Cubists loved the most,
the light,      green grey,
           they loved that too.

Pam Brown was born in Seymour, just outside Melbourne in Victoria, and grew up on military bases in Toowoomba and Brisbane in Queensland. She lives and writes in Sydney and will, one day, move to Melbourne, the city she was headed for when she got off the Greyhound bus in Sydney thirty-eight years ago.

She works in the Life Sciences library at the University of Sydney, and is a contributing editor to the U.S. based poetics annual, Fulcrum; a member of the editorial board of HOW2; and associate editor of Jacket magazine. She has a blog, The Deletions, and a website.

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