blackmail press 34
Stuart Barnes

spirits of the forest  Vanya Taule'alo
Stuart Barnes born & raised in Hobart, Tasmania, currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he edits PASH capsule, a journal of contemporary love poetry. At the moment he's working on Blackouts and other poems, a manuscript dedicated to the memory of Gwen Harwood, Australian poet & librettist, who encouraged the eleven-year-old him to write poetry. Poems are forthcoming in Southerly, Windmills, Mascara Literary Review, Establishment Magazine (UK), & Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry (USA).

the Australian Grim Reaper TV commercial first screened on April 5, 1987

Wet on Wellington: “Melbourne’s Finest Gay Pool and Sauna”

The waiting
lane, a ten-pin’s
set, then rocks and
strikes the waxen pine,
at a metal frame—
The Tiger lily-orange
raised lesions
Three candlepins,
cheeks milked of fat,
roll psychic eyes
to sandy walls
forget   forget   forget
black bowling balls  
and silver scythes    
A doctor’s
stiff like Wet on
marble gods
I’m (this scene    
so close to the bone)     
a classical bystander also