Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Stephen House - Two Poems

Stephen House is an award winning Australian 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 Asialink. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. He is published often and performs his work widely.


 1. 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 


2. 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 

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