Victoria Brookman 2 poems

Spanish Steps

1.

sitting is a crime here
….baked marble
….
spent ciggies
police whistles
.

2.

we traverse a three-edged tightrope
…..i victim blaming
….
ii boogie man
….
iii concerned parents

MadeleineMcCanngotsnatchedbybaddies
herskinaspaleasyours
neversawherparentsagain
stay close.
hold hands.
understand?  

….well, it’s said out of love

edge-edge-edge

Every time those flying blue toys rise in
the oven night air she yells PICK POCKETS
and screams NEIN NEIN NEIN at pedlars til
they laugh kindly and leave us alone.

effective, huh?
child-as-alsatian
.

3.

cops are relentless.
DON’T SIT DOWN. STAND UP.
DON’T SIT DOWN.

imaginethatbeingyourjob
standingroundintheheat
beepbeepwhistle
pointing
aggro
DON’T SIT DOWN
.

4.

where sitting is a crime
we join a singalong
..share a joint
..belt out the Bandiera Rossa
..
lay down for fun
..
pretend collapse
..
squat
..
breastfeed
what? what’s wrong? sitting? oh.
add this to your edgelord tourist checklist

shrill (in english)
STAND UP.
.

5.

up top
marble radiating
fountain crowded
blue toys flung and caught
laser pointers on the Vatican dome

an italian-australian woman says hi.

she’s meeting a local guy
for a
secret tinder liaison.
shh, she says.

she hops in a car.
it has tinted windows. 

i wonder if we’ll see
her face on the news

i try to remember
what she’s wearing
.

6.

we take a photo in Italy’s first Maccas
..grease and eau de wrong

walk and walk and walk
orange trees fruiting
over parking meters.
Rome breathes.
.

7.

1am at a fountain roundabout
starryeyedgoose here
“Rome Syndrome is Real”
killjoy free zone
hey-lady-smile

a family – kids
..frolic in their undies
..
splash in the fountain
..
ice cold water almost
..
too much on
Mum’s aching feet

Man walks by, smiles...
killjoy free zone.
be pleasant. SMILE.
Mum smiles back –
suburbanAustraliantightlipped
– turns back to kids

Man watches kids
drying out on the edge.
..
enraptured \ delirious ..
..
they look upside down at
..
lights 

Man’s vigorous stokes draw
Mum’s gaze to its round shine
beneath a street lamp
tug-tug-tug

….killjoy – up on yer feet

FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF!
roaring in english.
he gets the message.
shrugs, puts it away,
walks off like it’s
normal.

YOU FUCKING PERVERT
one-night-only
.

9.

3000 year old bricks
rough under fingertips.
eyes dart. heart thumps.
eternal Roman mortar,
stops Mum picking up a brick
and hunting that cunt down
to cave his skull in.

Heart of Civilisation
.

10. 

DON’T SIT DOWN
whistles come hither
where are you now.

 **

Big Burn

1.

Up there they bombed a bus
The year after Virginia arrived

Still
…………she gazes through time
At the spot
..where bodies
..
blew skyward

Is she bemused, disturbed
Or simply awaiting your
Park-Picked-Floral-Tribute?

Seen enough,
Hadn’t she?

I’m in Bloomsbury
\ my kid is furious.
.

2. 

They’re gonna have to come up with a plan
Out at Versailles
If they wanna keep those tourist dollars
Astheclimateapocalypsedrawsevercloser
won’t they.

Nobody wants to see melted art do they.
FuckMEit’shot.
.

3.

Kid: “You’re being rude to me.”
Mother, writing: “Shut up.”
[Repeat x3]
.

4.

people with moneytoburn on park drinks
muster for slaughter,
serenaded by niche kitchenshowmusic
in a temporarily picket-fenced area

can’t understand why those
schoolstrikebrats don’t just
stay in school or get a job.
brainwashed by leftist thugs.
we’re doomed
……………………./ nice drop this one
.

6.

Kid AngryShoves her dress over my face while I write
Laughs as the sunnies cut into my scalp til I cry out
If she were a grown man she’d be arrested by now.
Maybe.
.

7.

the heat was so oppressive that day
that we ran for the supermarket and
meandered very slowly up and down
the cold aisle trying to rid ourselves
of heatstroke. Took a taxi fifty metres
and admired the ruined cities of lost
civilisations and wondered if anyone
would be left to admire ours, or, if
they were round, I wonder if we’d be
classed as a lost ‘civilisation’ at all.
.

7.

No pen no gain
nopenagain
and to compose on a phone is to err 

you’re being rude to me

the kids are angry,
/ who can blame em?
.

8.

this is neither a room of my own,
Nor a city

_________________________________

Victoria Brookman is a writer, mother and scholar living in the Blue 
Mountains. Her work has been published in Australian Humanities 
Review, JMI, The Quarry, Cordite, and Sandstone, and her reviews 
appear regularly in SEARCH News. She also writes at 
www.suburbannerves.com

 

Rochford Street Review is free to browse and read at your pleasure. As an independent journal, which doesn’t receive funding from any government agency or institution, we rely on the generosity of our readers to be able to pay our writers and to meet our ongoing costs.

If you are in a position to do so please consider “paying’ the suggested sale price of Aust$10 for Issue 28. You will contributing to the future of Rochford Street Review and ensuring that our writers get at least a small contribution for their work.