Ainslee Meredith

Ainslee Meredith is a poet, editor and student from Melbourne. Her poetry has been published in various places, including Going Down Swinging, Southerly, harvest, and Voiceworks. In 2011, she won the John Marden Prize for Young Australian Writers (Poetry). Her first collection will be published by Express Media and Australian Poetry in 2013.



Fallen Woman 

The clearest night is still unlit
when she calls, so closely,
on the telephone nobody watched;

saltwater and snow-water
fire-break the causeway, send
patina torches up

like false churches. The dream
is an antelope
hit to the side of the road

by a car going to swamp
for fuel. A way to ascension, this
hold on my head you have even as 

I walk from South Hero
to your hotel on the game
road, forging breaths 

solid as oncoming eyes.
Anna: a man followed me
because I was alone and lost 

my right to choose between men,
or to not choose at all.
But the tide is low:

I am clear to cross
with my hands in my pockets,
bent over under the full moon.


Mauvais livres

Once there was a girl and she
was a ladder
inside a grandfather clock.
On her spine
a bookplate read À L’INDEX
as in ‘Brother Léon forbids this one.’
She had a date in the grand library,
but walking down Saint-Denis
the sea shone through her
brass escapement, its words
of surety: Messrs      London      c.   

She could stand all night
on a graveyard shift 

outside the Cinéma ’quoise,
unfaithful letters in
dead-cold hands, defining
those spent images – a risen
mass, clockwise, a lost
war, 5 a.m. doorstep, a child
born to a woman and a bear,
cusped sleep. After all, the librarian 

won, hid her in the inner pocket
of his wooden overcoat. Like that,
a pillowcase for quiet hands.