Owen Bullock is a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. His publications include urban haiku (Recent Work Press, AU, 2015), A Cornish Story (Palores, UK, 2010) and sometimes the sky isn’t big enough (Steele Roberts, NZ, 2010). He has edited a number of journals and anthologies, including Poetry NZ. He won the Canberra Critics’ Circle Award for Poetry 2015.
Five untitled prose poems
Thoughts bother the night, they’re out of control. He tells himself the thing he’s thinking about, lecture, meeting, poem, have already happened. He stops thinking and sleeps. Next day, on his way to an event he tells himself it’s already happened. It messes with his head, the body feels a kind of loss, a lack of excitement, but it’s useful.
Num num, birdy num-nums, nom du nom. Creosote, croeso, welcome, willkommen, Belconnen (Belco-nin). Nom du nom. Nom nom. Numb numb. Umyum. The Republic of Umyum – his fantasy. The pixie forest, pixie-dundle on duty, watching the road for strangers, who seldom come. Dreams of Jodhpur and Miscreant in search of the Sacred Barrel. He shall never realise. Num.
He made an inventory of men assassinated by King Edward; gathered stone, beams and thatching to restore the cottage; attended rebels who stormed garrisons, wound and unwound bandages; mended shields, retrieved frightened horses; procured weapons and necessaries, Wallace.
You visited, as no one else in the family had; played with the children, knitted toys and folded hankies into mice; let them into the caravan with the password ‘cup of tea’; welcomed my wife; accepted my deviating path; gave me money for gigs and football matches; introduced me to friends, at their level, boasted of my achievements; took me to relatives; knitted jerseys; washed me when I wet myself, yes, screamed, and gave birth to me.
The pipe eased his mind. Thoughts of his beloved cat, endless rows with his wife, the garden, human manure. Not having anyone to share his vision with . . . he never had one before . . . when it arrived like a rainy morning and wouldn’t leave it was too late.