4 bits that may or may not end up going somewhere


Goths are having a séance 

in the Cubby House at Bunnings.  

There are Skinheads in the Potting Mix.

Hipsters cook cow penises

at the sausage sizzle. Lowest

prices are just the beginning.     




Epistemological, Ontological …

I look these words up

every six months.

But I still don’t know

what they mean, not really.

Couldn’t define them if asked.

I think it’s something like

How do I know

that what I know

is what I know?

I dunno. Maybe if Noel Coward

turned it into a song  

I’d start to understand.




Her poems are never ending

compendiums of comparison,

like pin cushions for similes.


Yes, it’s a nice poetic device.

But you don’t have to detonate it,

like a cluster bomb, at every line




There’s a hobo living in the Big Potato.

They can’t evict him,

though it’s made of asbestos.

But he doesn’t care about OH & S.

Someone’s sprayed a dick and balls

on the big prawn

the big banana just got smaller

the big koala is angry

at the crowds drawn by

the big lump of coal

and the big jet ski

and the Big Clive Palmer, with

the café in its head, is looking shabby,

its eyes chewed out by cockies.





Check the neatness

of the homeless

under Glebe rail bridge –

to each their own arch

open plan, plein air

here a brushed tent

a swag-bed rolled

camp bed made

cardboard pantry

wardrobe trolley.


before their time.

A ragman’s bike

a spirit cooker …

what’s to declutter?

what forsake?


Arty bastards.




     the gravel

looks Zen raked.


You’re tidy shamed

by a pair of shoes

in the spick & span sun

a’bask in the arch

so sweetly arrayed.

The dirty mercy

of house proud poverty

don’t need no maid.




Suitcase Found


Little box of bones
raped and smothered
(if that was the order)
packed in a suitcase
like a ventriloquist doll
left by a desert highway
a thousand miles from home
a little mummy ripened
in sweltered undiscovery
years longer
than your life had been.
No one missed you.
Raised and used like veal.
Your mother no help.
She dead already in a forest
by the same lover
who stuffed your mouth
with a tea towel
like a washed-up glass.
‘He sat emotionless in the dock …’
Sorry little box
we’re not all like that.
You just have to catch us
on a good day.
For Khandalyce and Karlie Pearce-Stevenson.

Tug Dumbly

Tug Dumbly / Geoff Forrester Bio

Tug Dumbly is the name, and sometimes Albatross, of Geoff Forrester, a poet and performer who has worked widely in live venues, schools, and radio. As a performer, he set up and ran some seminal spoken word nights in Sydney, including the legendary and drunken Bardflys. He has performed his poems and songs as a regular weekly guest on Triple J and ABC radio (on the programs of James Valentine and Richard Glover), as well as writing and recording for radio his ABC-syndicated culture and current affairs satire The Tug Report. He has released two spoken word CDs through the ABC – Junk Culture Lullabies and Idiom Savant – once won the Spirit of Woodford storytelling award, twice won the Banjo Paterson Prize for Comic Verse, and three times won the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup.

Printwise, his work has appeared in publications including the Australian, the Canberra Times, Southerly, the Australian Poetry Journal and The Blue Nib. In 2020 he had two poems shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize, for which he was also shortlisted in 2019. In 2020 he won the Borranga Poetry Prize, and was runner up in the WB Yeats Poetry Prize. In 2019 he was longlisted (for the second time) for the Vice Chancellor’s Poetry Prize. His first poetry collection, Son Songs, came out through Flying Islands Books in 2018.