Brian Purcell

Brian Purcell

I’ve been publishing poetry in magazines such as Meanjin and Southerly, and anthologies like Australian Love Poems, for nearly forty years. During 1985-95 I was the lead singer/lyricist for the band Distant Locust, which toured Europe and released CDs there in the early 90s. I am also a painter and working towards my first solo exhibition, as well as working on a poetry manuscript for Flying Islands.

Construction Site

breathing

like an infernal machine

that waits for me

limbs now diagonal

                        horizontal, vertical

all movements of ease

                        acrobatical

the goblins are digging up the streets

            down the hill

ribbons of wind and light

knotting in the trees

and the full moon

cracks a half-grin

at nightfall, at 2am

slumped on the side of the road

I wait for you

bound to you

until the cars parading the avenue

outrunning the quarantine

are ghostly still

carapaces

filled with a fragile

network of cracks

meanwhile the earth shakes

machines climb the hill

the virus filling everything

with its rotten breath

I remember the way

moonlight followed

the curls in your hair

I remember

how still we were

when silence was enough

all I do now

is open and close these doors

2am

while I try to sleep

the ground

beneath my feet
is breaking up

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