Brisbane New Voices IV: Women and Cars by Trudie Murrell

With the launch of Brisbane New Voices IV only two days away (Tuesday April 23), the excitement is building like a storm. Once again, if you are anywhere near this fine city of Brisbane, I hope that you are able to join us on the Riverbend Books deck as we welcome this collection into the world. Tickets are selling fast, but there are still some available here.

As part of the ‘build up’, I want to share a ‘first taste’ from both poet’s collections. So let’s start with Trudie and the title poem from her debut micro-collection, Women and Cars. This poem kick starts the collection and its freewheeling energy resonates throughout the remainder of the poems. For me, it is one of those poems that once read/heard, is never forgotten.

BNV IV Women and Cars


Women and Cars

For three generations the women
of my family have held
an abiding love for their cars.

No trading up or trading in
for this lot. They name their cars
Bathsheba, Aphrodite, Boadicea, Regina.

Call on them, count on them
trust and depend, festoon them
with tokens of adoration
because their cars are the opposite
of their men.

It’s not about speed
or even prestige —
I don’t think any of us
has owned a car with more
than four cylinders.

It’s about freedom.

A car can mean a quick get away
or at least a change of scene.
It doesn’t matter what
sort of a day you’ve had —

maybe your man
didn’t come home again
or got drunk or dropped dead
or fucked your friend on your favourite sheets —
Egyptian cotton, fantastic thread count
and now you’ve got to burn them.

It doesn’t matter, you still have Cleopatra
the 1973 2-door Celica
and if you have a car you’re free.

It’s a little room
a place where you can go
play loud music and watch things slide by
until you’re somewhere else.

Maybe there’s a touch of the
gypsy in us – we’ve  just traded the horse
for horsepower.

So the next time you see a clapped out shit box
beetling down the highway
woman behind the wheel singing like she means it
kids strapped in the back while the crayons and
board game pieces roll about the floor
forming alliances and rifts
with every undulation of the road

give the lady a wave.

She’s probably one of my mob and even though
she’s barely pushing 100 km/h, in her head she’s flying.
She’s going somewhere, anywhere
and believe me
she’s free.


Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

8 responses to “Brisbane New Voices IV: Women and Cars by Trudie Murrell

  1. Olala G. you were not exaggerating. Absolute beauty.

  2. Oh…damn…wish I could be there for this one….loved that poem!

  3. some lady

    Reblogged this on eleanor j jackson and commented:

    For those not yet familiar with the narrative humanity of Trudie Murrell and the compact delicacy of Vuong Pham, two lovely emerging Brisbane poets – I vote you head on down to Riverbend Books tomorrow evening.

    I’ll be there, and we can hug it out.

  4. great to read this fantastic poem again. such an uplifting voice.

  5. phillipaellis1968

    I wish I could be there, but I have to content myself with picking up a copy on Saturday. Have a great time tonight, and break a leg (preferably Campbell Newman’s middle one)…. 😉

  6. Pingback: all welcome, none obliged | She Stole My Every Rock and Roll

  7. Pingback: drive me down to the river | She Stole My Every Rock and Roll

  8. Pingback: Circular Poetry Contributor: Trudie Murrell | Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect.

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