Category Archives: SpeedPoets Feature Poems

Farewell Jacob

Jacob Polley’s time as 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence is sadly coming to a close. I know that I speak for many when I say that he has made an invaluable contribution to our poetry community, during his stay; his deep love of poetry, his warmth and skill as a teacher and his sublime readings have inspired writers all over the state. I am super excited to hear, read and see his legacy poem, written in collaboration with a number of students from QLD Academy of Creative Industries, that will be launched tonight. I have heard on the vine that it looks pretty special… So, to celebrate what has been a superb residency, here’s a video from Jacob’s reading at SpeedPoets on Sunday August 7. Safe travels Jacob… hope to see you back here one day soon.


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SpeedPoets Feature Poem #3 – Amanda Joy

The first SpeedPoets for the year was a raging success, with more than 60 people packing out InSpire Gallery Bar for what was a massive afternoon of poetry and music. Sheish Money opened proceedings with a brilliant set of his unique poetic blues, 30 people hit the mic in the Open Section and Brisbane New Voices, featuring Jonathan Hadwen and Fiona Privitera was officially launched! Definitely a fine way to start the year…

And it won’t be long until our April event rolls around…

Due to Easter Sunday falling on the first Sunday of the month, SpeedPoets will be held on Sunday April 11 (the 2nd Sunday in April). Our feature for the month of April will be Perth based poet, Amanda Joy.

Amanda is a poet, sculptor, installation artist and songwriter born in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She currently lives, works and gardens in Fremantle and travels as often as she can. Her poetry has been published in various journals online and in print such as Cottonmouth, Up The Staircase Literary Review, Killpoet, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Black Rider Press, Another Lost Shark, Heroin Love Songs, The Toronto Quarterly, Black Listed Magazine, Speedpoets and The Best Australian Poems 2009. She has a fascination with portals and conduits and every now and then she pops out a little limited edition illustrated chapbook for those who ask nicely. A tiny, yet sincere chapbook of her poetry, Not Enough To Fold was lovingly published through Verve Bath Press early this year. A more sizeable binding of her wordage, In Hand will be released in the U.S. in April. She blogs her poetry semi regularly at her website and

And as always, there will be two rounds of Open Mic, live sounds from the mighty Sheish Money, the free monthly Zine, raffles and other giveaways, so make sure you are there from 2pm to settle in for an afternoon of words!

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End. Entry is a gold coin donation.

In anticipation of Amanda’s feature spot in April, here is her poem, Chased Seas Urge from SpeedPoets 9.1, which was also selected for publication in The Best Australian Poems 2009 (Black Inc. Press).


Chased Seas Urge
          by Amanda Joy

In the mangroves, we avoid the shade black with swarming sandflies.
I know I should tell you. I should say, I know I would tell you.
But the sun is going down and the tide is coming fast and invisible as fear.
To erase the partings.
The shadows are growing longer and we have to walk further into the water
to avoid the bites that will itch for days.

Your back is covered in black flies hitching a ride for a while.
I follow the wake left by your strong legs. I am strong too, but smaller,
the sea has a hold on more of me so I try to use my cupped hands like paddles.
I have that curiosity, what happens if I let go?
Give way to the pull, go with the flow.
I mean you hear stories. Behind the island is a whirlpool,
the old man told me last night. He told it better than I remember it.

You turn to smile and that knowing is closer than the shadows.
My toes feel the sharp roots in the mud, more tiny cuts to keep clean.
There is a deep waterhole, more an undersea landhole here, somewhere,
we fished it yesterday until the turtles snapping the lines won,
competition, not a battle and I cried to think of the hooks in their stomachs.

Then you said “sshh, there’s enough salt water here”.

The Bardi woman came with a spear and caught one real quick
and we shared her family’s meal.
My mind is there now with the turtles and the fish we didn’t eat.
We need to hurry.
Creature and creature relocate now, at dusk. Some will eat each other.
Soon it will come down to a choice between the bites and currents
that will sweep us out fast to sea. Discomfort will win.

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SpeedPoets Feature Poem #2 – Jessika Tong

SpeedPoets kicks off its ninth year of readings today at InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St. West End) and my gut is telling me it is going to be a big one.

To continue the weekly posting of poems from SpeedPoets Zines past, present & future, this week’s poem is Moscow by Jessika Tong from the May 2008 Zine. 

Remember, if you are interested in submitting poems to the Zine, email me at geenunn(at) with the subject line – SpeedPoets Submission – and paste your poems in the body of your email (no attachments please).

Hope to see many of you at today’s gig.

by Jessika Tong


How will I describe a man to you?
Sifted from clay
Peeled from the old black bark of German oak,
Drowned somewhere over my shoulder
Clawing at the knots of Oedipus.
And men, where are the women?
Where are these homes of children and kitchens?
Presiding in that empty city
That city with its white lies,
Its predictions.


Thinking that my hands were pearls you took
Them to meet your mother
She sniffed the city lights at my wrist,
Alarmingly red,
As if slit and put us to work like rusted mules
Where they would bloom
Softly and out of place against the cold white steel.

I began to bleed bolts and axe heads.
To eat and live machinery.
Its hissing motor
A heart, my heart
With the energy of a writer who no longer appears
Before her pens,
Before a page.

Going home, we shared an apple seed.
A chicken bone. We marched on.
One red foot in front of the other,
The grinding of metal, now, a domestic audience.
My dear, we are producing terror
In that warehouse.
Do not look so astonished that
We no longer breathe love or strong words.
Church yards of vowels
Dead with their lovely bones curved in what once was an
Educated and sweet tongue.


I remember the water freezing in the night.
The war encrusted pipes screaming at our
Coffee cups while we danced off death
Before the stove light.
The air froze right there.
We could touch it.
Pull it between our teeth like a blackened finger.

That month four people in our street
Killed them-selves just to be warm.

The landlords arrived and threw all of their things
Into the gutters.
Only lovely in life
Now they are turned in leaves
With no right to privacy
The kind that we share in this room,
On this bed, across this kitchen table.
I ask you,
Has enough been sacrificed for you to be a whole and I a half?


When I first came to you Sexton was the rage.
We sat up reading Chaucer by a kerosene lamp
Fingers melted to the orange bone of light,
Tingling with alcohol.

I got pregnant, what a disaster you said,
Buttoning your heart, scrounging for an axe.
We can’t afford an abortionist… you will have to kill it yourself.

Biting on a cloth, gas flooded the womb, ate out
The bonneted Eve that slept upon my wish bone.
The old woman that I had seeped into
Crept out of the room with a bowl of chowder that offends
Between her hands.
Emptied it in the bath-tub.
Knotted a yellow ribbon onto the door handle.
The deed is done!
She told me to get up, get up and dust your-self off.
Put on your best dirtiest dress, scrape mud onto your cheeks.
Trick yourself with perfume and bread my lovely thing.
Do you really want to be all alone in this old country?


A little Stalin
You are fat and clean while the
Rest of us are filthy.
We are plucking at the greased bones of God
Starving and sickly as he points us away
From his door
And you return to me
Rich with stories of your other wife.
Of how she soaked you with pig fat before
Taking you into her mouth.
You wear
The robes of a priest convincing us all of
Your sainthood.

Unfortunately for me,
I curtsy
Such a wretched witch I have become
With your company in its malformed armour
Its flickering apple tree that I had sat beneath
With white copies of myself
Hot against your cheek,
Pasting that
Long four letter word to your crutch
In hope that it will seed and give off a
Sweet fruit.

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SpeedPoets Feature Poem #1 – Brooke Linford

This is the first of what will become a weekly post, featuring a selection of the poems from SpeedPoets Zines past, present and future. First up is a poem by Melbourne based poet, Brooke Linford, which will appear in the April 2010 issue of SpeedPoets. If you are keen to submit work to the Zine, please send me up to 3 poems in the body of an email to geenunn(at)

NB: As SpeedPoets is a not for profit organisation and the Zine is distributed free at the monthly event, I do ask that interstate and international contributors who would like to receive a copy of the Zine send me stamps or well concealed cash to cover the cost of postage.

And remember, SpeedPoets returns for 2010, with a new home! That’s right, they have packed up eight brilliant years of gigs in Belushi’s, The Royal George and The Alibi Room and are heading over to West End to call InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St, West End) their new home. To kick things off, the first event will host the official launch of the Brisbane New Voices chapbook, featuring micro-collections by Jonathan Hadwen (Night Swim) and Fiona Privitera (Peep Show). And as always there will be live sounds from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, raffles/giveaways and the SpeedPoets Open Mic section. So come along and help us celebrate the start of our 9th year and and our 4th home… we want you there to set your words on fire! Doors open at 2pm – along with sign up for the Open Mic section.

SpeedPoets, Sunday March 7, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End. Entry is a gold coin donation



The Bakery
          by Brooke Linford

In the corner the girl
hums for her soup
like she wants nothing else at all

I’m going home
to a family dinner
in a bad bra
dodging fire-season trees
painted orange

I’m going home
pocketing my entitlements
wiping off their DNA

I’m a dark head in a bakery window
whoring for pastries

this force of ego
showing more teeth than I usually would.


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