Graham Nunn is a Brisbane based writer, current Director of the Queensland
Poetry Festival and founding member of local performance group speedpoets
( He has been invited to read at the QLD Poetry Festival
(2001 - 2004), Straight Out Of Brisbane Festival (2002 and 2003), Triple Z's - Joint
Effort (2003), Brisbane Writer's Festival (2003/4), Visible Ink (2004) and other
poetry readings including feature spots at New and Selected (2001-2002), The
Expressure Lounge (2003) and Orphic (2003). He has also read on radio stations
1197AM, Planet Radio and 4ZZZ. His first collection of haiku - A Zen Firecracker,
published by Impressed Publishing ( was
released in 2003. Share the Tragedy (a collection of poems) was launched at
the Brisbane Writer's Festival in October 2004.

Ruined Man

remember the day
we discovered that cave on the beach
all alone
the grapes? the wine?
me in your father's wedding suit

you made me so mad
I bit blood in my lip
as you pointed out the stain
bleeding on my chest

every last word was
'how could you' this
and 'how could you' that
your heart blazing with sorrow
for the old suit

and back at home
when I shucked it off
and dressed in rags
you watched me roll it up
in a silent bundle
ordered me to take it straight to the cleaners

past the flower sellers
and the window full of goldfish
to where the veiled girl behind the counter
would carefully unroll it
and hang it up like a scarecrow
to join the queue
with all the other ruined men

Last Night

with the morning
a loneliness snaps into focus
the dull ache of hunger
frayed hair and
danced in clothes
she is sharing
the first bus home
with graveyard workers
and kids deciphering
the uneasy scrawl
of an all night binge
they talk of shameful things
and watch the landscape
stutter in their windows
the boys are acned and thin
the girls depressed and overweight
she is forty and things
have gone from bad to worse
brief tears soothe
her gritty eyes
as she rehearses an excuse
for her mother
it's raining, she's dirty, she's alone:
the song in her bones
is bucking uncomfortably
the words on her tongue
taste like last night's poison

The Party's Over

the last song has played
the crow is calling
and we've run out of ice
the girls have all left
ants are drowning
in plastic cups
the ex-wife is pinned
to the dartboard
the dog has jumped the fence
/the fence holds in emptiness/
morality is covered in dust
and I sit
staring at the walls
empty of sound
for the moment

Clearly Alone

Brunswick St. howling at 1am
blurring in the humidity
of neon and booze
as late night take-away joints
fill and empty
with the madness
of the night club crowd
the young girls
shaking off last night
and dancing straight through
to morning
the boys making plans
in a haze of cigarettes
and small talk
I watch it all
with the clarity of being alone
each element magnified
fingering the back of my skull
as I devour
their anonymous soundtrack
and retreat into the dark heart
of my town
tomorrow's news
already on the street corners

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