Canadian-born Ian McBryde has been a long-term resident of Australia.
He is well published both nationally and overseas, and his poetry has
been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Greek, and French. He has five
mainstream collections published, as well as three chapbooks. His fourth
book, Domain, was shortlisted for The Age Poetry Book of the Year in
2005, and his fifth mainstream book of poetry, Slivers, a collection of
one-line poems, has just been published by Melbourne's Flat Chat Press.
His third CD of spoken-word, At Land's End, is about to be released by
The Still Company, which is an ongoing collusion with Melbourne musician
Greg Riddell. McBryde's next collection, The Adoption Order, will be
published by Five Islands Press in November of this year. Ian McBryde is
currently working on two new manuscripts and recording new material.


Mother an empty tenement.

Father the sound rain makes
on metal roofs.

Sister a splintered boat
washed onto rocks.

Brother dust in cathedrals.

Wife the light glancing
off ice fields.

My children these still
and silent rooms I wake to.

for Terry Jaensch

There is no grip
stricter than history.

The bare bed, the light
turned out too soon.

Where the stairs end.
A tired nightnurse doing

half-hearted rounds
past mostly empty cots.

Unfillable stillnesses.
The absence of hands

on us. The vacant breast,
no name in the only book.

Fever Dreams
for Tom Waits

The darkness within darkness
comes and so the child in

all of us rises, after midnight,
slipperless, with no lights on.

Still asleep, he or she walks
barefoot over cold floors

headed towards warm rooms
that are never there. All

nightmares last well into the day
that follows. Attempting to

forget merely guarantees that
we will not forget. The blinds

are closed, the doors stay shut.
Shadows gather. Darkness

within darkness comes, and
so the child in all of us rises.

Unborn, I drove

Unborn, I drove beneath Marilyn Monroe.
The sky had whitened. She was leaning over
the railing, high above a New York street,
elbows on the balcony, inevitable cigarette
in her fingers. She didn't wave. The anonymous
Ford my mother owned continued up Canal street
in black and white, turned left, was gone.

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