by Stuart Barnes


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780702254130
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Stuart Barnes was born in Hobart. Glasshouses, as The Staysails, won the 2015 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Bend River Mountain, a co-authored anthology of poetry, is forthcoming from Regime Books.

Read an Excerpt


By Stuart Barnes

University of Queensland Press

Copyright © 2016 Stuart Barnes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7022-5773-5


    Fingal Valley

    Nan's budgerigar,
    cat fed squeezing like morning
    fog between oxidised barbed
    wire and gorse
    with an older cousin
    and a slug gun

    booting sheep skulls
    stripped by gusts, our fathers'
    1950s snares swooped by plovers,
    daring: 'yellow spurs! forearms
    up!' shooting star-
    lings for laughs

    another exhausted afternoon:
    a hotted-up Torana: another burnout
    to Warrant, to Poison
    footy, swimming, cricket
    on Pop's prized green, putting
    with the wrong kind of club

    transfixed by sixpence-
    riddled heads hooked over the wash-
    board another hand of Patience
    and Snap! the glass swan
    brimming with owl-red water
    numb on mother-of-pearl veneer

    lake one more theft —
    a short-finned eel, writhing
    and crackling — from the Esk
    squeal of cast-iron frying
    pans slaps on the back each mouth-
    ful of muddy flesh foreign to a south-

    erner on each empty double bed
    a leering toilet roll
    doll full moon, mid-
    night's deer-sprint to the outdoor
    loo the top bunk's hexagonal wiring sprung,
    mattress oozing through cells like honey

    The Moon and the Mason Jars
    for Ruth Whebell

    Purified in stainless stockpots
    with black Italian cursives and gilt,
    stuffed with smashed green cabbage, sea salt,

    whey; three-quarter revolutions compel
    the Latin blanks. From elliptic orbit a well-
    versed silver tongue assuages the dish rack's
    topsy-turvy characters.

    Ebon Cans

    In the twinkling of an eye,
    in a moment, all is changed
nbsp;   &Gwen Harwood, 'Bone Scan'

    In the twinkling of her eye, all is changed:
    the small blond child afraid of almost every
    thing — father, mother, himself especially —
    but books, and paper and pen, awakens

    in the vestry where, in four years, the lick
    of the oily priest's hand against his thigh
    will roil minds. In the twinkling of an eye
    he'll coil at high school. 'Here's another — quick!

    — stuff it in your pocket — it's so important.'
    Blackout, blackout — here it comes — his father's
    negativity. 'There's zero future

    for you as mathematician, doctor.'
    Such depths they charge; such queer laughter.
    He glances over his shoulder. She mouths Write


    Tzameti, lines to a rondeau, chapters in The Art
    of War. Cards per suit, steps to the gallows, loaves in a
    baker's dozen. Diners at the Last Supper, gods at
    Valhalla's banquet, dismemberments of Osiris.
    Studio LPs by The Cure, lunar months every
    calendar year, primary members of The Thirteen
    Club. Olives, olive leaves, arrows and stars on the Great
    Seal of the United States. Players in a rugby
    league team; teenagers starring in 13, the Broadway
    musical; letters in Bixby, Oklahoma, the
    city where Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters trilogy,
    gripped by this troublous number, is set. Syllables till
    the broken motif of this poem. Lucky for some.

n3 Poccnn
for Therese Stuart

Alitalia: hazy, like Nan & Pop's ... Rome: the taxis!
the cats! ... Moscow's gilt mocks, McDonald's', too:
one goddamn Big Mac "meal" = one month's wage!
... Fifty dead presidents for genuine black-market
sailor shirt: itch -y, made from wool ... Gypsies
nearly whoosh our bus in Pushkin ... Saint
Petersburg Karelia train star-red, ash-blond
scouts snooze like speechless speech marks ... Lake
Ladoga: icebox; MOSQUITOES; white nights be-
wilder Siberian cedars ... Kath & I boomerang to de-
mountables: 'Il y a un beau garçon là-bas': Ilya's
cheeks borscht-pink ... T's headphones: The Cure's
'Fire in Cairo' ... I [??] zh ... [begin strikethrough]Homesick
for Hobart[end strikethrough] ...


    Every day four purple pills,
    four laughing Smarties (cochineals
    steamed, boiled, burned alive)
    for disguise

    a capsule, half ivory,
    half peppermint (an elephant's
    head severed, a plant's leaves,
    flowers crushed) for grunt

    another pill, pure
    white, quarter-scored,
    like the Eucharist,
    like a sport

    These are the cures that isolate
    These are the cures that chill
    These are the cures that splice the will
    These are the cures that kill

    Black Cockatoos
    after David Brooks

    tailed Bedouins
    of Poetry, black
    cockatoos embroider
    the sun into us,
    seam-rip it asunder.

    * * *

    On the Fitzroy's
    bank at midday,
    cracking seeds of eucalypts
    that outrank Council, a hundred
    Banksian black cockatoos,
    a paroxysm of commas.

    * * *

    With their subtler
    ions, the females infinitely
    more beautiful
    than the ludic-
    rously coloured gatherers.

    * * *

    The gospel according to the locals:
    'Four black cockatoos
    kreeing seawards
    means four days of rain'
    ( confirms it).
    I am not a God-fearing man.

    * * *
    Should black cockatoos
    that theirs are the colours of life?
    Indefatigable black
    and needlepointed into this
    starry orange and yellow.

    * * *

    black cockatoos
    long-lived as man
    neglectful beneath the same
    white sun, its ROYGBIV illusion
    destroyed by the tiniest prism.

    Horus and Set
    for Zachary Humphrey

    From his ebony eyrie
    the moon is salubrious,
    round as the white lotus' root.
    The desert's his adversary.

    The moon is salubrious
    with his godly left eye.
    The desert's his adversary,
    spiteful, like a hippopotamus.

    With his godly left eye
    the moon is neither ossuary,
    nor spiteful, like a hippopotamus,
    a shape-shifting crocodile.

    The moon is not an ossuary.
    The desert is a troglodyte,
    a shape-shifting crocodile.
    The moon's a fresh apothecary,

    the desert is a troglodyte.
    From his ebony eyrie
    the moon's a fresh apothecary,
    round as the white lotus' root.

    another journey by train

    at the [??]'s [love] awaits my Buddha each
    OSIRIS-moulded foot depresses bitumen: Art

    Department's 'ICU' wanting to watch me
    watching you' a minimal din from SENNHEISER skylines

    often smogged

    Xi-He's only star,
    overblown cerulean

    on an almost-identical hue festooned
    commandments: When tone sounds, press the ill-

    'IIIII C U, following
    your every move

    uminated button to open doors. When a second warning
    Please keep doorways clear Do not lean against, hold or

    force open Donotjumponoroffamoving seat
    s must be vacated for use by passengers with

    special needs.
    Penalties apply

    [down arrow] Yarra platform: a black bicycle, a black roller
    - blade, a black skateboard, a black bottle

    swing strangely from DICKENSIAN bricks (hot red circles, hot red
    slashes overlap i.e. [empty set] [up arrow] bound: strictly prohibited. Heavy

    aboard No feet on seats No [begin strikethrough][end strikethrough]
    language or behavior
    No smoking No alcohol consumption No graffiti

      During your journey

    your behaviour may
    be monitored on CCTV

    'I feel U watching me now
        III C U ... wanting me now'


    The waiting
    lane: a ten-pin's
    set, then rocks and
    strikes the waxen pine,
    at a metal frame:
    a tiger-lily-orange
    raised lesions:
    three candlepins,
    cheeks milked of fat,
    roll psychic eyes
    to lifeless walls
    forget forget forget
    black bowling balls
    and silver scythes
    the doctor's
    stiff like Wet on
    marble gods:
    and I, this scene
    too close to the bone,
    a classical bystander also.

    ENDONE® Oxycodone
    hydrochloride 5 mg

    Blister-white tablet engraved with 'ENDONE'
    on one side, break bar the other.
    It does not take the place of your doctor
    or pharmacist: opium or morphine:
    Accident or Emergency.

    Store it below ground, above ground, in
    an unlocked cupboard. Store it in the bathroom,
    store it near the sink. Leave it on every
    window sill, leave it in the car. Swallow
    it before meals with a glass of nausea.

    Do not show your pupils, abnormal,
    do not show your restlessness, do not show your
    -flesh, do not show your fast heart rate, do not show your
    -born child to a doctor or pharmacist.


    even sunstruck the ribs rise
    from Bennelong Point like Arthur C
    Clarke's black slab

    I storm the frets, stopping
    only to whirl when your aperture's
    cocked at my spine

    this hair's a sand tornado
    'ridiculous,' you needle,
    'a blond gothic' no

    licks of laughter (Father,
    Son, Ghost shedding Prozac), my
    Scorpio sting: 'fuck off, Madame Acronym'

    * * *

    the ticket snakes
    on knotted
    wood shoved between twin beds

    we had no need
    for such arpeggiated space

    dulled, you insult
    my headphones: 'Other
    Voices', 'A Reflection', 'Grinding Halt'

    a seagull pummels crossbows
    on the pane

    * * *

    three four five
    raven finished
    casts embark Dry Ice

    I'm more cleft
    than that acoustic-electric
    presented by my daddy

    in stunting aisles minors gravedigger-
    dance and mew

    a crèche of stars
    weeps plasma at the mutilated
    placard of the Harbour

    Deep Sea Love

    Here's some activity you may have missed:
    pompadour-lure hung three days after I
         'It misses me.'
    The fourth: A lot has happened on
    Facebook since you last logged in. And later:
    Do you know [famous so-and-so]? You have more
    friends on Facebook than you think.
    the fifth: You have new friends on Facebook.
    'You can never have enough friends!' OM,
    MH and two others have their birthday
    today on the sixth.
         Her photophore
    shimmers shimmers shimmers. I bite, dissolving skins.
    Parasite, I atrophy to gonads: deep sea
    love for my common black devil, my humpback.


Excerpted from Glasshouses by Stuart Barnes. Copyright © 2016 Stuart Barnes. Excerpted by permission of University of Queensland Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Fingal Valley,
The Moon and the Mason Jars,
Ebon Cans,
n3 Poccnn,
Black Cockatoos,
Horus and Set,
another journey by train,
ENDONE Oxycodone hydrochloride 5 mg,
Deep Sea Love,
Port Curtis Road's End,
The Rabbit Catcher,
10.15 Saturday Night,
The smile's,
colour wheel,
i won't let the sun go down on me,
Five Centos,
Walking Wounded,
Cyclone Songs,
You do what you can, or Eleven Steps,
Doubleness, with anagrams,
Blessed be,
Bursaria spinosa,
First Mail,
Cyclone Songs,
The ice storm's,
In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country,
Stern Man,
Mr Gingerlocks,
The Mixtape,
In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country,
Snowdrop in the Tropics,
Double Acrostic,

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