Two poems by Rafael SW

by Hannah Gartside


How not to be a man

Wear your jumpers as pants, even privately.
Worse still, wear your girlfriend’s clothes,
any of your girlfriend’s clothes, no excuses.

Struggle in the mornings, lie there defeated
like an insect, looking at your wilting cock
roach-decorated walls. No excuses. Unless you’re hungover.

Don’t get into fights. Go to work on time
and like it. If you still have a girlfriend and she talks
about feelings, engage with her. Moisturise.

Write poetry. Read poetry. Take poetry to the beach
and think about nothing but silence or poetry.
Keats will come to you and say, ‘You’re a faggot Harry’.

Walk softly. Love gently. Be a vegetarian.


eighteen her heart

She stood on her roof and realised that from now on there would be nothing that she would rather do than stand on roofs. All the bricks from the suburbs caught in her throat at once, and for the first time her flesh felt like it fit. She could feel people’s lives spread out in all directions and felt a kind of middle-class l’appel du vide. Her parents wouldn’t be home for a few hours, and the red tiles were warm under her feet. She smoked clouds and waited til she’d burnt out the sunset. Every time someone told her to act her age she threw another tile down onto their lawn. Soon her roof was pockmarked and her house was open to the sky. She was okay with this.

The beautiful collage that accompanies Rafael’s poems is titled “How To Love #3,” by Hannah Gartside. Hannah is currently exhibiting three works, ”We can take it as slow as old trees growing in the forest”, ” I loved you like a whale”, and ” I’ve had someone else in my head this past week when we’ve kissed,” as part of a group show at Fish Lane Studios, above The Fox Hotel on Melbourne St, Brisbane. Contact her at hartisan[AT]gmail[DOT]com.

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