3 poems from Stephen House

“Romano” published by Flashes of Brilliance USA / excerpt from my (author’s) stage-play monologue, Almost Face to Face published by Australian Plays Transform

“salvation” published by Global Poemic / experimental-experimental-literature USA

“anything” published by Literary Garland India


Romano is below the room
at the doorway 
propped up under the pink light 
bare chest 
and top button of his low-slung jeans undone

a young businessman is cruising him 
from his slick sports car

Romano is whoring
out of habit
out of need
out of anger at me 

i’ve seen him in this stance so many times
this morning it makes me sick 
his semi nakedness on the dirty curb 
dragging me back to my own young life 

we stare at each other  
in stark knowing amphetamine silence 
i turn away from him and go upstairs
Romano leaves his trick and follows me 

murmuring in his stupid language 
musty street smell mixed with expensive cologne 
breath on my neck
exciting and disgusting at the same time
words rasping out a familiar desperate song 
we both sing so well 

i don’t stop and turn back
i can’t 

i look away from his deep dark eyes
take my bag and grubby money 
and go back down the narrow wooden staircase

Romano calls to me 
something about love 

i keep moving
away from him
and that part of me
with him

towards i don’t know where 
or who


hopeful genius dirty collar 
situation wonder claiming 
biting pencil scratching guess 
crossword puzzle giving answers
chewing gum tied back hair 
fiddle greasy grey pot smoking
is anyone granting wish on hope 
be it lost or found in this

pink-lipped mummies designer gym suits 
platform sneakers outing granted  
selfie shots gossip babble 
murmur giggle text on phone 
takeaway coffee gripping sipping 
keeping fast step separate pacing 
walk hard team power beauty temple 
pouting flee delivers health   

deal constructed business suits 
let’s go hey mate cool in awesome
check out new porn up online 
no lunch spot sit down here allowed
in shut down mode pull compensation 
feel strange new life in whine
did you see gay dude look at you 
paranoia sings fear gamble

and them dot tightly small group thrice 
on well-mowed lawn hedge square 
as kids run shouting cake shop gifting 
waiting birds squawk hopeful scrap 
day party happen easy rules 
social distance not held why
new work style no job or school 
manipulation welfare scandal 

and me alone same time day night 
no change i still cruise wander
a swim they say no too cold bloke 
gape smile back on chat concern
in plunge to sea remind my real 
salvation claim i scribe own journey
pack my bag when restricting travel lifts 
gain back my queer life amble


nobody told me
wilting flowers in a grubby vase
makes me sigh and wonder why i am alive
(and sometimes get distressed depending on the flowers)

an old man scratching an old dog’s back
reminds me of walking along a bleak empty road 
(especially if the dog arches and the man whistles) 

dead fish floating in a remote country creek
is enough of a reason to howl to the sky
(and go back to the creek again to see if the fish are gone)

the neighbour’s threadbare mauve dressing gown 
sends me inside my house with tears in my eyes
(and throw away two t shirts and a pair of maroon socks)

the laughing couple next to me on the crowded bus
results in me becoming nauseous and sad at the same time
(because the laughs are not real and i know that)

a table of women talking over each other
brings on suicidal thoughts i haven’t had in ages
(but encourages me to escape the babble by leaving the café) 

not looking at my phone for three days
means the same as climbing a cold silent mountain
(realizing determination offers a blend of reward and anxiety)  

the crying man reading text messages
forces me to try to catch his eye to offer a smile
(of heartfelt empathy for i know exactly how he is feeling) 

nobody told me anything
(i should know)

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright and actor. He has had 20 plays produced; many commissioned. He’s received international literature residencies from The Australia Council and Asialink. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. His next book is out soon. His poetry is published often and he performs his acclaimed monologues widely 

Wolfpack Contributor: Stephen House  

5 Poem Poetry Showcase from Stephen House

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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