3 poems previously published from Stephen House


“i say no” published by The Freedom Review India / commended for Tom Collins Poetry Prize / Winner Goolwa Poetry Cup Australia

“where and when” published by Australian Poetry Journal “bar games (and survival)” published by The Freedom Review India / Winner Goolwa Poetry Cup Australia / adapted excerpt from poet’s stage play “Almost Face To Face” published by Australian Plays

i say no

my shabby room is mine for fifty bucks a week
not far from the beach 
away from the main road
the neighbours all seem cool
indonesian lady-boy 
on the game next door
asks me if i’m working from my room
i say no 
the guys that come and go 
are for recreational fun 
though anything can happen when i’m broke

old aussie surfer 
once well known
on the other side of my room 
asks me if i surf
i say no 
i used to
i now do yoga and run and swim
but i might pick up a board again 
the waves down there look awesome

dutch painter upstairs 
functioning ok for an alcoholic 
asks me if i paint
i say no
i’m a writer and a wanderer  
though i used to dabble in oils
he asks me if i drink
i say no 
i use to heavily 
but only when i was painting

handsome filipino guy 
two doors down 
asks me if i’m looking for a relationship
i say no
i have one of those somewhere else
i’m into hook ups with nameless strangers
and fun-buddies are ok too 

french ice addict 
covered in tatts
across the path from me
asks me if i’m wired when my lights are on all night
i say no 
i’m straight and sober usually 
writing poems until dawn
my drug of choice is strong black coffee
i quit smoking weed in asia

i like my shabby room and life
with the international crowd all around
who are friendly and fascinating 
and share some common interests and points of view 
the big green sea only five minutes away
when i need to be alone and free

and the handsome filipino isn’t only into relationships
i discovered late last night 
when he dropped by my shabby room
while the others nearby in their shabby rooms
did whatever they do

where and when 

i’m standing alone in a café 
no one is serving

out the back dishes clatter 
someone coughs

i wait
check face book
ring a small brass bell
with a tinny tinkle

a guy appears 
stands on the other side of the counter
facing me

brown eyes 
strong hands 
jagged forehead scar

i know him from sex 

once i think 
maybe twice 

i’m not sure where and when

i order a long black
he looks at me
man on man gaze 

i smile
we drift into whatever it was 

our hands touch as i pass him two coins

he winks
we fall into whatever it is 

i remember where and when

bar games (and survival)

he has a circle around him at one end of the bar
i have one around me (where i stand) at the other end
we're not a bad team (him and i)
our circles have formed for different reasons
his because they all want him
(or have had him before) 
and mine because several of them recognized me
from my poetry performance (outside the train station)
earlier tonight
my words were appreciated by most of them
and here and now i’ve become a (minor) front bar celebrity
and one shouldn’t ever look a gift-horse in the mouth
and the gift-horse (happening) is free double vodkas (coming on strong)
i start another story about performing in a theatre
in brisbane (true) which drifts into a yarn about a kangaroo
getting into the theatre that no-one could catch (not true)
and they all lean in (fascinated)
and me after ten (or more) drinks can tell a dam good yarn
i’m getting restless here so i leave my audience
wander down to him (and his lot)
and ask him if he wants to stay with them
or come upstairs and dance with me
he wants to dance
but has found some (well-heeled) trade
so he nips into the disabled toilet
with an excited old trick (on a walking frame)
i get bought a couple of (top shelf) shots
tell another (untrue) tale
and line up a dude (for tomorrow) 
and when he's back
we head upstairs  

and in an all-night club
full of (all night) people
we forget about bar games (and survival)
and dance
(until the sun comes up) 

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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