Type
Poetry Prize

rock candy

I
 once a bird flew in a blue moon . shell
    shocked she cuts across a lawn towards me and
 my Pulsar parked by the curb . balloons  tied  to  the  letter  box  to  mark
a party (not yours) . Pluto, I must explain, has left its atom collider
 hallway and moved in next door . It will be fun . like living in a ball
pit  with just one ball . through the horoscope window I watched it roll .
 baby it’s time we got a move on . Subway for feed  cover her with my chequered
 shirt and she crunches  ice berg lettuce while  set  designers were wolf  behind full
     stops . . . under the exit sign . it’s late  lets go .  the port –
spinning tides, through lavender shoots I chart her freckles mascara’d
     constellations . when the forest turned away
its Tunguska slapped cheek a butterfly was clipped the dark parts
 of its wings . See that ? over there ? it’s a bower bird that hovers in you  .
     why hide behind fridge magnets, why paint your nails comet tail
blue ? the speedometer hangs a half clock never hung on a wall  crammed with seconds
     when I floor it . zodiacs  zigzag . straight as the crow flies,
phantoming the effects of speed . night clubbing . dove tailed   drunk .
     rock   and   roll .

II 
     hand in hand
                      across the courtyard .
  having a girlfriend is like having  a basketful
of  lemons,  glances,  and lavender
  curls . the green notes slip through my fingers like fish,
 around us    the sound of the market crash .
  she licks her gums as her toffee apple melts
    smiles revealing pebbles and core .
  in wall street sit ins against capitalism,   all the doors
jammed  and her umbrella folded  as  the dollar falls .
   sun flowers grow beach front to breath taking views
and a lettuce crumbles under a farmers blue print .
    she lies in my lap while I  pick the locks in her hair .
i gets two skips she                  gets three
    and we toffee skate home,
appleless .

III
   a blonde bomb shell
  found mostly in the rain .
 plummeting the clock held still
in a cloud,  fuse damp by her dresser . hair
  clips,  Cosmo magazines,  Xanax –
outside hail .   I throw clock bombs,
keeping time,  over her garden wall . meteors shower
 with sheep . galaxies try lip stick
on for size in her mirror faintly . Uruzgan automatic fire
    no ones asleep . we hold minute hands
under her electric blanket . I try to hide
    my hard on,  we shouldn’t be  so hard
on ourselves . Jupiter sizzles in a storm drain always
  watchful we watch rain through conch shells –
I  wonder what makes  you tick .

IV
      she parked by a lake .
 locked the wheel with a chrome
arm and the window with her own . popped
  through bubble wrap . sky blacking out
in the windscreen . tiny comets trailed
  from her finger tips to the eclipse of her lips .
in  Tupperware dreams mermaids  said  burned  clouds
  must  move away from the bay this Saturday .
it was just a pipe dream  (hold your breath Apollo)  . a body
  wrapped in table cloth,  road maps,  a summer dress
  turns slowly on its axis . alligator clips spark in the rear
views’ tilt where a child catches rolexed fish,
    dressing gowns,  diamonds from a super nova
 in a butterfly net . planets and stars dance 
like confetti . Saturn hoola’s its ice hoops while being
a ball . her last thought being that she never
  had one . do they play monopoly in heaven ?

V
  this week Pluto hangs out with star fish . I hold my palms
against the crystal curve . her future clear working border
  security at Sydney Air Port,  leafing through x rays of luggage,
confiscating fireworks while I press calderas’ softly down in
  snow globes . once  in  bed  we  thrashed about and knocked
over  a lava lamp . this month we drive we drive we drive . Pluto
  will get cosy under a smoke alarm . we will play Uno and your eyes
will turn to me as doubles of a Trouble games dice pop orb  looking
  back at me like it’s my turn to roll . to roll what ?  snow balls and we fight with
them  in  the attic .
    I never want to be standing out in a rattled snow 
  looking in at you,  you looking out at me through :
     balloon smoke         volcanic avalanche
powdered up days   iced strings         Perisher Blue .

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Joel Ephraims lives on the south-east coast of NSW. He recently had a suite of poems published in The Red Room Company’s The Disappearing.

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