Its so hot its almost as if we have another life. Our life in normal temperatures – and our life in Melbourne this week. Surprisingly, given my recent experience of tram travel, my tram from the city was air-conditioned! Yay!

At work, some parts of the building were fully air-conditioned and others were so hot I was falling asleep. It seemed the most sensible response, my body was sending me a message. Stop work and have a siesta. By a pool. In Thailand. Icy poles were distributed as some kind of concession to the temperatures inside and everyone seemed quite good-natured about the whole thing, although complaints may start flooding in tomorrow.

Another poem based on a movie. This time its Crazy/Beautiful, the Kirsten Dunst teen drama. I don’t know how I started writing poems based on characters from movies. Maybe it seemed better and easier than writing about my own life. I only write about me intermittently when overcome (with emotion). Perhaps all my poems are tangentially about me anyway. Isn’t that what they say – all artworks are essentially self-portraits?

I am talking to my daughter



Blinking in the bright LA sun

Flooding her bedroom

Her father taking photographs just

Outside the picture window

She’s taking action,

Untainted by boundaries.

Grabbing a condom from the Latino housekeeper,

Urgently undressing

She’s not overwhelmed, but

You remark on the situation,

Slowing things down to a meditative heartbeat

Preserving something fragile between you

Alongside the laisse-faire


By November,

You appear in all the polaroids

Like a household god

Who’s all too human, yet reliable

On the beach,

She’s stabbing trash for community service

Heading for rehab.

You’re the upright one,

Aiming for Annapolis.

Even when she’s all over the place

You are there –



Perched on a cliff

Overlooking the ocean

This house is all laminates and dust-free venetians.

What goes on in here has nothing to do with money.

Her father’s new wife

Insists on Nicole’s absence –

She’s a teenage paragon

Passing out in a Beverly Hills hot tub,

Sharing a joint outside class,

Hanging with the sluts

Send her to the turnaround ranch

Where epiphany is doled out with the morning cereal,

And the horses are all therapeutic.

She might be one threshing ride away from


The sight of her mother’s body

Limp with diazepam.

Emptied into this trashy nightmare

With yesterday’s cartons,

And a billfold of spreadsheets,

He is temporarily diverted

From the politician’s haze

And the unfolding stalls:

I am talking to my daughter

He says

Holding her –

They are one step away

From redeeming the family


Into something pliable.

Moving into the

Darkroom and the academics,

She is sealing snapshots into her album

And re-painting all the photos with





One thought on “Heat

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