MICHAEL BRENNAN has published poetry and essays in various journals, such as Southerly, Salt, Meanjin, Heat and Jacket. In 1999, he won the Siglo Text/Image Collaboration Prize with Kay Orchison. A short collection titled The Imageless World is due to be published by Folio (Salt).


Exhaling triangles

Already debris gathers, your palm
pressed flat against my belly

A flood of half-seen, evening
descends along bodies’
proximity, demands promise

Coming back down to earth
where body incompletes

A pattern of hollow spaces,
opening surfaces, pores
mouthing sweat, dermal kiss

Beginning now leads to death,
elonging completion’s promise

A symmetry of retrieval, breath
enters body, our mouths enclose
reciprocity’s implosion

Disjecta moving nowhere from here,
plurality seeks reduction, a zero

Gasping Fish

Hold as loosely as possible,
so day surrenders

Unfasten the ear and we drift
through each other safely
just say as little as possible

Your breath on my nipples,
the breeze smells of salt and petrol

With the beach before us
we are either a car or a fish
no longer landscape between

Words fill the cavities of air
that are angels we deliver

Through the mouth’s vehicle
you can accuse or love
your scent will say other wise

Allow demons to dream us,
declare colourful things exist


Unwelcome constrictions
love, faith, trust

On the bridge we expand, the
respiration of greater things
demands nothing from us

Eyes green as leaves
inhaling light as elixir

There will always be time
to be drunk on the notion
of our singularity

Bogong moths circle above
the bridge on fire

Our bodies inhale harbour salt,
arrest limits’ upheaval
touching emptiness, placed upon

Each other a fire approaches,
words in suspension

Out of breath

Cooling febricula, the open
verandah withstands little

Weathering constituted
as surplus value, resurrects
the storm in smooth edges

Night rests, time’s prolongation
between cars on the freeway

Becoming conscious enlists
us in a catalogue of dilections,
seed heads broken, the un

Folded understanding of
consequent friendships,

Borrowing form to suit
consequence, driving the
oversized freeway home

resting here, out of
knowing, a complicit field