2 poems by Brent Cantwell

Brent Cantwell is a New Zealand-born, Queensland-based writer and high-school teacher. His work has been published in Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Sweet Mammalian, Verge, Brief, Mimicry, Foam: e and Landfall.

THE RUINS OF NEWS

the fact of the matter? Facts don’t matter anymore. 

Facts are dull. Facts crumble beneath our feet un-wet.

We insert steel rods into concrete to reinforce 

the slab but the less we feel the more we forget.

What’s the use of a reasoned rebuttal of bricks 

when passionate appeals reduce walls to debris?

geometry to dust? knowing it’s a cheap trick.

Raising the roof does not defy gravity.

There was a roof here once! It sheltered us, mapping 

high ceilings. But now, evidence does not appeal:

a rag-man points at the ruins of news assuming

a fact is a fact if enough people feel…

MRS HUNTER (LOCKED-IN)

in our ward, 

the sway of you is a reaching – anyone 

from the night-shadow

of a sterilizing 

moon. Bareness and corridors suggest 

branches

you look to the window blind;

the window-blind traps a look. Pruned 

you are paleness. 

There’s two of you 

left. You are 

the crudity of chiaroscuro:

an angel in a night-gown  

or a crazed spinster dragging  

a drip-frame 

’round the ward 

the squeak of midnight-not-allowed 

a mouth gaping 

not-barking 

its trapped sap – squeak

Now that you're here

The Blue Nib believes in the power of the written word, the well-structured sentence and the crafted poetic phrase. Since 2016 we have published, supported and promoted the work of both established and emerging voices in poetry, fiction, essay and journalism. Times are difficult for publishers, and The Blue Nib is no exception. It survives on subscription income only. If you also believe in the power of the written word, then please consider supporting The Blue Nib and our contributors by subscribing to either our print or digital issue.

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Editor of An Astraíl, Denise O’Hagan selects poetry from new and established voices in Austrailia and New Zealand and is constantly searching for fresh and innovative voices in poetry from Ireland or The United Kingdom: Submit to An Astraíl.

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