2 poems by Brent Cantwell

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

About the contributor

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.

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