Spotlight on QLD Poets #2: Helen Brake

Sunday afternoon is a heady mix of storm clouds and sunshine here in Brisbane… and of course, words. And today I have some that are diamond hard in their vision to share with you. The words of another super-talented Brisbane writer, Helen Brake. If you enjoy this, then why not spread the word… Helen is a voice you are going to be hearing a lot more of!

Helen Brake: If she were a derby player, her name would be Hell-dawg; a Sicilian baker, Elena; a sister, Eggroll; and if she were a daughter, it would be Emily. Regardless, her favourite smell is amarena cherries soaking in cooking sherry. Her words have been published in Eureka Street, Voiceworks and The State Library of Queensland’s website.

*****

STAGE NOTES FOR ‘PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN BRISBANE AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT’

ACT 1
Tilt your head as a cat ordering a caress;
the streetlight turns raindrops into the hologram
of a pyramid. Inevitable as a fogging mirror
it disappears
at chest height—ventured too far from its source of light
and your range of vision.

ACT 2
Swing your legs and kick the cold. Hands clap twelve
and the 380 appears like a creature from a younger world. It’s
elongated Jurassic body follows a
blinkered gaze, and
spears light in
narrow tunnel vision.
Sax player
in the spotlight. Isn’t she lovely?
Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t she precious?

ACT 3
Time chases breath in a deep exhale. Reveals
night musician’s canvas face, dancing brows, ankle cloak—
a backlit silhouette
advertising neon joy. C major taps
bus stop blues. Tipsy teenagers
and misplaced Motown spin circles
over a wasteland cityscape.

Downstage centre
Stevie’s brass voice dances
Adelaide quickstep
with the cigarette scent of wet bitumen.

*****

Sweat is born shouting

on a cheese square
and accuses the bewildered
vegemite audience
of stealing
its personal space.

Shadecloths adjudicate—
grow bored,
bend their knees, drop
diamond
shadows on concrete.

The rope claps a chant
and partners
each girl
claps a chant, partners’

dizzy.

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3 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

3 responses to “Spotlight on QLD Poets #2: Helen Brake

  1. Luke Best

    Pleasure to read Helen. Really creative imagery!

  2. If my memory’s not playing tricks on me, I was delighted by the “Stage Notes” piece at SpeedPoets. Looking forward to hearing more!

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