It’s through a thin curtain

she doesn’t enter


the wonder rooms where

moderns have no myths.


Ornament is all but absent.


Animal brides arrive

on an ad hoc basis.


Still lives in technicolour

            by contrast

certain corners of the house

stand out

boxes of light and shade.


Glass banishes the present

in favor of a past restored.



only peripherally connected

by bloodline

a genealogy of blank pages.


The human all too human

every material an encounter clash

scars of our beloved selves.


Still we believe in

mass habits of language


diffusion riots

white like

radio waves


the notes of a diary

lacerations we live in


inchoate against the altars

an elegy with no end in sight.

This poem was commissioned by Red Room Poetry for Marrickville High School. In August 2011, two one-day poetry workshops were conducted in the school's library. They were run by Australian poet Dr. Lindsay Tuggle and former Education Director Tony Britten, respectively, who worked with Year 9, 10 and 11 students. Inspired by the Toilet Doors public poetry project and the concept of guerrilla poetry, participants experimented with forms like blackout poetry and newspaper collage poetry.

A special launch of poems and artworks produced during the workshops was held in the library on Monday 2 April 2012, where Lindsay also performed 'Still Lives'. Teacher Librarian Ms. Angela Rega edited and produced a stunning publication of student poems and photographs for the launch. You can read more about the project in this article from The Sydney Morning Herald.