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Books & Poetry

Poem: Static

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Jeri Kroll shares a poem from her latest book, the award-winning verse novel ‘Vanishing Point’.

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In my last school
everyone tried to be so cool
they didn’t need an air conditioner.

Here it’s lukewarm,
maybe because of those like me
not knowing how much energy to give.

But I have plans and visions
that no one here will know until I say.
My mind prepares to drift but then a boy,

a man really, hurries in, sits down,
apart from the main pack.
He doesn’t fit this room.

His jeans are worn. A rural logo on his Tee
shows he doesn’t try to hide his life.
When he speaks, his voice charms the girls

who ignored me when we chose our seats.
They’re dressed to impress:
dangly earrings, short skirts, clingy tops.

‘Irish’, they whisper. ‘Spunky’.
I wouldn’t think a lad on the land
would feed a chick lit fantasy.

Something in the set of his back
suggests that Conor – that’s his name –
is more than that. Then someone speaks.

Who? Authority. I click back fast.
Time to harness words
and let my answer trot along,

but his body sticks
at the corner of my eye.
I don’t even try to rub it out.

As we jostle through the door
our arms brush.
Does he feel the static?

Jeri Kroll is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Flinders University. An award-winning writer for adults and young people, she has published 25 books, the most recent being Workshopping the Heart: New and Selected Poems (Wakefield Press 2013), and the verse novel Vanishing Point (Puncher and Wattman 2015). Today’s poem is from Vanishing Point, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards, while in the US the George Washington University stage adaptation of Vanishing Point was a winner in the 47th Kennedy Centre American College Theatre Festival. More about Vanishing Point can be found here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.
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