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a seduction by Barnaby Smith

'the Cocteau is covered in butter'

– Elvis Perkins

forgot the illustrative line

amid the complexity of debate

– Russ Tamblyn in Tom Thumb

– Russ Tamblyn in West Side Story

(melodrama of strong

circulatory systems)

& that is taste—

the essential material of melancholy

set off against other


the improbable resonance

of a tongue in a mouth

under neon, to be remembered

in any mood

when there's nothing on

in town or tv, & the question becomes

how much of your self do

you give to live in the song


Barnaby Smith is a poet, journalist and musician currently based near Sydney, Australia. His poetry has appeared in Cordite, Southerly, FourW, Foam:e, Australian Poetry Journal, Best Australian Poems, Australian Poetry Anthology, Meniscus, Transnational Literature, Molly Bloom, E:Ratio and others. His arts and music criticism has appeared in or at Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Australian Book Review, The Quietus and others, and he records music as Brigadoon.


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