shot glass
Issue # 8 September 2012
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Stuart Barnes' poems have been shortlisted for major Australian prizes & published at online & in print journals & newspapers including Mascara Literary Review, The Warwick Review & The Weekend Australian Review; others are forthcoming at Otoliths, in fourW twenty-three & Blasphemy. 'Mother and Son', creative nonfiction about his coming out, can be read at Verity La (
He edits PASH capsule (, a magazine of love poetry, & is working on the manuscript for his first book of poetry. Currently he lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Stuart Barnes

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Cento for Fourteen Australian Poets

Happiness is this simple.
Autumn, in the back of my throat.
A white wave, a spread of cockatoos,
my new rose, 'Apricot Nectar'
with a glow thick as pureed apricots.
The glint of baitfish massing to spawn.
The kid skateboarding the wide promenade.
The table laden as in a Seicento painting.
The poem that will fuck you awake

or kill you.
The things that break and the things that need fixing.
That day bowed down with the weight of our tongues.
Striving up the town hall staircase
plumed with the warmth of breath,
the past falling to pieces behind us,
the future fading in the palm of my hand.

Sources: Vanessa Page's 'Five fifty-three am', Jaya Savige's 'Flyer (Autumn)', Emma Jones' 'Zoos for the Dead', Liz McQuilkin's 'Terra Firma', Judith Beveridge's 'The Harbour', Graham Nunn's 'Slow Breathing', Sara Moss' 'Where Are You?', Rosanna Licari's 'Two photographs: notes', Dorothy Porter's 'Three Sonnets', Emilie Collyer's 'The Things', Andy Jackson's 'Breath', Fiona Hile's 'Maximum Security', Gwen Harwood's 'Pastorals', B N Oakman's 'Annunciation'