Table-Talk Tuesday: Fishing out the French and gettin down with old English men.

Ennui Remedies gets Nostalgic.

Today’s Table-Talk Tuesday is brought to you by the French. Specifically 13-16th Century french poetry forms. I know what you’re thinking, “that bastard’s tricked me into clicking her link again. This has nothing to do with boning old men”.Roundels & Rondeaus“. Ohmahgawd you’re right. You cultured little hipster you.

The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory describes a Rondeau as  french, and totally cool before Swinburne liked it ironically¹. He is credited as ‘experimenting’ with the form in the 1880s, making it popular again¹, and by experimenting I mean mixed it up a bit and re-naming it a Roundel². Kinda like a 1883 version of The Black Eyed Peas.

Having said that, I like both versions (as well as another, similar form called the Rondel which is also worth checking out) and in 2008 I wrote a bunch of my own back when I thought end rhymes were better than sex.

First published in Five Bells vol. 15, No. 3, Winter 2008.
First published in Five Bells vol. 15, No. 3, Winter 2008.

I really love the sing-song nature of this type of lyric poetry. They’re short, like me which really suits my attention span makes them easy to remember and once you get the pattern right, they’re easy like your mum.

So if you’re interested in learning some new poetry forms, you should check out ShadowPoetry. They have a long list of different forms, from the popular Sonnet to not-so-popular Terzanelle.

You can pick up a copy of Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory on for around $12.


¹Cuddon, J,  1999, ‘Rondeau’ in Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, Penguin Books, London, England,  p772.

²Cuddon, J,  1999, ‘Roundel’ in Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, Penguin Books, London, England,  p773.


Dress Lashes

Dress Lashes

Coy slicks her. Both hands
cup her sacred as water,

reed over her,
rolling through warm currents

in the burn of fluorescents
in the still of morning

her eyes reach out, she slips hot
breath over her lover’s tongue

curls a fan of hand behind a kiss
scaled neck. Sky falls through the window,

on the nightstand, dress lashes,
flutter brilliant orange.

First published in Red River Review, 2011.



I’ve seen the snow

his white hand

over the river’s mouth


two fists beating

that drum rhythm

cracking resistance,

chipping resolve


– scattered teeth fragments.

I’ve seen the river’s tongue

beneath the frost, I long

to lie under it, curl up


to his salvia gland’s pillow

and watch the muscle move over me.

First published in Forge, issue 5.1 , 2011.




Lining up the wood on the block

he’s a decent size, matured, a pale shade.

The axe swings her high arc, wedges silver

into the centre. He rocks open, his ant-black

heart dribbles pincers onto her feet, shock

shakes them off. Later in the fuel stove

his wine sap heats and hisses his defeat.

First published in Voiceworks, no. 83, Summer 2010-2011.


Wet with Fear

Wet with Fear

For Tracy Emin

I pull it out of myself

It hurts a little then lies

useless – all that blood.


Am I dissolving?

Scarlet dead mouse,

ruby cotton tail,

have you killed me?

First published in Hecate vol. 36, no. 1 & 2, 2010.


Picket Fence

Picket Fence

The neighbour’s fence
splinters a dead tooth
into our yard,
darkening in their grey gums;
chipped or white –
ant eaten, they bite
the sun’s gold,
testing its authenticity.

First Published in Islet (now concluded), 2010.