Australia Poetry Magazine –

"Houses" by Megan Cartwright


Title image shows a nightime view the Sydney Opera House.

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Published September 1st, 2023


by Megan Cartwright
(Ngunnawal, Australian Capital Territory, Australia)

Ghost House. A one-bedroom box,
fit to burst with memories, stuffed into cupboards,
wedged in into cracks in an old shower screen.
An exotic name: Tarrango. You say it with a skip.
Next in line (after the apartment where the cat almost fell from the balcony rail),
the Necessity House. Gazumped not once, but twice
so this must suffice,
nice – enough – for a time.
Then the grand relocation,
the Forever House
that wasn't forever.
A sign, or a product of the times?

Now the Dream House,
black and yellow homage to ancient porticoes, waspish
House of Flies; House of Lies.
The marriage-saving-baby-house to end all houses.

A recurring Dream, sometimes labyrinthine,
a theme park swarming with faceless tourists
floating on tyre inner-tubes along the moat-like Styx.
a repressed memory of architecture.

Gutters overflow like the fear that threatens to engulf us.
This is all there is: a skeletal framework,
dress it up any way you wish.
The Dream House haunts me, running on a loop.

Megan Cartwright is an Australian college teacher and poet. Her work has appeared in Arteidolia Press's Swift&Slows, Authora Australis, Blue Bottle Journal, Meniscus Journal, October Hill Magazine, and oddball magazine. She also has poems forthcoming in Tabula Rasa Review and Quadrant Magazine.

This poem is included in Poetry World #7, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in Australia Poetry Magazine:
For My Husband, Adam: Thoughts, Pain, Pen, Paper
by Leandra Ryan

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