Melody Paloma

     Letter to Jimmy Schuyler


     A small dolphin came up to me in the surf today
     to ask about my future job prospects
     I told him the old Bega hospital is
     actually beautiful that
     in part this is because
     it-is-half-burnt-down meaning
     the insides have been taken over by some
     kind of rogue vine and kikuyu
     which in the garden we would defend with comfrey

     crushing is habitual and at some point I’ll say
     “what a jerk” and click my nails maybe paint them
     why is it called a “men’s shed” I love to drill and
     they’re secretly fond of frilly bits

     P.S. when you asked me about so-and-so
     what I meant to say was it is a bit like
     wearing damp socks and a mustard fedora
     at the same time
                                                                   at your wedding
                                                                   no it is a bit like

     finding a box labeled Lou Salome’s furs
     only to open it and find it full of miscellaneous

     electric cords
                                                                  tangled up no
                                                                  it is a bit like

     the sneeze that rings out across
     the valley over and over and
     the feeling of guilt every time you don’t yell
     “bless you!” back

     It is unkind and
                                                                               totally unremarkable. 





Melody Paloma is a poet and critic currently living on the far south coast of NSW. Among others, her work has appeared in Cordite Poetry ReviewRabbitPlumwood Mountainun Magazine, and Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter, 2016). Melody was the recipient of the 2014 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets and a 2016 Hot Desk Fellow. Her debut collection is called In Some Ways Dingo and was published as part of the Rabbit Poets Series. Melody works for Australian Poetry in their young poet’s programs.