Dominic Symes

Fucking Adelaide


As white 
as the paper I’ve been handed 
no matter how I drag myself 
through the dirt    
your white noise is only ever 
shifting register          

                                                      Wet splendour
                                                      of North Terrace at 5pm   

              Glass of water?   I ask
              shielding my eyes
              while a roomful of aspiring artists smoulder
              in front of your stretch marks

                            Your bare shoulders square up
                            like a painting

Our attention
gets drawn away from the edges
so expertly     

                                         I wait
                                         for the tattoo of first knowing you
                                         to become as smooth as skin again

The cranes play off
the reflected skyline   sounding out
your sprawl of endless deferral

                            On the ground   as the protest disperses
                            some of us go back to study
                            & some of us go drinking

Like Pound says   poetry
requires the energy of a lifetime
— getting drunk is more than one day’s work

                                                      A polaroid of us
                                                      & I’m drawing ears on you
                                                      so big you’ll hear me being born!

             Come spill over these rusted gutters with me!

Piles of days
too hot to move
cool & coagulate like cars
becoming traffic

                                      The rain
                                      turns our watches soft

             Peak hour
             evokes the short twentieth century:
             euro-centric  & my friends still smoke       

I’d rather forget all about it     except
for the sun on your germanic shoulders
this girl      who’s just like you
early Shostakovich
& this jumper that I’ve had
since you gave it to me
on the bus to Skyshow

                                         My arms prickle
                                         when I’m indoors
                                         though I enjoy the rain
                                         when it’s on my lips
                                         my eye-lashes
                                         my epaulettes

Earrings the size of trees
hang on the street emitting
faulty golden light

              I’m learning to make you laugh
              all over again now that we aren’t
              sleeping together anymore

Cruising the banks of the river alone

                            When I speak to you
                            about the stars
                            you excuse yourself for sneezing   

Wipers drag across the windscreen
They do nothing to remove
the hot breath of our whispers

              Walking home
              you pick me

              a sprig of jasmine
              still heavy with rain

                            I smell it now





Dominic Symes is a poet from Adelaide. More of his work is available at



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