Jennifer Compton

Champfilio Abstract


Waking to a word (or to a world)
with unusual tendencies.

It’s spelled champfilio that much is
plain, a bastardisation of

French and Italian, a portmanteau
sward, a field and a son,

perhaps, and it contains a racecourse
and a thin crisp of pastry, 

and an ‘I’ (but it is a lower case like
a modest, upward flex).

“May i speak?” And within the sheath,
the glitter of a well-honed sword.

That word. To come upon it, a messenger,
from the intimate, starlit, uncensored 

discourse with oneself, written in cursive
in a notebook, prim and stilted,

(not copperplate like a grandma might have
writ it) so as not to forget.

It means nothing but one day it might mean,
it might be … it might …

so it is written. And now it means this. To
make it sit and be a word, a word in

common use. No more of these words which
ripple in and out of consciousness.

Like the word that drove like a hard-arse
down a straight road, into a city,

a city called Uomo. Oh how she longed,
upon waking, for that very city.

When she found out what that word meant
(in Italian) she went — Pooh.

One (on in French) has spent one’s life
travelling towards the city of men







Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne. Her next book of poetry – the moment, taken – is coming out with Recent Work in 2021. 


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