Welcome to Rosanne’s world-changing Salon

A portmanteau. A treasure trove. A time capsule. A poetry book. A diary. A photo album. Memories. Dreams. Wishes. Hopes. An open letter to an unsuspecting public. An intimate confession to close friends. A declaration of intent. A whisper of love. A personal record. An experiment in introspection. A performance space. A political rant. A wild yawp. Why do any of us publish our words and images online? Come, dream with me.

Through the looking glass

A poem about me in which nothing is true She’s humble; speaks little. Mousy they call her, when they notice her. She’s hap­piest on her own. Never thinks twice, quite con­tent. Quick to praise and no regrets. She tends her garden, dili­gent, and Basks in the...

Peggy

She’s prac­ticed at it. You can tell: expensive dress, eye­shadow just so. The way she dips her eyes and glances over your shoulder, as if There’s some­thing she’s idly won­dering but of course, it’s a ruse. She’s scan­ning escape routes and plan­ning...

Every heart a doorway

Thresholds have never been what you’d call safe And over the years, the rituals have gotten silly (after all, the phrase ‘swept off her feet’ only make sense Where a cer­tain kind of force is called a ‘bridal carry’). And love (well, trust) creaks open...

The ravine

Step off. Or not. It’s one of those decisions that hovers at your peri­pheral vision — are you ready? Wings unfurled at your back, that sen­sa­tion of almost-moistness lingering — will they hold? 

And you are listening

It is 10.40pm in Paris and they have taken host­ages at the Bataclan It is 11pm and some­where on Face­book a kid posts: “they are killing every­body. one by one.” It is 4pm in Mel­bourne and my friend is giving birth to a little boy named Clancy but...

When I was 12

i ran away and for one wild secret day any­thing was pos­sible i huddled in the recessed entry to the Com­mon­wealth Bank in Garema Place and watched a pro­ces­sion of police who (i was pretty sure) were looking for me i guarded my pre­cious solitude...

Six scant years

The year my daughter was born I thought maybe we were starting to get it right after all A woman was prime min­ister of Aus­tralia And Julia was elo­quent and sharp And fought for justice, cli­mate, all the ways (we thought) You’d expect...

Nice

I don’t know how (some) women do it — I see you out there (tumblr, Face­book, twitter, lj) — you are as vir­u­lent, vicious, out­raged (hurt) as I feel by this end­less parade, this daily offence, this unre­lenting (drip drip drip)...

Intersections

On the banks of the river Tajo I sat with Alvarez talking about Deleuze Curious, soft — moments of dis­covery. In Queens­land heat — a bar at 11pm after cat empire reigned with those horns and that Wurl­itzer sound circ­ling around...

Mute

In the first heat of summer 2014 I lost all my words. They fell away from me like scales Or rather were trapped in my head Unable to emerge from closed lips. Touch and ges­ture were left to me And so, being inadept in their use, I learned...

It all adds up

A card­board mock-up of the grassy knoll And route markers along a Dallas road Is an odd toy for a child, espe­cially in 1970s Aus­tralia. Little wonder I gradu­ated to 10 Days that Shook the World and Huis Clos at 14. Even less that Sey­mour Hirsh...

Righteous anger, right?

It’s past time, people. Rise up. How foetid does the stink of cor­rup­tion have to be? Rise up. How much ice has to melt? How many fires burn? How many forests? How many teen­agers must be shot? Rise up! How many journ­al­ists must be jailed...

Rehearsal

Many years ago, in the long ago times of dish-pan hands and iced-coffee banana shakes with three scoops of ice-cream, a time before gluten-and-dairy intol­er­ance, a time before it seemed I knew any­thing about weight loss. It was a time of Oak...

Untitled

Blank pages have always intim­id­ated me And I hes­itate to describe minu­tiae again Lumps and aches, dull anchor points into limb And earth and stretched muscle when I crave flight Gift me air. Gift me uplift. Gift me weight­less­ness. Kiss...

I pass.

It is a lynchpin of my life Out­sider on the inside Yet I slide under radar Designed to trap my fellow Queers, gender­freaks, Col­on­ised souls. I infilt­rate priv­ileged spaces with my passing. I come out over and over Dis­comfit...

Mornings I meander down Degraves

A small slice of Europe. Café Lorca Makes me crave huevos de gamba and strong black coffee Il Papiro whis­pering to me of Firenze and the old bridge across the Arno looking up towards Ponte alle Grazie Book­shops that laugh at me because I’m...

God, what a day

A child gashes their foot on a sharp screw, unat­tended. Her mother com­pla­cent, absent. A man mis­in­ter­prets a word here and next thing you know, fur­niture raised over­head, glass tinkles as it’s smashed, drawers flung across a room leave...

Rosanne Bersten

Rosanne Bersten

passionate political poet

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