2 poems by jack lanagan dunbar

jack kicked-off the first subbed in reading event “if you’re reading at this it’s too late” with his poems


My dad’s wifi password is lostboy25


Get up late.

Think stuff over.

Roll around.

Put pants and a shirt on. Tshirt.

Watch triathletes on the TV.

Go smoke a cigarette in the backyard.

Think about going for a walk.

Maybe to go find something?

The kind of thing I like–out in the world.

Take a dump.

Eat some vitamins.

Sit back and be contemplative.

Cigarette in the backyard x2. Take Tshirt off, get a tan.

It’s real overcast.

UV rays come through the clouds but.

Tingly skin.

TV x2 Rachel Klamer is jogging slow on the screen, jostling with some Japanese bird.

Brush teeth.

Head towards work.


Waiting at the station.

A tightly packed group of women in one piece swimsuits and joggers comes running along the innerwest line.

I recognise Rachel as she hops up onto the platform, pushing aside the Japanese bird that’s been jostling her. ‘Fuck off’ she pants. The bird flaps off and takes up a perch on one of the stations loudspeakers. Fluffs its feathers.

I wave and smile as Rachel jogs by. She gives me the finger then slaps a water bottle out of the hand of another commuter.

For a second: sparkly liquid everywhere.

I’m pretty sure her eyes were smiling back at me under her polarised Oakleys.

One of the other girls, flush faced, sits down on the edge of the platform and pulls off her left individual toe shoe. She tips it upside down and bangs on the bottom of it with her other hand. A sharp little pebble falls out.

I walk over and pick it up.

My mouth is smiling hard.

The train pulls in, narrowly missing the Japanese bird whose been startled by an announcement over the station PA.

Quickly I slip the pebble into my own shoe and step aboard, grinning then wincing as it bites into the arch of my foot.

'Sick’ I whisper to myself as I sit and we pull out of the station.

My smile is reflected back into my eyes by the train window.

It is bright like a sun.


Work is awesome.

Stack a dishwasher.

Sneak out for a cigarette.

Fiddle with the coffee machine.

I’m trying to teach myself how to make coffee.

I make an espresso and take it downstairs to show my workmates.

'Pretty sick huh?’

One workmate tells me an espresso is meant to have 2-3cm of crema.

I’m not sure. I give her a dubious look and say nothing. I think of George Clooney smashing espressos in a grey suit that matches his hair. He’s smiling. He is the ‘coy’ emoji but with hair and with babes without faces.

I make 3 people sip my espresso.

I get: “A vast improvement on the last one”

I am happy.

I am gaining skills.

I go home content.


The sharp little pebble has imbedded itself in my foot arch.

Take my shoe off and dig around inside my foot with a pair of tweezers. The tweezers must be halfway to my ankle. The pebble is in there.

Get the pebble out and put it on the top of a shelf.

Write a little note on the back of some paper I found.

It says: ’ Rachel Klamer’s friend/nemisiseses sharp little pebble’.

I lay back on my little bed. My hands are behind my head.

I am wearing leopard print boxers that the elastic has broken on. I have to hold them up if I’m standing but they are great for lying down in. I am wearing some black ugg boots.

I am lying on top of my doona.

I close my eyes and imagine breathing out cigarette smoke.

Tomorrow is my day off. I am going to put Rachels friends/nemisiseses pebble on ebay.

I am going to make me some money on the internet.

My eyes are closed but I can feel my smile. It is massive like a dolphin’s.


My bank account is called 'Complete Freedom’.


Black hairs grow on my shoulders in waves. They are a signal that I will feel sad soon.

Immanent sadness.

The sun is shining through the window. A little ray is hitting the top of my right foot and making it a different temperature to the rest of me.

I think about the ocean. I think: I cannot believe that we have a thing we called the ocean. A huge, old, puddle of water with salt in it that we have built specialised platforms for floating around on.

I go to the backyard and smoke a cigarette. I watch wasps building a nest. I breathe out their worst enemy.

I think about last night and walking down the street screaming at you.


In the tropics people stand by themselves, in large backyards, late at night once all the cocktails have been finished and scream at the sky.

A new friend was speaking to me the other day in his new car. He said to me 'It’s crazy to think that when you look at the night sky the black parts are actually nothing’ The car was telling me that it was exactly 24 degrees. I blinked. 'I mean the black parts are not even black! That is just a void up there, when you look up there you are actually not looking at anything at all’

I found myself standing in front of a set of clothe-covered shelves looking for a pair of underpants.

jack lanagan dunbar is a sydney-based artist/writer/designer/photographer. a slashie. at the time of writing he is interested in the weather, wandering, wondering, the 4th dimension and tomorrow. www.jackdunbar.com