PoetryIssue 20 | May 2014

First Day in Sydney, 1992

by Catherine Bull

It’s Bondi Beach and the boys
are building a sand sculpture this really
amazing merman and it’s a boys-only thing
even though we know that’s dumb but I’m trying
to be cool in the boil of wearing just a swimsuit
although, really, Valerie’s in a bikini so
the rest of us are moot anyway but it’s too late
for courage they pose in front of the merman
with their bare chests which I’ve never seen on them before
and we take pictures. Joe Sze is hot.
I like Rhett he’s a little Southern
and Christian Brasier who threw my book bag
down the hall every single day
in middle school and still throws it
on top of the lockers sometimes though not when he wants
to copy my Japanese homework looks pretty good
with his shirt off and I don’t like it
that that’s true, he’s in real estate
in Southern California now
I googled him once and then all together 1-2-3
they jump up and down on the merman
and destroy it entirely
and we take pictures of that too.

About the author

Catherine Bull is a poet lately of Portland, Oregon. She has traveled in Australia, Britain, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, and New Zealand, and and has driven across the United States five or so times. She has recent work in Beatdom and FIELD, teaches on occasion at the Attic Institute in Portland, and writes about poetry and poetics, plus film reviews here. She has appropriately literary degrees from Oberlin College and U.C. Davis

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok