Skip to content
Back to issue
From: Vol.05 N.01 – Stick in a Thumb and Pull out a Plum: Poetry and Comsumption

Culture Hero

by Chris Lynch



Begin with the quotidian selection

of a series of loosely connected objects


threaded by a man’s perambulation

along a beach in Redcliffe.


Late afternoon in June, deserted—

even the sea has retreated into itself.




One half of an empty bivalve still tufted

with byssus, the inner nacre fresh with loss.


This shell does not sound like the sea—

it is too small

or the man’s ear is too big.


He cuts a finger on its edge,

watches the felicitous blood bead.




Oompie bongs line the foreshore. The man imagines

Lt Miller stepping off the boat at Woody Point


admiring the lonely water taps, the lack of mosquitoes

& Aborigines, but most of all the solid jetty


where fishermen sit, collecting death

by the bucket.




On the menu: Greek words, mostly. The man selects

an enigmatic dish garnished with salt of the earth. For a moment


he is tempted to converse with the young mother with

bags under her eyes waiting among the terra cotta, but remembers


the audience. She takes the warm parcel of butcher’s paper

and string, twitches a nervous smile, and steps out into terra incognita.


She is the signifier of a certain weariness with life, of the babies

other people had, or didn’t have. The fish and chips are excellent.




From the wall the Minotaur surveys his candled domain.

Pensive, the man slays dessert with the smallest fork,


watches crumbs dash themselves in the cream

smeared across the cavernous plate.


The man settles his bill, then takes the rickety gate

into darkness without so much as looking for

a piece of string.

Published: January 2018
Chris Lynch

is a white Papua New Guinean-Australian who lives in Melbourne on Wurundjeri country. His work has appeared in Cordite, Peril, Tincture, Verity La, PNG Poetry, and the Poetry & Place Anthology 2015, among others. He misses (sub)tropical storms.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.