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From: Vol.05 N.01 – Stick in a Thumb and Pull out a Plum: Poetry and Comsumption


by Stuart Barnes

the moon was consumed with

consuming their own stomach.

Was not, as custom held, consumed by fire


Things are consumed.

Are capable of consuming an entire ampersand in such-and-such

An orange, consumed


sweet machines, powerless, consumed,

only want that wire song later to floss with, when civilized nights of too much consumer discount

Have made more ruin than Heaven’s consuming flame;


a fire consuming all obsequious delay,

A Thorstein Veblen moment of conspicuous consumption:

No smoking     No alcohol consumption     No graffiti



net, for others to consume, a fish-poem

and call it ‘Happy Holiday, my Good Consumer!’—

& cheer, consuming yourself like a mortgage


close in to consume the afterbirth.

in a pita, and consume all you will and wish

Of soul-consuming care!


Corrode, consume.

consume drugs by the metric ton

consume each other’s salt.


be consummated. Let the

Will bring Consumption or an Ague quaking,

The purity of the flame in which the most limpid diamonds are consumed


a cento from Etel Adnan’s from The Spring Flowers Own: “The morning after / my death”, Peter Goldsworthy’s ‘Acid’, Rosemary Dobson’s ‘A Letter to Lydia’, Sandra Simonds’ ‘Landscape Made From Egg And Sperm’, Clark Moore’s ‘Ampersands’, Dahlia Ravikovitch’s ‘The Love of an Orange’ (translated by Chana Bloch), Mark Doty’s ‘Sweet Machines’, Samuel Wagan Watson’s ‘Booranga Wire Songs’, A. D. Hope’s ‘Country Places’, John Matthias’ ‘After Quevedo’, Imru’Al-Qays’ ‘Mu’allaqa’, Stuart Barnes’ ‘another journey by train’, Isaac Rosenberg’s ‘On Receiving News of the War’, Edward Dorn’s ‘Ode on the Facelifting of the “statue” of Liberty’, W. D. Snodgrass’ ‘Heart’s Needle’, Rigoberto González’s ‘Unpeopled Eden’, Amit Majmudar’s ‘Twin Gluttons’, Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’, Diane Fahey’s ‘Winter Solstice’, John Tranter’s ‘The Alphabet Murders’, John Forbes’ ‘Speed, a Pastoral’, Corey Mesler’s ‘Let the Light Stand’, Anne Bradstreet’s ‘A Dialogue between Old England and New’, Manuel Bandeira’s ‘O Último Poema’ (trans. Elizabeth Bishop)

Published: January 2018
Stuart Barnes

was born in Hobart, Tasmania, and lives in Rockhampton, Queensland. His first poetry collection, Glasshouses (UQP 2016), won the Thomas Shapcott Prize, was commended for the Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award. From 2013–2017 he was poetry editor for Tincture Journal. / @StuartABarnes

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.