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Australian writer based in Amsterdam, where he lives with his long-term partner, two guitars and a family of indoor plants.

Poetry prompt: freight train

Photo by Jake Greenon Unsplash

Only say the word to make it stop — or yes, go ahead, pull on the lever and switch to the course of lengthy degradation— oblivious to spectators of the spectacle breaking necks for a better view, the only moral thing to do now is to take another down with you, conductor —

of contorted vision, seeing through blood red windscreen lens — choking on public announcements made of lumpy hard-to-swallow rocks, and mouthfuls of spilt sacred dirt causing nipple ulcers to bloom from biting too hard —

because once these babies get started they’re impossible to stop, yes, but…


Prose Poem

Image of ‘The Proposal’ courtesy of friendly stranger.

How quickly the hues of day to night have washed over us since then and now — and how slow do the seconds pass as we await this final solar dive

which elevates my heart rate for reasons allusive only to you. When I awoke beside you sleeping this morning, you looked inquisitive and had your fist raised in the air — I wondered where you were and did you know —

how to get back if I didn’t call you? If not for the magnets you buried deep in my ribs, drawn to irresistible fields — would you have…


Prose Poem

Photo by Pablò on Unsplash

Go ahead, son. It’s not like you to not want to, and could you really afford not to? No — there ain’t nothing like a hot cigarette while you soak up the sun — I like to double down on my carcinogens, and I can say so because I’m young

and not afraid but fucking terrified of the hideous wheezing creature I dreamt you to be — had to call to make sure, intuition is a hard bitch to put down, but so are you — it’s just the flu, it’s just —

if seeing is believing, I’m a loaded…


Poetry Prompt: Shelfie

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

My shelf is nothing grand
it’s made of scraps and sawdust
swept from the carpenter’s cutting floor
a dollop of glue and a lick of lead paint
is all that holds my shelf together
it does not hold much weight
as it does not need to
I keep only a few books
or rather
they tend to stick around
there is the one
about a foolish boy
who runs off to the city
only to discover nobody cares
or the tragic love story about that girl
who leaves her man for another
and gets what she deserves
I don’t quite remember the story
surrounding the junkie out for lunch
it was a confusing…


Prose poetry prompt: the other perspective

Photo by Makon Unsplash

Automatic doors pause on your arrival – in them, you catch sight of your dim reflection – hair on end, face a sinking hole, creased grey shirt from who knows when – they see right through you

please sign here, sir - register faint outlines of the nurse’s ass leading you through M ward, not much in scrubs but what did you expect, til death do they part, committed to –

memory nonetheless. It’s early in the morning but nothing dawns, wafer-thin thresholds all that separate life and death. Arriving on the scene of nativity you bear no frankincense –


A poem

I burn my feet all-day
on the heads of Neolithic tombs
only reckoning to bow my head
when we fell upon
a set of thatched timber chairs
where you suggested we sit
so you could draw a decrepit doorway
and drink the orange cocktail
you like so much
indeed, I like it too
and I drank it down quickly
letting the refreshing alcohol
buzz about my eyelids
as the European wasp does
over scraps of melon skins
all the while I was losing you
deeply immersed in your art
a hive of students swarmed
on the steps of a cathedral
dedicated to a lady saint
a Jewish painter from Croatia
who joined…


Prose poetry prompt: misanthropology

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Everyone wants to be a bleeping robot. Because the tin-man really does have a heart — or was it a brain, either way, it needs lubricating

gingerly massaged into purple latex shell — chafing burns in degrees they haven’t numbered yet — thought I told you to take it easy, shouts: I’m not your fucking sex toy

dial cranked to max — have me reciprocating a twelve-volt maniac, rolling the batteries with biting nails to get a little more juice out

punching like a piston— this electric bunny has really got some go, and knows its away around a barb-wire…


Photo by Glenn Couseron Unsplash

For a thousand years
we’ve been returning to our old city
within the cradled arm of her harbour
draped in tones of ripe summer fruit
colours we gave her to guide us
in the sightless hour of dusk.

Stacked pastel blocks of mortar
worn down by wars of sun and wind
cracked and flaking at corners edge, still
they burn along the rugged patchwork of hills
for eyes more attuned to the belly
of a black liquorice sea.

The gentle clap of Venetian shutters
a call unlatching us from port positions
rich scents of herbs and bubbling pomodori
settles in a thick cloud…


Poetry prompt: pretend you’re mad

Photo by Antônia Felipeon Unsplash

I find myself in a garden of ruins
under the yoke of a mid-July sun
an arc of fruitless orange trees
gather like mourners wearing black
full of stifled crying and open sighing
as parading visitors pass them by.

At doorways in dust swept aisles
bronzed women speak in whispers
watching on through steady eyes that follow
turning eternal webs with laced ivy fingers
climbing slowly to grip the throats of
stone subjects — howling maladetto.

Ancient heat sparks the mood
and fans the naked flame
a sick rose bends its neck
into the mouth of a crystal bowl
for want of…

Vic Spandrio

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