What’s new

New collections

The Orlando Files. Poems of Dissent and Social Commentary for Performance

(Ginninderra Press, 2018)

Also, forthcoming: Acting Like a Girl (Recent Work Press, 2019)


Not Very Quiet at Smith’s Alternative
Third Monday of the month

Sandra co-convenes a varied program of women’s poetry in a relaxed cafe venue.

Smith’s Alternative
76 Alinga Street, Canberra City
7pm to 9pm

Just published

‘imagining what you can’t imagine’ (in Wild, edited by Joan Fenney, Ginninderra Press 2018)

‘she still remembers’ (Back Story, Issue 5, June 2018. Back Story is a history journal published by the Swinburne University)

‘I stole these words from Syria’ (Other Terrain, Issue 5, June 2018. Other Terrain is a literary journal published by Swinburne University)

‘the missing’ (Other Terrain, Issue 5, June 2018. Other Terrain is a literary journal published by Swinburne University)

Forthcoming tanka

‘in the mountains’, ‘in the shopping centre’, ‘she cleans her rifle’, ‘pickup trucks in convoy’, ‘until the guns stop’, ‘lists of those missing’, ‘she does what she knows’, ‘travel paper stamped’, ‘some streets’, ‘rainbow T-shirt’ (forthcoming, Atlas Poetica: a journal of world tanka, Autunm 2018, special issue on genocide)


straight-forward gender-queer interdiction in seven words

On December 15, 2017, as reported in the Washington Post, the Trump Administration gave a directive to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that official documents being prepared for the 2018 budget were not to contain the following words:  Vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, science-based.

it’s more than a haircut, no clue in the clothes, our life and times are loaded, identity locked in binary, while the whole world is playing at drag

our position is unstable, from birth we are contradiction, looking different is one thing, a dangerous interdiction — not being clear is unwise, cross-wise

we’re careless with androgyny, insouciant with psychology that’s non-specific with inventions of desire both tactical and strategic

transgender is transcendence, vulnerable multiplicity — in cross-dressing we show intention, providing evidence-based intervention

it’s in the foetus and the embryo — our conviction that variety is more than in the binary… our entitlement is diversity

ambiguity is chameleon, identity is fluidity, science-based incorruptibility highlights truth — that’s in the evidence… it’s all something etymological

the words-based imbroglio of jeopardy in heterogeneity sees our queer bodies as vulnerable to the evangelical

we’re pushing back with queer, at odds with norms spelling false legitimacy, an unaligned body is gender-queer, what’s queer is clear— ambiguity

queer is bright in the spotlight, what are you looking at? what are ya? a straight forward, chameleon, interdiction

Note: interdiction is a military term for the act of delaying, disrupting or destroying enemy forces or supplies enroute to the battle area (Wikipedia)


Susan B turns in her grave

in the year of the angry, old white men
they vote because of people like her—
in Rochester Cemetery the queue wraps
twice around her grave
like the line to vote

one side of the road chants his name
the other outrage, they vote for racial
patriarchy— this campaign is not poetry

she is bleeding from her eyes, bleeding from her ‘wherever’ …
his vindictive natural register —

Susan B turns in her grave
she knows these angry old white men—
their fortress against the other,
their mandate for misogyny

( Susan B Anthony voted illegally in 1872. She was tried, fined but refused to pay any penalty. )


On our Earth

Io Europa Ganymede Callisto: from our Earth we can see the moons of Jupiter, the Jovian moons, held by a gravitational tide, providing the dust that creates Jupiter’s rings—not all celestial bodies revolve around the Earth… in this company, is a gun a small thing?

from our Earth
we see the moons of Jupiter —
can they show us how
to know ourselves as bigger
than we seem

on our Earth
our freedoms consume themselves
race, religion
sexuality, guns, collide
and fracture in Orlando

on our Earth
politics is too afraid
of lgbti
to say yes
so everyone can marry

from our Earth
we hear your daily insults
free speech
twitter and facebook ugly—
hear your guns between us

from our Earth
we turn the other cheek
respond to hate
with weeping— how long must we
restrain our rage?


gun question

it’s the way we ask the question, creating guilt and mystery, cementing dogma and righteousness… we know the guilty are full of questions, even when they believe they are right.  one of the questions is are we also the guilty?

buying clothes
for Eid peace celebrations
—buying guns and coffins
that is what a gun is for/
—why else do you pick it up?
you know that when you hold a gun you must be expecting to kill someone… it’s your action; your bringing of death…

how easily
the gun comes to hand
brain disconnects—
hand gun, assault rifle
who is in your sights?