Elly McDonald


Vertigo (1983)

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here, I am uneasy

this place is strange, this space

empty. This incubator, sterile compound.

your unit. Myself glimpsed

in glass (in fragments), a full-length window pane

Ghost image on a TV screen

you disturb me

the air –

so sharp it hurts, this high

vertigo –

you make my eyes smart

Far removed, a burglar siren jams

(you alarm me)

the heavy breathing of cars, below

you oppress

like a radio not quite tuned to the stations

a shadow pall –

a phone left off the hook

Author: Elly McDonald

Worked in the Australian rock music industry as a journalist and published widely as a poet before moving to London and spending the better part of a decade in advertising agencies. Returned to Australia and tried teaching, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees but also briefly as a high school classroom teacher. Has travelled Western Europe, North Africa, Russia, Northern India, East Asia, coastal USA, some Pacific Islands, and Australia.

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