David McCooey


Darkness Speaks

None of it is true: I am
neither malevolent nor

mystical. You have nothing
to fear; I am the one who makes

things terribly bright and
dramatic when they need to be.

Like when I spill myself a
little at sunset. Night after

night you dream of me. One day
you will wake up properly,

and there I will be, at last.
Your new and endless climate.

Don’t look at me; I don’t compose
any kindertotenlieder.


The Cat’s Pyjamas

are laid out on the bed.
They are old, but clean,
and neatly folded.
They have the rumour
of wardrobe about them.
Their napped cotton
is like the pelt
of a small animal.
But the cat is nowhere
to be seen. He has
taken off, once again,
into the brittle night,
smart phone pressed
to the triangle of his ear.


Rhyming 1970s

He sits on his bed, listening to a cassette,
while watching on the silent tv set
a black-and-white silent Jacqueline Bisset,
and dimly hearing, from the kitchenette
his mother list the things with which she’s beset.



David McCooey’s latest collection of poems, Outside (Salt, 2011), was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards and was a Finalist of the Melbourne Prize for Literature’s ‘Best Writing Award’ in 2012. He is Deputy General Editor of the award-winning Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (2009), and he is professor of literary studies and professional & creative writing at Deakin University in Geelong, where he lives.