John Egan


Blood Test

Deep maroon, between brown
and purple, a cabernet
heavy with blackcurrant
and tannin, viscous like jam.

When the syringe pierces
and taps the vein,
something flows like wine,
the dark pressure
of the heart,
the thin veneer of skin
and the chambers
of breathing.

It’s a stain
disperses into air
like music sprayed
across the foyer
of an empty theatre,
wasted in the glass.



By day John is a mild-mannered teacher of English for Academic Purposes at Uniworld College, Chippendale, but by night he does intricate and mysterious things with imagery, meter and metaphor, some of which even get published. He has been writing occasionally since university but, apart from several poems in the Macquarie University student newspaper, has only seriously sought publication in the last few years. He has been successful in some competitions, including a first prize in the Ipswich Poetry Competition in 2006, and his chapbook NOT THE RAIN, THE WIND is published by the Melbourne Poets Union. He is a member of the NSW Greens and divides his time between Sydney, where he works, and the NSW South Coast, where he has a life. John thinks of himself as a poet of water and memory.