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Millionaire boss' cheap glance


The guy I work with

The CEO of my company is on
$10.7 million a year. 

He did a floor walk today. He
glanced at me for less than
half a second. I worked out that he's
on $41,152 a day.
Then worked out his glance at
me was worth about
I feel ripped off.
That was a
crap glance.

The moon strays unanchored to
earth, its light tangling through the
black. A cat follows you halfway home.
Someone says something,
Then a sea and tide of beer as the froth pulls
quick, tugging back around your
ankles in the dark shallows, the
optical illusion
dragging you over —
a great ship belly up —
moon looking on.
Then that damn cat skits
past again.


My favourite creatures

Cats are a slinky, fluid substance — furry
liquid. A spill on your lap. You can pour a
cat into an empty fish bowl.

Crows are bolted to reality, hard-feathered
ambling bolted to time — even in flight —
silhouette stamped into the sky.

Humans simply fill space
then open up — big gaping chasms —
and fall backward into themselves.

But you — you are a creature
and I love you.

Squashed on a train, peak hour
Business men who crack their
knuckles inches from
my gut. A balding woman on the
phone thanking HR for
30 days stress leave before
slurping on a plastic squeeze-pack
of mayonnaise.
Off the train now and there’s
a taxi on fire, doors chimneyed
open, the
driver blank faced — lost in the
middle of the road —
elsewhere with his
A young guy asks me by the
bus stop terminal if I know anyone who
wants to buy 'shoes' — in the
middle of the state’s Ice epidemic.
A jet engine ceilings overhead —
its shadow presses across
a broken bassinet on the nature strip.
I get home and find a
letter for an ex-tenant demanding
thousands of dollars to creditors.
This is all unlike my ex-tenant's
mail in my last suburb,
letters demanding why
they hadn't re-subscribed to the
Melbourne Symphony
Perhaps I'll subscribe?
My Grandpas were respectively: a Boxer/Council worker and a coal shoveling Navy Man. And although I’m large enough to fill either of their boots, I’m so very precious, brittle and tediously middle-class. I check to see if I’ve bitten my nails properly.
I could fall apart at any


Last night I realised creativity wasn't
something I did as an indulgence nor
something I do on the side or to
earn money or to
win an award or for
fun or a
vocation or for
recognition or to
dabble with or for a
laugh or
optional or to
make others happy or for
strangers to ponder at a convention or as a
Key Performance Indicator for a yearly performance review or
something to discuss over beers at a pub or for
YouTube or to be
shared or for
Likes or for an
exhibition or to
tell my dad,
partner or
some girl in a bar —
it's to keep me from going completely



Sometimes I'm reluctant to place
full-stops or periods at the end of sentences — like
corks or bottle caps on thoughts

I like to think some sentences
could endlessly
empty themselves after they've
been looked at, or even read

I like to think that some sentences could roam
about forever, long after the ink spilled onto
the page 

tirelessly loitering about some old creek under a
midnight Willow in the old country,
long after the light dimmed on some
electric screen 

Unempty places

An interesting conversation left by the waterfall
A disagreement over the phone left by the sea
A bit of moping left at the bus stop
An awful thought orphaned by the winter train tracks
A sigh floating in the cemetery
A wink discarded in the supermarket car park
A laugh lingering in the empty morning kitchen
The sound of an opening door wandering by another house
And always,
last night's dream waiting on the old pillow

Darby Hudson

Darby Hudson has been published in Eureka Street and Black Inc's Best Australian Poems, 2012 and 2013.

Topic tags: Poetry, Darby Hudson



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Existing comments

Thanks for publishing this -- an enlivening start to the day.

jan | 28 April 2015  

Superb. Ta.

Peter Goers | 28 April 2015  

"I’m so very precious, brittle and tediously middle-class. I check to see if I’ve bitten my nails properly." So do I and most people I know

Carolyn | 28 April 2015  

Everybody's doin' a brand new dance now/Come on, baby, do the Motivation. Great work, Darby.

Pam | 28 April 2015  

It's unfortunate Darby doesn't have more uplifting things to write about in his life. Being alive and involved is a good place to be, despite the hardships we all face at times. Pity more people with a pen don't seem to think so.

Tim Quilty | 28 April 2015  

Tim, Tim, this was so uplifting I smiled and laughed all the way through. A poet's task is surely to see in the mundane more than what we ourselves can see. Thank you, Darby, for opening my eyes and doing it so delightfully.

ErukH | 28 April 2015  

I loved reading this stuff. Must keep it. It's a treasure. What's wrong with you, Tim Quilty?

Jack P | 29 April 2015  

Darby, prove to your board of directors that as CEO you could value-add more than the current chap, and it will be you that's shooting out the crap glances.

HH | 02 May 2015  

Lovely stuff Darby x

Emily | 12 May 2015  

Darby!! U r so lucky to be able to be so free to pull out these amazing images! Thanks. So happy to have found u!! How is your texted guardian angel ???

Peter C | 30 May 2017  

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