Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

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Adrian Wiggins

After The Party

About the face she's photovoltaic.
“There's marriage to make men
lecherous,” she says, “I see it all the time

in characters like you.” Still, a casual mention
of the yacht by Lion Island sends her
into a lather. She's dramatic; American,

emphatic – tattoos and piercings in vertiginous
array, an anodyne piece of tinsel nonetheless,
and her structured hair is the bomb. A cigarette,

a shared song, a languorous interlude. She works
in a call centre – “it's not transcendent,”
she says, “not a bit.” You make to leave.

Well, she's blocking the exit. “In Russian,”
she sidles up, “the word for secret
is the same as for mystery.” Hmm

portentous – and it's too late to know
if it's really so – she doesn't want you though,
you figure that much, not beyond

this booze-raddled night. Somehow you get her
to the run-about, with a bottle of bourbon;
a twist of the throttle and you tear out

across Brisbane Waters, pinching luck, past
the oyster leases, past an old gaffer in a tinny
fishing the neap tide, threading a seam of silvery

water. Later, by some narrative device not herein
recorded, you proceed to the forecastle, from cuddling
to many acts of intercourse – lovely, burlesque.

Sentiment flows from you then:

Cherry blossoms floating
on a spring thaw stream.

Adrian Wiggins’ “After The Party” was first published in Cordite 28.1: Mulloway (2008). The guest poetry editor for this issue was Greg McLaren.

Adrian Wiggins

Adrian Wiggins lives in Newtown, Sydney. His writing has appeared in Meanjin, Snorkel, Cordite and Heat. In 1997 he co-founded Cordite.


A Typical Day At Work 

I'm a freelance information architect and digital strategist; a parent to three children; and a husband to one wife. I work from home and sit at a desk near the washing machine. When I'm not driving my family around to school or to work I design websites and do loads of washing at the same time. Website work involves sticky notes and sharpies. Everyone understands washing. I talk a lot in both roles. I'm 40, balding and getting paunchy. I'm not a gamer. I describe myself as a hobbyist poet, and remain hopeful that one day my writing will require a claw hammer, bench vise, and bandsaw. I already use offcuts.