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Emily Stewart

State of Origin

“This is Hodges’ outstanding winger
Steve Price      swallowed
up by Lockyer’s tackle

They’ve been together a long time
- as mates

[...] Back to the sideline &
finish him off!

Turn that left hand Carney!

“An intended intercept should nullify –
They’ve just been bamboozled
Hodges runs into a gap
          double knock on

- nullify he was
waving his arms in the air nullifying

“He’s a good ‘un, he’s a Queenslander
Smith. Queenslander.
Slater. Queenslander.
Folau. Queenslander.

“Lockyer puts a soft ball on the stomach of Carney
He’s been used sparingly tonight Lockyer

       gets the hand out

They are revved up and ready to rumble
(It’s like running into a blacksmith’s anvil)

“This is where we started the game.

With enormous enthusiasm

Tonight We’ve Got the Chance to Divert
the Good Australia Even Further

Smith’s Over the line! In fact, Slater
threw him over the line. Very Solid defence

   can’t see it from that angle? Or was it elevated
it was elevated

“The [...] rule in this game
Can be confusing for the average punter.

Benefit of the doubt try,


Emily Stewart’s “State of Origin” was first published in Cordite 35: Oz-Ko (2011). The guest poetry editor for this issue was David Prater.

Emily Stewart

Emily was born in 1987. She grew up in country NSW and graduated with an Honours degree in English literature from the Australian National University in 2009. She is currently conducting research into digital publishing futures for small press across the Global South, as part of her Master’s degree in publishing at the University of Melbourne. She also holds up a day job in educational publishing. Prior to this, she worked variously as a bookshop manager and bureaucrat. Some of her recent poetry can be found online at Cordite and inside the print journal FourW.


A Typical Day At Work 

It would be nice to be a morning person, to wake up slowly and sip a cup of tea, to watch the sun inch across the backyard and to listen to the neighbours’ plumbing jolt and seize as they go about their morning routine.

But I’m not: my work day usually starts with me on the run, gulping down avocado-on-toast which I hold in one hand as I coast on my bike to the train station. My commute takes about fifty minutes, with one change at the centre of the city. And when I arrive I’m in a completely different neighbourhood, one where everybody has perfectly styled eyebrows and lovingly polished convertibles.

I’m an editorial assistant in a large publishing house. I work in a pod with no natural light, right outside the boss's office. While my computer starts up, I grab a soy cappuccino from the café downstairs. From there, my day is spent proofreading textbooks, copy-editing web material, organising corrections for reprint, and ploughing through a requisite amount of scanning, photocopying, filing, etc. On a day like today, I also help to make fifty hanging tissue paper baubles for our work Christmas party. On a day like yesterday, I create crosswords on various science topics.

But of course “work” entails more than what you do for a buck. Once I'm done at the office, sometimes I rush off to a class at the university, or else often I'm checking out a book launch or reading event around town. Then, in the late moments before bed, I steal some minutes for writing poetry.