Robbie must be the youngest published poet in Australia, the southern hemisphere, the world. He is also firmly in the public eye as fiction writer, editor, essayist, playwright and critic. His immersion in the literary world is deep and as writer he is prolific. Robbie’s poetry is visceral and lyrical at the same time and oozes emotional honesty. Raised in country Victoria, his relationship with the land infuses much of his work.
I first became aware of Robbie when I was beginning to be published around five years ago when I discovered his blog of Australian poets. I was impressed by the initiative and maturity in one so young. He already seemed like an old hand. He has two new books on a busy horizon, poetry and fiction. Check out his website here http://www.robbiecoburn.com.au.
no clean break of sky, a musty air
transcends the paddocks in sheets of cloud,
lengths of sand all the eye can see.
no spec of blue, but sun beats out
from behind the grey overhang to burn
the skin- hands finger the lead,
threading it through to wrap
around the wrist.
they move on their haunches gently
inside expanding fur: there has been
waiting all day, all processed-
a thumb prods the button of a stopwatch,
the dogs lash out together on
an open track
with the rabbit lured swiftly in
a mechanized circle, rounding the pen-
greyhounds caught and walked back
through the winds, sent back out
into the endless track
of this inexhaustible life.
day begins slowly. been unsleeping poisoned by alcohol
morning’s dissolve beneath a grey sky
a fear spanning the length of my room
outside my love walks through dawn
a new order a changed season emerging in her wake
her flesh pierced gives shape to a pressure in my lungs
radiating into all atmosphere
a weightlessness mirrored by her eyes sets in
better to be nothing than to starve without her body
walk out my breath concealed inside her palm
skin meets collision of dreaming nights
where its still early regret a sound escaping my mouth
dark will come make its nest in the vacant space
recollection only dust a swift vanishing like vapour in wind
all longing given to glass visions
cannot stay in this place
its savage terrain its mouthfuls of hostile wind
an eclipse of light flooding our bed where i dwell
the other flesh her body i must live in..
shoulders the rain at the window.
she has deserted me, forgotten her breath
at the foot of my bed
descending on my sleeping face.
each thought doubles. reignites the electric
spark that forms the wall of glass that is her eyes
as they watch me move. not quite moving other than
the tranquil voyage when i am still, she is not returning.
i drift into the belly of another silence stirred by memory.
we kiss and she vanishes from the doorway. repeat.
today she grows taller as my chest is splintered by
her mouth of moments:
a scar leaving path we walked,
a mark in my arm
remembering her for all that she was
anchored in an act i have yet to perfect.
Robbie Coburn was born in June 1994 in Melbourne and grew up in the rural district of Woodstock, Victoria.
He has published a collection, Rain Season (Picaro Press, 2013), as well as several chapbooks and pamphlets. His latest chapbook is Mad Songs (Blank Rune Press, 2015).
A new collection of poetry The Other Flesh and a novel Conversation with Skin, are forthcoming.
He currently resides in Melbourne. http://www.robbiecoburn.com.au