Reading Aussie Rules and American Poetry

(Or, the to and fro of texts: Australian Rules Football and William Carlos William’s ‘Philomena Andronico‘)

With the boys busy
at ball

players may position themselves

She stands
they may use any part of their bodies
to move the ball

Slowly/ practiced
a little awkwardly

handballing and running
with the ball
are the primary methods

Not as she had done

Players running with the ball
must intermittently bounce
or touch it on the ground

With a full
and easy motion

Throwing the ball
is not allowed
and players must not get caught
holding the ball

The ball flies
and rolls gently

Possession of the ball
Is in dispute
at all times

At the child’s feet

Players can tackle
using their hands
or use their whole bodies
to obstruct opponents

He misses
and runs while she
regains her former

Dangerous contact
slowing the play
are discouraged

Her hips

physical contests
spectacular marking

Lets her arms

fast movement of both
the players and the ball

Fall loosely

and high scoring
are the game’s main

More Found Poems can be found here at Billy Mills’s inspiring poetry blog


The Sea

We haul all on our backs
and make barrels of our brains
packed with salt, fish, and sea.

No longer traveling in lines
from here to there,
maybe passing by,
but pixelated and scattered like corn,
half-pecked by the time we see.

My grandmother gutted the herring,
and grandfather made the barrels
for the fish, the salt, and the sea.