Graham Catt

Graham was born in the UK but emigrated to Australia with his family when very young. He began writing when he was ten years old, collaborating with a friend to write stories based in a fantasy world. Later, his creative interests broadened to include design, pop music and cartooning, while taking occasional courses in creative writing and poetry.

In 1996, he attended Friendly Street Poets for the first time, and has since made regular appearances at the monthly readings and in the annual Friendly Street anthologies. Graham was the Treasurer of Friendly Street Poets from 2001-2004, and in 2002, he co-edited Blue: Friendly Street 27 with K*m Mann.

Graham’s writing has appeared in Quadrant, The Weekend Australian, Blue Dog, The Canberra Times, Going Down Swinging, Verandah, Famous Reporter, Carve Magazine (US), The 2River View (US), The Danforth Review (Canada), Exquisite Corpse (US) and many other magazines, journals and e-zines. His first poetry collection, Shooting Stars, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2001.

Graham lives in the north-east suburbs of Adelaide with his two teenage daughters.

For more information visit Graham’s blog at:

Folding the Linen

I am folding
clean clothes
and linen
fresh from the drier

and notice
that today I linger
just a little longer
over each item
as I lift them one by one
from the laundry basket

I smooth out the socks
with the palm of my hand
handle the towels as gently
as one would a kitten

there is even love
in the way
I neatly arrange
the shirts and underwear

nothing strange
or even slightly
erotic about this
I’m just yearning
for a little warmth
and softness in this life

again and again
dipping my hands
into the basket
I lift the clothes
and press them
against my face

as if bathing
in a quiet pool

trying to remove
the stain of loneliness

From Fluorescent Voices: Friendly Street No. 21

The Tears of a Sensitive Man

the man is weeping

his tears splash
onto files and spreadsheets
stain the company’s reputation

colleagues whisper and giggle
as he dabs at his eyes with a tie
and his business suit shudders

his employers dismiss him
they’re outsourcing sentiment
cannot market his emotion

while his wife is embarrassed
divorces herself from sensitivity
tells him that real men don’t cry

the meaning of all things
is questioned, overturned
is he mad, a freak, a museum piece?

they place him in a glass case
with a brass plaque that reads:
beware the tears of a sensitive man

they fall like bombs, explode upon impact

From Beating Time in a Gothic Space: Friendly Street No. 23


for a second or two, out in the bay
an island appears, shimmers then sinks
like a dark wave, pushing against the surf
a rippling chain of granite boulders

one blink, and it has disappeared
we doubt it was even there
just an apparition, a phantom of the sea
cousin to the Loch Ness Monster

our eyes strain for a second glimpse
and then again, beyond the reef
a hint of fin, a sudden burst of spray
a barnacled back rises to the surface

excited, we scale the headland
scan the horizon for our Moby Dick
but are confronted by a shifting sea
the illusory effects of light and water

each shadow becomes a sign
each dark shape a possibility
everywhere we look, we see them
the ocean is overflowing with whales

From Friendly Street No. 24
(also published in the e-zine The 2River View)