Magenta Bliss (formerly, Jenny Boult)

MML Bliss was formerly known as jenny boult. She changed her name for personal reasons.

Poems, stories and plays by jenny boult and MML Bliss have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. jenny boult has been translated into French, Swedish, Norwegian, Urdu, German and Italian.

MML Bliss was awarded a Booranga Writers Fellowship, Wagga Wagga, in 2002. She currently lives in Launceston, Tasmania, and is available to conduct readings and workshops with schools and community groups.


as Jenny Boult

The Hotel Anonymous poems (Bent Enterprises 1981)
Handbaggery poems (Bent Enterprises 1982)
Can’t Help Dreaming playscript (All Out Ensemble 1982)
flight 39 poems (Abalone Press 1984)
“i” is a versatile character short stories (Words and Visions 1984)
the white rose & the bath poems (Friendly St Poets 1986)
About Auntie Rose poems (Omnibus / Puffin 1988)
abrasion in Hot Collation poems (Penguin 1993)
here poems (The Teller’s House 1999)

as MML Bliss

moonshine poems (PressPress 2002)
Legend! poems (Cornford Press 2002)
unspoken poems (SideWalk Collective 2003)
RAVO poems (Cornford Press 2003)


in the desert sunset we talked about
storm & flood & that night

after pasta & red wine it rained
while the black cockatoos flocked

& the frogs in the swamp spawned
& the car got bogged because you

only thought of lightning & left it
standing in the open all night

you said this was your country
showed me family history & photos

of your ex-wife while clouds burst
& the sky shattered in the forked electric

& the trees around us fell
you said you thought you knew me

i guess i proved you wrong when
i treated it all like fireworks

but time runs out like the bush
when cities run away with themselves

& the wildlife disappears
you showed me a frog dreaming

talked about independence
i listened even as i put more wood

on the fire
in the morning

after the night’s conduction
there were hailstones on the grass

From Friendly Street No. 15 and Tuesday Night Live

After Pentridge

  1. i waited outside the gate
    apprehensive & you were late
    on the day we went into the prison
    as poets.

trembling, i let the officer
run his metal detector over me
& his hands thru my bag.

you smiled, asked me
if i was scared, i nodded &
asked for coffee, but the staff room
had run out, i made do with water.

  1. the man with the popeye forearms
    & wrap around shades
    laughed nervously & talked too much,

the boy with bloodshot eyes
read a poem about solitary & talked
kurosawa & beckett & artaud, he said
being stoned on coffee’s like
the tail end of a speed jag

& the man in screws boots
was tender & soft voiced
when he spoke about his wife
after a contact visit.

we observed a patchy protocol
never quite sure. said, see you later
when we all knew how unlikely that was.

  1. it was no shock that they were
    ordinary young blokes
    down on their luck

but i felt like i’d been jogging
in a mine field in the dark
& scraped thru the barbed wire fence
on the other side.

  1. for fourteen hours a day
    they live in tiny rooms
    painted black with despair.

the education centre smelled
of cabbage & old smoke, when
i opened the window
they looked out anxiously
afraid of being overheard.

  1. when I left with my words
    & the gate’s numb thud
    sounded like a sentence
    in an empty court

i couldn’t forget
red eyes that looked like crying
& dark uniforms that proved
that their wearers were real men
on the right side of the law.

From Friendly Street No. 7 and Tuesday Night Live

for mr perfect, mr i’m always right

can’t say i wasn’t warned
because i was
& there’s nothing like
“well if i was you i wouldn’t….”
to make me want to

he’s off again mr perfect
mr i couldn’t possibly be wrong
mr my voice is louder than yours
mr always ready to shout you down
mr pain in the arse mr put-you-down
mr never make you feel good
mr know it all
mr intolerance interference can’t mind
his own business
mr do as i say don’t do as i do

mr perfect sees exactly that
mr i’m always right mr never wrong
arrogant sarcastic idiotic mr thick
so thick you can’t see through self image
mr façade mr got to have the best toys
mr take take take

tell you what mr perfect mr i’m always right
mr got to play one-upmanship
mr got to have the last word
mr got all the answers
your’e not you aren’t you haven’t

mr fanatical
mr bore you to death with his one relentless
continuous pat himself on the back
mr pure as driven snow & twice as cold
mr freeze you out & take your warmth
mr i haven’t got a good word to say about anything
mr i don’t care what you think
mr i couldn’t possibly make a mistake
mr can’t even change a window without breaking it
mr best builder in town

mister, you give me the shits.
mr empty promises
mr innocent
mr beat her up & teach her her place
do i really know you
mr insecurity
mr ineffectual
mr talk talk talk
mr lone star cowboy
i’m no bucking bronc/ you can’t ride me

mr little boy hurt lost no fixed address
runs home to mummy
to clean up his mess

mr perfect mr i’m always right
sleeps in the dark/ on his own tonight

From Friendly Street No. 17