Juliet Paine

Juliet Paine is a poet, who in her professional life teaches English to to
secondary students at Loreto College. Her first poetry collection, Poems for a Paranoid Generation was published by Ginninderra Press. Juliet is currently working on a second with the help of an Arts SA grant.

This is not cliché

Deconstructing the other’s mind
Powderfinger on the radio
and rain’s many fingers playing
scales across the bonnet

It’s all about intentionally
misplacing shyness
Forgetting to collect $200
as you pass “GO”
Abstaining from lover’s rhetoric
except for hands
that slide and coax

There is nothing but quiet

apart from dogs
fucking in bushes

From Friendly Street No. 25

Waiting for A

I sit at the Art Gallery
a stone porch of Doric columns
& Latin overtones
quietly reading Roethke.

I linger for the rhythm
among the traffic & rain.
But the engines
aren’t percussion
& hurrying footsteps
don’t quite snare me
with their drum.

Maybe it’s country & western,
melancholic folk pop,
The Lemonheads, Belle & Sebastian,
that sends me humming
“The State I’m In”.


Without edge of the seat
and by turning pages fingers
watching Adelaide turn grey with
as my words twist on tongue

The wind jabs across North Terrace.
Short, sharp punches
That upper-cut umbrellas
& KO pedestrians.

From Friendly Street No. 26

The Dentist

He used to dream of oil rigs
living in the north Scottish sea
drilling for oil
instead of teeth
but dirt bothered him

From age five
he’d scrub the sin of dust
out of his skin
as well as make the bathroom
white with disinfectant noise

It was when he discovered
the perfection of smiles
failed to get into medicine
that he decided to become
an architect of enamel

Now days,
it’s root canals
removing plaque
restructuring, straightening up smiles
all with hairdresser chattiness
and the skill of a failed North Sea oil driller

From Friendly Street No. 30