Julian Zytnik

Julian Zytnik is a 30 year old writer of poetry and prose based in the Adelaide Hills. He began writing seriously during the early 1990s while studying Arts and Law at Adelaide University.

He has since been published in several literary journals including the New England Review, Hobo, the Adelaide Review, Going Down Swinging, Spindrift and Centoria. In 1997-98 he completed a short collection: “The Love Within My Stare”, under a SAYAB grant. This was published in 1999 as part of Friendly Street New Poets 5.

Julian has read his work live for 5UV, the Fringe Festival, Friendly Street and the New Writing Performed Café Tapas series. He has also helped coordinate live poetry and music events in Adelaide, such as Verge of Silence (1999).

He has been a member of the SA Writers’ Centre Board, convenor of Friendly Street Poets and co-editor of the dB Young Writers page.

Since 1998 Julian has worked in both legal and public sector policy jobs. He is married with one child.

Skenes Creek Road

Otway Ranges, 10/5

as we snake along
this wire-drawn thread of road
the car wheels flick up
terracotta pebbles and
bits of thick matt puddle-paste
onto the luminescent green

from the top of the ridge
the sea below
beats rock into a
jigsaw of caverns and bluffs
Aeolus the sea-wind
thrashing rows of pinus radiatae
as if slaves

the sheltered calm in its wake
holds silence
crystal droplets and creed reeds

the layered canopies of rare ferns
recall my own
organic stages of growth
my opacity just like
the mottled lichen and
the soft fog

From The Love Within My Stare: Friendly Street New Poets Five


Byron Bay, 25/5

                        Salt-fat winds
whip and roll the late-autumn swell and
set the ethical timbre:
                        indulgence, excess
writhing free of habit’s dull tug
into rip tide nites.
                        Boom baby
Booker-T-black throb
sets the meter:
                        a lilt and swagger of
flash-striped cotton pants
flared out and wandered by legs in
loose V motions.
                        Highway 1
serpentines out of town and
sets the path of flight:
                        an adrenaline ascent
through ranges wrapped in strangler figs
and fog
                        trailed closely
by a long, black, finned shadow
that screeches around greasy corners blind
trying to get at you and
bring you to judgment
but never will
                        and I am now
one like all here – a shadowed reinvention
who only knows himself
when incomplete.

From The Love Within My Stare: Friendly Street New Poets Five

Farewell to a Colleague

As we tie up these final matters
my pulse leaps and tingles
and ‘colleague’ blurs into compagnero.

I take today’s headlines
and try to cast new bonds between us’
sadness the love-starved terrier

bites and nips at heel
as you give your spiel
on bad clients and Friday nite Scotch –

already I can feel
a warm malt ghost that intermingles
with gulped regrets deep in my throat,

                                        – then I take my coat.

From The Love Within My Stare: New Poets Five; and Friendly Street No. 23