Daniel East is an Australian writer currently working in South Korea. His work has been published in Voiceworks, Cordite and the 2007 Max Harris Poetry Award, “Poems in Perspex”. He was a member of
Australia’s only poetry boyband, The Bracket Creeps and co-wrote “Sexy Tales of Paleontology” which won the 2010 Sydney Fringe Comedy Award.




How Korea is Old

Three months in a city of red night

waking in a colourless cold dawn

where stumbling children stop as buses crush past

& with half-formed fingers linked, blink & move on.

Schools of tailor belly-up in tanks, bleached scallops,

finless cod,

octopus like phlegm writhing on the glass;

this scaffolded street an aquarium

shopping-bagged in smog.

Chillies & bedsheets set to dry by the road,

beggars hiding their stumps beneath black rubber mats,

plucked melodies of a geomungo blasting from a Buy-The-Way.

11 p.m. on Sunday Gwangmyeong market begins to shutter.

Cider-apple women peel garlic cross-legged on newspapers,

pre-teens return from night school

playing baseball on their touch-screens.

A plaque reads:

this market is three hundred years old.

Yesterday I watched cuttlefish butchered

in pools of scarlet & cream – tonight I drink beer on my roof

as neon crosses strike out across the valley

& the city starts to scream.



Writing After The Goldrush


On a yellow day in August you’ll find yourself alone

a coverlet twisting in your toes

& no more see his smile

but by an exact shadow.

There’ll be one green apple in a clay bowl

& to your thin fingers it will be

the smoothest thing you ever held –

but by a park on Parrish avenue

when your bare feet were cold,

he pressed a lily pad into your palm

the pink-white lotus beyond reach in clear

black water. It will be August,

& a nameless thing will go.