Peter Lach-Newinsky

Of German-Russian heritage, Peter grew up bilingually in Sydney. MPU First Prize 2009. Third Prize Val Vallis Award 2009. MPU Second Prize 2008. Second Prize Shoalhaven Literary Award 2008. Varuna-Picaro Publishing Award 2009. Chapbook: ‘The Knee Monologues & Other Poems’ (Picaro Press, 2009). First full-length collection: ‘The Post-Man Letters & Other Poems’ (Picaro Press, 2010). Peter grows 103 heirloom apple varieties in Bundanoon, NSW.

Other Flesh

Bare front yard concrete driveway, a single
small frangipani shrivels its furrowed grey
elephant skin near the grey paling fence, up
the red brick steps hot in the sun to the threshold:
now speak. German. Another. World.
Brown linoleum hallway, or is it carpet,
to the dining room. Mother there, or kitchen?
Maybe just the spicy dream-world smells
from an Asian boarder’s cooking,
into the bedroom shared with Omi
where mornings we play ‘I spy’ in German,
the armchair with the polished dark
brown wooden rests that prop
my arm holding up a child’s head heavy
with listening to the white wireless,
the wide glowing dial, little green neon wand
I can move to the unknown reaches
of the unseen world full of soft maternal
English voices telling Argonaut stories,
the thrill of Tarzan’s chest-beat yodel,
Clark Kent closing the phone booth door
followed by Superman’s bullet flight,
the dial against which, listening, I press,
peacefully embalmed in fantasy like a baby
at the breast, my small nibbled thumbnail
to see the warm light
coming through all
that other flesh.


contours in the sand/ konturen im sand
combed wind, wires/ gekämmter wind, drähte
up there at the estuary/ vorne an der mündung
a sudden thought of you/ dachte ich an dich
been there again clawed/ wieder da gewesen verkrallt
into branch moss/ am ast das moos
dragonfly wings about the heart/ libellenflügel ums herz
lightless/ lichtlos


bröckelnde bäume der lunge
harzverklebte nüstern
das herz klirrt
die scheibe zerspringt, das messer
dies der tod der luft
crumbling lung trees
resin-gummed nostrils
heart pounding
the pane shatters, a knife
this the death of air
mohnerinnerungen verblassen
hart der strassenrand und gerade
nagle im schuh
möwe grell über der halde
dies der tod der krume
poppy memories fading
hard road’s edge, straight
nail in shoe
gulls livid over the dump
this the death of soil
kein sinken wie Ophelia
ranzige bretter, kellerasseln
das pferd verquollen
zahnlos, gischt
tod des wassers
no sinking like Ophelia
rancid planks, wood lice
bloated horse
toothless, spume
the death of water
im spiegel das gesicht wegrasiert
fern gewinkt, schon ans telefon
fliessend k/w und zH, abgelenkt
lebenslang vom staunen
dies der tod des feuers
face shaved off
in the mirror
half waving from afar
already phoning
running h/c all mod cons
distracted lifelong
from the wonders
this the death of fire



Acknowledgement: ‘Other Flesh’ has appeared in ‘The Post-Man Letters & Other Poems’ (New Work Series Picaro Press, 2010)