Stuart Barnes’ poems have been shortlisted for major Australian prizes & published at online & in print journals & newspapers including The Nervous Breakdown, The Warwick Review & The Weekend Australian Review; others are forthcoming at Otoliths, in fourW twenty-three & Blasphemy. ‘Mother and Son’, creative nonfiction about his coming out, can be read at Verity La ( He edits PASH capsule (, a magazine of love poetry, & is working on the manuscript for his first book of poetry. Currently he lives in Melbourne, Australia.



Words witnessed, in traction, on Swanston St.

You fucking Asians
     Stuffing your yellow
faces with 

rice   Picking
     your Chinky noses
Yeah, that’s right, 

get your fingers
     right up there
Go back to China 

I hope you die
     today, bitch: I hope
a tram hits 

you   Thanks, Driver,
    have a great


(title an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s ‘Words heard, by accident, over the phone’)