Lintern Street Gone (and Holding Houses in Your Head)

Tom Campbell

Mourning the house

And our eyes straining in sawdust 

Dragging Uncle Gerard’s lathe across an unvarnished wood floor


There were long Sunday nights

I was toeing tobacco-sticky tiles

I was in the taste of the kitchen with touchable history – truly, I was


An architect has been there with unsentimental goggles, rulers, spirit levels

So we cannot go back

Cannot disturb the past’s floor plan which keeps still for us – our nighttime indulgence


Laughably blue and arrestingly pink 

The vegetation smell on the patio 

Everything then was mildewed and seeping and fertile


Nobody wants my ghosts 

Now, lying still in the dark, my ears are little wells for crying

They are homes for relief, they are tiny bunks of remembrance 


Perhaps there is still a red-tiled bathroom with a print on the wall 

It may still be mold-dappled from a life watching; 

steamy shower-shaves, considered periods of dressing, soap scum, and breaths held for the evening


This place here is for a tin shed, you should know that (not an infinity pool)

It’s for palms which drop their leaves in gutters and rot

It’s for storing a broken dingy, a donkey costume for two adults, congealing possum piss 


Visiting, visiting, revisiting

What time remains for me to walk through the cold door?

How long can you hold a house in your head?

Author: Tom Campbell is a Meanjin/ Brisbane writer and QUT alumni. He works in hospitality, writes avidly, and his work has also appeared in Urinal Mag.

Artist: SaBelle Pobjoy-Sherriff is a third year fine arts visual arts student. Her art practice uses narrative and mythology to create obscure illustrations and sculptures. Using acrylic paint and coloured pencils she creates vibrant worlds and creatures. Her current work focuses on the current climate crisis and the idea of corrupting escapism. You can find more on her Instagram @SaBelleeee.

Editors: David Farr and Grace Harvey