Posted June 9, 2017

A Poem About Fed Square

It’s that time of year again when we get the chance to hear from some of the most talented young creative writers. The Emerging Writer’s Festival commences on the 14 June for 10 days and opening night will kick off at Deakin Edge where some of the artists will take to the stage.

Izzy Roberts-Orr is the Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Festival. She is a Jack of All Trades, being able to call herself a producer, writer, editor and broadcaster.

We decided to set her a bit of a challenge and requested a poem, simply giving her Fed Square as the subject. Her poem titled, photo // graph, is a reflection on her fond memories as a teenager in Fed Square. She went to school in the city at Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School and regularly found herself in the Square, Birrarung Marr and Flinders Street.

Enjoy her work and make sure you check out the opening night of Our Invincible Summer on 14 June at 7pm.

photo // graph

Look at us, down by the water.

Bodies flung as careless as our backpacks,

holding time with our teeth

in the stretch of afternoon that belongs

to us, untethered from the catch of youth,

monochrome demands of school, family, work.

Strips of black and white film processed

in the cold dark behind the station –

our faces already tinged with our histories,

already nostalgic.

Our laughter is loud and unbridled,

almost performative – a challenge

to the space around us, to be

anything other than our own.

Backs of knees burn in summer sun

lying over clover with our socks pushed down

and our dresses rolled up;

melted ice cream and the plastic spoons

I’ll find weeks later, burst

from their packaging

at the bottom of my backpack.

Light falls on a light-sensitive surface,

we find

eight warm beers stored

in the bushes by the edge of the water.

In the image, we are poised to jump, legs

held in crisp winter light

framed by the back of the cube,

sun refracting through metal and glass.

And the half-light calls us home,

angled into each other on trams, secrets

passing between the boughs of our bodies

like tin cans on a string.

We return in the dark, stark lit

by Moomba rides and

you hold my hand

as fireworks burst at our feet,

heads spinning, our bodies angled skyward.