Three Synchyses in a Single Malt


In a corner booth.
On plush leather sitting.
The golden snow falling white on.
The whiskey bar with its sherry overtones.
Travellers leave their.
Leaves the colour of broken autumn.
Not spoken.
The trees are lit and exclaiming.
Traffic hums and decodes white arrows.
Before we change rooms again, where were?
My shoes were a gift, red, stilettoed.
Cruiser in the bay waits.
Skin silk ripples on the texture of.
Attachments blur.
All the meditations of the cove anastrophised.
Cupped palms of rainwater.
Light with pouring through.
Parking ticket rejects ticks reverses.
Water distils in wood.
Again the lights spill orange on the sidewalk.
Salamanca calls across.
You listen to the langu.
Age is forgotten in the early hours.
Matter is a question for Tom.
Or row arrives in a new four stroke.
Mangata the moon streaks.
And we believe its yellow.
The moon walks drops rolls.
Siren cuts the night’s bell tower.


Subway stirs expels its froth.
We teem in all directions.
Tapas tequila katsudon guiness.
Percussion beats the basement black.
Smoke comes in on a traveller’s back.
Heaven is 07 is a club is metaphysical.
This cat inked paper wraps.
On phones are silent tho the train.
Far hills maintain their waterfall maples.
Bath house breathe wet as towels falling.
Where the blossom falls tanka forms.
Sex hotel is cheaper.
The trees are exclaiming not lit.
Shoes on the walking step are swept away.
Curtains slowly part silk doorways.
Anime cosplay girl gangs in.
Time is there wrapped of course.
Red bridge arched in red red paint.
Water slides its course beneath lanterns.
Miziduro is the new gold.

Palma de Major Orca

Poolside but still ascending.
Above the balcony a colonnade and drill.
Seabed turquoise swims anemones between.
Water games remain topless.
Sun is a brassy statement saffron.
Blood fights where the bull is.
Fruit ripens the trembling olive trees unlit.
Only the flowers wander.
Estrella speaks Miro colours in.
A flasher was that Malta.
Petals flamenco across a rare breeze.
Fans flamboyant as fish trumpeting their.
Boats are unsure bobbing crowing.
From tanned leather-bottomed glass-domed bottles.
Yes Valetta.
Sangria pours when.
Weather is an electric static.
Senors the bay is full with.
Gin can’t account the night’s syllables.
On the home stretch el pajero sings.
Dance is a wingless flight.


This poem was shortlisted for the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for emerging writers 2015.

Author’s note: I wanted to push and play with the possibilities of language whilst exploring pathways to memory using sensory images associated with place.

Judge Toby Fitch’s feedback: “Three Synchyses in a Single Malt”, by Helga Jermy, is a poem that experiments overtly with the order of words and lines to explore how memory isn’t linear, how memory’s syntax can seem necessarily disordered. Each line ends with a full stop, often in mid-sentence or phrase, suggesting memory loss and anxiety, and at the same time calling to mind, so to speak, the dance steps and lateral shifts that our neural pathways make and take as they branch out, off, and away. If only we could trust them more: ‘The trees are lit and exclaiming.’ Synaesthetic, drunk, lurid with association, the poem ends with a great line: ‘Dance is a wingless flight.’

This poem is taken from Synclines. It was also previously published in Australian Poetry Anthology 5.

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00