John Bartlett


Installation: A form of art, which involves the creation of an enveloping aesthetic or sensory experience in a particular environment, often inviting active engagement or immersion by the spectator.

what the boys are doing in Chaturbate

might surprise their mothers

their range of intimacies bar-coded

for a global market checkout

– nonchalant exhibitionists

#cock flash #flexbiceps #nippleplay #assflash

these boys need your dollars and your adoration

and might decide to talk to you

just keep on tipping

if you like what you see

– a globalisation

of the hard-on although it doesn’t rate

so high in the Economic Complexity Index

– solitary boys


withholding their ejaculations

to boost the Competitive Market

Equilibrium Risk Load

– is this what Adam Smith had in mind

by Gross Domestic Product and

will it save us from Recession?

– how many million viewers

does it take?


you #beautynthebeast #selfsuckbro #peterbeater

#vanillaguerilla #hunghulk #megahorse


you stand outside

yourself attentive to the lens

watching yourselves watched

this double mirror of Narcissus

traps you in these screens, these cells

of meditation, like monks devoted to

small prayers and genuflections

bodies on display willing to be

pierced with the arrows of our eyes’ desires


but dear boys, better

this articulation of your limbs, these installations,

than you carve despair and loneliness

upon your blue-veined wrists

or slip a noose around your necks

in locked garages while the family shops at Safeway


The Songs the Wind Sings

(after Jeremiah 6:16)

You hear them on train tracks

those voices of departure,

the songs of farewell

those rattling door melodies

leaking from abandoned houses

where dog-days transform

into wolf-nights


The wind makes use of

what it will to warn us,

to tell us where the good way is,

so we can walk in it




John Bartlett’s poetry has been published in a number of Australian and overseas journals. In June 2019 Melbourne Poets Union published his Chapbook The Arms of Men and Ginninderra Press has just published Songs of the Godforsaken and Awake at 3am. He is the Winner of the 2020 Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize.