Dan McLeod

Volcanic Onions

limbs contorting like a smashed spider, man of 45 or 50

down on the pavement screaming 

shirtless, split lipped, skin corn-yellow

thrashing across an Elizabeth St lunch-hour

bellowing his agony:

my onions are wet! my onions are wet!

I believed him

why not?

drenched onions confronted this man

and they had kicked the stool out from under him


so we watched him writhe

from café chairs and bus stop steel and crawling traffic -

it wasn’t our privilege to know the deeper layers of his distress,

we had to take it on face value: his onions were wet


people don’t care much for the lava inside a volcano

but once the top is blown, we’ll gather together and watch it run downhill.


Kandy Hearts

Let’s talk about sex, Iraqi

let’s talk about U.N. me

’91 and infidelity 

‘93 to infinity

no carpet for Aladdin when Uncle rolled in

not even a body bag

just a swift execution against a wall


in some bombed-out urban sprawl

Jasmine

gutted and fucked, under a drone-strike sun

the Sultan?

Oman, no time for that 

those tales should be told in Den Haag


I couldn’t pull the trigger anymore, not for men like that

so while the daisies cut

and scuds scuttled 

I went AWOL

jumped fences to see 

Afghans a-poppin’ and fields a-smokin’

getting sucked deep into the Genie’s lamp 

with opium-soaked glands


Dan McLeod lives in Melbourne, Australia. His short story, Plunging Silver,was published in the 2017 Newcastle Short Story Anthology and his poetry has appeared internationally, via Button Eye Review. He has contributed articles and reviews for several Australian music websites, and cites Pedro Juan Gutierrez, Geovani Martins and Karl Hyde as influences.