Open Says a Me by James Walton

Open Says a Me

My friend Burt told me
of the secret door at Melbourne Airport.
It looks the same as any door
but you have to have a special pass.

Like that restaurant in Sydney
you can only enter if you are a member,
but no one knows how you get to be a member
except the owner who won’t say.

You have to masticate each mouthful
twenty six times,
and she comes around the tables counting,
throwing you out if you do fewer.

So I went to the city International
and tried all the handles I could see,
until Border Protection asked me for my Passport,
which I didn’t have
because I was only looking for the place
with the self dispensing bloody marys and lamb steaks.

After a while they accepted I wasn’t a terrorist,
and one of them winked at me,
and the guard dog licked my hand.

Later I noticed the servo in Station Street
which used to have the sign ‘Lube until you wait’.
was now a Food Palace
and a woman was placing a placard
out the front with ‘Special menu’ written on it,
but I can’t chew that often,
and I don’t know the etiquette for franchise.


James Walton
is an Australian poet published in newspapers, and many journals, and anthologies. Short listed twice for the ACU National Literature Prize, a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition – his collection ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ was published in 2015.

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