ONE POEM – Stephen House

Photo by MR WONG on Unsplash

where and when

i’m standing alone in a café
no one is serving

out the back dishes clatter
someone coughs

i wait
check facebook
ring a small brass bell
with a tinny tinkle

a guy appears
stands on the other side of the counter
facing me

brown eyes
strong hands
jagged forehead scar

i know him from sex

once i think
maybe twice

i’m not sure where and when

i order a long black
he looks at me
man on man gaze

i smile
we drift into whatever it was

our hands touch as i pass him two coins

he winks
we fall into whatever it is 

i remember where and when




‘where and when’ was previously published by Australian Poetry Journal and also appears in Stephen House’s chapbook, ‘real and unreal’, published by ICOE Press, Australia in 2018. 


Stephen House has had many plays commissioned and produced. He has won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild), an Adelaide Fringe Award, First Prize Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, The Goolwa Poetry Cup, First Prize SA Writers / Feast Short Story Prize & Second Prize Poetry at Sawmillers. He has been shortlisted / highly commended for Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, the Tom Collins, Robyn Mathison, Eyre writers, Mindshare, Rhonda Jankovic Poetry Awards, Di Cranston Script Award, and a Greenroom best actor Award. He has received Australia Council Canada and Ireland literature residencies, and an Asia-link India literature residency. He has seen his plays and poems published, including by Currency Press, Australian Script Centre, Australian Poetry Journal, Third Street Writers USA, Page and Spine USA, grey border magazine Canada, The Blue Nib Ireland and many websites internationally. His poetry collection “real and unreal” was selected for publication by ICOE Press Australia. He travels widely and continues to perform his acclaimed monologues, “Almost Face To Face” and “Appalling Behavior”.

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