Benjamin Meurs

Benjamin Meurs is a Melbourne poet and writer currently based in London. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University with Majors in French and Creative Writing and is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Morning Mourning

Under terracotta archways

your gaze shrinks

from empty spheres

in wrinkled sockets

red in the morning

packed in a tin casket

you are sucked between

the ghost gums of a

eucalyptus belly

shepherds mourning

digested through the intestine

of Campbell’s fleshy arcade

you are excreted into

a grey abyss of puddled slate

welcome to the waste

of scurrying footsteps

insolent visages and

apathetic façades

the wilfully blind and wilfully bound:

Flinders’ flock on a bitumen pasture

seek refuge in

a blond wood cavern

drench yourself

in the arabica scent

infatuate yourself

with ingénue miens unknown

execute a tarantella

of the eyes

across the mosaic floor

alas, these follies

will not extract you

from the impending drainage:

through mouldy pipes

of servitude and grime

to resignation sewers

where drifts the


flock of Flinders.



Cummings Alley, 1890

The Melbourne alleyway Centre Place, formerly called Cummings Alley, once housed a large, open-air communal toilet, used by workers of the rag trade warehouses on Flinders Lane.

A human herd


from the moths and maggots’

warehouse feast

to feverish clamour

in the rag trade’s bowels.

Workers’ piss

trickles and spews

through gutters and grates.

Mistreated mules

toil, defecate

over bluestones

lain by convict hands.

Iron-clad hooves and

hobnailed soles           wallow

in the muck

beast and sapient


in steaming refuse.

Now amidst the deluge

a thousand screens click

excrete their embellished bounty

into a virtual cesspit.

Degraves’ Assumption

All around Degraves’ assumption

between the ficus bound in slate

a parade of endless consumption:

for anorexic gluttons

the splurge of 3pm

consecrated on a feed

becomes the purge of quarter past

for couture’s disciples

April’s florid lace

adorned with filter

becomes August’s waste

by the curb-side

sullied cardboard pleas

to which puffed pouts

omit sufficient heed

and all around

ficus and elms

sway gently and

await our demise.



The Flâneur (Part I)

The flâneur of

Benjamin and Baudelaire

would become

of one flesh

with the multitude.

A stranger amidst

the ebb and flow

of modernity

nourished on the

ceaseless passage

of myriad beings.


captains of industry

could not accept this

pavement parasite

and thus

unleashed a

reckoned deluge

of capital and glut,

scorn and tariff.

And Baudelaire’s

Peintre de la vie moderne,

once immersed

in ephemeral and

vicarious colour;

was drowned

in tepid cement.