a taste of ‘Track Tales’

from the poetry collection Track Tales by Mercedes Webb-Pullman, published October 2017 …


ISBN (paperback) 978-1-925536-35-5

ISBN (eBook)  978-1-925536-36-2

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I show them how to

squash roaches underfoot with

a tap-dance step, while singing

from A thousand cockroaches deep


call Aussie Bill with the day’s results

at 6 on the dot. Or risk execution

from The Green Apple


Glenys smiles. It’s like seeing lips on a shark

from A fair dinkum champion


But she’s not happy, keeps waving

the monkey at me

from From both sides now


‘He’s a crawling piece of shit’ according

to Mr Nasty. ‘Went to Moocher University.’

from The Moose


He sells his car and catches a train to the races

with a pocket full of cash, convinced he’s a

genius. This is how the sickness works

from The Teach


You can’t really tell

when you’re winning

from The treachery of numbers


I watch the barrel, the black hole that just swallowed

time. If I sneeze he’ll kill me

from Moving in at Systrum Street


punters at fever pitch, the shove and jostle,

sweat and bad breath, the dips working hot,

the noise

from The Voice of Doom


His wife comes across like a North Shore matron

but she’s as outrageous as he is

from O Shoshonya!


I’ve never felt so frightened in my life, yet so removed

from it at the same time

from The day we leave the bag behind


We’ve been married exactly fifteen minutes. So that’s

how long my marriage lasts, really

from Marrying Mr. Nasty


He brings us gifts, purses

of treasure, masses of red-gold eggs glistening

from Ronny the Fish


each brick is two

thousand dollars, and there are dozens. I’m

about to burn them

from Buster


That’s what the phone calls from

Avis in Lima Peru were all about

from A giant walnut


‘Flames out both sides of the block! You wouldn’t

believe the bang!’ Lucky the jets aren’t damaged

from The Jet Boat


a little shrug and tug, the top’s

gone, leaving a tiny Chrismas bra

from The stripper on the Rails


‘You just don’t understand the way things work

at the races.’ He’s right. I don’t. I’m learning, though

from The Minister


Court case follows court case for years, alliances alter,

set some against others for life

from Family Connections


‘See what that

silly prick does? He pisses himself!’

from The man in the Kombi van


Who paints a horse? It goes to weigh-in dripping paint.

Even Eagle Farm stewards have to take some action

from Not-So-Fine Cotton


‘We move around a bit’ says Ron. ‘Makes it harder

for the cops to track me.’ Like it’s a game they play

from The SP joint


working flat out on the first leg

of the Melbourne daily double when the locked doors

burst open and in come the cops

from I go to Court, and get busted again


Like a wave he came in,

and went, leaving the ocean undiminished

from Frank Hardy


George frowns, taps his glasses.

‘Worst thing that can happen to anyone, winning

their first bet.’

from The moneybox


I know his head

from the track, a tall, good-looking dude, always polite.

The heavies show him a lot of respect

from The wong Wong


We snap the mast one day when

Mr. Nasty is trying to get one of the keels

to break surface

from Messing about in boats


Won’t even put on a coat when it rains.

He thinks changing clothes will change his luck

from Superstitions


I grovel. I piss myself. I stare at my boots, wondering if

I’ll see my kids again, how Mary will manage

without me

from Some jockeys are deadly


‘Don’t worry, love, can’t hurt him now’

comforts Mr. Nasty, but that doesn’t help

from The ashes

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