The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Julie Maclean’s “Kiss of the Viking”

photo head and shoulders stripe

Remembering Lake Vättern, Jönköping

Two-tone dog roses
prick the shore.

A boy skims stones to impress.
The girl checks her phone.

Families make barbecue
the Eastern Bloc way.

A solitary yacht
with a white sail,

static as the summer sun,
slow as the London Eye,

watches for the loch
monster to appear.

It feels fake. Me here,
you there. Longitudes

in between. We’re in liminal space.
Soft-boiled like bad fiction.

Not quite right whichever way
you look. Sidetracked.

This selection comes from Julie Maclean’s Kiss of the Viking, available from Poetry Salzburg. Purchase your copy here!

Originally from Bristol, UK, Julie Maclean is now based in Australia. She is the author of ‘Kiss of the Viking’ (Poetry Salzburg, 2014), When I saw Jimi’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, UK, 2013) and e-chapbook ‘You Love You Leave’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press, US, 2014). Her poetry and short fiction features in international journals like Poetry and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). Blogging at

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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