All this is fact /
That Jebo had a knack for melodrama.
That his slight weight barely marked
That boarding school ground.
That he was teased for his fair complexion.
That he’d skim most crowds in search of me.
That his left arm crowned my shoulders so often
That some thought us more than good friends.
That we walked to dormitories after classes.
That we were gathered out in the cold courtyard.
That we were lectured on theft and property.
That Balla was nabbed with bags of stolen food.
That our knees knocked in our short shorts.
That a storm roared over the fields.
All this is feasible /
That Balla was Goliath to Jebo’s David.
That a visible tension lay between them.
That Balla ate rice laced with rocks.
That these were the building blocks of his muscles.
That once he picked a senior clean off the floor.
That we called him Spartacus, a hero to us.
That Balla wasn’t guilty of theft.
That he was too thick to master such things.
That the prefect chose the toughest canes.
That lashes flashed down with such force
That Balla could make no sound at all.
That Balla chose to make no sound.
That the prefect so hated his show of strength
That he broke two canes on Balla’s back.
That another ripped a cable off the wall.
That its sparks hugged air for a second.
That he touched this to Balla’s wet skin.
That Balla shook like a bird on fire.
That Jebo smiled when Balla screamed.
That Balla broke free, ran for a window.
That the search party never found him.
All this is fiction /
That I pulled Jebo’s arm off my shoulder.
That I joined those who taunted him.
That Balla lost all diction that night.
That when he landed, he ran for the mountains.
That the storm struck the last of our Titans.
That often when lighting strikes those fields
instead of thunder, something / someone screams.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 92: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Aidan Coleman Reviews New and Selected Poems of Anna Wickham
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Ali Whitelock’s and my heart crumples like a coke can
- Editorial to AFRO AUSTRALIAN
- 4 Works by Guled Abdulwasi
- The Platonic Split
- you have no idea how far i swam
- To the still
- Garden of Grace
- Bloody QnA
- The Physics of Self
- Life Poem
- go ahead, call it magic
- Chalk to Charcoal
- (un) learning
- 3 Sisters
- Blood Fuel
- Raelee Lancaster Reviews Alison Whittaker’s Blakwork
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman
- Review Short: Simeon Kronenberg’s Distance