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
- 93: PEACHSUBMIT to L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 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 F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D 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 P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
- NO THEME VIII Editorial
- ‘A means of resistance’: Susie Anderson Interviews Alison Whittaker
- 10 Works by Richard Bell
- Shipwrecks in Modern European Painting and Poetry: Radical Mobilisation of the Motif as Political Protest
- 4 Self-translations by Danijela Trajković
- Brutalism: Poems by Alex Creece
- Imperfect Growth: a Travel Log
- 4 Translated Kim Seung-hee Poems
- Residence: Dwelling with The Shards (an essay)
- The Shards
- in yr swimming pool
- Sonar for Conception
- The slow clock
- nanny on the water
- Vernal Funks & Bluffs
- I’d Have Called Her Sooner
- Call of Summer
- Sunday, call me a squid
- Mother Bird
- The Wrong Colour
- Milk River
- House fitting : surprisingly
- Farewell to Sweet Pea