There are those you expect him to own and those of which he is
not yet aware
those catalogued and counted and those he hasn’t thought to
those he tolerates on account of his daughter and those in which
she takes no interest
those permitted access to the inner palace and those who are
those who have names and those in whom no names can be found
those that divide into like parts and those that don’t
those that announce their presence, waiting on the threshold for a
sign, and those which cannot be perceived by the senses
those that are singular and those whose numbers increase without
and finally those that hesitate between this world and the last, that
exist only in the mouths of those who should know better. So it
is that when he hears of a water demon made of the parts of
other animals––the body of an otter, the spurs of a rooster, the
bill of a duck––he nods in approval, dismisses the consul. In
such an animal, he wonders, perhaps even he cannot believe.
You say you name things according to their nature
but flat-foot doesn’t half describe it. Water-mole
is better, but you wonder if you don’t need
new ways of seeing, especially when the teapot
tells more about the room than it does about the tea
when the stables disclose the eastern gate but don’t
lead anyone to water. You scrawl
on a scrap
of paper, drop it in the stream.
And then, unwrapping folds of silk
among and amongst the reeds
again and against the clouds
thudding you think: the parts correlate, but where’s
the integrity? Better to see properties as qualities
a felt reality, wet ankles. You know
you could spend all day
describing the colour of the doorframe
or just say duck-egg––either they get it
or they don’t.
So turn the page, feel the stiffened fur. You think:
this beast now belongs to (b) embalmed ones.
You think: only motives are ulterior.
You think: tomorrow
- 100: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith 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