The refrigerator’s humming outside
and I like that.
Outside of any use I could make of it.
But I can’t see it now,
cause I’m in a different suburb, but this reminds me
of how I used to like
the ‘Here’s Too-ee’ sign, lit up at night, in steam,
in the headlights. The freezing lines,
weather-forecast needs, indeterminate
flow of large blurred lights becoming objects again.
Trying to fragment the sense
but it doesn’t work, because of
the connections, between words and
each other. You try to attend,
but not attend properly, or try
not to attend – but you do. If this is manic
it’s fairly restrained. It’s probably relaxed
really: a hammock swinging in the
backyard of a sense of
quiet retrieval, of the linguistic connections
that constitute the idea,
or of something automatic
You think it: Time, small
parcels of thought in train that
move darkly past unopened, familiar beneath
their disguises, the disguises that saying ‘No’ lends
each of them – and are
incognito, as in Who wants to know?
Wait, your hand reaches for
a beer, but the fridge is stuck.
And relaxes across your chest, your glass empty.
You go to sleep fully
apprised emotionally, and calm.
Falling out of the air
with both arms,
but in charge somehow and not desperate, as though
your worst fears
had telegraphed the vicissitudes you deal with.
Then outside again and clutching the rail
which is very nicely cool
and makes the hand relax actually.
The air-conditioning like distant aircraft
or the way trucks hum at night in sleep.
Most things at night make the mind relax,
(against the grain, again), like lightning
illuminates the real world but discharges
ions that soothe anyway.
Inside, the telly rages greyly
as a channel switches off. You go inside
and change it, and come outside again, the new
image bouncing, reflected, in the glass behind.
And time for this thought:
each image occupies its own
parentheses, without surprise, appearing
one at a time, although it’s a dream
from the details of an ordinary day,
carrier waves to an idea or impulse
that can only be named …
where you know the name of something
best by just not thinking about it
– by ignoring them, in their immediacy,
their fascination – epiphenomena
to an aspiration – as you reflect upon
an ‘ideal’ of self-quotation,
remembering how you had looked up
to the sun above the top floors of buildings,
where the light hits,
as, below, the silent swimmers
appear, one by one, in the streets,
in the calm erasure of their paths through space,
without reflection and unknown to you,
all the days that beat like waves, black and white,
where a white froth of minutes is ineluctable
and inevitable and you too far to care.
Though caring is the least part. Let’s say, you
simply leave it, as someone shouts
up from a lift shaft, and lights appear,
rising from the airport, across the city.
A face looks down. Your face? Your own,
or the image in your mind’s eye that expresses
your attitude? Over and over, like a pop song you hate
but cannot ignore, these words: these truths
harm you to attend and are final – you stand ‘outside’
to think them, but you are outside
and a few other occasions like these.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with 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: 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