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.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 91: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 90: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 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
- 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
- Review Short: Judith Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
- Melody Paloma Reviews Keri Glastonbury
- Submission to Cordite 91: NO THEME VIII
- Judith Bishop Reviews Phillip Hall’s Fume
- Bella Li on as Associate Publisher
- Alex Creece on as Production Editor
- Review Short: Diane Fahey’s November Journal and Carmen Leigh Keates’s Meteorites
- Review Short: Vahni Capildeo’s Seas and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations
- To Outlive a Home: Poetics of a Crumbling Domestic
- ‘The Rally Is Calling’: Dashiell Moore Interviews Lionel Fogarty
- Jackie Ryan: Teaser to Burger Force 3
- Dispatch from the Future Fish
- Introduction to Cordite 89: DOMESTIC
- 7 Portraits by Ali Gumillya Baker
- Selections from 3 Yhonnie Scarce Series
- Kathy Acker and The Viewing Room
- To Live There: on ‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’
- The Wild Workshop: The Ghost of a Brontëan Childhood in the Life of Dorothy Hewett
- Externalising the Symptom: Radicalised Youth and The Membrane
- On Deep Breaths and Friends Forever: Im/materiality and Mis/communication in Happy Angels Revisited
- Letter to Anne Carson: Work of Remembrance and Mourning
- Translated Extracts from Chantal Danjou