07: NORTHERN TERRITORY

Poetry guest edited by David Prater




Prithvindra Chakravarti: Twin Mangoes

We never spoke, never sat face to face. Our company evaporated with the morning dew. The midday sweat dried up on the quilted rice field: our wornout scarfs and robes reincarnated as embroidered ripples all around, a blossom in the …

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We All Discard Our Eyes

We all discard our eyes one day. Sticking them on the wall, we scratch around caught in a cobweb, relish our rest peacefully. Once Anancy created a whole world, now he will undo his mischief, relieving us of our routine: …

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Some Lines for Reading

Adelaide River War Cemetery Bones of Polly Mop or Mine below the last plaque on the grass. Blasted into death, there’s now no flesh but her still fresh name has stopped me. Fourteen runes I read ‘POLLY MOP OR MINE’. …

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Pandanus Fruit — Ubirr

for Elizabeth Mansutti On the edge of the floodplains At dusk Beneath recursively barbed leaves Shards of vermilion enamel Drop onto burnt black earth. Now delicately dismembered The knobby sphere Displays like jewels On a jeweller’s cloth Smooth inner membranes …

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Slow Evenings

… when even words were eaten and behind our backs they were forming a picture an inscription illegible but flawless as that other time when words were still things their melody ringing on the cold, charred ground

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A Double Life

At the end of their refugee journey, the long forced pilgrimage, burdened with the smallest and heaviest bundles, they settle at last, uneasily, anxiously, in the wounded heart of a city or its distant fringes beyond the fashionable and complacent …

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Zhang Zixuan: Untitled

there has been much rain this year and I am very thin there are three sparrows chirrping on the wall when I get up in the morning I always hear Wang Huali brushing his teeth outside the door then I …

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Yang Chunguang: Doing the Favour

she wanted it so i put her in bed but she wanted me to admit first that she was doing me a favour and i was the one who was asking for it only in this way could we start …

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Wang Jiaxin: Untitled

a man who is chopping wood for winter can bring more energy to winter than the fragile sun a man who is chopping wood for winter has got powerful, precise hands and the way he enters things startles, amazes me …

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A Bend in the River

Where the river crept out from behind the dunes, brown as tea, we turned off the road in my uncle’s station wagon and roller-coastered around a paddock that slumped into the sea, a furious spot where trees grew sideways slicked …

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In-flight Reflection

When the door folds shut it’s like a confessional, this bright box of light sucked dry of air — a toilet, a basin, and me in the mirror’s broad expanse, barely a foot from nose to nose. Here I’m obliged …

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The Widow’s Nest

She sits up there knitting her fingers for a silk dress that a dead man will bring to her from China The sunsets and sunrises are beautiful and she is blind and the waves of the ocean rise and fall …

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