for (but not to) Gig Ryan
You heard me. Don’t pretend you didn’t.
This town’s foliage
corkscrews down from trees that sound
a bit off. Gentles in a neat layer
writhe like a pullover
over what at a distance looks
Up close, the scalloped sails pullulate
with air gusts writhing.
But of course you knew what I was
going to say and didn’t have to pay heed.
Closeness cracks me up, it really does.
Eyes water and nostrils stream.
Buddleia brings butterflies across
the straits, and a sticky cloak of caterpillars
strips bark from dragon trees that weep
Millions of bits of mirror
set in concrete beckon to the high cirrus.
No they don’t. If we weren’t so close
we’d have to face each other,
swarming across plenteous tiles.
Climate once mutual shrinks to its events.
building a free state on pontoons
invisible from this wharf,
charging flakes of skin, fish scales
paschal hordes showing up
obscurely furious. Words are spat
across the tresses of light breeze
a Koori boy puppets in, clothed
with tattoos of scabies spiralling at work.
I call him warrior and he trickles coin.
Here where paving is so thin if reticulated,
boots trouble the buried: re-
knit with aftershock as by the drop
of heavy fruit,
colonists paw at the straits high above.
They are wanting to shape up but
arise in glitter,
pegging out the foreshore in a seam
of gold studs. Take your hands
out of your pockets, stretch your arms.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with 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