As the key sticks I can't write, the story
collapses, it drops
to being just a muttering,
a thought, unheld, to be forgotten.
I think I should smoke open my matches, strike – it slides quietly down the side
of the box.
I look away turn to it, check.
The red tips are insight, – waiting.
The next coughs, splutters, lights, Next time I'll take out two, I will now
always – now alway – take out two just to be sure.
The light flickers,
we both flicker,
The screen is still. The smoke wafts past.
The screen is still as I take two matches from the box. I look quickly down to
the matches, — both good
I look to the screen, I should smoke/didn't smoke the matches wouldn't
matter/letter hadn't stuck I wouldn't have smoked.
There's a taste, —- — a taste of paint.
The pencil I've picked up tastes of paint-then lead.
I write the missing letter on the surround of the keyboard/touch the key with
the pencil's paint-less tail/letter appears,
I can't think what I would have written before the key stuck so I take the letter
off the screen.
The pencil's letter sits alone on the surround, written on matt and neutral plastic.
The key is worn, symbol disappearing, the key ingrained with me.
An eraser won't remove the pencil's letter, it takes just the surface and leaves a
ghost, a ghost of the letter in the mattness of the surround.
I tap the key again.
Just the same, just as patient.
I could start with it.
The ghost in the plastic agrees/worn key tells me right.
The room's light now just stops.
Only the letter sits/glows/waits to start.
The ghost unlit,
Key already knowing.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 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