Australia said “yes” to marriage equality on 15 Nov, 2017
Who hides in the kitchen, whose name
I carry like an idle onomatopoeia
for small triumph. But whom I don’t love
enough. On the day of our victory,
let’s ask ourselves: what if it is true
that fathers and daughters were lovers
in their past lives? I still remember
the Stephen King book you gave me
when I was 10. I have learned
horror stories and growing up
have only one thing in common.
Winning is difficult in life, as you sat there
imparting useless information
as if they were lip service to survive.
Tears glistened on your face –
oily, like mine, you confessed:
I never knew what it was like
to have a mother.
The sob so shrill it sunders
our catoptric worlds.
I’ve since found power in the feminine,
such as screaming, and practise
widening my too-round eyes.
I began to see ghosts
on my pillow – the mythical
fiery shadows of Phoenix
leaping from a hot pan
to boiling water reliving a past.
In your hand a Chinese fairy tale
some fiction about flying,
in which there is your name:
Wai Wing (Great Prosperity).
Your masculinity a carapace –
what are you made of
by the way, when ma bought you
feminine sanitary pads
instead of the blue ones
you need as a man?
You only said your knees hurt
on your way to the post office
to vote No. Now I see,
your porcelain heart
has a leaking hole. I, too,
nearly broke my body
just to savour the line
segment in my flattened world.
That’s why I have your nose, your taste
for bitter tea and the will to flaunt
courage with mild hypochondria.
Out there, they have debated love and
how to be a man or a woman
is next. In my dream, the world
changes in no one’s favour.
I’m playing the piano,
my hand pauses in mid air:
a semibreve. Musical notes
twirl dully in the dark, like
embroidery coming undone –
it’s the crossed stitches of Phoenix,
the most unloved childhood emblem
sutured on my pillowcase.
- 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
- 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
- Translations from Old English
- The Poets: Pejk Malinovski Self-translates
- Carnage, Crosses and Curiosity: 13 Images by Yvette Holt
- Body of Sound