Before the broken edges of an old city’s coast;
before the waves breaking on the wharves;
a city lost in the fog tumbling in from the ocean,
in snakes of fog sliding down from the mountains,
I’m tumbling through skins to my origins.
I am tumbling and my skin’s shade is changing;
I am the television virus, my skin is brightening;
I am from the land of ether, of foamed milk;
I am the loved one, only ever the one, the one loved for being one;
I am the one writing with all my weight.
A trail of footsteps across the stars;
I’ve scratched away footsteps one by one,
each step burnt a field, a mask, a dormant carbon mass;
I’m nothing but masks with eyes of furious sulphur;
I am a moon in search of a planet in search of a moon.
If I was in love it was with a woman becoming a man;
if I was loved it was by a world becoming a woman.
I was never loved by the grumpy old goanna;
I was never loved by the wings of the circling goshawk;
if it was love it was a chain of grumpy old ions going senile in the galactic mirage.
I have been loved, but only on occasion,
and I am loved, but only by staggered occasions;
staggering past hollowed buildings: empty teeth,
screwing them hollow for my filthy heap,
the fact is none would love me if they could see inside.
As a living thing I am growing outwards, spreading;
as a living I am fattening, spreading outwards, phoning;
as a dead heart growing;
as a dead heart sprawling over tarmac
while the black skins of the bitumen places sizzle underneath.
For my living I am ripping off their rhythms;
I am ripping off skins, buying the hearts of places;
I’m spreading cancer thick like a famous yeast;
this strange old city tumbling down in granules;
cancer is dancing in the memories of my metal cells.
So come to me on a lonely night when I least expect it;
come to me on the one night I most deserve it;
come to me, roll to me over the lonely hakea and the singing she-oak;
look for me, come to me, hold me and learn me,
we’ll meet by the edge of this crumbling city’s dreams.
For left alone I ferment into lonely flora;
I become the stench of the alcoholic plagues;
I reach out and devour the seeds of places;
I gain weight and lose it immediately in their throats,
my stinking ferment causing them atrocious choking spasms.
You’re coming to me in the night furthest from my origins,
we’re walking down the most sacred, cobblestoned streets;
I’ve taken your hand and your hurtling music
and I’m rolling slowly over your bleeding tongue,
for I am the gum plague, the gases crushed in the star burning furthest from reach.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 93: PEACHSUBMIT to L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIICOMING SOON with 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
- Introduction to Zenobia Frost’s After the Demolition
- Phillip Hall Reviews Robert Harris’s The Gang of One: Selected Poems
- Adam Ford Reviews Rae White’s Milk Teeth and Anders Villani’s Aril Wire
- Jennifer Mackenzie Reviews Elif Sezen’s A little book of unspoken history
- Introduction to Charmaine Papertalk Green’s Nganajungu Yagu
- Brigid Magner Reviews Michele Leggott’s Vanishing Points and Elizabeth Smither’s Night Horse
- Jack Kelly Reviews Liam Ferney’s Hot Take
- Submission to Cordite 93: PEACH
- Introduction to Cordite 91: MONSTER
- Poetry, Whatsoever: Blake, Blau DuPlessis, and an Expansive Definition of the Poem
- On Being Sanguine: Two Years of Panic and a Response to Terror in Christchurch
- A Deaf Rough Trade: Defending Poetry to ‘regular people’
- 12 Panels by Chris Gooch
- 5 Translated Yosuke Tanaka Poems
- A Buzz in the Retina: On Translating Luljeta Lleshanaku
- ‘That is some crafty bite’: Trisha Pender Interviews Melinda Bufton
- ‘You’re never disembodied from the action’: Dylan Frusher Interviews Judith Beveridge
- Excerpts from Neon Daze
- Chorography and Toute-eau in the Waters of Lower Murray Country
- 6 Poems from Robin M Eames
- Aussi / Or: Un Coup de dés and Mistranslation in the Antipodes
- Every other Friday
- I Still Love Without My Head
- Heath Ledger’s Joker
- Only fair