Speed of light insomniac runs,
angry mantras burn the tongue,
falling masonry fire shock it’s over.
Lifetime ago anger grew unbearable
a leader’s words touched the spirit,
reading the texts elated: do this
for love and land, strike the heart,
avenge injustice. Old nightmare’s fury
proved accurate driving there (no turning back)
smuggle the steel cylinders to the basement.
Flashlights beam the rubble. Remote-pilot
assassin birds visit villages, shower rockets.
Flashlights beam the rubble.
Cold winds blow from angry hearts.
No lightning bolts from my fist
today, nor dramatic transformations
human to machine and back,
my zigzag ceased at midnight
I was a killer machine
confessing badness to the moon
when my brain seized
and the fighting stopped
I resumed a peaceful life
among animals and plants.
but (no buts) robotic impulses
occasionally drive my actions
till the nervous system
Diluted by moonlight, industrial
strength sleep is not too deep
beyond what you imagine—
Ah to be in the crazed time and place
the music took us into space
and we saw flying saucers for real.
Before that it was rickety
metal and home rotting red bricks
the missions to the moon, vitamins
and transistor radios designed by mad scientists—
sudden pharmacopeia, precision
machines, hallucinatory night-art-3D
an endless supply of paperbacks,
all were good reason
to shoot rockets into the heart.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTCOMING SOON with 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