Don’t expect anything new.
You know my kind:
We are mock and echo
you say we’ve ripped your song
but that’s another story.
is full of noises. Listen.
They have lost nothing from this change
do the can-can, cancan can
The main thing the ACL wanted was to take out
the mimicking parts of the acts says Wendy Francis
Queensland director of the Australian Christian Lobby
wen wen wen when when when when when
a civil partnerships system mimics marriage
and attempts to set up a marriage-like system
when when when when can can can
In songbirds, the choice of song is learned
but the need to sing’s instinctive.
Maybe for humans, too.
In mountainous parts of the Canary Islands and Turkey
the hill people whistle to talk
across miles of rock and cliff.
A dialogue of trills and warbles
rings out all day, the air filled with the
uncorded, foldless language
of lip and tongue and breath.
(the canary is named after the Canary Islands
which are named after
dogs that might have been seals
but no one knows for sure.
Origins aren’t what they used to be)
Mozart bought a starling in May of 1784.
It sang back to him a scrap of his Piano Concerto No. 17
with a G natural turned sharp. Some scholars say
it wasn’t Mozart who composed it
but the bird.
When the starling died, Mozart staged a funeral
and wrote an elegy.
Poems about Mozart’s starling have been written by
Daneen Wardrop, Karl Kirchwey, Robert Cording, and
Something here about mimicry and love and awe.
Something here about creation.
the mimicking parts
wendywendy can wendy can wendy can do
do the can-can
show us your galop infernal
Love you Queenslaaaaaaand
Where the Bleijie hell are you?
ralphburns ralpburns ralphburns ralphburns
When singing back the songs they have heard
starlings tend to sing off-key
and to sing fragments only.
How do songbirds transmit vocal motifs?
Researchers report that a starling cried mizu, mizu (Japanese for ‘water’)
after it flew to the tap for a drink.
after listening to basketball on TV.
we spread the bridal creeper
we probe and sally and lunge and glean
as each new man comes with nets or traps
or talk or gun or broom.
We speak in more tongues than you can fathom.
Our variations on your song are not
variations on your song.
What came first, theme or variation?
No, think again:
What came first,
theme or variation?
It’s not that we want to be chickens or phones
or humans or alarms
just us just us
but we like to talk
and talk back to the world
and chickens speak chicken
phones speak phone
and maybe everything seems like mimicry
if you only listen for yourself.
- 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
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman
- 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