He sits with his thumbs in knots
a sparrow nestled in his stomach rolls
no need now for further talk of flight
or the lack therof, no need for further, distance
or any departure time, long distance call or marker.
No need for further talk.
Waking early, he returns to sleep.
Every childhood memory now tries
to overwhelm him, laugh and carry him
into their tombs. He stands at the entrance
to each, evades their attacks
then pushes them into the silence.
He sits beside a river and without moving
or disrobing dives in naked. He hears
the melodies of fish, looks up
lipreads the love calls of birds he cannot name
and can no longer find a reason to.
A whiphand, without its whip.
The desperate need for things to finish
has been arrested outside the city gates.
The trial begins tomorrow and, it is said,
no result is expected.
Tied up against a tree, he remembers
the ropes are on the ground. He whistles
and they rise, cobras without heads
without fangs. Useless ropes dancing.
There was consciousness, unconsciousness, preconsciousness,
a conscious effort, an unconscious action, a preconscious knowing,
a conscious reminder, an unconscious thought, a preconcious doubt.
They walked together along the riverbank, wondering why
they'd never enjoyed each other's company before.
Several of us will be visiting
several others of us later.
You're welcome to come. He,
of course, will be there, his sparrow
stretched across his shoulder blades
a motorcade running down his back
and, when he looks down, something
remarkably like a city
but nothing like a building
will come into view on his chest.
The city lifts its ban on autumn.
Maintenance crews lean on their shovels.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 93: PEACHSUBMIT to 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
- NO THEME VIII Editorial
- ‘A means of resistance’: Susie Anderson Interviews Alison Whittaker
- 10 Works by Richard Bell
- Shipwrecks in Modern European Painting and Poetry: Radical Mobilisation of the Motif as Political Protest
- 4 Self-translations by Danijela Trajković
- Brutalism: Poems by Alex Creece
- Imperfect Growth: a Travel Log
- 4 Translated Kim Seung-hee Poems
- Residence: Dwelling with The Shards (an essay)
- The Shards
- in yr swimming pool
- Sonar for Conception
- The slow clock
- nanny on the water
- Vernal Funks & Bluffs
- I’d Have Called Her Sooner
- Call of Summer
- Sunday, call me a squid
- Mother Bird
- The Wrong Colour
- Milk River
- House fitting : surprisingly
- Farewell to Sweet Pea