We found it. The house, down a jagged unpaved road
the owner recently widowed coughed her warning:
The peacock comes with the house
lit the freshburn her next cigarette—floral
nighty open to a tongue of breeze.
We took it. [The house, because we were told such things could
be bought & sold. But we were untested / untried—thermite.]
Then, a frenzy of activity. Grass turned
elementAl the small electric mower, pulled through its last gasp—
a haze of rotary splutter.
There were snake eggs: a Medusa’s nest waiting for heat to burst them.
Evenings fell a swoop. Breeze waved
smoke wood tang, fire and coal. We ate from the pan,
your exclamation: This is stars’ end.
First light, the sky broke—a candy-cane swirl.
Magpies and currawongs picked over remains—
solidified pan juice, discarded rinds, pieces of gristle.
Before morning tea, the path baked
through. I lay
down, let small
I found you blowing flies from wet cracks—
the corners of your mouth.
We watched strawberry plants plat across wormed earth,
woke to fat caterpillars feasting on budded leaves.
Tossed song lines across the court of afternoons.
The fire ripped through late—no
warning. The radio’s almost packed it in, its static lost to the
howling / the furnace sky bellowed
we watched seething
flames tongues wild agape.
The flames licked and hissed and climbed—the two headed
and the animals, panting. Everything everywhere burning.
When we returned (the trees were black-end-ash) the peacock
after wrangling—all that was left was an x-ray the mackerel sky
churned to dust.
Even light had melted. Broken
its back against the flame.
An Etch A Sketch contains aluminum powder. The surface
behind the screen becomes coated when you shake it. In
the TV series Breaking Bad, Walter White uses an Etch
A Sketch to make thermite in order to blow a lock.
The symbol Al for aluminum comes from ‘alum’ which is
potassium aluminum sulfate. The name derived from the
Latin alumen, bitter salt.
A fire is made up of three principal elements: ‘fuel that burns,
oxygen that allows the combustion to occur, and heat.’ Fire
intensity is represented by units watts per metre; tens of
thousands of kilowatts of energy can be released in a bushfire.
NSW bushfires Q & A: How firefighters contain a massive
- 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