the kayak is pounding at the rough-torn waves as though demanding to come inside, knocking at the troughs and striving to bash down through that open door, the surface of the sea; churning like a crowd, Alisa thinks with her aching shoulders throbbing as the paddle butterflies – like a subway crowd that is pushing in one great narrative but with subplots and rushes and doubts, with minor stories linking and intersecting, and she wonders if her kayak is actually moving forward or if she is caught up in this spitting, shoving crowd; will it drag her down, will it stop her from hauling the burden that trails behind her, this tiny barge stacked with the bones of smooth and sanded driftwood, this floating pyre with a low flame burning at its heart, sending up smoke like a thin scream for help? she had hoped to push it off in the morning, the silty rocks and oysters scratching at her feet, but it was as though the tide was prevaricating, holding its breath as long as it possibly could, and then the wind came up and the waves followed it and the pyre was caught on the coast like its load of grey, abandoned wood, and so Alisa had fetched a rope from the shed and hitched it to the rear of her old yellow kayak; and now she heaves at the water with this swaying raft full of burning branches, and she worries that it will overturn and the coals will be buried in the swells and the wood sent back to its grave, and even though there is no-one lying pale and cold below her load – and she is not entirely sure what loss it is that she is driving out into the ocean – when she looks back at the shoreline, all that she can see is the driftwood she has missed and left behind on the banks, fine and ghostly like strands of stiff lace, and it is clear that for all of her efforts, for all her collecting in the morning, for all her sleepless nights staring at the back of her hands clutched uselessly in front of her, she has brought nothing out here to burn and to sink and to drown.
- 97: PROPAGANDASUBMIT NOW with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill & J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith 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