poets x, y, & z at different times. we talk of stray things –
x mentions Hawkesbury Country more than once, as if you can't
walk through it, not without feeling an owner's 'presence'.
y & i imagine who would win in kickboxing bouts,
the tough-looking poets or the wise? (no rule emerges)
& z introduces someone, then pauses, stares at an adjacent wall,
quite forgetting the norms. an iconoclast. i don't know what to say:
anonymity is grand but still i love to fix a sly certain stretch of days
(a la Schuyler). though the days are not consecutive, three is a fine number.
i'll be in the present, feigning indifference towards a terrible driver.
my poor faculty to retort drifts out the car window,
my face noting a lack of sun, keys jangling morosely. that's cool.
then you'll be studying images of marine-life on a laptop, outdoors,
doing whatever 'thing' is in question by proxy. still in the present.
(you are you)
catching a titanic haul to feed the family is the fallacious banter, & yet
there is nothing like the peace before this evolutionary gambit
(modernly named children shoulder rods & pro-scooters their faces dripping with saccharine & hate of things other they'll nod curtly in the
(as if the history of nods & that canon were nothing))
finally the glaze-over as colour grips a substation there, &
we gaze longingly at one sun plus one cloud plus the way
'dazzling' sort of dances along a gravel curve fronting some water,
all in keeping with the time: all so particular to there
the blanket antithesis of here. the real man vs beast action.
it's where you might almost see the ghost of St. Augustine
ambling along the banks- except i've only got a Bega vista to use,
or some comet-skies of Narooma, or the leaf-green Tilba trap.
(secretly poet x & i do battle for 'Riverina Country'
where Cod would eye you if they could)
we were driving the incomplete road to Albury anyway when
y commented on the specificity of ghosts – it's an unremarkable stretch.
petrol-stations seizing up & places bypassed. you wouldn't understand.
sure, your friends will get personal (despite studying rhetoric):
the speculative literature of personal revelation being just so intoxicating,
in that 'there is hope after all' way. it's not only substations though,
go-cart attendants call out names & the 'curt' kids navigate erratic ramps:
just as stop-start as the conversational play of z: & with that:
your past life with fish, else the c-grade tennis trophy, it's all in a photograph
& a message on the back appears to be scrawled, in a scrawled hand
'jim & frank 89', else a polaroid x, y, & z- it doesn't matter.
like real men coaxing valid responses from landmark landrovers,
petrol fumes & bird-sounds take you back to memorised land,
the exact numbers so spatially ill-determined, moral as August.
i'm nothing like the other men & that keeps the plovers well away.
when you mention 'property' (in a poem) three crows wail a symbolic rave:
it's you expressing a note of doubt (x a smudge off in the distance) &
the hamlet we aspire to a collection of insulated evils (men escape to 'weekender').
for now i'll reflect the lot in the slower breath after toil: a tractor balanced briefly between long sky & uncertain rows of growth: ordered or otherwise nothing much is
it's not your problem but here you'll feature large: like the birds you turned 'painstaking' into a verb for, they loom in the adventures of x, y, z, as located by me
in a series of landscapes we plain zip through.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 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