The only thing I drank was stout beer.
I drank it compulsively,
I called it my 'milk'.
Now I've had 3 bottles and it feels ok so I'll go for some more.
I ran pell-mell to the bottle-o!
With each leap my leg-ligaments achieved a kind of ecstasy,
a kind of mild pain.
And as I ran, I secrungered sums of saliva in my mouth,
I spat 'the food' onto that street there.
I walked into the bottle-o and I watched an insect bounce
arrhythmically off a light-bulb, like a buzzing moon.
It made me laugh a tad,
I looked at
him; that other guy but he didn't laugh (Plainly: only the jokes
I laugh at are up to the current standards.)
'I prefer coke mixed from
a syrup,' he explained to his girl.
I bought some excellent stout beer made in South Australia,
my favourite kind; 'Southwark',
and as I walked home I saw a vagrant and considered myself
to be the artist coz I looked at that ugly, haggard old man
as if he was a thing of beauty.
(I was filled to the brim, I thought, with no talent.)
At home, I sat at my desk and watched a cockroach for a while.
The cockroach, I imagined
as a solid shell of crystal charcoal.
But then I just squashed it into a tissue didn't I.
Yes, I did.
And the temperature was just perfect.
I was cake-stoned, phone boned,
alive and joined like lego
to a childlike mood
over me like a roar of joy.
My flesh was keen,
I was binge-thinking about the times they guffawed at my jokes,
I was falling in love with new music,
I was contemplating an affair with the Virgin Mary.
See, I'm a fire-soldier;
I like pretending that I'm the king of the room
In my head I take on the role of 'king'.
I went to the john didn't I.
I focussed and began lacquering the porcelain with my wis
and then I began drinking again in my room.
I imagined myself drinking the souls of those fermented plants.
I'm taking these vegetable souls with me, I thought.
Drunk and movement on the roof,
a special episode at the dunny.
I piss and concentrate on the glistening circle of light.
By now I've had about 10 standard drinks
and my blood is warm like my skin
when the thawing sun strikes it
as I leave the shade…
And later I come across all kinds of advice to myself,
desperately scribbled in journals:
'When you drink… when drunk,
you may drink with a drunken, heedless energy.
But when you're sober,
you regret drinking poison
with the energy of the ocean (a flower).'
Now, I'm listening intently to those beats there on the radio
and I feel around for a pen.
I love the leather feel of the pen in my jelly raw fingers,
so I write something, something very serious.
Note for tomorrow:
The rapport I have with drink
seems gentle and friendly for now,
like clag glue.
- 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
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- 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