I think even though it's a hard
task we should stanch it now,
the way the hard
pillars of slight settle hard
& fast in your “ha ha” posture.
We know you're hard-
ly a stickler to the “hard
and fast” rules of the match,
a duel, as it were), that hard
warfare of inducing a smile.
we've snagged your smile.
Your gaze is hard
as you resolve to smile,
as if you'd killed a smile.
Even though you find it polite now
when asked to smile,
the ragged posture
of a forced smile
is more a fuse than a match,
more a grapnel than kitchen match;
it is, in fact, a perfect match
with wilt and rot. A smile
unrequited is a damp match
at the worst possible time. Is a match2
maker visiting my wife. It hard-
ly goes away, the fear of match-
ing argyle socks in the wash – not mine. Match
stick, please. Gas cannister, too. Now
hand me her photo – Now
I need to snap out of it. Match
& mix, sort through the causes of poor posture
that plague me. One must posture
like a debutante when learning posture –
this book-on-the-head method is now
overlooked by fancy magazines. 'Posture
is a matter of vitamins,' they say; 'Posture
is a matter of X, not Y. So is a gleamy smile.'
I was never taught. Thus the posture
of a pasture very much resembles my posture –
creepy, hewn from mud and lichen, hard
and uneven in winter light. Hard-
er travel lies ahead, Ethan, posture
and feet to be tried now
by a duty greater than the planets know.
– after Man'yoshu
Lying unloosened, bare,
crouched beside thin clothes,
nothing but rift between bare
vale and black rushes bare-
ly fingering the diamond moon,
diamond-shimmer dusting the bare
slope of – is that a dune, the bare
heap? Black garden;
then the black garden.
Pearls are bare,
grey gravities, the un-light.
In my garden of tiny lights
she gave her soft sigh, light-
ing the grove like a scream. Bare
trees, black streams, all light
remnants of the once fire. Light –
laughter fluttered like clothes.
A pall that suggested light
is just saddened lightning; light
is air aflame, every gate is a moon;
Night's a hole cut by a thief, light
stealthed away to his hideout, some garden
gone fallow. A garden
of bone. Garden-
ing at dusk, light
burnishes dusk. Garden-
ing through laughter, garden-
ing through Sunday: it happens. Bare-
ly, but God allows it. Allows detsu gardens,
where we may doff ashen clothes.
What are clothes?
Drapery to hide us from night. Garden,
o garden of black night. Moon,
o moon, you serve moon-
light like ice. Moon-
light like sad clothes
burning, smoke draping the moon.
The soul, when stung by moon-
dissolves; drifts moon-
ward – or so I dream. Beneath the moon –
one of many that hang like bats, bar-
ing themselves to this little audience – bare
lovers can't stand to part. The moon
has no such trouble, exchanging light
for light, each night, like clothes.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTCOMING SOON with 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