Aunt Alexandra came as early as she could.
Sat staring out the kitchen window over collards
until she roused her teaspoon, swore I swear
under sweetened breath, said nothing
was the same since A. went and made his self
a Spark Note, slinking like a Radley into answers.com.
Yet it is reassuring to think that Jem Finch cried
quietly over a morphine addict, as if in a draft he’d gone
and washed her feet, lifting her shaking shankbone
into his own lap. Jem Finch gets it, that’s for damn sure.
Of course, we can see that in the revised as yet
unwritten rewrite of the Great American Novel
the character of Jem Finch gets it in the neck.
The main street of Maycomb crawls
with the pups of mad Tim Johnson
and Uncle Jack’s right fist is all banged up
and sure as shit Jem Finch has to get it, because God,
having no cause to stay the never before raised hand of A.
can’t be everywhere, staying all those other hands.
Aunt Alexandra came to make arrangements.
Cal pressed and laid out his clothes. The wisdom
we might have doled out in the banter between
child and grown-up is exhausted. That already spoken
is now contained and reduced to molasses;
that which we would speak, that we need to say,
is leaving us. Like geese the words lift in a migrating V,
trailing the likeness of a dirge over felled trees.
The hopes we had for the solace of gentle irony,
of softened perspective, have been dashed,
replaced by craftless hashtags. Can you even place A.
in this scenario? Some skins can’t be, won’t be,
refuse point blank the climbing into.
- 100: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97 & 98: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and 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: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith 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