My chair creaks under my weight;
the gravity shifts beneath my words.
My window is submerged beneath hours
of new dusk, laid thick, beyond recognition.
The day is in its mourning dress; its skirt.
It provides me the same security
as if it were I who had my wooden back
against the wall.
I am wading my time, head high,
defiantly avoiding eye contact with the clock,
hanging from the wall,
which buoys on the surface of my mind;
of which I am aware only by the cold drip at the back of my mind,
as it ticks away: a leaky mind,
which at this hour,
by this light,
by this certain stance,
sends visible ripples outward into the sanctuary around me,
to distort a distant star, I wasn’t sure I had seen.
It came to me today;
a glass of water toppled over somewhere,
and I hastened to collect the drops.
Was it the wind, with its breath heavy with condensation,
that had planted that heavy fruit there,
before redressing into its coat of night?
I, for the first time in ages,
hear the bow of the ship breaking through
the perpetual scum of dawn:
the white noise.
I write in light, erasable catches;
in a string of alternating petals,
that I take in the hand
and lower into the waters,
to see what happens.
My hands are sometimes unable – too weak –
to raise the thought to the level
of its conception.
I can’t escape it; my life between times
has become an accommodation.
It had been borne by waves – touched by hands –
to the wrong shore; distant and stretching,
like an Egyptian cat.
It came to me today.
I would have done the same with it as I had the others,
had I known
the next time it may have been that I hug the coast;
and I had been able to swim in the flowing streams of its outlets,
rather than be condemned to drink the brine
from single-handed cups, handed to me,
from my shoulder against the rowlock.
My gravity shifts, beneath the delirium;
my mind is taken up opportunistically
by the sounds from the fog from which I came.
I miss the smell of the brass handle
of a screwed-tight porthole.
The light I have known has been a mere glow,
since I sat beneath your Cephalonian sunlight.
- 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