Walking in white socks,
you watch the black dots jump
and stick, trying to feel their way
to where the blood is easier.
Somehow they don’t sting
and pinching them doesn’t crack,
instead your blood is there
on your fingertips and their legs
keep wriggling. It’s been
a half-formed day, overcast
with fire-smoke and no change,
the wind still blowing strong easterly.
Under a microscope, every part of a flea
is visible, even the sucked out
parts of you. It’s a waste,
the time spent calling images up,
trying to know, when the answer
is a can let off on a sheet of paper,
an hour spent vacuuming up the bodies.
Imagine being able to jump
twenty times your height,
and suddenly finding yourself
stuck to the ground.
Sleeping in the basement to avoid chemicals,
there’s a rustle over the din of wind,
a mouse runs across the floor.
Where there’s one there’s more.
There’s a desperation I’ve noticed
in my voice, that’s like that scrabble.
It can’t be bourn. I’m here to be alone,
away from listening to women talk to men
with high-pitched hostage gaiety
“please love me, let me love me, don’t leave me”.
In a plague there’s hundreds of you being born
and dying once food runs out
or when the whim of something bigger
decides it’s had enough.
- 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