after Allen Ginsberg
You keep your dark light in jars of Vegemite, I keep my chest
air in cans of lemonade and only breathe it / in super
markets. Aisles of tinned goods, sugared cereal boxes
wrapped in all the world just like happiness, weekly
specials, flash sales! A woman smiles teeth—smash, grab.
You keep your dark light sealed in magazines
randomness / but a lottery, we’re not looking to win any. ‘Take it,
some more you want some?’ homogenised / pasteurised—‘Take it
while we’ve got some!’ We try to check it with tinned tomatoes
to take it back to make the cake, but the stuff is out of date
—late too late.
You keep your dark light in cans of mace, tracer arcs
explode fence lines / placards jut the sky—hold the torch
buy, by, bye.
We try to shelter from the rain, plastic bags hang limp from limbs
like magpies, our feathers drip. But our throats are closed to song.
We talk stale with muted breath, Did you see the baby in the sausages?
The poet shot by the watermelons? Did you choke on the – – –?
You keep your dark light in shaded cloth. You outline the moon
in pen and ink underneath the Next Neon Sign, you hide
a spill of rainwater pouring baptism
wet incandescence, mother of the load.
You keep your dark light locked in passing cars, sat on the rug in back
where fox’s jaw crunches bones, there’s more to taste where there’s teeth.
Neon glows too bright on all the words, you—darkening acetone.
The cloth is wet face unknown.
- 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